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Thread: Coincidences

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    Coincidences

    A couple of days ago I was thinking of that scene from the bodyline series where Jardine knocks on the door of the Aussie dressing room and asks for an apology for being insulted. The reply is "Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard".

    Last night in the Dominion Post in their trivia quiz they asked about this quote. It was a coincidence that made me smile. Do you believe in coincidences? There is a book called the Celestine Prophecy which states that all coincidences have a meaning. Every conversation you have with someone has a purpose especially right at the end of the conversation.

    Sometimes at work if I try to phone someone - and they are not there. I figure to myself maybe they weren't meant to answer the phone so I will go an see them live about it tomorrow.

    I met my ex when my car broke down and I had to get a ride home from her instead.

    Do you have a view on coincidences?
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    Cricketer Of The Year Adamc's Avatar
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    Coincidence and Confirmation Bias both begin with 'co'. Coincidence?
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    Hall of Fame Member Marcuss's Avatar
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    I was talking to somebody about confirmation bias earlier, what are the chances you'd post a link to an article about it on the same day!

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    I was talking to somebody about ****s just before, what a coincidence Markarse just posted.
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    Hall of Fame Member Marcuss's Avatar
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    I was talking to Corrin about the ignore function earlier, it really does work wonders! Bit if a coincidence the first time I see it in use is in this thread though.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Edit: Gotta reread Foucault's Pendulum

  8. #8
    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamc View Post
    Coincidence and Confirmation Bias both begin with 'co'. Coincidence?
    I read the article - the example of the librarian and the real estate agent is a good one. But the example of the golden child is not such a good one in my mind. I mean I doubt very much I would have seen the golden child mentioned to me in the past 5 years. You might argue that I have had it mentioned to me and I didn't notice it because there are thousands of things to mentioned to me in a day. But if you think about just today - when things are fresh in your mind - has someone mentioned the golden child to you. Seems like a genuine coincidence that someone was talking about the golden child with a friend and then had it mentioned to them three times in the next couple of days. It would be confirmation bias if the golden child was on TV somewhere every day.

    The example about if you have had a baby and then all you see in the world is stories about babies sounds fair. It isn't too hard to go outside and see someone with a baby or see a TV show with a baby in a day.

    Or the example about being in love and only hearing love songs. I mean there a million love songs out there. Those all sound like confirmation bias.

    Reckon the golden child example - and the Jardine quote I mentioned before are coincidences. They just don't come up every day.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Adamc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    I read the article - the example of the librarian and the real estate agent is a good one. But the example of the golden child is not such a good one in my mind. I mean I doubt very much I would have seen the golden child mentioned to me in the past 5 years. You might argue that I have had it mentioned to me and I didn't notice it because there are thousands of things to mentioned to me in a day. But if you think about just today - when things are fresh in your mind - has someone mentioned the golden child to you. Seems like a genuine coincidence that someone was talking about the golden child with a friend and then had it mentioned to them three times in the next couple of days. It would be confirmation bias if the golden child was on TV somewhere every day.
    That's not the point though. You might not come across another reference to The Golden Child for ten years. The point is that you only notice it when it seems like an odd coincidence. Coming across several unrelated references to an obscure bit of pop culture within a few days is something that you might think notable. You probably won't think it's notable if those references came over several years.

    The Jardine quote example you gave is an example of this. If you had come across the quote again in a year, rather than last night, you would have long forgotten that you were thinking about it the other day, or even if you had remembered it, you wouldn't consider it a notable coincidence. When you come across unlikely coincidences you ascribe some importance to it because they seem so unlikely, but in doing so you're ignoring the hundreds of times a day where no such coincidence occurs (i.e. where you come across an obscure bit of information but don't see it referenced again in an unrelated context within a short time frame). Even if the probability of such a coincidence occurring is 1 in 100,000, if you examined all the possible instances in which such a coincidence might occur you'll likely find that they're not occurring at a rate significantly higher than probability would suggest.
    Last edited by Adamc; 05-11-2010 at 10:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Cricketer Of The Year Hurricane's Avatar
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    Fair play.

    I guess following your train of logic - incidents such as meeting my ex wife - can be explained by everyone meeting by chance. E.g. you both just happened to be in the same class. Or be in the same store at the same time. Most people that you meet is by some fluke or another. But you ascribe more importance to some events so remember the lead up events more sometimes.
    Last edited by Hurricane; 05-11-2010 at 10:46 PM.

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    Cricketer Of The Year ripper868's Avatar
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    I mentioned on the way to pub tonight i hope i don't run into my ex's best mate...sure enough i did...coincidence?

    Course she works at the pub though so prob not that coincidental
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamc View Post
    Coincidence and Confirmation Bias both begin with 'co'. Coincidence?
    Interestingly, confirmation bias goes a lot further than that- this study suggested that people's prior beliefs are confirmed by reading evidence that counters said belief.

    Our minds are usually too feeble for us to fully realise just how much our minds suck.
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    Coincidence or just mere fact?
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    I want to know if anyone has copped off with a girl they've had a car accident with..
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    Cricketer Of The Year ripper868's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt View Post
    I want to know if anyone has copped off with a girl they've had a car accident with..
    Yeah, she was driving, i was in the passenger seat, she was my girlfriend.

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