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Coincidences that leave you stunned.

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Coincidences that leave you stunned.

Postby JR8 » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 11:41 pm

I am interested in critical rationalism, a part of which says the scientific method is fatally flawed as it makes an assumption, and then sets out to prove how true that assumption is. Whereas ('as enny fool knowz' ;)) it would be more '''pure''' to have no assumption, and simply to test, observe, and consider [refer*].

So I got to discussing coincidences earlier today, with a friend who studied philosophy. I gave two examples of amazing coincidences that I have experienced and then we considered them philosophically/statistically/rationally (if you will). One IS still amazing (to me), the other amazing on the surface and yet perhaps slightly less so when considered in depth.

Here is one. Please this topic is for others to post coincidences that they have experienced, certainly not just me chatting to myself. So give 'em up peeps!

---------------------------------------
Between school and university I took a 'year out'. This was quite a popular thing to do back then. You'd often work for some months, and then using the saved money go and travel. After you returned you then went up to university. My sister did it another way, she went to Australia for a year and whilst there she worked, and that funded her trip.

Inspired by Paul Theroux's 'The great railway bazaar' I was set on the sub-continent (this beat plan#B which was buying a Land-Rover and driving across Africa).

Anyhowz :) One day my friend and I were sitting in a little restaurant in a town called Alleppey (which I expect most people will never have heard of). Somewhere near Ernakulum ... near Cochin, ok, a town on on the bottom left side of the continent.

We had originally planned to cross from the east coast by ferry to Sri Lanka, but the civil war war there was in overdrive and even the most intrepid and/or foolhardy travelers were giving the country a very very wide berth.

So we had some unplanned time to find a use for. We rented a shack for a few weeks on the beach. We took extremely large quantities of various intoxicants (fun, or, interesting, at the time, but I really don't advocate it at all, for a youngster I'd liken it to playing Russian roulette - an extremely dangerous game).

During this period of nothing, we got to consider where we might go next. We'd come from Kanyakumari (the very southern tip), and were heading to Bombay. Some way up the coast was the town of Alleppey. And we read in our guide book that each year they had a great festival where they raced boats, 'snake boats', each of which might hold 100 men. 'Wow man, sounds cool!'. So we went.

Cut to >

Sitting in an open-air restaurant in Alleppey on the night we arrived, having just ordered a thali (a simple plate-meal). And I was looking at a guy on the next table. And I was thinking:-

- That guy looks so like a friend of mine from school
- No it can't be it's just coincidence
- That guy looks SO like a friend of mine from school
- Don't be silly, we're in the middle of bloody nowhere, he's from Zambia!, he's not here, IS HE!?
- No really, that guy...

Anyway, I really couldn't get it out of my head. So when our waiter next passed by I said to him 'You know, it's really weird, but that guy looks just like a friend of mine from England'

To which he replied 'Oh him, yes that is Suku [Gong-in-head moment!!!] he is here visiting his grandmother.


A Zambian, of Indian extraction/race visiting his grandmother in a small regional town we almost visited by chance/whim, and we end up on adjacent tables.

How about that? :)




* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_popper

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 11:59 pm

Cool story, bro.

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Re: Coincidences that leave you stunned.

Postby taxico » Sat, 02 Feb 2013 2:43 pm

JR8 wrote:.Anyhowz :) One day my friend and I were sitting in a little restaurant in a town called Alleppey (which I expect most people will never have heard of). Somewhere near Ernakulum ... near Cochin...


you made all these names up...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 02 Feb 2013 2:52 pm

I would have said the same thing in December, taxico. But after landing in Cochin in January for my daughters wedding and spending time in the surrounds, all the names sound rather fresh & familiar. :cool:

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 1:48 am

It is contrary to my nature to make anything up, and it feels rather, erm... odd when someone suggests I have. I mean why would I do that!?

Did you take the simple step of looking at Google Maps? Apparently not! Anyway no worries, I appreciate we are mere humans and our style oscillates around our core being and style (aka everyone has 'off days') :)

Perhaps you have a 'coincidence' anecdote that you'd care to share?

--------------------

Anyway here is another one, also from that trip in India 30 years ago.

Walked into a hotel in Udaipur (or Pushkar, I forget that detail now), Rajesthan. Signed into hotel register. A few lines above noticed name of a mutual friend of me and my travelling partner, as from the next small village in England!

Actually my traveling partner was from the same village (of maybe 250-500 people) as him. I think my sister had even dated his brother...

At that time and age your entire social circle was maybe 10 people directly, and 100 people you even knew.

He was within the 'closer-orbit' of the 'greater 100'.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 9:19 am

JR8, take the life story of yourself and your wife and analyze them from the births till you get married. I bet this will gives you much more impressive story than what you described above. I am talking about some consequence heavy results of very complex random-like chains of events. Majority of things are like this. It is only us who do not realized these little crossings of paths.

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Postby taxico » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 4:13 pm

JR8 wrote:It is contrary to my nature to make anything up, and it feels rather, erm... odd when someone suggests I have...

Did you take the simple step of looking at Google Maps? Apparently not!


tongue in cheek, bro! (making those names up, ie) :P

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 7:59 pm

x9200 wrote:JR8, take the life story of yourself and your wife and analyze them from the births till you get married. I bet this will gives you much more impressive story than what you described above. I am talking about some consequence heavy results of very complex random-like chains of events. Majority of things are like this. It is only us who do not realized these little crossings of paths.


The way I first met my wife was quite unusual but... I suppose my feeling is that what you describe applies equally to everybody you meet in life.

What I'm outlining however is that I think humans (esp females, ESP my mother) are 'seekers of connections' and it is surprising how many lie there waiting to be revealed.

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Postby morenangpinay » Mon, 04 Feb 2013 4:04 pm

i have a similar story with my best friend. we met in kindergarten after kindergarten, i think she transferred school and we never had any contact anymore. I didn't think about her or looked for her either. when i entered high school, I was seated next to her and since we met when we were young, we didnt recognize each other. later on we learned we went to the same school and we were friends in kinder so we instantly became best friends.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 04 Feb 2013 7:25 pm

morenangpinay wrote:i have a similar story with my best friend. we met in kindergarten after kindergarten, i think she transferred school and we never had any contact anymore. I didn't think about her or looked for her either. when i entered high school, I was seated next to her and since we met when we were young, we didnt recognize each other. later on we learned we went to the same school and we were friends in kinder so we instantly became best friends.


Wow! :lol:

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 04 Feb 2013 9:09 pm

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:JR8, take the life story of yourself and your wife and analyze them from the births till you get married. I bet this will gives you much more impressive story than what you described above. I am talking about some consequence heavy results of very complex random-like chains of events. Majority of things are like this. It is only us who do not realized these little crossings of paths.


The way I first met my wife was quite unusual but... I suppose my feeling is that what you describe applies equally to everybody you meet in life.

Yes, but this is also my point. Likely probability of both situations to happen is similar. They are just differently defined but what is common and shocking is the random chain of events leading to this or that situation. More over, for your story, I bet it is not that uncommon and you experience it many times in your life with that exception that at some final stage you decided to go to a different bar and you did not spot your friend.


What I'm outlining however is that I think humans (esp females, ESP my mother) are 'seekers of connections' and it is surprising how many lie there waiting to be revealed.

Is this related to your stories?


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Postby JR8 » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 12:14 am

'Seekers of connections'. No that was more a gender-based observation.

For example:
My son went to X school
I am from Y town
We were on holiday once and met this lovely hotelier, maybe you met him whilst there too?
Oh yes, I once knew a person from Australia too, he's called Bruce maybe you know him?

It gets surreal at times, sitting there listening to the increasingly desperate angling to connect, (and arguably socially pigeon-hole). Anyway, I shan't go on, it might be a peculiarly British rural thing...


re: my wife. Well I can't go into details. But I met her (on holiday from SG) in Europe socially with mutual friends. Was smitten but we were both hooked up. Met her again (her again on holiday from SG) via the same friends 3 years later when we both happened to both be single... boom.

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Postby Steve1960 » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 11:28 am

I have been married twice before. My ex wives grew up in different parts of the south east of England and did not share anything in common (schools, College, jobs, family geographical locations etc) except for the fact that they were both born on 4th April 1961 in the same maternity hospital.

Both being born in the same hospital could be rationalised by the fact that this particular hospital was one of the biggest maternity units in the south east so there was a high probability.

Same day though.................

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 8:00 pm

That is definitely pretty 'twilight zone'!

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Postby Steve1960 » Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:48 am

After my second divorce I am sure you can guess the first question I asked any prospective girlfriend before starting a relationship :-)


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