Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Synchronicity 1

Over the last few years I've noticed a number of instances of "synchronicity". From dictionary.com, I'm using the second definition of the word, defined as:
Coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related, conceived in Jungian theory as an explanatory principle on the same order as causality.

In my usage of the word I'm talking about something other than a mere coincidence. I'm talking about obscure coincidences.

For instance, I read the first page of an article in this month's Discover magazine when I was in Books-A-Million on Saturday. It was about a paleontologist who discovered soft tissues in Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils, which is a big deal since fossil preservation theory suggests that you don't find soft tissues in fossils greater than 100,000 years old. Last night I received an e-mail from the Strange Aeons mailing list (a mailing list for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game). The message dealt with human evolution. It asked, "I'd still like to know where language came into play. Would there be enough evidence in soft tissues to predict this? And do those tissues fossilize?"

I found it an odd coincidence that a couple of days after I read about soft tissues in fossils, someone asked about it.

Also on Saturday, there was a news item about an exhibit in New York of Dadaist art. Again, according to dictionary.com (and the program I was watching), Dada was:
A European artistic and literary movement (1916-1923) that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity.

I've seen Dadaist art in the past, and art based on it, but didn't know it by name.

Today I came across the following statement on the Risks Digest web page: "The damage done by well-intentioned (mis)features of MS Office is not limited to occasional dadafication of EU bureaucratese." This statement (and the made up word "dadafication") only makes sense if you knew what Dada is, which I didn't until Saturday.

Do I think there's anything mystical happening here? Heck, no! But I thought I'd record it anyway. If I come across other interesting occurrences of synchronicity I will mention them here.

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