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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 03:20 pm:   

On saturday I was in Manchester - first weekend after payday - and doing a bit of book shopping. I'd just picked up a first ed of Lisey's story for 5 and Robert Bloch's Atoms and Evil collection for 3.50 from my favourite second hand shop and I thought I'd pop down to waterstone to pick up a copy of Tide of Souls.

Who should I run into at the horror section of waterstone but Mr Bestwick himself... We had a jolly little chat and he signed my copy after I bought it.

What are the odds against that then eh?

Unless Mr B has been waiting round the horror section deliberately to persuade people to buy his book...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 03:27 pm:   

Roll with it Weber... and all will make sense.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.234.46
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 03:52 pm:   

Maybe it's not a "coincidence" at all? Maybe he's always there in that section of books?

Speculating on "coincidence" - that's not breaking the theme of this thread too much - there are literally countless co-incidents in our every day life. 1) I pour my coffee, is co-incidental with 2) I trip on the carpet. I could co-incident-ize any number of incidents in any given day. We wouldn't, because 99.9% of them would appear unrelated, co-incident-ized. But we do tend to think of our lives as composed of such incidents as it is ("What did you do today?" "Well, I [a] woke up and then [b] had some coffee and then [c] turned on the news," etc.)

So thousands and thousands of "incidents" are flying by every day, every week, here and gone... they pile up pile up pile up... and so what are the chances two are NOT going to be somehow seeming to have been related?... eventually, everyone everywhere, will experience a startling coincidence, but that could be merely because everyone everywhere has to, simply by sheer odds....
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 03:59 pm:   

I think the magic ones happen to you when you're really needing them, then they speak to you. It's all in the timing.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.234.46
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:01 pm:   

I could counter with your mind is interpreting it that way, Tony... but then, that's like someone saying, "Are you happy, or do you just think you're happy?"... thinking/perceiving IS reality... so....
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:14 pm:   

I've encountered them when I've been happy; I sort of delved into bhuddism for a while and they started coming thick and fast. But again - maybe the universe is clever and hides itself when we look too hard. It's a great escape clause, that one, thank God.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:31 pm:   

We create our own luck by choosing what to concentrate on... it's all really very simple.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.245.232
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:43 pm:   

We create our own luck by choosing what to concentrate on... it's all really very simple.

When's the last time you won the lottery, Stephen?...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:49 pm:   

Exactly my point Craig: by concentrating on trying to win the Lottery we make ourselves miserable.
At least 99.99999999% of us do anyway.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:51 pm:   

When I first did the lottery in the week it started I made my family sit together and shout the numbers at the screen. We won almost two hundred pounds. The next week we did the same - and won fifty. The third week we shouted a little more feebly, hearts not really in it, probably out of disbelief. We won zip.
Recently Derren Brown did this same experiment, getting a bunch of people to shout the numbers he'd chosen; it worked.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:53 pm:   

I have come to decide that winning money isn't the answer to anything. I was once told by a friend that we had had all our birthday numbers come up one week - I shocked myself by not feeling remotely bothered.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.245.232
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:53 pm:   

That's all it takes?!?

[clears throat] Ahem! *cough*cough* Me-me-me-me-meeeee!

-- oh, wait - you gotta have a lottery ticket first, don't you?...
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 04:55 pm:   

Yup! ;)
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 05:18 pm:   

I've experienced several spectacular coincidences. One recent contender involves the folk who moved into the house opposite ours a couple of years ago. Melanie turned out to teach cello in the very grammar school I attended in Liverpool, ten miles or more away across the river. That's interesting, but what really makes this worth mentioning is that her mother proved to be Charles Platt's aunt by marriage. That's Charles Platt the science fiction writer, with whom I stayed in London shortly after leaving the school mentioned above.

In another instance I wrote a fan letter to an author with whom I shared a publisher. It wasn't until he phoned me that I learned he had grown up in the very road in which I now live.

One more: some years ago at an American convention, John Pelan gave me a copy of the latest Midnight House book, a collection of tales by the Weird Tales contributor G. G. Pendarves. When I read Mike Ashley's introduction I learned that she's buried just up the road from my house. I hadn't even known she lived on Merseyside.

The most spectacular of all involves my introduction to Niki Flynn's memoir, but that's a lengthy anecdote.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 - 05:44 pm:   

Your experiences are by no means unique Ramsey. I'm sure everyone on this site has a wealth of similar stories to tell. But tell the Niki story anyway!

If there is a super-consciousness in the universe (of which we are all equal parts) then it makes sense we should all experience equally mystifying strings of coincidence as every conscious decision made by the apparent "individual" must impact on every other "individual".

Some mathematical genius would need to work out the odds of each of us having such stories to tell. Only then could we say it is all down to chance. I for one believe such meaningful patterns (as opposed to one-off events) are way beyond anything that can be explained by mere probability when you consider the short length of time the human race (irrespective of language or culture) has been around on this planet and in this universe.

I've said it before but a study of twins should be the scientific community's first priority when they finally get around to taking this stuff seriously.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.240.231
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 08:32 am:   

But what does it MEAN, Ramsey?... Stephen?... anyone?...

If I find human footprints in a forest, the only statement I can make is: a human being has been here. I can perhaps guess if it's a man, or woman - conjecture purely. I can perhaps guess when this person was there, by their freshness or not. I can guess the person did or did not wear shoes. It's larger significances, the nature of said being, it's relevance to myself - all completely inscrutable. I brushed with another entity or entities, both of us separated by time - so what?

Really: so... what?....

And why do people really build whole belief systems and philosophies and religions around such found footprints?...
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 93.96.181.75
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 09:14 am:   

For the same reason we like to believe in ghosts: fear of the unknown. Ghosts make death seem less final.
And coincidence gives our little lives meaning.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 213.158.199.69
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 09:45 am:   

Craig - you're the equivalent of a 21st century philosophical Scrooge Though part me does actually, unbelievable as it seems, agree with you. Then again, the romantic in me wearily shakes his head.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 10:28 am:   

But what does it MEAN, Ramsey?... Stephen?... anyone?...

Most of the time it's a matter of having a specific mindset (and we all have our mindsets) which will alert you to given situations and incidents. Jung called this '(meaningful) synchronicity', i.e. the given that certain conjunctions (convergences?) of events will have a definite meaning to a single individual and to him/her alone, not to anyone else. Whence the specificness of the events? Every human mind has its own neurological 'shape', in accordance with whatever has befallen him/her from birth to the present. Thus a stamp collector will be permanently on the lookout for new and interesting finds, while we would only see the unusual item, e.g. on a letter from Japan or India. 'Coincidences' are happening all the time, but you have to have a specific mindset to be aware of the specific event. Am I making myself clear? Sometimes I'm unsure about my ramblings.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12:04 pm:   

Let's take one example of a meaningful coincidence: the person who loses a ring or other valued item of jewellery over the side of a boat at sea and the item is then (after being given up as irredeemably lost) returned to them after the fish that swallowed it is caught (sometimes by the very person who lost it) after a gap sometimes lasting years.

What is the probability of this happening even once in the relatively short history of say the English speaking language? Yet happen it does... frequently (as is well documented in that august journal the Fortean Times month after month after month).

The same goes for those brothers/sisters/twins who are separated at a young age (if not at birth), without ever knowing their sibling, yet who go on to lead parallel lives of startling similarity that often come to light as adults by the most incredible of chance meetings.

Is this really all explicable by mere probability or is there a patterning force in the universe that links all our minds and experiences? For me this is the most fundamental question to be asked about the very concept of life, consciousness, awareness and the whole marvellous shebang!
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12:07 pm:   

I think Simon was just hanging round the horror section pimping his book to strangers and it wouldn't have mattered what time I got there. No coincincidence at all really.

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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 01:17 pm:   

the person who loses a ring or other valued item of jewellery over the side of a boat at sea and the item is then (after being given up as irredeemably lost) returned to them after the fish that swallowed it is caught (sometimes by the very person who lost it) after a gap sometimes lasting years

Curiously this sort of thing has never happened to me or to anyone I know. While I've never read Fortean Times I own and have leafed through a copy of Fort's The Book of the Damned and it certainly makes for pleasant reading. I'm certain that the universe is much more than it purports to be - see the uttely baffling Bell theorem which holds that there is an exchange of information between subatomic particles wherever they are located. A patterning force that links everything together? Who knows.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 01:22 pm:   

In Weber and Simon's case, once you know they're both searchers after horror (literature) it stands to reason there's more than a fair chance of a 'coincidental' meeting.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 193.109.254.19
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 01:25 pm:   

Many years back I stayed in Devon with my then girlfriend and we went to an Indian Restaurant in Plymouth. We found that the owner used to live two miles from my house, and his wife was born in Chatham, which was where my girlfriend grew up...
Tony, that Derren Brown "shouting the numbers" thing didn't actually 'work'!
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 02:21 pm:   

and could have been done with simple split screen filming
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 02:37 pm:   

"But what does it MEAN, Ramsey?... Stephen?... anyone?..."

Why does it need to mean anything? But it suggests to me a glimpse of larger patterns - a hint of the unknown (and thank God that still exists).

One more - no kidding:

When I'd made my previous posting on this thread I went to the bank and dropped in at our local second-hand DVD shop, where I bought a copy of the film The Dark, which we viewed when I got home. Only then did I realise it's based on Simon Maginn's 1993 novel Sheep. After watching it I took out my advance copy of the novel, for which I provided a quote, and realised I'd quite forgotten that the author had subsequently dropped me a line. In that letter he mentions that he was born round the corner from our present house - very much like the other author I mentioned in my previous posting here.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.26.59.237
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:10 pm:   

It's a small world and there are only 26 letters in our alphabet.

There. That's solved any and all mysteries. :-)
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:21 pm:   

Apparently if you run into another English person abraod it's only a fifty fifty chance that you'll know someone who knows someone that they know - e.g. your milkman is their cousin's ex boyfriend sort of thing.

The reasoning behind that is that we all know an average of 2000 people on sight (whether or not you know their names.each of those 2000 people knows 2000 people and so on. By the time you get to the 4th level of that you've got half the population of the country (even taking into account duplicated people)
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:24 pm:   

Speaking of milkmen, my Aunty once came home early from work and found her husband in bed with the milkman.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:26 pm:   

If you roll the dice, sooner or later they'll all show the same number. No REASON behind that, either. The chance of it happening is governed by mathematical laws, but that is all.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.243.30
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:33 pm:   

"Ghosts make death less final," Kate writes, "and coincidence gives our little lives meaning." But lurking behind this statement - is an essential, concrete disbelief. We don't believe, or even know, what it is that is the message behind the "coincidence" - we never can, but we build rather elaborate myth-structures around them. Coincidences and such seem to become the equivalent of the Christmas season: a time (i.e., this can't go on and on, this amazement) for warm thoughts, gift-giving, feelings of warmth and human kindness, exactly because we know it is a fantasy that can't sustain reality.

... er, now I'm making Frank truly believe I'm a Scrooge.... Which I'm not, I don't think I am.

We are amused or bemused or distracted by the kinds of coincidences that Ramsey, et.al., speak of... but I don't see how one can dare make a step beyond it....

Fish swallow shiny things and then are caught and eaten - if weddings rings were made of dull, unreflective rock, they might not swallow them. We'd have to experiment. And in the control group, we'd have to know precisely how many shiny rings went overboard and were never recovered. And why. And so the power of anecdotal evidence would be shattered. And the one experimenting called a Scrooge, because he didn't just let go and just believe in the wonderful warm goodness of it all.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:41 pm:   

You bloody scrooge.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.243.30
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 03:44 pm:   

Why don't you reveal the REAL "coincidence," Weber... you know, that you're the milkman?...
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 93.96.181.75
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:01 pm:   

I'm a romantic, Craig. Or even a Romantic.

I *want* to believe in ghosts and I delight in coincidences. The logical part of me tries to make sense of chaos while the other 99% of me thrives on the unpredictability.

Dude, I shoulda been a hippie. But sandals just don't go with corsets!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:05 pm:   

I think coincidence is the universe reassuring us, letting us know things are ok.
It's daft, but I like it.
Ah yes, the Derren Brown thing. But didn't he say he was trying to do what I did, and explained how it worked, or should?
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:06 pm:   

The mathematical explanation is perfectly feasible and backed up by the human's mind innate propensity to search for patterns in everything.

However, the other explanation of an unknown (to us) force in nature being responsible - a consciousness to which we are all linked that builds such patterns around us - is equally feasible and worthy of scientific/mathematical study.

Has anyone ever tried Jung's experiment of keeping a coincidence diary? Apparently once you get started the weird happenings start accumulating hand over fist... kind of like what John Keel wrote about in 'The Mothman Prophecies'. Sounds fun to me.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:09 pm:   

human mind's... sigh
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.116
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:10 pm:   

They do. As they did in my 'bhuddist' phase. It was like an ongoing conversation with the universe - literally the bouncing back and forth of questions and answers. I'm positive the answers were becoming more meaningful.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:19 pm:   

Has anyone ever tried Jung's experiment of keeping a coincidence diary? Apparently once you get started the weird happenings start accumulating hand over fist...

Of course they do, since you're focused on them. This doesn't mean that in the absence of such a diary these things don't occur; but you don't notice them, so why would you believe they occur at all?
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:33 pm:   

Again the pattern seeking mathematical explanation and the conscious/aware universe theory are equally viable. I would rule out neither possibility and it's always fun to theorise.

We really need a super-computer number crunching all these random yet meaningful events to see if anything truly inexplicable is going on. I think there's enough suggestive evidence to merit serious investigation instead of just shrugging theses things off as inevitable.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 04:55 pm:   

But then you might cause a flashforward and kill 20,000,000 people. (I'm loving that show so far)
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.3.226
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 05:19 pm:   

I have my own theory of deja-vu: To boil it down to simplicity, I believe it goes like this normally - we (1) see something, then (2) we mentally process it, and then (3) it goes into the memory bank, whereupon it's referred to (3a) immediately and in the future (long-term, short-term memory).

So the process runs, at virtual light-speeds: 1, 2, 3, 3a

But during deja-vu, for some unknown reason, the brain/mind shorts, and the process runs: 1, 3, 3/a, 2. There is no reason why information can't go right into "storage chambers" before the RAM conscious mind can process it in "real time." Therefore, again at light speeds, the illusion is that as the RAM mind (2) is finally processing the information being received, it's already gone into (3) and showing up in (3/a) the memory banks - it's already happened, and the RAM mind is confused, as the deja vu persists for some moments - it rarely ever extends beyond a few moments; and more significantly, it rarely ever is less than an extended moment.

... it is possible experiencing coincidences is the mind going through some similar convolutions....
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 05:34 pm:   

>>Again the pattern seeking mathematical explanation and the conscious/aware universe theory are equally viable. I would rule out neither possibility and it's always fun to theorise. <<

How about the psychological process of perception theory? As Craig says: "... it is possible experiencing coincidences is the mind going through some similar convolutions...."

In my opinion, we see these random patterns of occurences and try to make sense of them, to organise them in our minds. What ever theory we come up with to explain them is perfectly correct to US as individuals - it's just our way of making sense of the world around us. So, we may see them as random patterns (as I do) - pure coincidence, or ascribe some greater meaning to them - like having some cosmic presence (God? nature?) which makes everything happen the way it does.

No-one is wrong, and no-one is right, it's just our mind's way of making sense of things as individuals. That's my opinion anyway - my way of making sense of it.

By the way, I was in Manchester city centre on Saturday too (though not in the bookshop by the horror shelf). Considering I haven't been there for about 2 years you could call that a coincidence too.

I think someone further up the thread put their finger on it. I don't know whether Simon B lives in or near Manchester, or regularly goes there, but if he does (and the fact that Weber does too), this narrows down the probability that two horror fans might meet by the horror shelf in a bookshop in the same city on the same day. Pure coincidence, I reckon. Oh heck, I'm agreeing with Craig, I think!
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 05:37 pm:   

I see where you're coming from Craig and it's a neat theory. Kinda like the brain going through a momentary glitch perhaps because of misfiring synapses. We know the eyes can be fooled into seeing what's not there so why not the brain into "remembering" what hasn't happened before.

Then again could deja-vu be down to one of those forgotten dream images of the night before that showed us a glimpse of what we perceive (in our linear existence) as yet to happen when in actual fact (on the scale of the infinite) time is all an illusion and everything is always happening simultaneously all around us.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 05:43 pm:   

Simon does indeed live only a couple of miles away from me. Meeting by that bookshelf wouldn't have been much of a coincidence except that I went there specifically to pick up a copy of his book - and there he was.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:18 pm:   

Craig, I think what you are referring to is mnemotic selection. Subconscious speculation about an important matter may conjure forth a number of possible outcomes. The event occurs and the mind prefers to recall the one outcome which is spot-on, blocking out the other possibilities. The one striking incident is remembered and the dozens or hundreds of bad guesses are forgotten. This is how the mind works, (un)fortunately.

Weber: sure, that narrows it down, but isn't it only further proof of what I pointed out further up?
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:25 pm:   

What narrows it down? The possibilty of a flashforward (great show), or Simon just living down the road?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:34 pm:   

Not only are you both horror connoisseurs, you're both in the same shop because of the same book. If the two of you knew the book was there (and I think such is the case) the chance of a meeting becomes infinitely greater.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:37 pm:   

Why would Simon be there because of his own book wot he writed?
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:38 pm:   

Are you seriously suggesting that Simon hangs round the horror section of waterstone waiting for people to look at his book?
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:44 pm:   

Not consciously, perhaps. In the end it's all speculation of course, but a police inspector once told me there IS no such thing as 'coincidence', and I tend to believe him.
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Gcw (Gcw)
Username: Gcw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.167.117.66
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:51 pm:   

You wouldn't believe it...Of all the people on t'internet you could find you live near....

Nah. I don't want to think about it.

gcw
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 194.75.171.106
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 06:53 pm:   

Oi!

;)
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 07:56 pm:   

What we really need to know, then, is this: what were you actually doing in that bookshop by that particular shelf on that Saturday of all days, Simon?
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Gcw (Gcw)
Username: Gcw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.167.117.66
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 08:00 pm:   

I was talking about myself actually Simon...:-)

gcw
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 194.75.171.106
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 09:13 pm:   

Nae worries, Gcw...

Caroline- sorry to disappoint, but there was no sinister intent, I'm afraid. I was just in search of a copy of 'Decay Inevitable' by Conrad Williams. Which I found, and am finding very good indeed. So we're all happy then (as long as Weber's enjoying his purchase!)
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 09:17 pm:   

Does Manchester Waterstones have a better horror section than most Waterstones then? It sounds like they have a better selection of authors than my local one.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.21.233.246
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 09:35 pm:   

Somehow I have the feeling that I'm being misunderstood
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 10:36 am:   

The Waterstone's in Manchester is surely one of the best in Britain for horror. It has a dedicated horror anthology section, which very others that I've been into have. When I worked in Manchester, I used to haunt that area every lunchtime,and occasionally ran into familiar like-minded folk. But the really mysterious series of meetings began when I started running regularly into former small press luminary Joe Rattigan. Every time I ventured in, he was browsing shiftily (much, I suspect, as Simon was), or peeking round a bookcase at me, or grinning from the other side of the shelves as I removed a book. And then later on I learned that he worked there. Ah well ... as someone else said, there's no such thing as a coincidence.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 10:40 am:   

Is that the really annoying Waterstones that charges 3.99 instead of 2.99 for those much cherished Wordsworth edition horror reprints?

On my last trip to Manchester in May that really pissed me off as I subsequently have been in other Waterstones who were still charging the stipulated 2.99. How would I ever have read 'The Beetle' otherwise?
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 10:40 am:   

Yes, the Manchester Waterstones has an excellent horror section - much better than the pathetic one in Leeds, anyway.

Joe Rattigan...whatever happened to him? The self-proclaimed future of horror, wasn't he?
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 11:50 am:   

I don't know what Joe's doing these days. I don't remember him proclaiming himself to be the future of horror; I remember him sinking a lot of ale in Manchester city centre pubs, and any one of us in that dodgy crowd might have made such an idle boast. He was a one-man publishing industry for a time - back in that brief golden age when the Brit small press boasted dozens of smashing little mags.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 11:54 am:   

But if there's "no such thing as a coincidence" then everything happens for a reason and to a pattern which goes some way toward proving my theory of the aware universe to which we are all inextricably linked. QED.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.228.92
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 12:50 pm:   

I don't know whether the universe is aware, but I'm pretty cerrtain there's a lot of unaware people in it.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.23.233.247
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 01:44 pm:   

One day science and reason will entirely beat out any wonder left in our lives. I know it sometimes creates it, but so often it's like getting a technical drawing set for xmas when what you wanted was an action man... :-(
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.228.92
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 01:51 pm:   

it's like getting a technical drawing set for xmas when what you wanted was an action man...

That's a great sentence, Tony! I'm sure we all know the feeling.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.23.233.247
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 01:55 pm:   

Thenk yew...
Sorry I'm still on a downer - was scrabbling up a bit thanks to all the kind comments here then went to get my bike and found my youngest's replacement bike (for the other stolen bike a couple of months back) had been stolen! Another 150 quid. Feel ... strangely blank today; a change from the usual shit.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.228.29
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 04:26 pm:   

How are these bikes getting stolen, Tony?!? Where are they kept?

What if - speculating on coincidences now - what if they are not so much co-incidents, as magnetically charged incidents?...

I mentioned on some other thread, I think, my seeing a girl from behind I thought was someone else, and then later in the day, seeing this girl in reality - did my strong belief send a ripple out into the Universe, that called to her?... (She did, actually, come by just to say "hi," for no real reason.)

Ramsey's mentioned coincidences of place - authors who lived here and there around him - there's precedence of a sort for this in the writings of Carlos Casteneda, who claims that all living creatures seek out their ideal "spots": a cat will curl up in a seemingly random place in your home repeatedly, not on a whim, but because there is an energy there that is beneficial - and such energy locations are places we all instinctually seek, or should allow our instincts to locate. Is it possible, tinkering that a bit, that the places Ramsey mentions, are either energetically invigorating to writers - or, chicken and egg here - writers are creating an attractive energy there?...
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 04:40 pm:   

Like the tardis has to land in Cardiff centre to recharge...
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.234.90
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 04:50 pm:   

That section in your Waterstones, its energy attracts horror stories, and then horror fans, and horror writers... before that bookstore was ever there, that section was spouting this energy out upon the land... it used to be the site of terrible Druid sacrifices, and before that, loathsome neanderthal murders... and before that... thank the gods its vile psychic bilge is somewhat capped now, and only attracts the likes of Weber....
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 05:02 pm:   

and simon...

care to comment Simon?
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.234.90
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 05:07 pm:   

Simon's more like the priest or professor or Van Helsing-ish character, drawn to such malevolent places to make sure their evil energies are secure... so you can imagine how you must have startled him appearing there like you did, Weber....

Curious - did he make the sign of the cross in your face at all? Throw holy water on you?...

Why, you ask? No reason, Weber, think nothing of it.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 05:21 pm:   

That section of Waterstones is on what you yanks call the second floor, 15 feet above the ground. It must have been the site of some massive soil erosion before they built the shop there.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Monday, February 08, 2010 - 05:34 pm:   

I finally got round to starting Tide of Souls on Saturday. there I was, sat in the first aid room at Old Trafford. I put the Lionel Fenn book (well recommended BTW) down and pulled Tide Of Souls from the inside pocket of my coat. I open it to the first page, read the opening line, and my mobile phone rings.

Who might that be I thought as I pulled the phone out of my pocket. It wasn't a number already stored on my phone and it wasn't a number I recognised.

It was some bloke who hangs round waterstones' horror section, asking if I wanted to go for a beverage or 3 that evening...

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