Sunday, January 18

Does Palmistry Work?

The answer is yes. You can predict behaviour based upon certain medico-engineering facts based upon your hand measurements. But a bit of history before this. Once upon a time, in the dim and distant past, I was laid up on a hospital bed for months on end. At that time, I was handed a copy of Cheiro's Palmistry book. As it so happens, its available on Project Gutenberg as a free downloadable e-book. Knock yourself out. At that time, I was a spotty teenager and soon got into it. Besides the obvious benefits of getting to hold women's hands and saying profound but totally BS stuff that spotty teenagers do to impress girls, it was fun.

But I did dig around a bit about this palmistry business. Did you know this stuff emerged from India from our old friend, Valmiki? Who wrote a treatise on this subject. But two things sort of made Palmistry a bit of sense to me. The first was that after my accident and being on crutches for well over 18 months made the lines of my hand change. I had a different palm line structure in 1987 and by 1988, the lines on my right hand were significantly different from what they were before.

Second was a scientific explanation. Did you know that the palm area is one of areas of the skin which has the highest density of nerve endings? Given that you and your behaviour is driven quite significantly by your nervous system, it made sense to understand that the lines made on the palm have something to do with the nerve endings and thus have some predictive ability.

Also, let us not forget the fact that the development of the opposable thumb is one indication of the difference between us and the animals. The very fact that we have opposable thumbs means that we have fine motor skills and our intellectual development path has diverged from the animals. For example, the fact that we have a thumb means that writing is possible. So, our hands and digits do have "stuff" to do with our own personal development. But I am slightly drifting from the point.

But its a childish pursuit, fit only for people who are not confident enough to rely on their own skills but require confirmation from others. That's what I thought about the range of studies relating to jewels, palmistry, astrology, numerology and the like (even though I ended up studying them way too much, but then, you dont have much option when you are stiffed inside the hospital bed for months on end).

But others do believe in it. My own marriage came nearly to a cropper when my father in law spotted the length of the fingers on my right hand. See above on the fingers of my right hand (its on the left) (and no jokes on hairy hobbit hands and feet, I have heard them all!). The middle and ring fingers are roughly of equal length, in fact, the ring finger is slightly longer even than the middle finger as is the case on my right hand. Guess what he said? He said that people with that condition are great gamblers. He gave me a very suspicious look and mumbled something about how his daughter will be married to a gambler and how that's not good and and and. Close shave, I tell you, I had to talk very quickly. But he still gives me a pained look whenever we meet.

So since then, I spasmodically do the palmistry stuff, usually when I am drunk or when I am drunk. But you know what I mean, its only for a bit of a laugh and fun. But not true.

Here's an experiment which you can do. Go grab a ruler or a scale. Measure the length of your index finger from the knuckle to the tip and the same with your ring finger. Then divide the 2 numbers. The higher the ratio, the bigger is your ability to do do profitable trades. This ratio is called as the 2D:4D ratio. I quote:

Traders with the lowest 2D:4D ratios had an average annual income of £680,000 – 11 times higher than those with the highest ratios. The ratios, measured from photocopies of volunteers’ hands, ranged from 0.90 to 1.02.

I further quote:

Researchers at Cambridge university have found a strong statistical link between the profitability of male traders at a London bank and the ratio of index to ring fingers on their right hand. The longer the fourth digit in relation to the second, the more money the traders are likely to make.

This ratio, known as “2D:4D”, is affected by the amount of male hormone to which people are exposed while growing in their mother’s womb.

Previous research has shown that higher prenatal exposure to testosterone and other male hormones leads to a lower 2D:4D ratio. Finger ratios have been used to predict performance in competitive sports.

Go now you have ended up with another scientific explanation for human performance as measure by bio-engineering factors on the hand. So Palmistry does seem to work in certain aspects. Now where is the damn parrot?

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