Life as I know it… plus commentary

I’m doing that with my mind

with 9 comments

So I’m at the gym this morning.  As I’m doing my set of reps, I think to my self, “I really don’t like the Barenaked Ladies.  Especially that All Been Done Before song.  So guess what comes on the radio next?

Now I know, I’m not actually controlling some satellite radio DJ’s mind from the gym (but how cool would that be?).  I have even heard of some guy postulating that he was somehow in tune with the universe and that’s how he knew what was coming next.

But you have to admit it’s weird.  Especially that it happens more than a few times.  It’s the same phenomenon where you think about someone you haven’t thought of in a while and suddenly they’re calling you.  Or you’ve lost your wallet and suddenly you think I’m going to find it today” and you do.

Personally I wish I could select songs telepathically.  Every PA would be my personal iTunes.  Every phone call would be people I want to talk to and not Jimmy the Fish saying I better pay my $600 in racing bets.

(and for those keeping track, it’s Day 5 of the Starbucks Fast).


Written by arnold

December 3, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Personal

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Starbucks fast? Oh, Peet’s instead, huh? Good idea.

    Yeah, this happens to me too (not the fast, mind you). Daniel Pinchbeck seems to think that the new world consciousness allows this to happen when we’re in tune as you put it.

    It scares me, though.


    December 3, 2007 at 3:55 pm

  2. I put this kind of thinking in the same category as “Murphy’s Law” — not that you are espousing either, Arnold, just for the sake of conversation (and in case Reynolds is reading, he needs to be set straight).

    Probably a billion thoughts, words, events, and occurrences take place every day in our consciousness. About 0.00001% of those can be connected by our creative minds in some way. That probably comes out to one “weird occurence” every few days. Our minds dwell on the 1 or 2 weird occurrences and pay no heed to the 900 million others that whiz by every second in day-to-day life.

    Now, the person has to be reflective enough to think on these things (some people probably just wander through their days without making connections at all). But for the majority of us, every once in awhile a connection pops up. In fact, it would be weird to me if a connection never popped up at all. They are to be expected.

    The difficulty comes when a person attributes significance to such a connection. What helps us to know where there is an actual connection or just a perceived one? Nothing. Person A calls it “in tune with the universe” (that was my old boss, Arnold, if that’s who you were thinking of). Person B calls it a “sign from God” (and proceeds to interpret it however they want to). Person C calls it a “coincidence.” I guess I’m person C here. But the fact that something co-incides with something else (e.g. I think of a friend, that friend calls me) doesn’t mean there is a connection. The fallacy here, because Arnold is in to fallacies these days, is “Post hoc, ergo propter hoc” (= after that, therefore because of that) or just “the fallacy of causation,” and it’s a very common way that our minds associate two events. But it is, alas, a fallacy.

    Just my thoughts — which end up being pretty boring, I know.

    The Kyle

    December 4, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  3. In case Dresback reads this comment, Arnold, I have to say this out loud in type (I’m already making you think). Some people tend to presume everything as logical, i.e., the ships mast grows on the horizon so the earth must be round. This is not entirely wrong, we were made to be logical beings, and we are for the most part. However, there are instances when logic becomes semi-illogical, such as paradox. A paradox defies intuition (cough cough).

    Coincidence is a cop-out word attributed to inexplicable events most times, “I can’t tell you why I thought of this song and it came on the radio so it must be coincidence.” As we are talking about falacies, just because a person is willing to admit something is not a coincidence, does not imply that they are presuming to assume it is an act of God or a superior telepathic power they may posses that works some of the time. In the same vein, just because there appears to be a connection between two or more things without any real explanation, whatever that means, makes them only coincidental in the lowest sense of the word.

    So really, that makes me person D. I am content not knowing whether multiple instances are are attributed to A, B, or C, but I do believe not everything can be called coincidence.

    Hows that for a boring rant?


    December 5, 2007 at 12:57 pm

  4. I was all braced to take you on. Then I realized I can’t. The agnostic is the unassailable position on this matter. It is true that some things are actually causally connected and others aren’t. Guess that makes me person D as well. Just goes to show, I’m only contrary when it’s called for.

    The Kyle

    December 5, 2007 at 1:10 pm

  5. Funny you mention Jimmy. I just ran into him at Starbucks.

    He trying to collect on those Hamiltons he lent you last time you two were at Santa Anita and you wanted to Buy the Rack.

    Too bad your forecasting doesn’t extend to the racetrack or you might’ve avoided the Dark Horse that day and gone for the Perfecta.


    December 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

  6. This is really interesting.

    Essentially, The Kyle, what you’ve done is completely nullified the argument that the sun makes one sneeeze, if one is to go along with your magical thinking argument.

    (I’ve always wondered why people aren’t constantly sneezing outside. Only that they happen to be loking at the sun when they sneeze.)


    December 5, 2007 at 6:23 pm

  7. It’s called “photic sneeze reflex” Arnold, and it includes a congenital malfunction malfunction in the trigeminal nerve nuclei. Look it up. It has nothing to do with this no matter how much you want it to. (Neither does a bumble bee flying, in case you’re tempted to bring that up again.)

    Some things are causal. Some things are not. Dustin has put it well.

    The Kyle

    December 6, 2007 at 3:35 am

  8. I withdraw my last post (complete with both instances of “malfunction”). It is no longer relevant.

    The Kyle

    December 6, 2007 at 4:59 am

  9. […] coincidentally, I have been reading a book by N.T. Wright who actually touches on this subject called […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: