Author Topic: Strange coincidences and twists of fate  (Read 2664 times)

23 Daves

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« on: June 18, 2004, 09:28:33 AM »
Does anyone on here believe in fate?  Does anyone have any peculiar stories about things that have happened to them in life that have made them think that things were 'meant to be' or part of some grander plan?

It probably won't surprise anyone at all, but I don't believe in fate and believe that life is just a result of the random choices we choose to make, and it's inevitable that periodically events will collide in a way that seems 'eerie', especially when you consider the millions of decisions that are made every day.

A few things in life have made me stop and think 'hmm... maybe this is part of something bigger', though.  The last one was when I started house-hunting a couple of years ago.  I was given an address to go to by a friend of mine after being told that some musicians he knew had a room for rent.  It was only when I arrived there that I realised that the house they were living in was precisely the same place I'd been to a party at six years previously, and was also the previous dwelling address of a friend of mine who is now a very successful session musician.  To complete the coincidence, I also briefly considered moving into the very same property six years previously before otherwise deciding to get out of London for a bit.  Neither of my friends or either social group knew each other.  At the time I thought that there had to be some meaning behind all this, and moved in almost immediately.  All I got for my sins was a very rickety old house with tons of problems, a naff landlord who was the cause of much angst for the next year and a half, and rent which was above what I should have had to realistically pay.  Silly me.  On the upside, I suppose I made a few contacts there who might eventually prove to be useful, though so far that hasn't been proven true.

The other event that happened is that whilst posting on a forum back in the late nineties (and not this one, I might add) I got friendly with one of the regulars.  It transpired after a few more discussions that not only was she from the same town as me, she was also in the year below me at school, had delivered the newspapers to my parents house, had seen almost exactly the same set of bands as me at the Reading Festival that year, and had spent most of her adolescence going to the same nightclub as me.  And... was there any big meaning behind all this?  Was she eventually a girlfriend of mine, or  a future collaborator?  No...  she already had a long-term boyfriend so any shenanigans in that direction was out, though we did eventually end up meeting and had a couple of perfectly pleasant chats.  That's all it amounted to, though.

So... has anyone honestly had a major coincidence that they can say defined their life, or made them realise that something was 'meant to be'?  I'm interested, because all mine just seem to be very random quirks rather than life-defining moments.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2004, 09:55:46 AM »
Don't believe in fate, as such, but definitely in synchronicity and coincidence.

For instance, I was in one club in liverpool and was pondering whether to run across the city to get to another club where the girl that I was after (and had a chance with) was.

I told my friends I'd go as soon as they played some Andrew WK.  A minute later, guess what came on?  Yeah.

Ten minutes later I was in the other club, and I've been with her for just over 8 months now like.

TraceyQ

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Re: Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 10:03:19 AM »
Quote from: "23 Daves"
all mine just seem to be very random quirks...


Oi. Watch it.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 10:08:09 AM »
I don't believe in Fate, just as I don't believe in God, ghosts, the afterlife, reincarnation or Emile Heskey.  My mate's Dad doesn't belive in America - he reckons it's in Surrey somewhere, but that's by the by.  I know genuinely intelligent people who believe in Fate, which to me seems utterly ludicrous - the idea that every single moment of our life is predestined and written in the stars is just an easy way out of dealing with disappointment or justifying our own happiness.  I cannot believe that someone being killed in a car crash is any more or less meant to be than the fact that I hit the "b" key rather than "v" when I just typed "believe" a moment ago.

I've had a few surprising coincedences, but none that are "life changing".

Timmay

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2004, 10:23:35 AM »
Sorry to be another one bringing a downer on a potentially happy-happy-joy-joy thread, but I believe that for every taken opportunity, there's ten, a hundred, a thousand missed opportunities. Or put another way, for every good or bad thing that happens, there's many many missed really good or really bad things that could have happened.

I've got some fairly major and many minor "fateful" stories myself, and I along with everyone else sometimes ponders on "what could have have been", or "where would I be now if...". But take no_offenc's story; what if they hadn't played any Andrew WK? You might not have bothered going so soon, and may have met a pair of rich 19 year old blonde bisexual incestuous Swedish twins instead, and probably wouldn't be wasting your hours away on t'internet, talking to us geeks, other than to come on between sessions, and post "ahhahahahhahhaahhhahhahhah, suckers."

This though is one of the areas where the human psyche actually manages to focus on, and remember the positive aspects. For most people - exceptionally happy and thus scary people excluded - we tend to remember the bad things that happen to us more than the good. You curse and kick and vow to kill it when the car doesn't start once in the winter, but just merrily forget and take for granted when the car starts the other 364 days in the year.

I'm waffling now, and using words like psyche after 5 hours sleep. Someone else talk now...

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2004, 10:25:06 AM »
Quote from: ""
My mate's Dad doesn't belive in America - he reckons it's in Surrey somewhere, but that's by the by.


cramlington aint no place

fate man it aint no thang, we just do what we do dude free choice

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2004, 10:33:05 AM »
Once I  nearly went to the cinema to watch "Sliding Doors," but an episode of "Bread" was on TV so in the end I stayed at home to watch that instead.

But really though, as the Daves sort of said, 'fate' is just a way of conning oneself that one's life isn't just a meaningless blip.  But handily belief in fate is also a quick way of assessing people, along with mouth breathing, toilet drinking and the Daily Mail.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2004, 10:37:43 AM »
Quote from: "Timmay"
But take no_offenc's story.........


Yeah, but there were no incestuous bisexual swedish twins in the club I was originally in...so....hahahah, sucker.  Um.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2004, 10:41:12 AM »
What's toilet drinking?  Seriously.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2004, 10:49:52 AM »
it didn't affect my life one bit, but i read one flew over the cuckoo's nest quite recently. i finished it one sunday afternoon, and having only just lain out on the sofa i wanted to read something else so picked up the arts supplement of the paper. in the theatre section they reviewed a leeds production of cuckoo's nest and the role of randall p macmurphy was played by an actor with the same name as me, which i found a bit weird. that's it really. soz

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2004, 10:51:47 AM »
Quote from: "zozman"
What's toilet drinking?  Seriously.


Drinking from toilets, like dogs do, of course.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2004, 11:21:38 AM »
but dogs are lovely......


apart from those evil fuckers who rip your face off as soon as look at you.  Oh, and those little yappy twats as well.  I'm convinced they were designed to be that height so they're just the right size to volley across a car park.  And breathe.......

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2004, 11:28:43 AM »
Agree with Timmay there. There are  bound to be coincidences, it would be impossible for their not to be. Don't get beat up about them. Make the most of the ones that happen, both the good and the bad.

Mister Six

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2004, 11:32:46 AM »
I think fate is a load of arse, though I did notice a handful of interesting coincidences when I was writing a history dissertation on John F Kennedy. The best of these was when I was strugging to think of the word that describes a phrase or rhyme which assists the memory. Defeated, I turned on the TV only for Ron Manager from The Fast Show to pop up and say "...it's a mnemonic, isn't it?"

Not that I took any of these as Signs from Beyond; I was just in the right frame of mind to actually notice coincidences that would otherwise have gone by undetected.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2004, 11:33:36 AM »
Quote from: "sick as a pike"
Quote from: "zozman"
What's toilet drinking?  Seriously.


Drinking from toilets, like dogs do, of course.


When I was working on the late and not especially lamented "The Jack Docherty Show" we filmed a Jerry Hall lookalike 'drinking' from a toilet.  The idea being that Jack would say "and lets have a quick look backstage to see what our guests are getting up to... No!  Oh no, Jerry Hall's drinking from the toilet again!  Jerry, no.  Who'd have thought Jerry Hall was a toilet drinker" etc.  But the lawyers told us we couldn't as it was in some way defamatory.  I couldn't see it myself.  I find it's a useful, all-purpose if meaningless insult.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2004, 11:35:24 AM »
Coincidance, by Robert Anton Wilson. Great confusing stuff for fans of synchronicity, quantum mechanics, James Joyce and indeed everything else. The coincidance bangs on towards a dawn that never comes, completely irrespective of the dream that we call "freewill". It is this lack of any real freewill that some misinterpret as the existence of Fate.

I weckon.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2004, 12:13:11 PM »
Quote from: "Partridge's Love Child"
I know genuinely intelligent people who believe in Fate, which to me seems utterly ludicrous - the idea that every single moment of our life is predestined and written in the stars is just an easy way out of dealing with disappointment or justifying our own happiness.


thing is, determinisim was very popular in science not all that long ago. from Laplace to Newton and that, folk reckoned that you'd potentially be able to predict everything in the physical world. why not people? if you can predict something, it's pre-ordained, and a matter of "Fate" no?


Quote
I don't believe in Fate, just as I don't believe in God


from a determinist viewpoint, you need God, or something out of the system, to create something (Free Will, etc.) to break the determinism.

but....

it's all arbitrary quanta and Heisenberg's uncertainty now. technically it's impossible to predict everything, and not just because of lack of tools/accuracy. lack of predictability is an inherent part of the system.

the implications pissed off Einstein ("god does not play dice"), but to be honest the philosophical consequences of quantum mechanics are totally up for grabs.

no predictability can lead you to a belief in:
(i) free will that can change the course of things
(ii) an unpredictable world driven by chance.
(iii) an unpredictable world, but one that has an underlying order and is Fate driven

the path you take aint driven by any of the science, so i wouldn't call a belief in Fate "ludicrous" myself.

i'm undecided on it myself though. i think that beliefs in Free Will, Fate, or Chance can be said to have their psychological benefits, which cause people to latch onto them, irrespective of evidence.

Bogey

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2004, 12:20:43 PM »
Well yes, but I think it's still "ludicrous" to believe in fate, in the sense of it being your own arbitary choice, just as with any other irrational conviction.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2004, 12:36:11 PM »
Quote from: "Bogey"
Well yes, but I think it's still "ludicrous" to believe in fate, in the sense of it being your own arbitary choice


well, you have to believe in free will, intcha, you don't have a choice.....

Bogey

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2004, 12:44:48 PM »
Yes you do, otherwise you'd be like those bus drivers in India whose strong belief in fate leads them to give scant regard to their own safety and that of their passengers, so they keep driving off cliffs and stuff.
[dim memory there, do correct any misinfo]

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2004, 12:59:24 PM »
Yes, but they do lift the bonnet and bless the engine first. So that's alright.


Quote from: "mayer"
well, you have to believe in free will, intcha, you don't have a choice.....

Heh. Talk like that tomorrow and I may choose to buy you a pint. If the Fates permit.

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2004, 01:28:48 PM »
Think of life like a game of poker. Your various hands are dealt from a deck that whilst having been shuffled is mathmatically ordered. You are dealt your cards, there is nothing you can do about the cards dealt to you. It's then how you play those cards that counts. Cliched, but true (not in the Budweiser sense).

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2004, 01:33:45 PM »
OK, here's a weird coincidence which just just happened.

A couple of minutes ago in the I've Nowt Of Note To Say thread, TotalNightmare wrote about his mate Dave having a weeing problem. Which momentarily made me think 'oh, remember that thread about how surely everyone in the world has a mate called Dave'.

A few minutes elapse, and I go down to the scrolly thing to flip to Comedy Chat, but I accidentally click on Page 27 of General Discussion (positioned just above said scrolly thing). Before hitting the Back button, I quickly scan down the page to remind myself of what all the cool cats were rappin about twenty-seven pages ago, and lo and behold, six topics down the page is a certain thread called "Have You Got A Mate Called Dave?".

I shittest thou not.

Cerys

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2004, 02:47:27 PM »
I'm not sure that you could call it believing in 'fate', but I definitely believe that the universe knows what it's doing.  Consequently everything that happens is orchestrated by the universe in order to prolong its own existence.

The question is, where the hell does Chris Evans fit into all this?

Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2004, 03:09:01 PM »
Its easy to look at things like this as random coincidences that mean nothing. On the other hand, nothing is truly random, and everything does happen for a reason. Every event is the direct result of events preceding them, the DJ at the club decided to put on Anderw WK perhaps on a whim, perhaps as part of a planned mix. Either way the reasons he had for doing so emerged from the same vast shared memepool as no_offenc deciding to react to it.  In terms of systems theory. every event is related and part of the same, incomprehensibly large system, on both a memetic and physical level. It’s how we interpret these events at a given moment that gives them their significance. I think that’s fundamental to the ways humans perceive reality.

Ask a religious person for proof of their gods existence they usually point to events or physical objects; a Muslim cuts open an eggplant and the seeds read “Allah is everywhere” in Arabic, the Catholic who sees Jesus staring back on a bit of toast. To everyone else these are unremarkable and probably go by unnoticed, outsiders view them as remarkable coincidences. Nevertheless events like these have strengthened their belief system by anchoring what is otherwise an abstract way of making sense or reality to the physical universe. In the same way if something happens that benefits them they see it as an act of god, or the hand of fate. Something with definite purpose behind it. The other side of the coin is perceiving ‘random’ things that hinder you as the act of Satan or some similar personification. If no_offenc went to that club and this girl turned out to be a total nightmare it would not be considered fate, it would be considered at best, bad luck.

Ideas of God, fate, and even conspiracy theories are attempts to impose some sense of order and purpose to every event in the universe, and I do think that some deep psychological level an all encompassing belief structure genuinely does open a doorway to perceiving the bigger picture of reality. Unfortunately the human mind has not evolved to a point where we can truly grasp what it is. I’ve had enough friends get sectioned to see that almost everyone in the madhouse either has some messiah complex or is ranting about freemasons making their tea go cold. One of my friends who lost his mind (and has yet to get it back), when he was still comprehensible talked about something similar to this. He talked about staring into the face of madness and seeing the entire universe. Another who was sectioned told me afterwards that his ‘breakdown’ was like seeing the entire universe from above, seeing the “bigger picture” and everything in creation as one.

The problem is language, and our language has yet to grasp words that can adequately describe the force that lies behind the veil of reality. Trying to grasp it with language leads only to insanity, or occasionally genius. People today call it God, Fate or the Illuminati, ancient Jews on the other hand called it the Tetragrammaton; the unspeakable name of God. Buddhists alternatively use meditation as a means to bypass language and view the universe as it really is. This process is by definition incommunicable and the poetic language used to describe the experience leads to it being often misinterpreted.  Similarly scholars of quantum mechanics find that the goings on in the subatomic realm defies language to describe it. Hindus (of the Vedic school) call it the Dance of Shiva, and eternal flow of energy throughout all creation.  What I’m saying is that religions and such are different languages to describe the same thing.

Getting back to the idea of the future being mapped out, if human civilisation is an open system feeding back on itself then the patterns already in motion today should surely dictate what happens tomorrow. How much free will we have in changing this pattern is really the central question of philosophy, largely because it makes us very uncomfortable to think we can’t. However this troubling idea that the future already exists has been brought to the forefront by discoveries in neurology; supposedly our mental construct of reality has a lag on it of a few seconds, in other words what we think is going on “right now” has already happened a few seconds ago, and you have already reacted to the situation by the time you take the ‘decision’ to do so. Where is free will then?

Anyway, my fate story.

A few years ago I was increasingly obsessed with the number 23 after reading lots of William Burroughs and KLF material. So much so that when I was 23 I went travelling around Eastern Europe, just to see what would happen. I started in Prague, which a friend recommended as being both cheap and beautiful. Towards the end of my trip I went back there for a week before my flight back home, I stayed in a huge hostel in a room full of 30 people. Shortly after, Eastern Europe was hit by the worst floods in a century, and we in the Hostel celebrated this by having a party. At this party I hooked up with a girl from Dublin sleeping in the same room, and found out the day after that she was sleeping in bed 23. Furthermore, she was due to leave the morning of the floods, but because of the deluge had to stay on another night. If the floods hadn’t hit, I’d never have met her.

After a few days of hinting by other guests, we decided to get a room together before going our separate ways. Last year we seen each other a few times for nostalgia sake, and now two years later we’ve decide to get serious and she’s moving to be with me in Edinburgh. Every day now I find out something more I have in common with her, so much so that it’s scary, its without doubt the happiest relationship I’ve ever been in. Was our meeting fate? It gives me a fuzzy feeling to think so. What I do know is that it never would have happened if I didn’t believe in the number 23. Maybe through belief, we can carve our own future and shape our own reality.

Hope that all makes sense, I am astonishingly hungover.

Frinky

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2004, 03:17:46 PM »
I breifly went out with a girl who had a reputation for going for a certian type of boy, and, as such, her friends knew that whatever boy she was with, it was a fair bet to assume he was "that type". Anyway, when that ended, a mate of her mate (they didn't personally know each other bar this middle mate) decided to get in touch with me, becuase she was looking for a boy like me (I apologise profusely for how this sounds).

We saw each other a bit, and then she finished with me. After she split with me, I started working for another porn place (this is not my first time, see, although the first time round, it was a lot less, er, professional). Naturally, I had password access to the site the content was on, to check my work, reference older shoots, etc. After working with them for about six weeks, I logged in and noticed the name of a model I didn't recognise. Anyway, I checked her out, and, lo and behold... there she was. "Fuck!" I thought. I was slightly amazed that of all the porn companies in all of the world, she had to go to that one... Anyway, once my shock had died down, I realised that I'd probably end up "working" wth her, so, I quit, there and then.

But my last job... it was with her.

As a result, we ended up seeing each other every now and again, her dumping me every other week when she got bored (good relationship, it was), before us finally splitting for good in January.

In April a-bouts, word got to me of a small company starting up that needed an "IT dude" - ie, Captain Do Everything, based in Leeds. I sent them an email. "Them" turned out to be "She" and "She" turned out to be her.

Frankly, I think this woman is coming to kill me - but then I'm sure she thinks the same...

Sam

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2004, 03:29:31 PM »
Quote from: "Cerys"
I'm not sure that you could call it believing in 'fate', but I definitely believe that the universe knows what it's doing.  Consequently everything that happens is orchestrated by the universe in order to prolong its own existence.


Interesting, sorta like Hegel's absolute idealism.

Actually, when I was about 12 I thought about a lot of stuff, but had no philosophical knowledge. I swear I came up with stuff which I thought was original. When I read about Nietzsche's doctrine of the eternal recurrence, it was exactly as I had thought it up before I knew it existed as a concept. It's strange how a lot of philosophy is intuitive. If someone grew up isolated from all philosophical discoveries and reasoned everything a priori most of what they would come up with would probably exactly coincide with what philosophers had already thought.

Cerys

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2004, 04:18:03 PM »
Don't you just hate it when that happens?  You come up with an idea that seems both right and personal; and then, years later, find out that someone else came up with pretty much the same idea ... and got massive amounts of credence because of it.  Even my 'celestial wineglass' seems to have been nicked, in advance, by someone else.  Bah, I say.  Bah, and, indeed, hmph.

Lt Plonker

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2004, 06:57:39 PM »
Quote from: "Kingboy_D"
What he wrote.


That was tremendously fascinating reading, Kingboy. I enjoyed that.

Quote from: "Frinky"
Frankly, I think this woman is coming to kill me - but then I'm sure she thinks the same...


Heh. Great story. This company; it doesn't need an illustrator/animator/teaboy does it?

I've had a fair few odd coincidences happen that have made me question the way the universe works. It's odd, but I find the idea of 'fate' more of a comfort than anything. The idea that there is some sort of meaning to my existance, even at a quantum level, brings comfort, to a certain degree. I don't beleive that their is a devine being controlling us all, like in Jason & the Argonauts, but maybe at a quantum level, we're being manipulated in ways we couldn't possibly fathom. Maybe.

Right now , fate is telling me to go and see The Day After Tomorrow, whilst my bank account is laughing at me.

Frinky

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Strange coincidences and twists of fate
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2004, 01:00:35 AM »
Quote from: "Lt Plonker"
This company; it doesn't need an illustrator/animator/teaboy does it?


Well, "company" = just her, more or less. She needs, last time I checked, male models (she asked me, I laughed, saw she was serious, and hid), so if you think you were up to it... :) I handled sorting most of her video/photo equipment, and she calls me when it goes wrong. I wonder how strange it would be had I taken on the whole production job...