Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fox: disatrous horoscope

By Martín Bonfil Olivera
Published in
Milenio Diario, August 19, 2009

It's not surprising that Vicente Fox, Mexico's former president, declared on Saturday 15, at his Centro Fox in San Cristobal, at the graduation ceremony of the first generation of its Master in Politics course, that Mexico's economical crisis of is the result of "a convergence of stars in a negative sense, of negative vibes".

It's not surprising because he is very well known for his capacity for saying nonsense. Because his lack of culture is legendary. And because, even when he was president, it was clear that he and his wife Martha believed in all kinds of quackery.

Santiago Pando, the star advisor of Fox's presidential campaign, claimed to receive advise from the "galactic mayans", "light beings" whose voices he heard. And the President's Office hired a clairvoyant in 2006, Rebeca Moreno Lara, who acted as "mystical advisor" for the first lady.

So it's not surprising , but it is outrageous and worrying. It seems that, as a country and as a society, we still believe that the causes of our problems are in the stars, not in our own actions and decision. No wonder we haven't been able to solve them.

For the pseudoscience of astrology, certain "star combinations" are disastrous, fateful: they cause disasters (from the word disaster, stellar cataclysm and therefore something bad produced by stars).

Astronomers are tired of explaining that such star combinations don't really exist. They're only an effect of perspective: although two stars, seen from the Earth, may appear to be in "conjunction", they are separated by millions of miles (if not, by light years, equivalent to around 10 billion kilometers).

Maybe Fox's declaration is, by itself, a disastrous sign: a signal of the failure of our educational system, which allows that somebody that was the president harbours these primitive beliefs. Of the failure of our political system, converted into a publicity-driven media-cracy, that allows this uncultured character to win an election by a wide range. Of the failure of the effort by we science journalists and science writers, who have not managerd, through the media, to carry a minimum of scientific culture to the average citizen.

"Certainly" (as Fox would have said), a very bad sign.

(translated by Adrián Robles Benavides)

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