Synchronicity

How should we think about weird things?
User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:44 pm

I'm having a forum discussion elsewhere on the broad New Agey topic of Synchronicity. I'm generally familiar with the concept, which is typically used to justify almost any of the mystical "ways of knowing" that bypass the rules of Reason. My correspondent is sincere and almost evangelistic about this new field of "science". She has referred me to several technical articles by credentialed schlolars. But their non-linear postmodern manner of exposition, and their pseudo-scientific-sounding jargon leaves me unenlightened.

About all I can say without seeming closed-minded though is that, over years of open-minded observation, I personally have never experienced any of the "meaningful coincidences" or the "language of events" implicit in Jung's theory. The usual explanation for my bafflement & blindness is that I am too rational or skeptical, and that advanced Intuition is necessary in order to connect-the-dots and to read the meaning between the lines. My intuitive talents seem to be in the normal range, but definitely not as "advanced" as a psychic's. Hence, most of my significant coincidences are either trivial, or easily explained in terms of probability theory (which seems to be nonsense to intuitives).

A Google search finds hundreds, maybe thousands, of pages discussing the subject, some in great scholarly detail. But most seem to take the phenomenon for granted, assuming it's a standard feature of the natural world---no supernatural agents involved---that modern Science has ignored, or covered up. However, I have yet to find a comprehensive critical analysis of Synchronicity, including the proposed mechanisms (e.g. quantum entanglement) underlying those back-channels of communication with the Collective Unconscious.

I have my own skeptical theory of the psychological processes that cause/allow subjective meanings in the mind of the beholder to be attributed to some external objective agency. But I'd like to reinforce my intuitions with some in-depth critical studies of both the physical and mental aspects of Synchronicity. Any suggestions will be welcomed.

User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:04 pm

Hi, Number

In it's most basic definition, Synchronicity is nothing more than mundane Coincidence. Which is two separate processes that intersect in the same time or location, but without any known relationships that would make their coming-together-in-time foreseeable. For example, if two cars collide in the middle of an urban intersection, we don't attribute any special significance to the accident, because from experience with traffic, we are aware that it's just a matter of time before two cars try to occupy the same space at the same time. Such coincidences are intuitively predictable.

What makes Synchronicity different is that personal significance is attributed to the event, as if it was intentional instead of accidental. The event is interpreted as-if some relevant message has been transmitted to you. But the deeper significance of that relationship in time seems to be encoded so that no one but you can interpret it. The obvious question for a skeptical bystander is "who sent the message, and why?"

That inherent mystery is why Synchronicity is usually labeled as a "mystical" belief. There are many theories to explain such occurrences, but most merely assume that God or a paranormal Force is involved. Karl Jung hypothesized that personal meaning can be drawn from the trans-personal "Collective Unconscious", which works something like an ethereal database for the unexpressed ideas & feelings of all conscious beings.

Jung also proposed a non-mystical "scientific" explanation, which assumes that Quantum Entanglement has something to do with the Synchronicity phenomenon. He called it the Acausal Connecting Principal, because Entanglement of subatomic particles seems to defy our normal understanding of causation. I'm not qualified to critique that hypothesis, but I am skeptical that subatomic quantum "queerness" can scale-up to our un-aided human perception of the world.

I won't get into the details of my amateur psychological explanation of Synchronicity in this forum. But I'll just summarize that humans have two well-known tendencies : a> to "project or transfer" their own emotions onto other people, animals, or inanimate objects; and b> to commit the Gambler's Fallacy of miscalculating the probability of random occurrences. Put those together, and you may think of a pictorial burn pattern on a piece of toast as something extraordinary; and if the pattern reminds you of familiar portraits of the Virgin Mary, the abstract pattern will suddenly take on strong emotional significance : hence, the comforting message that the spirit of Mother Mary is there for you.

For the record, I'll mention that Michael Shermer counters the Synchronicity theory with his own Patternicity theory. ;)


Psychological Projection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

Gambler's Fallacy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy

User avatar
busterggi
Regular Poster
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:36 pm
Custom Title: General Weirdness
Location: New Britain, CT

Re: Synchronicity

Post by busterggi » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:25 pm

"In it's most basic definition, Synchronicity is nothing more than mundane Coincidence."

I believe Busby Berkeley would disagree. :wgrin:

User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:11 pm

I believe Busby Berkeley would disagree.
I had to look that one up. ;)

Honest, judge, It wasn't my fault, it was Synchronicity!
<< Berkeley was the driver responsible for an automobile accident in which two people were killed, five seriously injured; Berkeley himself was badly cut and bruised.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busby_Berkeley

surrounded
Poster
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 8:36 pm

Re: Synchronicity

Post by surrounded » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:16 pm

I have often heard from those that ascribe to belief in sincronicity the example of the phone call, or chance encounter, such as you are thinking of a friend you haven't heard from lately and soon after the phone rings and it is that person.
You need or desire something, and soon after an opportunity arrises to fill that need or desire. Both of these scenarios might be attributed to sincronicity by the believer.
As I am not a believer, I counter with, think of the many more times that you may think of someone and they don't call, or the needs or desires that are not met. The coincidental meeting is the memorable one.
In the example of the cast off ring and then finding a different ring in a bag with a relevent logo.... that is good example of projecting personal meening on a random event.

Bunyip
Regular Poster
Posts: 751
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:56 pm
Location: Adelaide South Australia

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Bunyip » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:43 am

First came across the term 'sychronicity' in Carl Jung's autobiography. "Memories,Dreams And Reflections". Herr Dr Jung also believed in poltergeists and was considered a bit of a loon by his contemporary Herr Dr Sigmund Freud..

There is a simpler term for 'synchronicty'; magical thinking. It's especially common in very young children, professional gamblers, athletes, and religious fanatics of various flavours.

There's also a term used by psychologists referring to coincidences to which people ascribe meaning. I forget for the nonce, it's like pareidolia,where people see images Jesus in baked goods. IE looking for patterns and meaning where none exist.


As the saying goes "sh*t just happens then you die." (close enough) :?

. This is just a single example. There are others that are just as bewildering.


I believe you.However,to ascribe meaning is a logical fallacy;argument from personal incredulity/argument from lack of imagination., IE "I'm too ignorant,too lacking in imagination or too stupid to think of anything else, and too bloody minded or fearful to say "I don't know", therefore God/aliens did it"


I cannot even describe how practical and worldly I am.


Not to mention how credulous. :mrgreen: .
Man is not so much a rational animal as a rationalising one.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13354
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:40 am

The thing about coincidences is that they happen, and happen with extreme frequency. The reason for this is that pairs of events are analysed after they happen. If I think 10,000 thoughts today, and 10,000 minor things happen tomorrow, the number of possible combinations are 100,000,000. Out of that immensity, a 'coincidence' achieves almost 100% probability.

That is one example - thoughts and minor events. many other possible couplings are present also. Phone calls and events. Letters, emails, news items, TV programs etc etc. Each and every one of these happening today are possible pairings with something that happens tomorrow. The total number of possible combinations are colossal, making 'coincidence' a statistical almost certainty.

Since these 'coincidences' are not predicted - only analysed after they happen, then anyone with a predilection to mysticism will treat them as 'proof' of synchronicity. All of this is just another example of selective perception and interpretation. Only the irrational need apply!

User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:10 am

since you seem to be profoundly deranged, but then that would not be fair to me for the literal crap that you threw my way without me doing anything to earn it,
Calm down Number. :oops:

I assume you have some history with Mr.Bunyip that I am not aware of. But I am aware that your response had ten times as many "fighting words" (vileness, retard, crackpot, donkey nose . . . ) as Bunyip's (credulous). So your indignation is way out of proportion to the stimulation.

Synchronicity seems to be essentially a core New Age religious belief, so it will be difficult to discuss it on a skeptical forum without stepping on someone's toes. Remember, forbearance is a virtue.

I'm still looking for an in-depth assessment of the phenomenon and the belief system of Synchronicity, but from an objective non-believer---preferably not a scathing skeptic though. The internet is full of fervent testimonies of how Synchronicity changed someone's life. But I'm looking for rational analysis, not emotional anecdotes. I'll connect the dots to reach my own conclusion about it's relevance in my life.

PS---As a side issue, I would be interested to hear how the impersonal "natural" phenomenon of Synchronicity might be justified by doctrinal Theists. It's usually defined as "paranormal", not supernatural. I suspect that the Catholic Church would attribute such events to angels or Marian apparitions rather than the non-Christian concept of Collective Consciousness.

User avatar
Gord
Obnoxious Weed
Posts: 35098
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: prostrate spurge
Location: Transcona

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:11 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The thing about coincidences is that they happen, and happen with extreme frequency.
Yeah but that's probably just a coincidence.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE
Is Trump in jail yet?

Bunyip
Regular Poster
Posts: 751
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:56 pm
Location: Adelaide South Australia

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Bunyip » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:16 am

@A-number

My goodness, how can one possibly respond to such an hysterical outburst?

You're right of course. I don't know you from a bar of soap. I'm obliged to judge from your obnoxious on line persona and what you actually write.

As far as intentionally insulting you, I did not. I DID give a blunt explanation of the logical fallacy of argument from personal incredulity as a general principle.I did not refer to you personally. I also used the word 'credulous',to describe you. That seemed and still seems obvious from your post. It was not meant as an deliberate insult, more a matter of teasing..

Of course you have every right to choose to get your panties in a bunch instead of perhaps begin to learn the rudiments of critical thinking,.

In my country there are only two mortal insults which come to mind; To call a man a 'bludger' (parasite) or to call him a vagina (using a very coarse word) I did neither,so get over yourself.

. A personal failing I know, but I do not suffer fools.Consequently, that's all I have to say to you pending your apology
Man is not so much a rational animal as a rationalising one.

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:52 pm

Believers will be believers.

User avatar
Pyrrho
Administrator
Posts: 10012
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:31 am

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Pyrrho » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:27 pm

NOT ACCEPTABLE. Please stop attacking other people like this. Another such post and I will lock you out of this section of the forum.
For any forum questions or concerns please e-mail skepticforum@gmail.com or send a PM.

The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

User avatar
vanderpoel
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4577
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Synchronicity

Post by vanderpoel » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:19 pm

A, I always follow your posts with interest and so I learned something new about you:

"Also, very important, I have been celibate for close to 10 years now. Many guys come on to me (physically not here, here I am playful since the guys that come here are really really cool and most forgiving) and I just outright blow them off."

Fine, but where I come from, "just outright blowing guys off" isn't exactly celibacy.
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:23 pm

Pyrrho wrote:NOT ACCEPTABLE. Please stop attacking other people like this. Another such post and I will lock you out of this section of the forum.
No wonder one who describes the whole population of a country as "monkeys", can surely call a particular person " a pig".

User avatar
Pyrrho
Administrator
Posts: 10012
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:31 am

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Pyrrho » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:38 pm

I'm too tired to deal with this tonight, except to say that I wish people would have more courtesy for the person who opened the topic. Please try to get back on topic and I'll deal with the other matters tomorrow.
For any forum questions or concerns please e-mail skepticforum@gmail.com or send a PM.

The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:39 am

Human brain is able to imagine what is not within the immediate reach of the sense organs. This is a kind of mutation that has helped humans to fight more powerful beasts and to control the surrounding environment for a better chance of survival. At the same time, this power of imagination has made humans fall in love for fantasies. This has given birth to God, ghosts, UFO's etc. but these fantasies also have some material basis. There are puzzles in nature. If you want to solve them, you have to take to reasons, mathematics and painstaking scientific experiments. If you simply want to get astonished or afraid and prefer to surrender, you can resort to fantasies. There is no harm in being a believer until you harm or hurt others for the sake of your belief. There is no harm in being a Christian until you burn Giordano Bruno at stake or confine Galileo in his house and threaten him with inquisition in his ripe old age.

User avatar
bigtim
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4088
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:04 pm
Custom Title: Skeptical Berserker
Location: Miðgarðr

Re: Synchronicity

Post by bigtim » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:37 am

vanderpoel wrote:Fine, but where I come from, "just outright blowing guys off" isn't exactly celibacy.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

As Bunyip said...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That pretty much explains it all. There is no real "synchronicity". But, a TON of folks believe there is.

The baseball player who has a big-mac before every game in a certain stadium certian the team will win because when he ate one the first time they one.

Players who wear the same socks during football games (ton of kids do this... some adults too) becuase they're lucky.

Fans that think something they do has any effect on the outcome of the game, or a play.

The list can go on and on and on.... and any meaningful examination shows more failures than successes... but only the successes are remembered and talked about.
~
BigTim
"I'm not entirely convinced that ValHalla isn't real."

User avatar
JO 753
Has No Life
Posts: 14582
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 pm
Custom Title: rezident owtsidr
Location: BLaNDLaND

Re: Synchronicity

Post by JO 753 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:14 am

Hey! Don't go nuts with the posting barrage, Gnomon! You've only been here 6-1/2 yirz.

I don't think uv syncronicity az any kind uv superstition.

There are coincidencez, but sumtimez they are so far out that its reazonable to consider the possibilty that therez more to it than plain chance.

I hav unlikely coincidencez all the time, but don't do anything but put them in the Gray BasketTM I got at landrewz True SkepticTM store.

A big wun for me wuz the 753 thing. I wuz a dilivery driver and that wuz my driver number. About 2 weeks after I started I walked into the will call dept at sum company and the guy behind the counter iz yelling "Hey! I wun the lotto! 753!" a few minutes later wen I'm driving to the next stop, the license plate on the limo in front uv me iz 753. For the next week the number keeps popping up everywhere. Since then I encounter it at least once a week.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13354
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:08 pm

Jo

That is the 'little red sports car' phenomenon. If you have no interest in red sports cars, you never see them. However, if you decide you want to buy one, you will suddently see them everywhere!

Your 753 is your version of the little red sports car, and you see it everywhere.

User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:25 pm

Nabarun Ghoshal wrote: There are puzzles in nature. If you want to solve them, you have to take to reasons, mathematics and painstaking scientific experiments.
This is exactly what I'm looking for, a respectful but critical analysis of the phenomenon known as Synchronicity. There are thousands of books & websites on this topic, but they all seem to take for granted that there is some kind of group mind or collective consciousness or spiritual energy in the world that is inaccessible to "painstaking scientific experiments".

Due to my utterly non-mystical life experience, I'm not inclined to buy into "paranormal" explanations for mystical events. But some of the anecdotes of "impossible odds" are hard to dismiss. Plus there is always the possibility that I am so prejudiced against supernatural beliefs that I wouldn't see a paranormal event if it hit me in the face. At least, that is a typical believer's explanation for my unbelief. So, in the interest of leaving no stone unturned, I'm trying to look carefully at both sides of the issue. As I said before, I suspect Synchronicity might be nothing more than a result of our innate tendency to miscalculate the odds of normal occurrences, and to attribute agency to mysterious occurrences. But try to tell that to someone who has been astounded by a seemingly miraculous event.

I'm familiar with the general Skeptical attitude toward paranormal phenomena. And I've read books by Jung and other mystical & paranormal researchers on the subject, so I'm pretty well informed in terms of the "para-scientific" theories, but I have no actual experience, and I'm not convinced by the arguments. Nevertheless, I must admit that the possibility of various Psi & ESP phenomena is interesting to me for purely philosophical and human interest reasons. Although pragmatic Science typically ignores or patronizes personal feelings and subjective beliefs, the Humanities---especially the Romantics---tend to extol them as the most important facet of life. That's the problem : analytical Science dismisses them categorically, and the holistic Humanities extol their virtues, but don't bother to analyze them. For me, the unexamined mystery is not worth believing. 8-)

In Google searches, I haven't been able to find a single skeptical treatment of this specific topic. There are a few "What Are The Odds?" sites dealing with trivia, mostly for entertainment purposes. So that's why I have turned to the SKEPTIC Forum for help in finding a "fair & balanced", but thorough review of a phenomenon that seems to be accepted uncritically by at least half the population.

User avatar
vanderpoel
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4577
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Synchronicity

Post by vanderpoel » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:55 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Nabarun Ghoshal wrote: There are puzzles in nature. If you want to solve them, you have to take to reasons, mathematics and painstaking scientific experiments.
This is exactly what I'm looking for, a respectful but critical analysis of the phenomenon known as Synchronicity. There are thousands of books & websites on this topic, but they all seem to take for granted that there is some kind of group mind or collective consciousness or spiritual energy in the world that is inaccessible to "painstaking scientific experiments".

Due to my utterly non-mystical life experience, I'm not inclined to buy into "paranormal" explanations for mystical events. But some of the anecdotes of "impossible odds" are hard to dismiss. Plus there is always the possibility that I am so prejudiced against supernatural beliefs that I wouldn't see a paranormal event if it hit me in the face. At least, that is a typical believer's explanation for my unbelief. So, in the interest of leaving no stone unturned, I'm trying to look carefully at both sides of the issue. As I said before, I suspect Synchronicity might be nothing more than a result of our innate tendency to miscalculate the odds of normal occurrences, and to attribute agency to mysterious occurrences. But try to tell that to someone who has been astounded by a seemingly miraculous event.

I'm familiar with the general Skeptical attitude toward paranormal phenomena. And I've read books by Jung and other mystical & paranormal researchers on the subject, so I'm pretty well informed in terms of the "para-scientific" theories, but I have no actual experience, and I'm not convinced by the arguments. Nevertheless, I must admit that the possibility of various Psi & ESP phenomena is interesting to me for purely philosophical and human interest reasons. Although pragmatic Science typically ignores or patronizes personal feelings and subjective beliefs, the Humanities---especially the Romantics---tend to extol them as the most important facet of life. That's the problem : analytical Science dismisses them categorically, and the holistic Humanities extol their virtues, but don't bother to analyze them. For me, the unexamined mystery is not worth believing. 8-)

In Google searches, I haven't been able to find a single skeptical treatment of this specific topic. There are a few "What Are The Odds?" sites dealing with trivia, mostly for entertainment purposes. So that's why I have turned to the SKEPTIC Forum for help in finding a "fair & balanced", but thorough review of a phenomenon that seems to be accepted uncritically by at least half the population.
Thank you Gnomon, for your exemplary attitude and explanation!
The disconnect occurs because science values observation over intuition.
A person who's preference for intuition is the strongest sense, what we call an intuitive type, might very well have it right, but no evidence. Going with your gut might come from a different place than having a nose for things but following either appendage may nevertheless get you touchdowns. No reason to trust stats. Sundays falsify that.

Yet, I wouldn't build a house based on intuition. But I do think that part of critical thinking includes respecting the values of all our preferred senses before we dismiss them as less valuable because we can't see, hear, smell, taste or feel them. :roll:
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13354
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Gnomon

Re-read my post #10.

The things we are talking about are called 'coincidence', but when we take all the factors into account, they are not weird at all. In fact, they are inevitable. The maths shows that the number of possible coincidences are in the multiple millions, from the numerous combinations possible. For a few of those 'coincidences' to occur is not improbable, but 100% certain!

It is just the silliness of the irrational human mind that calls them something mystical.

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:18 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Gnomon

Re-read my post #10.

The things we are talking about are called 'coincidence', but when we take all the factors into account, they are not weird at all. In fact, they are inevitable. The maths shows that the number of possible coincidences are in the multiple millions, from the numerous combinations possible. For a few of those 'coincidences' to occur is not improbable, but 100% certain!

It is just the silliness of the irrational human mind that calls them something mystical.
Thank you Lance for this eye opener. In another thread, you commented that I was trying to preach the converted. You must be enjoying this thread.

User avatar
JO 753
Has No Life
Posts: 14582
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 pm
Custom Title: rezident owtsidr
Location: BLaNDLaND

Re: Synchronicity

Post by JO 753 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:08 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Jo

That is the 'little red sports car' phenomenon.
I learned that myself, also when I wuz a delivery driver. Not long after I started at Deadline Express, I started seeing the little signz taped in the back window uv carz that people working for the little currior servicez were required to have. I wuz completely unaware uv them before that.

Sumtime in the early 90z, during a particularly heavy flurry uv 753 incidents I started a little experiment.

I picked 2 other 3 digit numberz to see if they started popping up all the time. I did see them a occasionally over a few yirz, but never in flurryz or with any other odd circumstancez.
Gnomon wrote:Due to my utterly non-mystical life experience, I'm not inclined to buy into "paranormal" explanations for mystical events. But some of the anecdotes of "impossible odds" are hard to dismiss. Plus there is always the possibility that I am so prejudiced against supernatural beliefs that I wouldn't see a paranormal event if it hit me in the face.


Thats pretty much the wut I'm thinking.

If you don't keep an open mind, the golly wogglez and poltergiests can take advantage uv sumwunz habit uv dismissing evidence just bejuz it duznt fit into their idea uv reality.
Gubmint for us
http://www.7532020.com
not the rich.

User avatar
Blacksamwell
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1954
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:21 am
Custom Title: Buckfutter
Location: Columbia, Missouri, U.S.A.

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Blacksamwell » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:59 pm

A-number wrote:Do you always have to be vulgar?
Do you always have to be a prude?

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13354
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:30 pm

A-number

It is certainly true you were insulted, and I sympathise with that. Receiving insults is never nice.

I would suggest, though, that the best response is your Christian one of 'turning the other cheek'. In fact, an excellent revenge is to adopt the tactic of telling the insulter how much you love them. Make 'em feel small. Responding to insults with more insults, even though you may see that as self defense, is ultimately self defeating, since it gives the insulter justification.

User avatar
Pyrrho
Administrator
Posts: 10012
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:31 am

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Pyrrho » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:21 pm

A-number wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:I'm too tired to deal with this tonight, except to say that I wish people would have more courtesy for the person who opened the topic. Please try to get back on topic and I'll deal with the other matters tomorrow.
Yet, one more demonstration of what I am talking about. When did I ever complain about someone and you took a single action to address the vile harrassment? Never. A thug calls me all names in the book, this without any provocation whatsoever! I defend myself, as I have the right to do that since you are not in charge it appears. and then suddenly here you are making the usual threats. You don't seem to be too tired for that ever. It's only when time comes for you to warn and discipline others when you decide to turn into a pumpkin.
I don't administrate when I'm tired or when I'm ill, because I can't trust my decisions during those times, and that isn't fair to anyone.

I often wait to see if people can resolve matters on their own, with or without my intervention. Most of the time they do, and that is far preferable to having me interfere. In this case, I intervened, asked people to get back on topic out of consideration for the person who opened the topic, and let things be because that is preferable to administrative interference. It does not seem to have worked out, so now I will interfere some more.

Nobody called you all the names in the book. Your evaluation of minor insults is way out of bounds. I don't act on such issues unless I get a complaint. In this case, I didn't get a complaint from you until after you had verbally savaged the other party and I issued an appropriate warning for your inappropriate post. Yes, you have the right to defend yourself. No, you can't expect that I won't take action after you take such a defense to the extreme.

I refuse to play the role of having to wade back through numerous posts to figure out "who started it." You were warned appropriately given the nature of your post, you have continued to call the person names, and now you are locked out of this section of the forum, and that's that.
For any forum questions or concerns please e-mail skepticforum@gmail.com or send a PM.

The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

User avatar
JO 753
Has No Life
Posts: 14582
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 pm
Custom Title: rezident owtsidr
Location: BLaNDLaND

Re: Synchronicity

Post by JO 753 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:17 pm

A-number wrote:Rat...RAT....rat...rat...rat...rat...etc.
Got sumthing against rats? If you want to use a species az an insult, going by the record, 'human' iz the worst.
I could care less.
Now if I wer the admin that woud be a spanking offence!

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:20 pm

Nabarun Ghoshal wrote:Human brain is able to imagine what is not within the immediate reach of the sense organs. This is a kind of mutation that has helped humans to fight more powerful beasts and to control the surrounding environment for a better chance of survival. At the same time, this power of imagination has made humans fall in love for fantasies. This has given birth to God, ghosts, UFO's etc. but these fantasies also have some material basis. There are puzzles in nature. If you want to solve them, you have to take to reasons, mathematics and painstaking scientific experiments. If you simply want to get astonished or afraid and prefer to surrender, you can resort to fantasies. There is no harm in being a believer until you harm or hurt others for the sake of your belief. There is no harm in being a Christian until you burn Giordano Bruno at stake or confine Galileo in his house and threaten him with inquisition in his ripe old age.
I quote myself to go back to the original discussion.

User avatar
JO 753
Has No Life
Posts: 14582
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 pm
Custom Title: rezident owtsidr
Location: BLaNDLaND

Re: Synchronicity

Post by JO 753 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:06 pm

Except that paragraph duznt hav anything to do with syncronicity besidez trying to lump it in with all other phenomena that arent favored by sci-skeptics.

User avatar
bigtim
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4088
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:04 pm
Custom Title: Skeptical Berserker
Location: Miðgarðr

Re: Synchronicity

Post by bigtim » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:28 pm

It seems OP believes synchronicity exists and isn’t interested in accepting it doesn’t. Something having low odds of occurring doesn’t mean it’s some universal hidden reason why it occurs.

Human’s see patterns and reasons. Therefore we overlay patterns, reasons and meaning on things where there may be none.

This is why double blind and peer review are so important.
~
BigTim
"I'm not entirely convinced that ValHalla isn't real."

User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:00 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: The things we are talking about are called 'coincidence', but when we take all the factors into account, they are not weird at all. In fact, they are inevitable. The maths shows that the number of possible coincidences are in the multiple millions, from the numerous combinations possible. For a few of those 'coincidences' to occur is not improbable, but 100% certain!

It is just the silliness of the irrational human mind that calls them something mystical.
Thanks, but as a layman, I'm generally familiar with the arcane mathematics of Probability. The problem is that most people are not. So trying to convince someone that a soul-stirring event was just a meaningless mathematical coincidence is a non-starter. For most people, Statistics is even more mystical than Synchronicity. And that order-within-chaos is often counter-intuitive & confusing, even for experts. So I'm looking for a more in-depth treatment, that covers both the rational math and the irrational mind.

The closest I've found are Shermer's and Wiseman's books on why people believe weird things. But they don't deal specifically with the human side of the age-old Mystical worldview underlying Synchronicity & New Age philosophy, among many other manifestations of occult beliefs. I'm talking about the idea that natural Randomness is encoded with deep secrets, to be deciphered only by a few adepts & intuitives. And that noumenal notion is ubiquitous---from baseball superstitions to Bible codes. To call it silliness is like referring to that iceberg ahead of the Titanic as a silly little ice-cube.

Those who are convinced that the natural world conceals certain divine or paranormal secrets from the profane eyes of Science, are easily manipulated by the Illuminati, who live on a mountain in Tibet, and rule the world indirectly by promulgating sweet little lies wrapped in enigmatic truths. [sorry, that was just a flashback!] :oops:

User avatar
Austin Harper
Has More Than 5K Posts
Posts: 5533
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:19 am

Carl-Jung.net wrote:The term synchronicity is coined by Jung to express a concept that belongs to him. It is about acausal connection of two or more psycho-physic phenomena. This concept was inspired to him by a patient's case that was in situation of impasse in treatment. Her exaggerate rationalism (animus inflation) was holding her back from assimilating unconscious materials. One night, the patient dreamt a golden scarab - cetonia aurata. The next day, during the psychotherapy session, a real insect this time, hit against the Jung's cabinet window. Jung caught it and discovered surprisingly that it was a golden scarab; a very rare presence for that climate.

So, the idea is all about coincidence: in this case, between the scarab dreamt by the patient and its appearance in reality, in the psychotherapy cabinet.

But this coincidence is not senseless, a simple coincidence. By using the amplification method, Jung associates in connection with the scarab and comes to the concept of death and rebirth from the esoteric philosophy of antiquity, a process that, in a symbolic way, the patient should experience for a renewal and vitalization of her unilateral personality, the cause of the neurosis she was suffering from.
(cf. http://www.carl-jung.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)/synchronicity.html

This whole concept is completely ridiculous.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:27 am

Austin Harper wrote:
Carl-Jung.net wrote:The term synchronicity is coined by Jung to express a concept that belongs to him. It is about acausal connection of two or more psycho-physic phenomena. This concept was inspired to him by a patient's case that was in situation of impasse in treatment. Her exaggerate rationalism (animus inflation) was holding her back from assimilating unconscious materials. One night, the patient dreamt a golden scarab - cetonia aurata. The next day, during the psychotherapy session, a real insect this time, hit against the Jung's cabinet window. Jung caught it and discovered surprisingly that it was a golden scarab; a very rare presence for that climate.

So, the idea is all about coincidence: in this case, between the scarab dreamt by the patient and its appearance in reality, in the psychotherapy cabinet.

But this coincidence is not senseless, a simple coincidence. By using the amplification method, Jung associates in connection with the scarab and comes to the concept of death and rebirth from the esoteric philosophy of antiquity, a process that, in a symbolic way, the patient should experience for a renewal and vitalization of her unilateral personality, the cause of the neurosis she was suffering from.
(cf. http://www.carl-jung.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)/synchronicity.html

This whole concept is completely ridiculous.
Synchronicity is not the only fantasy humans like to nurture. God, Astrology, Homoeopathy, Christian Science etc. are other examples. It is hard to get rid of fantastic ideas unless one approaches it form the sense that I myself came into being as the result of a series of phenomena. I find around myself a pleasant environment full of favourable factors to sustain myself and thank God for arranging them for me. But the fact is that all those factors in the environment led to my birth. That's why I find them favourable.

In our country, you will find magic healers in every nook and corner who treat patients with medicines suggested to the healer in dream. You will also find many temples in which the idols were found in the places suggested by the respective deities in dreams of the priest. You will sometimes find children talking about places they have never visited in their short life and hence, were definitely inhabited by them in one of their earlier incarnations. Fantasy will be there, as there will be rational thinking. It's the kind of education you received, which determines the way you would like to go.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13354
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:49 am

I have high hopes for India, though.
True it is currently a hotbed of superstition, but that is from a superstitious past. I know a lot of Indian people, and I am always impressed by their basic intelligence, shrewdness, willingness to work hard, especially at being educated, and general progressiveness.

India is currently developing in leaps and bounds. Inevitably, it will pass most western nations, and become one of the two or three leading nations. Science is growing in India. If this continues, we can predict the decline of superstition.

In my country, for the first time in history, we have more religious non believers than believers. Superstition collapsing - wonderful! I see no reason why that should not also happen in India.

User avatar
Austin Harper
Has More Than 5K Posts
Posts: 5533
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Custom Title: Rock Chalk Astrohawk
Location: Detroit

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:16 am

Nabarun Ghoshal wrote:It is hard to get rid of fantastic ideas unless one approaches it form the sense that I myself came into being as the result of a series of phenomena. I find around myself a pleasant environment full of favourable factors to sustain myself and thank God for arranging them for me. But the fact is that all those factors in the environment led to my birth. That's why I find them favourable.
True, the particular series of asexually splitting cells and sexually mating progentiors that got together that ended up producing each of us was very unlikely (not to mention this planet forming in this manner around an adequate star in a nice section of the galaxy). I'm pretty pleased with the way things turned out, all things considered.
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

User avatar
JO 753
Has No Life
Posts: 14582
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 pm
Custom Title: rezident owtsidr
Location: BLaNDLaND

Re: Synchronicity

Post by JO 753 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:18 pm

Herez an angle that mite work:

Take your typical really dum guy, like 70 IQ. Altho he can function in society, read & rite, earn money at a simple job, he iznt very good at putting facts together and formulating a theory that explainz how thoze facts are associated.

An example situation:

"It wuz the wierdest thing! I find this rench set on the side uv the street. All there except the haf inch. Now get this! I'm walking along 2 minutes later and see sumthing shiny in the weeds. Believe it or not, its a goldang haf inch rench! THE SAME BRAND AZ THE SET! FITS RITE IN THE EMPTY SLOT! Wut are the oddz uv that?! Crazy coincidencez!"

To us, (or at least me) its not a coincidence at all. I can eazily imagine a beat up old work truck bouncing along the street with the tailgate open bekuz the ijit driving it iz still drunk and late for work, the whole set fallz out and the haf inch gets nocked out and tumblez a little farther, or wuz out uv the set before it fell and fell a few secondz later.
So, to me, all the detailz that made it seem more amazingly unlikely to the moron are exactly wut I woud expect.

Now take sumwun uv normal intelligence. An event that defiez chance will force him to try to think up sum sensible cauze, or maybe sum cauzer. But he cannot. Given hiz grasp uv reality, hiz education, all the knowledge in hiz hed and hiz ability to colate, synthesize, hypothisize and imagine, it still boilz down to coincidence.

Wut if its just bekuz hez not smart enuf? Same az the moron - the number uv facts and circumstancez are beyond hiz ability to juggle.

So suppoze there iz sum natural force uv order or intelligent entity controlling our livez or at least occasionally interacting with us. Wut if we simply arent smart enuf to make the connections between the myriad little events, patternz and factoidz that are raining on our limited sensez all the time?

Theze syncronicity events should be considered cluez, rather than simply dismissed az coincidence.

Nabarun Ghoshal
Regular Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:49 pm
Custom Title: In Search of Truth
Location: Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Nabarun Ghoshal » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:08 am

Lance Kennedy wrote: In my country, for the first time in history, we have more religious non believers than believers. Superstition collapsing - wonderful! I see no reason why that should not also happen in India.
Your country was born in the age of capitalism, a much advanced stage in human civilization. Ours is still a semi-feudal one, crippled by two hundred year-long colonial rule and still suffering under veiled colonial powers of different kinds who use the feudal forces as middlemen to steal our wealth in lieu of bribe. For their own survival, the feudal forces see to it that most people should remain in dark. This is the reason why a widespread scientific outlook is still a far cry in our country.

User avatar
Gnomon
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:37 am
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Gnomon » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:08 pm

From the Karl Jung account of the event (Wiki : Synchronicity :
It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata),
From the KarlJung.net quote by Austin Harper :
One night, the patient dreamt a golden scarab - cetonia aurata. The next day, during the psychotherapy session, a real insect this time, hit against the Jung's cabinet window. Jung caught it and discovered surprisingly that it was a golden scarab; a very rare presence for that climate.
This may be an example of the subtle mystification of a mundane event. Jung reported that it was "the nearest analogy to an Egyptian Golden Scarab" [what Americans call a June Bug]. The later account implies that it was an actual Egyptian Scarab , which would be quite magical under the circumstances. The coincidence of a Golden Scarab in a dream, and a Golden Scarab in real life would fit the mystical definition of Synchronicity : symbolic dream + symbolic object/event. But a symbolic Golden Scarab and a common June Bug fits the prosaic definition of Coincidence : symbolic dream + ordinary object. There's a subtle, but important difference between Analogous and Actual.

User avatar
Lance Kennedy
Has No Life
Posts: 13354
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:20 pm
Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Synchronicity

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:45 pm

Gnomon wrote:
This may be an example of the subtle mystification of a mundane event. Jung reported that it was "the nearest analogy to an Egyptian Golden Scarab" [what Americans call a June Bug]. The later account implies that it was an actual Egyptian Scarab , which would be quite magical under the circumstances.

That sounds like a much more rational interpretation.

The human mind is not the most reliable of witnesses. We have this habit of morphing reality into mythology when it suits. Carl Jung was also not the most reliable of pundits, since he was very much into mythology.

Researchers into eye witness events have proven solidly that an eye witness to a crime is one of the worst possible forms of evidence, since what they later report can differ markedly from what really happened. As good skeptics, we should bear this in mind whenever someone says : "I can prove it. Someone saw it!"

And yet, this most unreliable of all evidences is accepted by most people as the most convincing. Go figger.