Do you believe in omens, in portents?

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Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  eddie on Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:59 am

Coming events cast their shadows before?

I have a particular reason for asking (several, in fact), but I'm just testing the waters here to see whether I'm losing it.

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Re: Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:19 am

Virtually everything that happens is a near-impossible coincidence.

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Re: Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  eddie on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:24 am

I raise this door knocker, strike it and somewhere an anonymous Chinaman breathes his last.

It's possible to view this world as one vast web of coincidence.


Last edited by eddie on Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:48 am

eddie wrote:Coming events cast their shadows before?

I have a particular reason for asking (several, in fact), but I'm just testing the waters here to see whether I'm losing it.

Hmmm, I think you had better explain your reason(s) why? Suspect

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Re: Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  Andy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:00 am

Wether or not something classifies as a coincidence from a statistical point of view in the grand overall scheme of thing obviously also depends on the point of view from which you approach the event.

And than I'm even disregarding the fact that defining the term 'coincidence' itself may already be problematic.

Consider the question how likely it was for you to ever be born:
- if we raise this question at a moment in time shortly after the Big Bang the odds would be so small it seems reasonable to assume no human language has a term to give a proper name to it;
- around the time the earth obtained its planetary stability the odds may have increased dramatically and remain at the very same time un-imaginably small;
- around the time lifeforms started to appear chances rose once again with giant steps though still remaining absolutely negligable;
- enter humans: the story is clear by now;
- enter your parents: we're seeing some evolution here, right?
- enter a handfull of seconds after your father ejaculated ... ETC.

This may not be the very best example to bring up, as even in the final stages the odds of you being the result of the sexual intercourse between your parents still remains one in several million because of the large quantities of spermatozoids and the chances involved in conception actually occuring and a pregnancy leading to the birth of a living baby. Intuitively I think most of us would tend to say that one chance in a few million is about as good as coincidence.

But other examples could be used to demonstrate that we could apply this scheme to events which we tend to consider as at least very likely - possibly even inevitable.
The chance that I will grow to be older than 30, for instance, is statistically very high right now.
The chance that I will eventually die is even 100%, though it would be as incredibly unlikely as me getting born from the point of view of an age shortly after the Big Bang.

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Re: Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:08 am

pinhedz wrote:Virtually everything that happens is a near-impossible coincidence.

That's what's up

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Re: Do you believe in omens, in portents?

Post  eddie on Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:53 pm

Nah Ville Sky Chick wrote:Hmmm, I think you had better explain your reason(s) why? Suspect

I'll describe one of several recent strange "coincidences".

Remember the Jolly Roger flying from the building opposite Aldgate Tube station for the last few months?



Remember the poem I posted on the Poetry thread?

THE APOCALYPSE AND GEORGE


On all points of the compass, London burned:
From Tottenham High Street to Coldharbour Lane,
From Ealing Broadway to Bethnal Green.

George was the calm eye of the hurricane:
The night man at Aldgate underground station,
Hard by the shadow of the old Roman wall,

Booking in the orange hi-vi’s, issuing keys,
And booking them back out again,
The cunts. The demons were bad enough:

The howling Bedlamites, whipped and chained-
Restless centuries uprooted by the diggers-
Dead ears deaf to the tested fire alarm’s insistence.

George sported his namesake’s badge,
Red-on-white shield of the dragon-slayer,
So all was in order: condition Green.

At 4am, the sleepy early turn booked on,
Untimely ripp’d from restless dreaming,
Coat off and kettle on and a numb Good Morning.

George stepped outside for a breather:
The western sky a royal blue,
Stray scud of vapour over a gibbous moon.

To the east, a lowering mass of cloud
Against the harsh white blur of the street lamps.
And, dead ahead, the Jolly Roger

From a second-floor casement window flew:
The grinning white skull of Calico Jack
Above the clean white thigh-bones of the slain.

No allegiance, no nation and no pity.
Who had flown it there, and why?
It was more than the mind could encompass.

On the last day, the last alarum
When the graves open and give up the dead.
The working man could make no sense of it:

Godless logic, but duty all but done.



by eddie
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
My colleague George attended the funeral of his ex-wife's father about 3 weeks ago. Over the New Year holiday, his mother died.



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