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When does a coincidence, stop being a coincidence?


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I didn't know I had to reply or that I was avoiding it...


I think I said in the post to Shadow, that I couldn't have said it better my self. So that should tell you, that he said what I wanted to say, in a manner of speaking of course =). So in a way, I did reply to you, hehe.


-Javier C.


P.S. Shadow isn't the one here showing a cocky attitude. I think you have that backwards. That's you =).


<This message has been edited by TimeTravelActivist (edited 12 July 2000).>



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Hey, tit for tat. Look at the 'Old Science does...', where you nitpicked me for not responding as 'promptly' as you saw fit.


Maybe you didn't read the earlier post... I said,


"Is the Kennedy-Lincoln 'link' still a meaningful coincidence if such a list can be drawn up for any two marginally similar historical figures? I'm willing to bet that just that could be done. That was the whole point of my numerical look at each of the points. If the event is not unlikely, it can't truly be called a coincidence, can it?"


Care to respond? Or shall I assume you have no rebuttal?



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How was I supposed to know that post was directed to me? If you didn't specify to who was it for?


No wait, I see it now. I didn't see my username the first time. I was in a hurry when I read it I suppose.


Next time you should make individual posts for individual people. It would stand out more. It wasn't like the last time when you took forever to respond. Cause it was plainly clear that the post was for you. Where in this case, I didn't notice my name in 1 of your paragraphs, cause I thought it was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo, and didn't care to read it (I had a very important long distance call to make =).


Next time, start the heading with my name, and I will take notice.


And as for your response of your number system. You still didn't answer my post saying, that not every case is explainable by stat analysis.


I agree with you in some way about finding some similarities with historical figures. I for example, have the same birthday as Buddha, William Woodsworth, Jackie Chang, and many more influencial people in history =). And I am also a Martial Artist, 6 ½ years, black belt.


And there's another thing I think is just about impossible. That my father and brother have the same birthday. My half- sister has the same birthday as my cousin. And my cousin's son has the same birthday as me. Oh, and I almost forgot. I have the same birthday as my great great grandfather.


There 365 days in a year. Somehow, in just 2 generations, my immediate family has now had 3 (me included) individuals with the same birthday. And I know there's more to come in the future. And that's not taking into account my personal experiences with coincidences, and my family. I'm not the only 1.


So stats, numbers. I don't think applies to me that much =P. Maybe they do to you.


-Javier C.


<This message has been edited by TimeTravelActivist (edited 13 July 2000).>



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Dirty Harry and other TV cops don't believe in 'coincidence' why should I? Then on the other hand (or in the other hand) "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".


Cleverness and stupidity are such close cousins?! Don't you agree? Wich brings us I suppose, to the fourth law of logic: "THE IDENTIY OF OPPOSITES".


So I believe that I can answer TTA's question. Things are not a coincidence when they are not a coincidence (and visa versa). Mostly. in other words, you CAN'T tell the difference. Statistics merely tell us what is likely an odd chance and what is likely an information containing pattern.



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TTA, okay, this is a good example I can use to illustrate to you how stats work. First I need a bit of background info, though; how many people in your immediate family (I mean, parents (step- included), siblings, and any other people you'd consider it odd to have the same birthday as (nieces, nephews, whatever))? Not anything really personal; just a number. Then, I can give you rough calculations on how likely having three birthdays the same is in that group.


And, well, stats apply to everyone. If you flip a coin, does it not come up either heads or tails?




"Cleverness and stupidity are such close cousins?! Don't you agree?"


Of course not. Cleverness implies intelligence, while stupidity implies ignorance.


As for the end of your post, you said that stats "tell us what is likely an odd chance and what is likely an information containing pattern." Is that not the same as identifying a coincidence? If not, what's the difference?



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Maybe stats apply to us all in some way, but I fail to see how it could be so simplified to it being like flipping a coin (and having it be heads or tails, 1 or the other), and having it all up to chance.


What will it take Man, it's so clear to see? It's impossible for a teacup to break the same way twice.


If your stats can prove that, how it is possible to get the same breaks of a tea cup the same way twice, then you won me over for good.


But if you can't, then I'll know that not all things are how you say they are. I already know you don't have the right path nature and life leads. Since you lack the kinds of perceptions people like me have. You must learn to see both sides to an issue. Not just 1.


Nevertheless, until then, I know that my personal life experiences tell other wise. The Gut knows, just how the nose knows =).


Any way's, I have 2 brothers and sisters, and 2 half- brothers and sisters. And only 4 cousins, all female. I guess now I shall wait to see how your stat analysis somehow justifies these possibilities of having the same birthday. Can't wait to hear your explanation =). Haha.




Javier C.



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To my fellow scientists: Quantum Physics is a Dynamic revolution of patterns all which are involved into a system of teclucionoids shifted through the phase of time which is phased by the actions of every


inversed decision made through the existance of our lifetime. If the phase variants of the quantum implosion is altered by thermionic transconductants then the increased time distortion will cancel out to .7394 gravitational pull on the nucleoid atoms releasing various gases involving situoatide and fluxadite menatoids through the exhausts of biochemical gases. Your colleague, Dr. Doak PhD.



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If we say that " 'blob x' is LIKELY (to be) a beer can" have we identified it? No, truths can be indicated through statistics but stats should never be construed -as- truth.


When likelyhood approches 100% we call it actuality. This begs the question 'does 100% certainty ever exist or is it just approximated'.


This ones for you Bud "does the future become the past at the moment that a 99.99999999% probable event becomes 100% the way it is?"



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Well, I don't think you could have stated the numbers in a more confusing way than you did; do you mean you have 2 brothers and 2 sisters? or just 2 siblings total? I'll assume the latter for arguments' sake. (This weakens my case - if you have more siblings, the 3 birthdays become more likely.)


So you have, in total, 3 parents + 4 siblings + 4 cousins + you = 12 people in the group where it would be 'odd' to have 3 peoples' birthdays the same. And a total of 365 days that birthday could be.


A word about notation; in stats it's most simple to express probabilities as fractions between 1 and 0, rather than percentages. By this (linear) scale, 1 is an absolute certainty, and 0 and absolute impossibility (neither of which actually exist in reality). If you still feel the need to convert a number into a percentage, just multiply by 100; thus odds of .5 are the same as 50%.


Now for the math.


Let's start with a group of 10 people all with different birthdays, and find the odds that the next two people would share one of those birthdays. This gives 10/365 that one will share the birthday, and 10/365 * 1/365 = .00007506 that the third will share the same. So far not terribly good odds - still better than the 6/49 lottery, though. But, there's more. That group of ten we started with has odds of already sharing a birthday. The odds that 10 randomly picked birthdays will all be different is 365/365 * 364/365 * 363/365 * ... * 356/365 = .8830 , which means the odds they'll already have two dates shared is .1170 and then, factoring in the two people we left out, the odds of three same birthdays is .1170 * 2/365 = .0006408 . Combining this and the previous answer, we get .0006408 + .00007506 * .8830 = .0007071 which is (1/.0007071 = 1414) roughly 1 in 1500 . Pretty decent odds for what you consider a freak occurance.


To guarantee the same odds when playing a 6/49 lottery, you would have to buy 49C6 * .0007071 = almost 10,000 tickets. In the world there are probably about 6,000,000,000 * .0007071 = 4.24 million families with the same 'coincidence' - though it can hardly be called a coincidence in the presence of such a large number of occurences. If you know about 500 people (from different families), odds are roughly (1 - .0007071)^500 = 30% that one of them will have witnessed the same 'coincidence'.


If anyone else reading this knows a bit of stats, I'd appreciate a double-check.


As for the teacup thing, well, yeah, stats says that it's extremely unlikely, almost infinitesimally likely, that a teacup would break the same way twice. The odds of each crack happening in the exact same place are overwhelmingly small. So in effect, it says that it's 'impossible' - to the degree that anything can be impossible.




It's a tough realm, applying stats to real life, because they're by nature not the easy answers we're looking for. Just because something has a 99.99999% chance of being a beer can doesn't mean it actually is one. If you want to look at it from that point of view, all reality is subjective because there's an infinitesimally small chance that everything one percieves was actually a fluke accident of the light, and never really happened. Even events in the past are not 100% certain; Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Quantum experiments have been done in which the actual physical reality of what happened to a photon is changed, after the fact, by measurement.



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I see the past is an open topic yet also closed..Can we determine if the past exists? Does the past exist? Yes, coincidinces will stop being coincidinces when the pattern of nethoualagoly has performed it's course. Thenacolaty mencalosis is the count onto which the horizontel axis is angled many things rely on this to take place(that should clear things up),thanks.


<This message has been edited by Prof. Doak PhD (edited 15 July 2000).>



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Janus your explanation is invalid. I didn't say my family were strangers. Duh, their my family, my blood.


Your entire explanation was on the assumption of any 10 people, being stranger having the same birthday.


You failed to answer my direct question, and to prove your case. I told you, I have 2 brothers and sisters. And 2 half brothers and sisters (step siblings). Plus 4 cousins... My brother has the same birthday as my father; my stepsister has the same birthday as my cousin. While my cousin's son, has my birthday. And me having the same birthday as my great great grandfather.


(Can't believe you didn't understand this the first time... It's easier to understand then your posts :))


Want to take another crack at it?


Have a nice day,


Javier C.


<This message has been edited by TimeTravelActivist (edited 16 July 2000).>



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TTA, since you admittedly know absolutely nothing about stats, you cannot validly argue against my points. I don't know why I'm bothering to try to explain, but:


I took a group of 12 people. that's any ten people. Could be your family, could be your friends, anybody. The odds that such a group would have 3 same birthdays is as stated above. Logically if any group like this can have decent odds of that event occuring, then it invalidates your claim that your family is somehow unique. I know you'll come up with some half-baked, poorly thought out rebuttal to this, but it'll be invalid. This is how stats works. The odds are the same for any group of 12 people in a randomly-birthday-distributed population.


And, no, I won't do the stats for the rest of your bloody family, because no matter how likely I prove it to be, you'll just say 'That doesn't apply to me' and walk away, thinking you've won the argument. Every time you post, it seems, your arguments contain less and less sense. Tell me if you want to have an actual discussion, based on reason and common sense.



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Janus, you said "I know you'll come up with some half-baked, poorly thought out rebuttal to this, but it'll be invalid."


According to you then, all things can be explained by your stats. And whatever I or anyone else says opposing your explanation is wrong?


Wow, I don't think I ever seen an Ego that big :).


I wonder if I made any sense there. Did I Janus, could you understand me?


Sure, I admit, math isn't my forte. I'm more of a right-brained person. So does that make me any less capable to play on your field? Perhaps :), but that doesn't mean I can't practice my swing.


After all, where would science be without us right brained people =). No Air planes perhaps, no Television, no Internet.


Cause all that took inspiration, imagination. As illogical as that may sound to you, it's what drives man to expand his world.


I will now conclude this post with quotes of a great Scientist who was very creative and was a fellow string player (like me). Who helped shape our understanding of Math, Science, and Reality, never to be the same again. It's none other, then the man of the 20th Century. -Albert Einstein-


"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."


"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods."


"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."


"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."


"What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck," for the October 26, 1929 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.




"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."


"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason


for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."


"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who read too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."


"Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends. But


mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to form in the social life of man."


"During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief. The opinion prevailed amoung advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed. According to this conception, the sole function of education was to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people's education, must serve that end exclusively."


Quoting Newton


"We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organised that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man's actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much aloke in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organising factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts."


"Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. If one asks the whence derives the authority of fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justifed merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgements of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities. One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly."



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  • 2 weeks later...

Omega Chaos Gilgamesh,


What did I ever do to you? Why you acting so immature? Didn't you get enough of Final Fantasy 5? Didn't think I knew that did ya :)?


Well who's gonna wanna be a friend with a person who's name has Omega-Chaos-&-Gilamesh (which by the way is a name of a powerful enemy in FF5).


That would be like trusting your kids with a baby siter named Krugger :) or Mrs. Boggieman. Well you get my point.


So that's that :).


-Javier C.



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So this is the kind of friends Janus has :)? That explains alot.


I won't respond to you. I won't waste my time; you seem to be having lots of fun anyways.


Just heed this 1 warning Chaos. "What goes around, comes around."


There's no better way to disperse arrogance and immaturity, when it's time to pay your dues :).


-Javier C.



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