4 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2022
    1. 618034

      "The first known calculation of the golden ratio as a decimal was given in a letter written in 1597 by Michael Mästlin, at the University of Tübingen, to his former student Kepler. He gives "about 0.6180340" for the length of the longer segment of a line of length 1 divided in the golden ratio." from https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Golden_ratio/

  2. Apr 2018
    1. Unfailing experience of mundane events in harmony with the changes occurring in the heavens, has compelled my unwilling belief.

      Kepler was not happy to believe in astrology, but he was a scientist.

    1. Kepler's famous metaphor comparing astrology to the 'foolish daughter' of the 'wise mother' (astronomy) has often been cited as evidence of his disbelief. Seen in context, however, the foolish daughter represents a particular style of astrology — popular astrology — which was not to Kepler's taste. He was always careful to distinguish his reverential vision of the celestial harmonies from the practices of the backstreet astrologers and almanac-makers "who prefer to engage in mad ravings with the uneducated masses".[7] Kepler's astrology was on another plane altogether. Before condemning him for his blatant intellectual snobbery, however, consider how many 'serious' astrologers today feel exactly the same way about Sun-sign columns. Kepler was neither the first nor the last astrologer to pour scorn on those who practise apparently inferior forms of the art. His disapproval stems from his conviction that astrology is nothing less than a divine revelation, "...a testimony of God's works and... by no means a frivolous thing". Unfortunately, Kepler's salary as Imperial Mathematicus was rarely paid (the Imperial treasury owed him 20,000 florins by the end of his career) so he was obliged to scratch out a living by giving astrological advice to wealthy clients and composing astrological almanacs for the 'uneducated masses' he so despised. Reluctantly, Kepler conceded that "the mother would starve if the daughter did not earn anything". In another famous turn of phrase, he warned those learned professors who had grown sceptical of astrology that they were likely to "throw the baby out together with the bathwater" if they rejected it entirely. So Kepler was undoubtedly an astrologer — but he was no respecter of astrological tradition. His ideas seem radical even by the standards of mainstream astrology today. For a start, he dismissed the use of the 12 houses as 'Arabic sorcery'. While accepting that the angles were important, he could see no justification for conventional house division. "Demonstrate the old houses to me," he wrote to one of his correspondents, "Explain their number; prove that there can be neither fewer nor more... show me undoubted and striking examples of their influence." [8] He even went so far as to question the validity of the signs of the zodiac, arguing that they were derived from human reasoning and arithmetical convenience rather than any natural division of the heavens.[9] He had no time for elaborate schemes of planetary sign rulership and saw no reason why some planets should be classed as benefic and others as malefic. Kepler left no astrological convention unchallenged. His rigorous questioning hints at a massive reformation of astrology, on a scale which Ken Negus has compared to the reformation that Martin Luther brought about in the Church.

      Kepler's project for astrology, analogous to Luther's project for chistianity.