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Poland Officially Recognizes the Supernatural PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

Long time Swift reader Przemyslaw from Poland brought this to our attention and translated out of the original Polish:

On 24 February 2009 three Polish scientists, led by professor ŁukaszA. Turski, initiated an open protest letter to the Polish Minister of Labour against the official list of jobs and professions recently published on the web pages of Labour Offices. The protest concerns the fact that among professions such as engineer, scientist, teacher or physician in the list there are also "professions" such as: astrologer, dowser, fortune-teller, healer (here called "bioenergotherapist") or reflexologist. The list not only records the professions names but in a detailed way describes their nature and job tasks. For instance the record concerning a fortune-teller says:

*** Name: Fortune-teller

Code: 514903

Synthesis: Consciously using inborn abilities for dealing in the field of supernatural phenomena the fortune-teller insights into the future and past events by way of different forms of traditional fortune-telling such as: cards (especially tarot), kaballah, I-ching (according to ancient Chinese "Book of transformations"), chiromancy (fortune-telling from hand), catoptromancy and crystalomancy (foretelling the future based on mirror or crystal) etc.

Job tasks: - foretelling the future, sometimes revealing the past - depending on applied method and the level of knowledge - related with a specific counseling or psychotherapy; - giving advices relating to the missing persons or things; - explaining the background and conditions of phenomena described as supernatural.

"explaining the background and conditions of phenomena described as supernatural"? I believe they just called the JREF fortune tellers!

Additional job tasks: - using the abilities of clairvoyance, clairaudience, using medium support for fortune-telling, using telepathy, teleportation and drawing from information contained in morphogenetic fields; - using methods characteristic of astrology, numerology, psychographology or other biotronics domains. ***

Jeff comments: One wonders how they would verify whether or not someone is qualified for this position. I would suggest making all applicants pass the $1,000,000 Challenge before they'd be considered for a position.

The authors of the protest letter say that listing such dubious "professions" among the hard working people's jobs is a scandal and demand the removal of the questioned "professions" from the list.

The letter titled "List w obronie rozumu" ("Letter in the defence of reason") was published on the website of Center of Theoretical Physics of Polish Academy of Sciences. From 24 February to 2 March it was signed by about five thousand people (not only scientists). On 2 March 2009 the letter was printed and officially sent to the Minister. The letter and related materials can be found here (though in Polish): http://www.cft.edu.pl/protest/materialy.php

The reaction? The Minister, Ms Jolanta Fedak, says in a radio interview "Yes, that's true that a fortune-teller is in the list. But there are no immoral jobs such as a mafia member or a pimp." The minister added that also "the oldest profession in the world" (a synonym for "prostitute") will not be listed. When asked if she thinks a fortune-teller is a "moral job", she responded "Perhaps fortune-telling based on cards is a kind of deception but people simply enjoy it." However she also added that they are currently discussing in the Ministry if the questioned jobs should be removed from the list.

I will update you on the progress of the event.

Thank you Przemyslaw for reporting on that. Ms. Fedak seems more worried about morality than whether or not something exists, which makes sense perhaps. As for the defense of fortune telling as "people really enjoy it," can't I use the same defense for the undoutedly existing profession of prostituion?

By the way, here is the text for the job category underwhich Fortune Teller falls according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics here in the US:

A194 ARTISTS, PERFORMERS, AND RELATED WORKERS, N.E.C.

Performing artists who specialize in the entertainment of audiences and clientele of establishments. Occupations found in this category include: Hypnotists (exclude medical), Ventriloquists, Magicians, Fortune Tellers, Stunt Persons, Clowns, Impersonators, etc.

I'm not sure what stunt persons and fortune tellers have in common, but the difference between magicians and fortune tellers is clear: one of them is being honest about lying to you.

 

 

 

 

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written by dr nick, March 06, 2009
It's the same with Australia's points system. A medical practitioner can get 60 points but so can a chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath. A scientist who can see though this folly only gets 50 points. How is this fair?

On another note, I still don't believe that today people fall for the "prostitution is the oldest profession in the world" canard. Does the pimp sort out tax and national insurance contributions? Do the prostitutes get a wage slip and sign legally binding contracts with the pimp? I think not. Surely some kind of banking system must exist first so money can be exchanged for "services rendered". Hunting and farming probably took place first.
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written by jpgmoniz, March 06, 2009
In Portugal is the same.

"96093 OUTRAS ACTIVIDADES DE SERVIÇOS PESSOAIS DIVERSAS, N.E.
Compreende as actividades de serviços de predominância pessoal não incluídas em outras
subclasses, nomeadamente, actividades de astrólogos, espiritistas, cartomantes, engraxadores,
arrumadores de viaturas, bagageiros, acompanhantes, agências de marcação de encontros
matrimoniais e de pesquisa genealógica"

Translating the code of economic activities of Portugal it says:

"96093 - Understands the predominance of service activities not included in other staff
subclasses, including activities of astrology, spiritualism, fortune-teller,
parking vallets, luggage, escort agencies, scheduling of meetings
marriage and genealogical research "

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written by H.H., March 06, 2009
Dr. Nick wrote:
On another note, I still don't believe that today people fall for the "prostitution is the oldest profession in the world" canard. Does the pimp sort out tax and national insurance contributions? Do the prostitutes get a wage slip and sign legally binding contracts with the pimp? I think not. Surely some kind of banking system must exist first so money can be exchanged for "services rendered". Hunting and farming probably took place first
.

People bartered with food and other items long before any type of banking systems existed, or indeed before standard currencies existed. Females who traded sex for food or protection undoubted existed as far back as humankind's most primitive tribal groups. We even see this same behavior in chimpanzees today. Here's an article on chimpanzee food sharing for sex: http://scienceblogs.com/gregla...haring.php

Maybe if you understood why prostitution is cheekily referred to as the world's oldest profession you would understand why people "fall for it."
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written by MadScientist, March 06, 2009
I haven't been looking at Australia's job classifications for immigrants lately, but when I did have a look many years ago I couldn't help but laugh. In general the intellectuals rank poorly against low-skill workers. Imagine if the USA wrote the rules to encourage the Mexican laborers to come across the border to work in the mines and as seasonal workers picking fruit and vegetables in California. Australians also seem to have a yearning for management flunkees from the USA - I think the federal government should have an active campaign to ship bad managers to Australia; perhaps the US economy would have some chance of recovering then. It's too good an opportunity to miss - how often does another country offer to take your trash?
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written by BillyJoe, March 06, 2009
It seems to me those who protesteth against prostitution doth protest too much. smilies/wink.gif
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written by BillyJoe, March 06, 2009
The formatting of Swift is horrible through Firefox.
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written by Caligo, March 07, 2009
I am using firefox and it is just fine for me. I have no problem with it.
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written by BillyJoe, March 07, 2009
I am using firefox and it is just fine for me.

In the article the grey blocks extend further to the right than the white blocks and, in the white blocks the text extends further to ther right than both the grey and white blocks.
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written by dr nick, March 08, 2009
H.H., but where would they get the food from? Presumably someone must have hunted or gathered it? Or is hunter/gatherer operative not a good enough profession for these management types? smilies/wink.gif

And before you ask (and I think you just did), no I don't have any first hand experience of prostitution. smilies/smiley.gif

MadScientist, but the likes of naturopath, chiropractor and so on are neither intellectual nor low-skilled. I'm willing to bet a pint of fine ale that a plumber knows more about the body's circulation system than a naturopath or whatever the bleedin' hell they call themselves.
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written by H.H., March 08, 2009
H.H., but where would they get the food from? Presumably someone must have hunted or gathered it?
True, but one could make the argument that the raw business of feeding oneself isn't a "profession," it's just survival. Trading sex for food could be considered the first transaction that allowed one to eat without having to hunt or forage for themselves. This is the basis of commerce.

Of course, it really isn't all that important if prostitution is THE first profession, however we define it. The point of the saying is simply that prostitution is a very old trade that stretches back to the dawn of humanity. There's a real truth there, and calling it a "canard" would be missing the point.
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written by dr nick, March 10, 2009
H.H., I agree. It is probably one of the oldest but not THE oldest as it is almost impossible to determine for sure, but she said "the oldest profession in the world" not "one of the oldest". But anyway, I may be missing the point and straying way off topic (this thread was sopposed to be the recognition of the supernatutral by the Polish Government, wasn't it?) but I can think of another old profession that involves a woman with her legs in the air... midwife smilies/smiley.gif
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Give a statistician a break
written by Paul Murray, March 19, 2009
I used to work at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, working with the Australian Standard Classification of Occupation (ASCO), back in '86.

People classifying occupation have to work on the basis of what people say they do. In particular - what they say on census forms. The Australian census (for instance) asks four questions:

* What is your job title
* What are your primary tasks
* Who is your employer
* What industry do you work in

And uses the responses to those four questions to assign a code number, that number being the code of the job that they probably actually do. Each question is important: a "cook" who is a pastry chef is an entirely different thing to a "cook" who is a chip fryer at a fast-food place (pastry chefs have trade qualifications). The "job tasks" above are a statistical sample of what people say their job tasks are.

Any more than simply assiging code numbers to people's responses swiftly becomes a swamp: can a meteorologist really forecast the weather? Does a counsellor really counsel? Does a CEO really run a company? Whose job is it to decide?

Yes, it's a damn shame that so many people are fortune tellers that they have to have a category for it when doing occupation statistics. But lets please not bag out the statisticians for attempting to make sense of the rubbish that people write on their census forms.
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written by Mandel, February 27, 2011
This is a very good article written, but also very attractive to me some information. I swear I was the first time I saw such beautiful jewelry, high-end brand, the credibility of the guarantee, beautiful shape, it will capture your heart. Thanks for sharing. .
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