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Old 24th November 2020, 12:24 PM   #41
theprestige
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Also crazy, I just saw someone talk about this yesterday
This is not crazy at all. It's totally normal for mentions of a popular new thing to go up after it first comes out, until you start seeing it everywhere.

You really need to get over the idea that coincidences are crazy.

Or else you need to come up with a good explanation for what's really going on here.
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Old 24th November 2020, 12:54 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Last night I started bingeing The Queen's Gambit. Right away in the first episode, the premise of the story reminded me of "Dogfight", a short story by William Gibson. Then, in the second episode, the characters stay in the Gibson Hotel, and one of them drinks a Gibson martini. The really insane part is that I am a huge William Gibson fan. What are the odds?

Rolfe, lionking and I are in on this one, too. (Only two of us are fans, though. Rolfe not at all.)

Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
So yesterday I was watching the Office, as I do most days, and it was an episode where Dwight was wearing a Cornell Sweatshirt as he wanted to apply there. Later when i went to the store, I saw a kid with a Cornell Sweatshirt on. Then, the same day, I was watching another episode where Michael quits, and as he was telling the story I saw a meme on my phone from the Wolf of Wall Street where he says: "I'm not ******* leaving", which was pretty much what happened in the office episode. Then this morning I see an episode of Friends where Rachel quits. I've been noticing a lot of these coincidences lately too

I would have found your story unusual if Michael and Rachel were wearing Cornell sweatshirts!

Recommended reading:
Synchronicity (The Skeptic's Dictionary)
Apophenia (The Skeptic's Dictionary)
Resources on coincidences/synchronicity/numerology (Skeptic.com)
Why We Should Not Be Impressed by Eerie Coincidences (PsychologyToday, Oct. 27, 2018)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 24th November 2020 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 24th November 2020, 06:31 PM   #43
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Another crazy thing, it's kinda making me wonder. Last year around Christmas my grandfather and great grandmother died, both unrelated. That isn't strange they were both doing poorly but today we got the news that My Great Uncle died. We usually see him around Thanksgiving but the last couple years he hasn't been around, he moved into a retirement home, but he was doing pretty well as of last week. So today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and wondered if he was still alive, just because I'm only 14 and it's been so long since ive seen him it crossed my mind for a second. Just seems so crazy he'd die the day I said that, maybe 2 hours later
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Old 24th November 2020, 06:35 PM   #44
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DebunkThis, what it sounds like to me is that you're experiencing more coincidences because for some reason you're paying more attention to what's happening around you. Most people can watch TV all day and never notice that many different episodes of many different shows involve people leaving or quitting or threatening to do so or refusing to do so, because it's a common plot element and viewers aren't paying attention much anyhow. Many people spend most of their lives in a mental state barely more than an inattentive stupor. But if you start actually paying attention for some reason, things like that can suddenly stand out.

The experience of noticing more coincidences can happen when you take up activities and practices that encourage you to pay attention. Such as, possibly, the Randonauticing you're discussing on a different thread. Or certain kinds of meditation. Or even, participating in an online discussion thread about coincidences.

Does this ring any bells? Is there anything new or changed in your life recently that might have helped kick off being more alert to the world?
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Old 24th November 2020, 06:55 PM   #45
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That probably is it. But some of tbe stuff seems like something I would notice even if i wasn't in this state of mind. Like my Great Uncle dying today when I talked to one of my friends about him, without knowing he had any risk of dying today. Or how I watched a show today that had an episode where the main character quit because she wasn't getting a raise, they hired a temp, and the end of the episode had a wedding. I had just watched the Office episode where they get married, the one where they couldn't give out raises, a quitting one, and one about a Temp. I also saw an add for a grill the exact second my mom mentioned grilling out, then 2 minutes later a game I was playing featured a grill. And then finally the craziest, is that I saw a post about someone whos nickname was Rodney RoseBrook. Then the show mentioned above had a fake celebrity named Ricky Roundtree. Also crazy that Ricky makes more sense with RoseBrook, and Rodney sounds like Roundtree. Oh yeah I was also playing NBA 2k20 yesterday and decided to try and say Markelle Fultzs career. Then today I read an article about draft busts who still had shots to be great, featured by Fultz. It's not strange to get articles about draft busts, but I've never seen one about those who can save their careers, and it's crazy to happen when it did

Last edited by DebunkThisPls; 24th November 2020 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 24th November 2020, 07:04 PM   #46
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One good way of thinking about coincidences is to think about the range of different things that you might recognise as a coincidence.

Today you watched a show that mentioned your favourite author's name several times. You might have watched a show that mentioned a different author, whom you also admire but might not call your favourite. Your favourite author's name might have been mentioned in a blog post. The TV show may have mentioned your favourite film director's name. The TV show might have mentioned the name of a famous public figure that you had recently been thinking about.

All of these hypothetical circumstances would have made you say "hey, that's a weird coincidence". The range of different circumstances that you might consider to be a weird coincidence is vastly larger than most people realise.
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Old 25th November 2020, 12:11 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
That is crazy. I had never even heard of this show until today when you mentioned it and now I just saw 2 reviews for it online
Or you just NOTICED two items about it.
Any chance you had Googled the show prior to noticing the articles? That'll influence what you see in a news or ad feed.
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Old 25th November 2020, 12:15 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Another crazy thing, it's kinda making me wonder. Last year around Christmas my grandfather and great grandmother died, both unrelated. That isn't strange they were both doing poorly but today we got the news that My Great Uncle died. We usually see him around Thanksgiving but the last couple years he hasn't been around, he moved into a retirement home, but he was doing pretty well as of last week. So today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and wondered if he was still alive, just because I'm only 14 and it's been so long since ive seen him it crossed my mind for a second. Just seems so crazy he'd die the day I said that, maybe 2 hours later
And how many days over the past couple years had you thought briefly of him... and he, obviously, hadn't died?
You're counting/noticing the "hits" and ignoring the "misses".
This is all too human. You just need to learn to recognize the habit, like all of us.
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Old 25th November 2020, 12:27 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Jim_MDP View Post
Or you just NOTICED two items about it.
Any chance you had Googled the show prior to noticing the articles? That'll influence what you see in a news or ad feed.
One thing that I wish more people knew - Google actively tailors your search results according to about 40 separate factors - more (many more) if you're actually logged on. It takes into account what browser you're using, which websites you've visited, what you've previously searched for, your physical location, the time at which you perform your search, which advertisements you've clicked on recently. Many other things. It's all "proprietary information" so Google declines to tell us exactly how their search tailoring algorithm works, but the upshot is that if two people search for the same thing in Google, they would get different results.
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Old 25th November 2020, 01:12 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
One thing that I wish more people knew - Google actively tailors your search results according to about 40 separate factors - more (many more) if you're actually logged on. It takes into account what browser you're using, which websites you've visited, what you've previously searched for, your physical location, the time at which you perform your search, which advertisements you've clicked on recently. Many other things. It's all "proprietary information" so Google declines to tell us exactly how their search tailoring algorithm works, but the upshot is that if two people search for the same thing in Google, they would get different results.
Yup.
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:10 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Another crazy thing, it's kinda making me wonder. Last year around Christmas my grandfather and great grandmother died, both unrelated. That isn't strange they were both doing poorly but today we got the news that My Great Uncle died. We usually see him around Thanksgiving but the last couple years he hasn't been around, he moved into a retirement home, but he was doing pretty well as of last week. So today I was thinking about Thanksgiving and wondered if he was still alive, just because I'm only 14 and it's been so long since ive seen him it crossed my mind for a second. Just seems so crazy he'd die the day I said that, maybe 2 hours later
What is it making you wonder?

You keep implying that coincidence is not a good explanation for what you're noticing, but you keep refusing to actually discuss those implications.

Do you think it might not be a coincidence?
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:36 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Like my Great Uncle dying today when I talked to one of my friends about him, without knowing he had any risk of dying today.
Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
he moved into a retirement home

You do know that people in retirement homes are much more likely to die than the average person, don't you? Especially this year ...
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Old 25th November 2020, 09:03 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You do know that people in retirement homes are much more likely to die than the average person, don't you? Especially this year ...
Call me morbid and cynical, but I figure that once you graduate from "Uncle" to "Great-Uncle", you're pretty much on the "could pop off at any time" list. I've got a few family members on that list myself. They cross my mind periodically, probably at least weekly. One of these days, one of them is going to go just after I thought about them.
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Old 25th November 2020, 10:30 AM   #54
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The one I recall best was deciding to call my old instructor who'd left the area but still came back for seminars occasionally. I rang him but the phone didn't ring, instead I heard him mutter "What's wrong with this phone?"
I said "<name>?"
"Bloody hell I just picked up the phone to call you"
We chatted a bit about the odds. As I recall we worked out a few things about ( x time, maybe a month to the day or something) since his last visit, a couple of other things that probably jogged our memories. But the exact timing of him picking up the phone to call me before it could ring was still quite the coincidence.
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Old 25th November 2020, 06:22 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Call me morbid and cynical, but I figure that once you graduate from "Uncle" to "Great-Uncle", you're pretty much on the "could pop off at any time" list. I've got a few family members on that list myself. They cross my mind periodically, probably at least weekly. One of these days, one of them is going to go just after I thought about them.
I'm on that list!
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:34 PM   #56
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Ok so get this. Today, Diego Mardana died. I just watched the Office episode maybe 2 days ago where they mentioned both him and Pele. I get an alert saying Mardana died and then later see Pele spoke about him. But what's really crazy is that The Cowboys Strength and conditioning Coach died today too. He died around 5 EST at just now, 5 and a half hours later i see a tweet from someone who paid their respects. Right as I see that my dad walks in telling me he had died. The tweet was from 5 hours earlier and i know for a fact it's someone my dad doesnt follow. Now of course he heard about the death but it's so crazy to me he said it right as i opened the tab
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:36 PM   #57
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My parents also discovered today that the phone bill was already paid when they went to pay it. It was automatic pay, which they don't use. They think they set it up by mistake last month, but I've read about it, it seems hard to accidently set up, would love theories
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:52 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
My parents also discovered today that the phone bill was already paid when they went to pay it. It was automatic pay, which they don't use. They think they set it up by mistake last month, but I've read about it, it seems hard to accidently set up, would love theories
Either your parents set it up or they didn't. This is a matter about gathering the facts from the phone company and not guessing on a forum.
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Old 25th November 2020, 08:55 PM   #59
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Ive told you it's clearly set up, my question is how they might've accidently set it up
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Old 25th November 2020, 09:29 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
My parents also discovered today that the phone bill was already paid when they went to pay it. It was automatic pay, which they don't use. They think they set it up by mistake last month, but I've read about it, it seems hard to accidently set up, would love theories
They must have a reason to think they accidentally set up auto pay. As in, they knew they were setting up something and maybe the word 'autopay' kept popping up in there. Otherwise, they would have no reason to assume they accidentally set anything up.

Unless they were role-playing and the phone was an explosive device that one had to disable by hacking the code. That usually means hasty random keystrokes. Man, you should see the **** I ordered from Amazon that way.

Prob some more information about why your parents thought that and what they actually did would help
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Old 25th November 2020, 11:12 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Call me morbid and cynical, but I figure that once you graduate from "Uncle" to "Great-Uncle", you're pretty much on the "could pop off at any time" list. I've got a few family members on that list myself. They cross my mind periodically, probably at least weekly. One of these days, one of them is going to go just after I thought about them.
I was a great uncle at the grand old age of 33.

Marrying into a Catholic family will do that - there were five generations of in-laws at the wedding.

I’m not about to pop off any time soon - barring walking in front of a bus
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:02 AM   #62
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There is absolutely nothing crazy about coincidences, they are inevitable. If coincidences didn't happen, that would require explanation, and make me think there might be something paranormal going on. Perfectly normal coincidences, happening about as often as the laws of probability predict, not so much.

It's certainly true, though, that you can suddenly notice a particularly startling coincidence and, thus primed, start to notice many more than you usually do. But that's just your unconscious mind obediently bringing them to the attention of your conscious awareness as signal after years of (correctly) filtering them out as noise.
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:05 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Ive told you it's clearly set up, my question is how they might've accidently set it up
Dementia?
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:07 AM   #64
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British Office, best Office.
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:26 AM   #65
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My parents are in their 40s and both have exceptional memories. I don't think so
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:28 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
My parents are in their 40s and both have exceptional memories. I don't think so
It doesn't matter how good their memories are. Everybody forgets things.
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:51 AM   #67
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I was just then reading through an old thread about the worst accents in movies, and when I finished I returned to my Control Panel to see that the English - American/British/Australian thread had a new post in it.

Coincidence? Well, yeah.
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Old 26th November 2020, 02:24 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It doesn't matter how good their memories are. Everybody forgets things.
This. If you actually read up on how unreliable memory is, how much memory is recreated from a few details etc it's actually quite shocking.
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Old 26th November 2020, 04:41 AM   #69
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This is becoming like a version of that thread about ghosts, in which the OP kept going on about ghosts for little reason and ignoring everything which might explain things...

It's not like there isn't an extensive literature about probability, randomness, selective memories, problems with eye witness accounts and all the rest, which one can track down quite eassily these days, compared with when I was nobbut a nobbut...
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Old 26th November 2020, 07:23 AM   #70
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Yeah, also op is pretty young so it might simply be the first time he’s really sat down and concentrated on noticing coincidences. If you never thought much about it, and especially if you’re feeling a little stressed out and paranoid, it could be easy to assume that a lot of coincidences is the ‘wrong’ amount.

Other posters here understand that ‘a lot of coincidence’ is well within normal parameters. Someone mentioning the death of a slightly famous person to you a little while after it happened and just as you were finding out from another source, for example, is an absolutely bog-standard coincidence. Even if the exact timing seems amazing from where you are standing.

Things happen, a lot. Coincidences, ********* of coincidences, are normal and expected. Try not to let them make you feel generally suspicious or whatever weird feeling they are giving you. It’s cool, I promise.
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Old 26th November 2020, 07:29 AM   #71
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Things like items in the news don't count as coincidences. Like, I've recently seen a lot of articles about a famous football (soccer) player, a person I'd never heard of before. Well, I probably did in his heyday, but the name never registered since I don't follow the sport. Coincidence? No, he died.

Similar with any mention of Covid-19. Why, a year ago you never heard anything about it!

(eta) I swear the previous post was not up yet when I started typing mine. COINCIDENCE!!!
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Old 26th November 2020, 09:29 AM   #72
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Also, we are pattern seeking animals. It's how our ancestors learned that when we saw lion tracks by the waterhole it might be related to people not coming back when they went for a drink. It's how many optical illusions we work: our brains seek patterns.

And we tend not to notice things if they're not significant to us. You probably won't notice how many car charging points there are around until you think of buying an electric car.I will never notice what colour this season's handbags are.
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:16 AM   #73
Carrot Flower King
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Slightly more sympathetically (FFS, I'm a retired nurse - we don't do sympathy) than my previous post, given the OP's age, they should still be at school: they might like to talk to their science teacher about the supposed phenomenon and also how to frame a question such that it is capable of a meaningful answer. At the moment there is a load of floundering around in circles without much clarity as to what is being asked.
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:22 AM   #74
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
My parents are in their 40s and both have exceptional memories. I don't think so
I'm 61 and have a kind of reverse dementia: I panic about something then realize I've already taken care of it.

I've had times in my life when a series of coincidences seemed to be pushing me in a certain direction. I later realized that in retrospect, everything looks like destiny. One day in Panama with a student news team I took a long out-of-the way walk with some women and when it came time to hook up for dinner with the other co-instructor we talked by phone about where to meet up, then we rounded a corner and ran smack into each other. We had started our walks going in completely opposite directions. But we both ended up in a pedestrian-friendly area where people naturally promenade, especially at that hour. It wasn't that weird.

I don't believe in anything paranormal but certainly many coincidences have turned my head. I might ruminate on why something in my consciousness seems to set up an echo in which I'm primed to see a certain message reflected back at me. I think it's OK to notice this stuff, even instructive, but think it through and ask yourself, what is most likely - that I'm primed to notice certain things, then notice more things? Or that news networks, tweets are real life are sending me curated messages in order to get my attention?

It seemed like the whole country of Panama was herding me in a certain direction. That trip was full of other coincidences. It was very weird, and funny, but if it's freaking you out talk to somebody trustworthy about it IRL.

ETA: You know what, Debunk? The fact that you are even on this forum is evidence that you are a curious person looking for explanations of eerie phenomena, which puts you ahead of people (cognitively) who never think to question it and grow up thinking they're clairvoyant. I think maybe you do see things other people don't, because you are unusually observant.

Last edited by Minoosh; 26th November 2020 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 26th November 2020, 11:45 AM   #75
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
DebunkThis, what it sounds like to me is that you're experiencing more coincidences because for some reason you're paying more attention to what's happening around you. Most people can watch TV all day and never notice that many different episodes of many different shows involve people leaving or quitting or threatening to do so or refusing to do so, because it's a common plot element and viewers aren't paying attention much anyhow. Many people spend most of their lives in a mental state barely more than an inattentive stupor. But if you start actually paying attention for some reason, things like that can suddenly stand out.
They're really hammering this one on that show "The News" at the moment, I wish they'd get some better writers, they don't seem to have any sense of reality the last few years.
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Old 26th November 2020, 12:16 PM   #76
DebunkThisPls
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I'm 61 and have a kind of reverse dementia: I panic about something then realize I've already taken care of it.

I've had times in my life when a series of coincidences seemed to be pushing me in a certain direction. I later realized that in retrospect, everything looks like destiny. One day in Panama with a student news team I took a long out-of-the way walk with some women and when it came time to hook up for dinner with the other co-instructor we talked by phone about where to meet up, then we rounded a corner and ran smack into each other. We had started our walks going in completely opposite directions. But we both ended up in a pedestrian-friendly area where people naturally promenade, especially at that hour. It wasn't that weird.

I don't believe in anything paranormal but certainly many coincidences have turned my head. I might ruminate on why something in my consciousness seems to set up an echo in which I'm primed to see a certain message reflected back at me. I think it's OK to notice this stuff, even instructive, but think it through and ask yourself, what is most likely - that I'm primed to notice certain things, then notice more things? Or that news networks, tweets are real life are sending me curated messages in order to get my attention?

It seemed like the whole country of Panama was herding me in a certain direction. That trip was full of other coincidences. It was very weird, and funny, but if it's freaking you out talk to somebody trustworthy about it IRL.

ETA: You know what, Debunk? The fact that you are even on this forum is evidence that you are a curious person looking for explanations of eerie phenomena, which puts you ahead of people (cognitively) who never think to question it and grow up thinking they're clairvoyant. I think maybe you do see things other people don't, because you are unusually observant.
I do believe that it was a memory thing, as of course they can make mistakes, my comment here was mostly just correcting the possibility they might have dementia. Thanks for your comment here though, it helps!
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Old 26th November 2020, 04:16 PM   #77
Matthew Ellard
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
Ive told you it's clearly set up, my question is how they might've accidently set it up
Your parents didn't accidentally set up an automatic payment to their phone account. They had to concentrate and enter their account details.

They can simply check this by asking the phone company.
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Old 26th November 2020, 05:50 PM   #78
theprestige
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Things like items in the news don't count as coincidences. Like, I've recently seen a lot of articles about a famous football (soccer) player, a person I'd never heard of before. Well, I probably did in his heyday, but the name never registered since I don't follow the sport. Coincidence? No, he died.

Similar with any mention of Covid-19. Why, a year ago you never heard anything about it!

(eta) I swear the previous post was not up yet when I started typing mine. COINCIDENCE!!!
That's so weird. I've been hearing about him too. Then I went on a subreddit about funny videos, and coincidentally one of the videos had some comments on it from Argentinians. And then they started talking about this soccer player, because Argentina. And then I came here to a thread that had nothing to do with Argentina, and here you are talking about this same Argentinian soccer player! How crazy is that?
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Old 26th November 2020, 06:05 PM   #79
DebunkThisPls
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Ok I get your point, obviously not crazy at all since he's one of the most famous soccer players ever and his death is so recent its been talked about on lots of sources.
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Old 26th November 2020, 06:06 PM   #80
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by DebunkThisPls View Post
I do believe that it was a memory thing, as of course they can make mistakes, my comment here was mostly just correcting the possibility they might have dementia. Thanks for your comment here though, it helps!
I was sort of joking, riffing on other comments. But at the risk of offering up another pointless anecdote: A few weeks ago I picked up a prescription, and lost it; I had refills, so the pharmacy filled it again - AND I LOST IT. I *still* had refills, but then the doc said maybe I shouldn't be on this medication - he was worried about my absentmindedness; he didn't want to miss anything if I was having bad side effects. Well, a couple of days later one of the bottles turned up, but the date made no sense and five pills were gone which should have been impossible.

To cut the anecdote short it was a complete mystery. The fill date does not match my memory of either of the lost refills, and the pill count is off. If I were one to assign cosmic meaning I might wonder if the "universe" wanted me to get off this drug. But if so, why did it throw the bottle back at me ?

I'm not automatically hostile to the idea that the universe is sending me messages, and I know people who talk this way all the time. But ultimately I don't have the kind of brain that can really believe it, either. When I talk like that, I'm speaking ironically.
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