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Emergent mess of probabilities there will always be uncanny

  1. May 31, 2009 #1
    Are coincidences meaningful?

    Part of me thinks I should know better, that in an emergent mess of probabilities there will always be uncanny coincidences.

    But they still seem to me to be the best chance at finding meaning in this far end of the probabilty curve we call earthly life.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2009 #2


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    Re: Synchronicity

    No; otherwise, it wouldn't be a coincidence. :tongue:
  4. Jun 4, 2009 #3
    Re: Synchronicity

    Just a speculation. Cause and effect understood in the context of Einstein's space-time block universe is only a pattern.* Imagine a line that wanders back and forth. Point A in the drawing cannot be said to cause point B. Imagine that a line of cause and effect is seen from looking at space-time from another angle. What was labeled " cause and effect" can just as easily be labeled synchronicity. Cause and effect is just as weird and mysterious as synchronicity. There is only one mystery. Why is the universe ( Einstein's block space-time universe) full of patterns?

    * The concept " cause and effect" erroneously implies that time moves. That the present moment moves towards the future.
  5. Jun 5, 2009 #4
    Re: Synchronicity

    How can the present 'move'? No idea.
  6. Jun 5, 2009 #5
    Re: Synchronicity

    So cause and effect is simply a convenient assumption?

    Makes you wonder, you know
  7. Jun 5, 2009 #6
    Re: Synchronicity

    Exactly! Unfortunetly the idea that time moves is the " common sense " view.
  8. Jun 5, 2009 #7
    Re: Synchronicity

    Hume can explain this better than I . See the last paragraph of this site. I will do better ( as regards to finding a better site)but I am off to work now.
    http://academics.vmi.edu/psy_dr/Hume%20on%20induction%20and%20causation.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Jun 5, 2009 #8
    Re: Synchronicity

    In the final weeks of his life, Albert Einstein learned of the death of his old physicist friend Michele Besso from his Zurich student days six decades before. "He has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me," Einstein wrote to the Besso family. "That means nothing. For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubborn illusion."

    Shows the consequences of believing that time flows, our fear of death.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  10. Jun 5, 2009 #9
    Re: Synchronicity

    It appears that, in single instances of the operation of bodies, we never can, by our utmost scrutiny, discover any thing but one event following another, without being able to comprehend any force or power by which the cause operates, or any connexion between it and its supposed effect. The same difficulty occurs in contemplating the operations of mind on body- where we observe the motion of the latter to follow upon the volition of the former, but are not able to observe or conceive the tie which binds together the motion and volition, or the energy by which the mind produces this effect. The authority of the will over its own faculties and ideas is not a whit more comprehensible: So that, upon the whole, there appears not, throughout all nature, any one instance of connexion which is conceivable by us. All events seem entirely loose and separate. One event follows another; but we never can observe any tie between them. They seemed conjoined, but never connected. And as we can have no idea of any thing which never appeared to our outward sense or inward sentiment, the necessary conclusion seems to be that we have no idea of connexion or force at all, and that these words are absolutely without meaning, when employed either in philosophical reasonings or common life. (David Hume, 1737)
  11. Jun 5, 2009 #10
    Re: Synchronicity

    Hume died long before the term 'synchronicity' was even coined. And Jung gave it a decidedly metaphysical meaning, with his collective unconscious. As a radical empiricist, I don't think Hume would support that. Hume was referring to causation from an epistemological point of view. He wasn't denying causation, or talking metaphysics.
  12. Jun 5, 2009 #11
    Re: Synchronicity

    Yes, Hume never talked about synchronicity. I fail to see how that fact is related to what we are talking about. It would be like saying that the person that came up with the liar's paradox did not anticipate Godel's incompleteness theorem. So what? Yes, Godel used the liar paradox but the fact that its inventor did not anticipate Godel does not make Godel's reasoning invalid.
    As for Hume, I purposely used the term "labeled". In other words "cause and effect" are simply the wrong label to apply. Hume would not deny connections ( and this is pure Hume) he would deny NECESSARY connections.
  13. Jun 5, 2009 #12
    Re: Synchronicity

    Yes, I agree Hume was not talking metaphysics. That is the reason I used the word "labeled." In other words he was talking epistemology, the way we intellectually organize reality.
  14. Jun 5, 2009 #13
    Re: Synchronicity

    How can a radical empiricist believe in necessary connections?
  15. Jun 5, 2009 #14
    Re: Synchronicity

    By the way, I can tell that you are very intelligent and I am not insulting your intelligence. I must also make my point for other readers. So let me say this, I am not saying that Einstein used Hume to form his ideas, he may have I have no idea. But that is unrelated to what we are talking about.
  16. Jun 5, 2009 #15
    Re: Synchronicity

    Perhaps this will make the idea clearer. "Cause and effect" are like mathematical points. Very useful assumptions but mathematical points do not exist. How can anything that has zero volume exist?
  17. Jun 5, 2009 #16
    Re: Synchronicity

    Morpheus: "Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." :smile:
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  18. Jun 5, 2009 #17
    Re: Synchronicity

    Just a speculation... Replace "matrix" with "context" and see what happens!
  19. Jun 5, 2009 #18
    Re: Synchronicity

    Synchronicity presupposes an underlying metaphysical framework which is separate from observation.

    Hume was an empiricist, he was objecting to current 'understanding' of causation. He would not have embraced Jung's collective unconscious.

    Equivocating the value of synchronicity with causation is not something Hume would do.
  20. Jun 5, 2009 #19
    Re: Synchronicity

    I am confused. Why do you believe that I said that Hume would embrace Jung's collective unconscious ?
  21. Jun 5, 2009 #20
    Re: Synchronicity

    I believe I stated that already, synchronicity is a metaphysical framework separate from observation. As such, Hume would have no use for it.
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