Just a co-incidence?

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Just a co-incidence?

#1  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 9:39 pm

This is for your entertainment only - no scientific validation is possible, it can't be repeated and you've only got my word that what I'm telling you is true, and that there was no "cheating." Suffice to say that for the person most directly involved, who is the only one who absolutely knows there was no cheating (although I 100% believe her), it was conclusive evidence that "something spooky is going on."

Last year I received only two birthday cards (I don't really do birthdays). I received the first one through the post a couple of days before my actual birthday. It was from my mother, and it had a picture on the front of some mice carrying some party supplies past the back of cat. Nothing spooky about that. My girlfriend lived in another town at the time, and came to visit me on my birthday, bringing with her a jar of pickle and a jar of jam she had made. She also hand-drew me a card, and in it she wrote "you're like...the pickle on my cheese, the jam on my scone." Cute. Later that evening I put the two cards on my mantelpiece. "Put it the right way up then!", she said (I had hers 90 degrees out). And at first nothing seemed odd.

borthdaycards.jpg
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I'll let you see it for yourself, because it took a couple of minutes after seeing the first bit of it before the whole thing became clear for us.

There was no cheating. My girlfriend had not seen my mother's card, and she says she had decided at least two weeks beforehand what she was going to draw on the one she gave me.

Anyway...my cat, who is a tabby very like the one in the picture, has now been nick-named "pickle." :)

As somebody who was a total non-believer in anything like synchronicity or "accidental mind-reading" until I was 33 (12 years ago), I can say that if I'd seen somebody make this claim before that time I would probably feel forced to conclude that somebody cheated - that my mother and sister conspired to play a well-intentioned "prank" on me, or something along those lines. If I knew there was no cheating I guess I'd have had to assume that it was just something exceptionally improbable that happened for no reason - after all some people get struck by lightning 50 times, don't they? :mrgreen:

It a funny old world.

UE
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#2  Postby Made of Stars » May 24, 2014 9:44 pm

Cute coincidence. Love the new nickname. :)
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#3  Postby Shrunk » May 24, 2014 9:46 pm

What are we supposed to be seeing?
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#4  Postby scott1328 » May 24, 2014 9:48 pm

I must be exceptionally thick, but I don't see what you are driving at here... :dunno:
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#5  Postby Shrunk » May 24, 2014 9:49 pm

Good, it's not just me.
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#6  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 9:51 pm

Made of Stars wrote:Love the new nickname. :)


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The Naming Of Cats

by T. S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

:grin:
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#7  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 9:53 pm

scott1328 wrote:I must be exceptionally thick, but I don't see what you are driving at here... :dunno:


Look carefully. You're looking for four things. Sort of "spot the difference", but in reverse.

I could just explain it, but it is better if people find it for themselves. If you can't see it in ten minutes I'll help you...
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#8  Postby virphen » May 24, 2014 9:57 pm

If I am seeing it, you need to restore one of the cards to the configuration mentioned in the OP?
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#9  Postby Made of Stars » May 24, 2014 9:58 pm

Shrunk wrote:What are we supposed to be seeing?

[Reveal] Spoiler: -
The mouse hole/balloon is visually similar to the jam/scone, and the cat is visually similar to the pickle/cheese. Hence the nickname.
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#10  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 10:02 pm

Made of Stars wrote:
Shrunk wrote:What are we supposed to be seeing?

[Reveal] Spoiler: -
The mouse hole/balloon is visually similar to the jam/scone, and the cat is visually similar to the pickle/cheese. Hence the nickname.


[Reveal] Spoiler: -
There's actually four of them. First I spotted that the jam and arrow looked like the balloon and string hanging down - one similarity in the top right corner. My GF asked me why I was looking oddly at the cards, and at just that moment I noticed there was a block of cheese on both cards in the bottom left corner. About ten seconds later she then noticed that the cat, drawn as a circle, was the same colour and shape as the pickle in the top left corner. Then we both looked at the bottom right corner and lo and behold there was a cake/scone in both of them.

ALTHOUGH...I now notice that the mouse-hole actually looks rather similar to the scone also! Nobody else has pointed this out before. :)
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#11  Postby virphen » May 24, 2014 10:03 pm

You can add:

The red dots in the left picture (cherries + wine label) would form the same "constellation" as the black dots on the scone, if the right hand picture is rotated.
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#12  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 10:05 pm

virphen wrote:You can add:

The red dots in the left picture (cherries + wine label) would form the same "constellation" as the black dots on the scone, if the right hand picture is rotated.


Cool!! Nobody else has noticed that one either.
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#13  Postby Weaver » May 24, 2014 10:17 pm

This is a great example of the mind seeking to draw patterns and connections.

First, you equate the string and an arrow.
Then, you say the cheese is in both bottom left corners - though the cheese in the first card is actually middle height. But it's sort of close, so you ignore the difference.
Next, you say the cat was drawn as a circle like the cookie - if you ignore the bits that aren't circular, then OK.
Finally, you equate a frosted cake with a scone.

If you ignore enough inconsistencies, then you can be easily drawn to think that what you have are a suspicious number of coincidences.

This doesn't mean that there is actually anything suspicious there - any supernatural connection. It's just that we tend to remember things that seem to connect, and ignore all those things which don't. This is exactly why cold reading and other "psychic" BS works so well.
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#14  Postby Made of Stars » May 24, 2014 10:18 pm

The cherries/currants are clearly aligned to form a representation of the pyramids of Giza, which are clearly a representation of Orion's belt. Moar evidence for ancient aliens!!1!

The balloon/mousehole/jam/scone alignment is the first thing I saw. :lol:
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#15  Postby Made of Stars » May 24, 2014 10:19 pm

Weaver, FFS, moar spoiler tags dude! The NSA are watching!1
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#16  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 10:29 pm

Weaver wrote:This is a great example of the mind seeking to draw patterns and connections.


Well, the human mind doesn't just "seek" to draw patterns and connections. It is very, very good at finding patterns and connections that are real. Millions of years of evolution have made sure of that.


First, you equate the string and an arrow.
Then, you say the cheese is in both bottom left corners - though the cheese in the first card is actually middle height. But it's sort of close, so you ignore the difference.
Next, you say the cat was drawn as a circle like the cookie - if you ignore the bits that aren't circular, then OK.
Finally, you equate a frosted cake with a scone.

If you ignore enough inconsistencies, then you can be easily drawn to think that what you have are a suspicious number of coincidences.


Yes. :evilgrin:

How many consistencies does one need? To be honest, the consistences are more than enough to have convinced a pre-33 UE to conclude that some sort of cheating had taken place, so I guess I should be happy that you're willing to believe that it didn't.

I should probably also repeat that I'm not expecting anybody to accept this as proof of anything. I think you needed to be there yourself for something like this to significantly alter your beliefs about causality/whatever.


This doesn't mean that there is actually anything suspicious there - any supernatural connection. It's just that we tend to remember things that seem to connect, and ignore all those things which don't. This is exactly why cold reading and other "psychic" BS works so well.


Although I could equally throw this back at you, as a believer in such things. The "flipped" version of it is that you're doing the exact opposite - finding ways to conclude that there's "nothing suspicious" going on. I could argue that no matter how many similarities there were, you would never believe there was anything more than an incredibly unlikely co-incidence.

The human mind is certainly a tricky customer. As is reality. :)
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#17  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 10:30 pm

Made of Stars wrote:The cherries/currants are clearly aligned to form a representation of the pyramids of Giza, which are clearly a representation of Orion's belt. Moar evidence for ancient aliens!!1!


LOL :lol:
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#18  Postby Onyx8 » May 24, 2014 10:35 pm

The point is that is NOT incredibly unlikely at all.
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#19  Postby Fallible » May 24, 2014 10:37 pm

My answer to your question in the thread title would be "yes, I think so". But as you say, perhaps you had to be there. My inkling is that there are certain rules in art which are adhered to in order to make a picture hang together or be more aesthetically pleasing, and these can lead to similarities in different compositions. Perhaps there's some of this going on, even if unconsciously. My question to you, UE, is what do you or your girlfriend think it signifies?
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Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: Just a co-incidence?

#20  Postby UndercoverElephant » May 24, 2014 10:51 pm

Fallible wrote:My answer to your question in the thread title would be "yes, I think so". But as you say, perhaps you had to be there. My inkling is that there are certain rules in art which are adhered to in order to make a picture hang together or be more aesthetically pleasing, and these can lead to similarities in different compositions. Perhaps there's some of this going on, even if unconsciously. My question to you, UE, is what do you or your girlfriend think it signifies?


Well, I already believed that "this sort of thing" happened, so in terms of "proof" of anything causal or metaphysical, none was required for me. My GF, when I met her (18 months ago), told me she had never paid much attention to either science or religion (strange but true!), and so at first had trouble understanding why I was so interested in both of them and how they interact with each other. She was a "perfect agnostic" in that respect. The closest thing she had to any "woo beliefs" was that she did (and still does) a lot of yoga, but she did/does this because it helps her physically and mentally, not for any spiritual goal. The one thing she said was that she "didn't believe in God" and didn't like religious nutters, but even this was not a particularly strongly held belief.

When I met her and tried to talk to her about what I believe, she didn't know what to make of most of it, and that was OK, because I didn't need her to have strong beliefs about it anyway. But I did tell her to watch out for synchronicity - for unusual or particularly unlikely co-incidences, especially those loaded with meaning. There's no deep meaning in this example, but the nature of the co-incidence was such that it was very hard for her to deny it - she was the one who drew the second card, and she was there when we first noticed the similarities. So what is the significance? Well, she stopped being an agnostic regarding the existence of "spooky causality", for want of a better term. She went from being an agnostic to believing "something is going on", although she's probably still pretty agnostic about precisely what it is.
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