The Original Algorithm Was Written In The Stars

Photo illustration by Mark Riechers. Original images by Shot by Cerqueira (CC0) and Fred the Oyster (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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The belief that there might be a code hidden in the tree of life or the movement of the stars is a notion that's been with us for a long time. Consider astrology. Do you ever check your horoscope? Even just for fun? Putting aside the question of whether there's any validity to it, the ancient science of astrology actually has a lot in common with contemporary data science. In fact, data scientist Alexander Boxer calls astrology humanity’s very first set of algorithms. He makes the case in his book “A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for Our Destiny in Data.”