Coincidence and synchronicity: random or meaningful?


DO IT NOW What’s up? Statistical and evolutionary arguments against notions of synchronicity, seriality and meaningful coincidences at large have come to seem ironclad, and the existential aspects of coincidence have been wholly discounted. Admittedly, trying to find a scientific basis for believing in meaningful coincidence is not a widespread pursuit.
What’s new?  A belief in meaningful coincidence is, from an existential perspective, surprisingly rational. What so much of the question around meaningful coincidence comes down to is how you choose to fill the vacuum of life’s mysteries. Beneath the statistical incorrectness, beneath any economic ploys, beneath even the potentially grave errors that can result, a belief in meaningful coincidence is, from an existential perspective, surprisingly rational and necessary to our experience of existing in the world? Is a belief in meaningful coincidences something vital to our survival as humans?

Cynically, one could reason that trying to add a scientific patina to the belief in meaningful coincidence is driven by greed: there will always be money to be made in writing books about or giving talks that exploit people’s desire to see chance coincidences as significant.

So what? Even if every possible coincidence could be scientifically explained, we shouldn’t necessarily discount its importance.

Recommended additional reading in the same vein: “Welcome to the highly probable world of improbability” (from Wired)

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