Until recently, the abstract language of mathematics seemed to have no relevance to the murky worlds of consumer trends, political preferences and dating. The change that has made the rise of the numerati possible is digitization. All of us today leave an extensive trail of numbers wherever we go. Almost everything we do - from visiting a website to texting a friend - is translated into ones and zeros, which are stored somewhere and available to those who know how to access them. For example, every time we enter a search into Google, a simple code called ASCI translates each letter we type into a string of 0s and 1s, which are sent out across the internet.

When we unload our shopping trolleys at the checkout, the bar codes of our purchases are stored by our loyalty cards, providing a record of our eating habits. When we walk down the road, our movements are likely to be tracked by CCTV, converted into digital code and stored on computer mainframes. Even our moods and thoughts get translated into zeros and ones by the technology we love and rely on, as thousands of us pour our states of minds on to blogs. Forget astrology and the stars; your future is encoded within the trail of numbers that you leave behind you.

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