This article describes how the abundance of personal data generated about individuals through various technologies (internet history, social networks, wearable devices, etc.) that we come across in our day-to-day life can potentially one day be utilized to develop a new system to predict the life of every human being on Earth. This system would be something similar to the ancient Vedic astrology system which is being used, even today, to predict human life events and possibilities.
It also attempts to explain how big data analytics played an important role in the invention of ancient astrology systems even thousands of years ago (through mythological references) and how it is possibly going to play the same role in the creation of a next gen technology-based human prediction system.
About Big Data Analytic
Big data analytics have been in use by most of the big business houses for some time now to uncover such things as business trends, insights, and patterns, and their correlation to the psychology of customers/consumers. Recently, because of its far reaching ability to successfully predict human behavioural patterns, the application of data analytics has been spreading into many fields.
For example, it’s being used by police departments to predict crime occurrences in their area, by employers to forecast employee future actions, behaviours, productivity and psychology, and by retailers to predict customers/ consumers preferences.
Vedic Astrology & The World’s Oldest Big Data Projects
The period of Vedic civilization witnessed the birth of a number of amazing systems and methodologies, such as Yogasutra, Ayurveda, Vedic mathematics and Astrology. As per mythological scriptures, these inventions and discoveries were made possible by the siddhis (metaphysical powers) or yogic power of the great Vedic sages (thinkers). During that period, different versions of astrological systems were developed by different sages based on their research and findings in the field. All of these versions (branches) differ slightly in the way calculations are made or formulas are applied to predict future events, but they all revolve around a common philosophy which forms the very basis of these prediction techniques. That is, planetary alignments and movements influence the human body and mind. Though its validity and accuracy still remain highly debatable, if we go by Indian mythological references, it appears that the lifecycle of many of these astrology projects consisted of three major phases – the same as any of the present day big data analytic projects: 1) Detailed data gathering, 2) Analysis and 3) Devising formulas/rules based on the findings.
One such project was the Bhrigu astrology system, which was created by a great sage of the same name who was believed to have attained great siddhis through deep meditation and penance.
First Phase: Data Collection
In the first phase, Bhrigu focused on collecting data about detailed life events capturing every moment of 500,000 individuals spreading across different geographies/social and economic classes.
Second Phase: Crunching Of Data
As the analysis of these huge and unstructured data sets required a brain matching the combined power of thousands of modern day servers, he approached the best available computing powerhouse available at the time to aid him. That powerhouse was none other than the “mythological god Ganesha,” also known as the god of intellect, mathematics, and algos, and the bestower of problem solving and analytic skills. In Vedic scriptures he is often described as having an intellect or processing power equal to the power of the thousand finest brains put together (like a cluster of a thousand powerful server nodes). In yogic theology, he is the manifestation of intellect in the human brain and, once activated fully through deep meditation techniques, gives unmatched intellect and power. And after invoking the power of Ganesha in his mind, Bhrigu continued with his analysis of all the data he had collected.
Third Phase: Deriving Rules & Formulas
His careful crunching of detailed data helped him to uncover the hidden correlation between human life events and personality traits with planetary alignments, enabling him to formulate rules to predict most human life events. He then shared his findings with his community. Over time, further improvements were made based on various observations and some rules were altered to correspond to social, biological and environmental evolutions.
One question remains unanswered here. How did he manage to collect the vast personal data of so many individuals? This can again be attributed to a yogic power called citta siddhi (mind reading power). It’s a metaphysical power often described in many ancient scriptures, having been used for reading any individual’s memory – even memories to which the native brain has lost access.
Even after a thousand years, astrology is practiced extensively in most parts of India mainly for two reasons 1) to predict personality, future events, and various possibilities about an individual’s life, and 2) to predict successful marital life between prospective marriage partners (matchmaking services).
Nobody knows the truth behind these astrology systems for certain, nor does anyone know if these sages truly had the siddhis to create such amazing projects. But one thing we now know is that we have the technology required to replace those siddhis and invent a similar prediction system.
Designing A New Human Life Prediction System
At first glance, the idea of collecting data about a large number of individuals detailing every moment of their lives and then analyzing the same appears impossible. But in reality we have already made such technological progress that carrying out a big data project to predict human lives doesn’t seem so unrealistic. We have the necessary computing power and sophisticated algos to analyze any type of data of any size and complexity, and our ever growing addictions/dependencies to various technologies ensure that we encapsulate every moment of our lives in digital format. And our digital footprints are potentially the perfect alternatives for the “citta siddhis” (mind reading power of past and present things) of the sages. Let’s see how:
Available Sources For Harvesting Personal Data About A Large Number of Individuals
Through social media: Most of us don’t think twice about sharing on social media. But our actions on these various platforms – past tweets, updates, likes, shares, pictures, and more – can easily be analyzed to construct an accurate representation of who we are as a person. These social media activities paint a clear picture of our thoughts, emotions, interests, moods, and tastes, along with marking our actions and important life events. They reveal our views on religion, politics, and culture, along with our many likes and dislikes. Someone could also learn about our romantic entanglements, our joys and our sorrows, and our relationships with friends and family. Our favourite hangout places and restaurants are there for discovery, along with all of the major life events and achievements we have experienced in recent years.
Similarly, the content of our past personal mail, text, audio, video conversations, and group chats can describe the state of mind or mood of a person for that moment.
By analyzing our search data, online activity log, and mobile app data: Through careful study of our past Google search history, one can make out what thoughts, ideas, questions and cognitive abilities were playing in our mind at a given point of time and how curious/anxious/worried we were to know certain things at certain points of time. It captures almost all psychological aspects of a human brain.
Our online news and book subscriptions and our App data can speak about our reading, listening, and watching habits, along with our preferences on various subjects. Similarly, our online shopping records, digital wallets, and credit/ debit card statements can define whether we are consumerists or essentialists, as well as revealing our preferences for food, drinks, and goods and services.
This data can also divulge the many dark sides of our life and health which we may not be aware of. For example, our sexual health, preferences and fantasies over a period of time can be guessed based on the type and quantity of health care products and accessories we purchase or from the content we read/watch or search online.
Past digital records: A simple study of our e-mail history and employment records can state everything about our professional life like our behaviour, ethics, conduct, accomplishments, skills, career growth and more.
Similarly, our medical reports would show what illnesses we had during that period, what diseases/illness we are most prone to and what treatments we have already received.
Likewise, with a quick run-through of our financial records (bank statements, investment statements, asset/property purchase and sales records) one can easily guess the gains and losses we had with respect to time – how bad/good we are at making decisions, how much debt we have, what possessions we have and what we have lost.
With the arrival of advanced and wearable devices: With the advent of wearable fitness devices, we will be literally storing every movement of our day-to-day life. The patterns of our body movement, breathing, heartbeat, and perhaps even brain activity would all be there for the taking. If analyzed, one could see how much exercise we do, how much sleep we get every day, and how our biological activities change with respect to time and location, and with those changes, what thoughts, actions, and mood changes get invoked in our brain. In other words, an analysis of our brain activity would tell what kind of dream (good/bad) we had on the same night three years ago.
With the internet of things, our interaction with every single household device is set to go digital. And a careful examination of this data would tell a whole lot about our day-to-day life. With new devices like tech glasses on the rise, we will be saving everything that we see and every bit of sound that we hear or speak in the future. Whatever our senses perceive is also perceived by these devices and gets stored somewhere.
Analysis of data to derive prediction rules/formulas: We might be surprised to learn that if all this data pertaining to a person can be retrieved and consolidated in a timeline, a digital form of memory system parallel to that of our own could be developed, and it would be so vastly powerful that the human brain would appear far inferior in comparison.
If the above mentioned digital data about a very large number of people, cutting across various geographies, races, and economic classes, can be collected and analyzed effectively with sophisticated algorithms, then all the personality traits and past life events of individuals can be determined with great accuracy.
With this information in hand anyone can become a matchmaking astrologer. Any individual can predict whether a successful marriage between a couple would be possible or not based on their personality trait compatibility, sexual preferences, commonalities and interests (travel, music, art, shopping).
The analysis of all of this data may also reveal how our behaviour, thoughts, interests, appearance, bodily functions, and certain aspects of our personality go through changes with respect to location and time? Could we then determine if these occurrences and changes show any predictable patterns with respect to location, age, geography, seasonal changes, and planetary alignment at the time of birth? If so, then it would validate the Vedic time astrology systems (formulas). If not, then it might still help us uncover other unknown factors which could be playing a role in defining our personality and our life events, such as biometric data or gene sequencing, thus making a new prediction system possible.
What are your thoughts on the potential of a life prediction system? Let us know via the comment section below!