Randomized thoughts

Hey Gemini, it's time to stop making sense and let chaos reign.

Published May 22, 2000 4:38PM (EDT)

May-June 2000

Greetings from Planet Chance. Feeling stuck in a deductive
rut? All those logical linkages, causality chains and
first-order predicate calculations have kept you rule-bound
and earthbound for way too long. Take a hint from that wacky
genetic algorithm cabal: Sometimes the most elegant
solutions to complex problems make absolutely no intuitive
sense whatsoever. So this month I'm prescribing a dangerous
dose of randomness to jump-start your bad-ass, nonlinear
alter ego. Start out slowly, say, with dice, roulette or
Brownian motion, then progress to harder stuff like
Amazon.com's customer service or the political writings
of Lyndon LaRouche. In no time you'll be wowing fellow geeks
with your outrageously fresh and chaotic insights.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Disrobed! This lunar
cycle finds you feeling particularly vulnerable as hackers
demonstrate that there's no such thing as security -- short
of taking an ax to all your network connections and lining
your walls with lead. Privacy is dead, secrecy is a myth
and the king's not wearing any clothes -- but this time
around, we're all buck naked as well.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You've always suspected
that you're the smartest person in any crowd, but this month
will permanently vanquish any doubts to the contrary. Wear
your mantle lightly lest jealous interlopers set fire to
your smarty-pants. Stay calm, stay logged on and stay put
on the 12th, when Venus puts you under house arrest.

Leo (July 23-Aug 22)
Options, options everywhere,
but not a buck to bank. Your mania for equity compensation
has left you unable to pay the rent on your castle in the
sky. Could it be your optimism is overdrawn, or is it merely
misplaced? Only you can say. But if I were you, I'd be
looking around for something real to grab in the event of a

Virgo (Aug 23-Sept 22)
Personal multitasking goes
on the fritz. Your miraculous talent for separating the line
between home and work begins to fail as you absent-mindedly
run your laptop through the dishwasher and read bedtime
stories to your children out of Red Herring. Better
debug before you doing anything really disastrous, like
conflating "significant other" with "hostile takeover."

Libra (Sept 23-Oct 22)
Cognitive polarization to
the max! Angular, absolutist, black-and-white thinking
blinds you to the low-hanging fruit on the tree of
ambiguity. Possibility thrives in the gray area between "is"
and "isn't." Remember -- there are two kinds of people in
the world: those who think there are two kinds of people in
the world, and those who don't.

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21)
Though prior experience
suggests the finish line looming ahead is just another cruel
hoax, you really are on the brink of wrapping up your
current project. It's time to recaffeinate, rally your
remaining brain cells and flail away at the keyboard like
there's no tomorrow. Inelegant but functional solutions
triumph over inertia.

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21)
Pluto administers
object lesson on the vagaries of selling out in Net-ville as
the IPO well runs dry. Is that your company you're putting
on the block, or your head? Your latest gambit to
flip-and-flee turns ugly as last-minute disclosures find you
huddling in a server room to escape the public eye.

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19)
Remember when you were
a kid, and all the adults were spouting futuristic bosh
about personal hovercraft, domestic robots and
college-in-a-pill? You redeem your grown-up disappointment
with your own historical perspective as you realize those
expensive high-tech prognosticators are standing knee-deep
in the murky lagoon between pulp science fiction and
stand-up comedy. They're clowns, so don't be timid about
tweaking their big red noses.

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)
Unexpected confluence
of planetary anomalies causes an astrological core-dump. You
cold-boot your already dodgy karma when you realize your
cosmic peripherals have all become completely unresponsive.
Contact astral systems administrators for
up-to-the-nanosecond revision of your metaphysical source

Pisces (Feb 19-March 20)
You chuck your
e-commerce business model out the virtual window when you
discover that your customers' Web site loyalty
asymptotically approaches nil. There are big changes afoot
on both sides of the production/consumption divide; as your
company becomes more nimble, retooling and reinventing
itself twice a day, so do your customers. How can you hope
to make your Web site any stickier when consumers are now
made of Teflon?

Aries (March 21-April 19)
May starts slowly, but
before you can say
you'll be as wedged
as a Palm Pilot trying to crack a 64-bit key. Try to reward
yourself with nano-vacations: sneak out to Starbucks, get a
mocha and a copy of Wired, and put up your feet for a moment
or two. Comfy? What the hell are you thinking? Get back in
that cubicle!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Feeling a wee bit
obsolete? Not to worry; this month, a confluence of powerful
companies, bleeding-edge technologies and sexy public
offerings conspire to turbo-charge your career. Meanwhile,
indifference is the best revenge as the planets jockey to
open up big new opportunities for your nemesis in Q/A,
testing and customer support.

By Thomas Scoville

Thomas Scoville is either an Information Age savant or an ex-Silicon Valley programmer with a bad attitude. He is the author of the Silicon Valley Tarot.

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