India Uncut

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sanjay B Jumaani: The man who killed Hindi

Rahul Bhatia has a nice profile of Sanjay B Jumaani here, the numerologist who has "made the job of a sub-editor hell," as Rahul puts it. Or, rather, as Rahul A Bhatiya puts it, for that is what Jumaani asked him to change his name to.

Jumaani should also ask Rahul to change his friends. This one thinks that numerology is quite as much a load of rubbish as astrology, and the likes of Jumaani thrive only because of the confirmation bias. (I'd written on this before in the context of astrology.) All the shmucks who change their name on Jumaani's advice are likely to want it to succeed, and would ascribe any upturn in their lives to the change of name, and ignore any misfortune. So if they get a raise or a new TV serial, they'll assume it's because of the name change. If their serial goes off air, they'll assume if would have happened anyway.

Jumaani's on an especially good wicket, because he's not making predictions, just advising changes of name. You can still point to a bad prediction an astrolger makes, but no one who has changed his name because of Jokerr Jumaani will ever say that it didn't work for him: that would be equivalent to admitting that he himself was a stupid schmuck.

Some earlier posts on astrology: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
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