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Probability of moving lines with yarrow stalk & coins

Did you experience it?

  • I never tried it out, but I believe Edward Hacker is right.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I never tried it out, but I believe Edward Hacker is wrong.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4
H

hmesker

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On my own Dutch forum a simple guy claims that the probabilities to obtain a moving line with the yarrow stalk or the coin method are equal. Hacker clearly gives the probabilities in chapter 9 of his I Ching Handbook (less change for a moving line with the yarrow stalks), but this stubborn Dutch guy believes Hacker is wrong. He does not say why Hacker is wrong, which makes this guy look even more stupid. I told him, 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating', just try it out, use the yarrow stalks 50 times, use the coins 50 times, and you will see for yourself. But he does not respond to that.

Anyway, I thought, let's make a poll about this.

Harmen.
 
H

hmesker

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Hi Frank,

Ah, I missed that thread. So my post is more or less a crosspost. Sorry.

Harmen.
 

Sparhawk

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Blessings, Harmen. I thought I was the only one to have noticed this, as I said in the thread Franks points to. Now, I didn't start separating yarrow and throwing coins last week... :D

IMO, Hacker (and empirical experience) are right.

L
 

Frankelmick

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Harmen and everyone,

As I understand it, the chances of having a moving line of some sort are the same whether you use the coins or the stalks. Coins = 2/8, stalks = 4/16.

But the big difference is that with coins there's equal chance of getting a moving Yang line (1/8) or a moving Yin line (1/8) whereas with the stalks there's less chance of getting a Yin line changing to Yang (1/16) than there is of getting a Yang line changing to Yin (3/16).

With the stalks, the non-moving lines are skewed as well, Yin = 7/16, Yang = 5/16.

I think that the probabilities with the stalks reflect life in that it's much harder overcome inertia and to move from Yin to Yang than it is to ease up and move from Yang to Yin.

I've never read Hacker, how should I vote?

Best wishes,

Mick
 

heylise

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I agree with Mick, and the unknown guy. But I don't like the difference between 1 old yin and 3 old yang, so stick to coins. And I get better answers with coins, but maybe only because I am too lazy for all those sticks. I get even better answers with the SanShan software, which happens to have yarrow probabilities...:eek:

LiSe
 
B

bruce_g

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I agree with Mick, and the unknown guy. But I don't like the difference between 1 old yin and 3 old yang, so stick to coins. And I get better answers with coins, but maybe only because I am too lazy for all those sticks. I get even better answers with the SanShan software, which happens to have yarrow probabilities...:eek:

LiSe

It's that magical thinking again. :rolleyes:
 
H

hmesker

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But the big difference is that with coins there's equal chance of getting a moving Yang line (1/8) or a moving Yin line (1/8) whereas with the stalks there's less chance of getting a Yin line changing to Yang (1/16) than there is of getting a Yang line changing to Yin (3/16).

Ah yes, well, actually that is what the guy objects to, but I typed too fast because I was at my work when I wrote the message and the poll. I forgot the word yin in my message. Sorry for the confusement. What I meant was less chance of moving yin lines. Too bad I cannot change the poll anymore.

I've never read Hacker, how should I vote?

You can read Hacker's chapter about it here: www.itcn.nl/downloads/hacker.pdf .

Best wishes,

Harmen.
 

Sparhawk

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maybe only because I am too lazy for all those sticks. I get even better answers with the SanShan software, which happens to have yarrow probabilities...:eek:

LiSe

Maybe, yes... I don't blame you for that. I'm lazy myself; one of the reasons I barely consult the Yi :) Now, perhaps one of the reasons and meanings for using yarrow is the long contemplative process needed for obtaining answers. Akin to the long ceremonies and preparations required to crack tortoise shells, for example. I say "one" of the reasons. I've always seen and feel that the use of coins is, in some way, trivializing the use of the Yi, regardless of antiquity. A very personal take, of course, and said with sincere respect for the methods used by others. My opinion of "software" for consulting the Yi, regardless of odds used (i.e. yarrow vs coins) is bleak. Again, with due respect for developers and users.

Having said that, I'm also of the belief that sincere users can find accurate and synchronistic answers, regardless of the method used.

Luis
 
J

jesed

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Tricky issue

a) the answer is just the expression of a mathematical probability and randomness process; b) the answer is the expression of a reality conection and the probability diferences express some kind os laws or paterns of that reality

If you chose the first one, then you are in the field of Chris L aproach; but then, it would be wise to follow the consequences of that aproach (as Chris does) and avoid both coins or stalks
If you chose the second one, how can you say wich probability aproach is accurater if you dont know the laws or paterns expressed by that aproach? And if you knows that paterns, how can you think that one method is accurater than the other?

Tricky, tricky

Best wishes
 

bradford

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As far as I care to consider it, this issue was completely resolved in this article:

Gardner, Martin. “Mathematical Games: The Combinatorial Basis of the I Ching,
the Chinese Book of Divination and Wisdom.” Scientific American. 230:1
(January, 1974): 109-13.

For the coin method, the odds are 1/8, 3/8, 3/8 and 1/8 for 6, 7, 8 and
9 respectively. For the bu shi method, these are 1/16, 5/16, 7/16 and 3/16.

However, what people tend to forget is that the bu shi or yarrow stalk method that
we use today was transmitted to us by Zhuxi of the Song Dynasty, 12th century CE.
The chain of evidence that this was in fact the old method does no go back
any further than this. It is still entirely possible that the original method did not
have such skewed odds.
 

Sparhawk

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If you chose the second one, how can you say wich probability aproach is accurater if you dont know the laws or paterns expressed by that aproach? And if you knows that paterns, how can you think that one method is accurater than the other?

That's the thing: you don't, you can't. You can only feel or believe what's right for you; and beliefs and feelings, in essence, are irrational. You can rationalize all you want in your studies; when the time comes to consult the oracle though, the interpretation of the answer will trump much of it. Now, I know you try to be quite mechanical and methodic in your interpretations, timing and prognostications. Still, I believe the real answers don't come from analysis but from the way the hexagrams obtained resonate with you and the context of your question.

As for odds and chances of obtaining moving lines using coins or yarrow, my own experience is what I stated. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but if 30 some years of using both (yes, that I don't like to use coins doesn't mean I don't use them; one cannot be separating yarrow just anywhere without drawing stares and everybody carries coins) is any empirical proof for other's, welcome; if it isn't, I can only relate my observations.



Cheers,

Luis
 

bradford

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oops-
To complete the thought - Mick is correct.
Odds of a changing line for coins and bu shi are both 1/4.

What is most likely not correct though is the assumption that in the
Early Zhou and Zhouyi there was a Yin-Yang dyad as we understand it.
So the idea that stalk probabilities were made to respond to the properties
of Yin and Yang just doesn't make sense to me.
 

Sparhawk

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I've always seen and feel that the use of coins is, in some way, trivializing the use of the Yi, regardless of antiquity. A very personal take, of course, and said with sincere respect for the methods used by others. My opinion of "software" for consulting the Yi, regardless of odds used (i.e. yarrow vs coins) is bleak.

Perhaps I should qualify that statement before someone tries to compete with me in the "smart ass" department... :D

Somebody that's making fun all the time and sports a website with Yi cartoons cannot be talking about the trivialization of the Yi, right? Perhaps ironic, but I don't see a conflict with it. I resolve any apparent conflict with "intent".

When my "intention" is to find humor, I purposely pursue that path and that's my goal. When I'm "consulting" the Yi, the matter, by its very nature, is serious and I approach the Yi as much respect as I'm able to manifest. Among other things, I manifest that respect by choosing yarrow in every possible instance. That's what resonates with me and what I relate is only my point of view.


L
 

Sparhawk

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What is most likely not correct though is the assumption that in the Early Zhou and Zhouyi there was a Yin-Yang dyad as we understand it.
So the idea that stalk probabilities were made to respond to the properties
of Yin and Yang just doesn't make sense to me.

Brad, the debunker?!?! OMG! Armageddon must be at hand... :rofl:

L
 

kevin

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Marbles

Hmm, I solved this, but only to my own satisfaction, by asking the yi which method was most effective. It was quite enthusiastic about all of them!

I do the same with translations and it can be quite a harsh critic!

My own favourite method, when I am taking my time is to use crystal stones (all same size and shape) drawn from a hand made wooden bowl. These are in the proportions that yield the same statistical odds of Yarrow stalks. I am not too fussed at the actual odds, they feel nice and appropriate to use.

Oh, an aside... Yin for me is not passive... it is the great manifesting power. I see it as Yin energy when we rush around in our daily lives, doing and manifesting.

Well that's my way FWIW... I shall draw a veil over the philosophical question of which method to use when asking about which method to use!
:mischief:
 
J

jesed

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Hi kevin

Long time ago, I did the same question about the methods and got similar answer: all of them

I also did the question about some translations and commentaries. Some got very bad answers (lilian too's new I Ching), most of them got "its ok, but limited" kind of answer. One got a high value answer. Since then, I started studying with that author.

In case it could be of any interest; I also make the consultation about what school Yi likes more: text based method or najia method. The answer has bother both schools ;) I consulted with text based method and then with najia method and got the same conclusion with both. In the first one, text based method is described as King and najia is described as Prince. In the second one, both methods was supported by day and month, but text based method also was the same than day and month; so both are strong, but text method is stronger.

Text based school people didn't like the answer, because recognonize najia as a valuable method (Prince) and they tend to believe it is fang-shi method. On the other hand, najia practitioners didn't like the answer because recognizes a mayor value to text based method. Since this answer, I started to apply both methods.


Best wishes
 

kevin

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Many Branches One Tree

Hi Jesed

It’s an interesting one, asking the Yi about different books or approaches. I expect we would all get different answers depending on who we are and what sort of access to the Yi might help us most at a given time.

As for methods… I guess that too is very personal. I was quite shocked some years ago to read that this guy made an oracle from scratch as a gift for his wife. OK, by all accounts he was a pretty amazing guy, but… now I find it quite natural and see that such things work quite well. The problem for me of course is that such a thing is unlikely to contain all of that lovely wisdom that has accrued in the text and wings of the Yijing or the lore of the Ifa.

I have a friend who dismisses all such things, but who uses a basic simplified Yijing with coins, “because it seems to speak so much sense about the situation.” I am careful not to point out to him that he is divining.

There are many branches which are homes to many monkeys – but there is one tree. And to those in the branches above me, “Please urinate with care.”

Warmly

Kevin
 

Trojina

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Hi Jesed

It’s an interesting one, asking the Yi about different books or approaches. I expect we would all get different answers depending on who we are and what sort of access to the Yi might help us most at a given time.
.[/SIZE

Yes it is an interesting question to put the Yi, I never thought of asking that before. Seems especially a good idea for a beginner.
 

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