UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not quite synchronicity but still an odd coincidence?

Several weeks ago I ordered , from Amazon, a used copy of Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.

The book I got was filled, up to page 135, with ballpoint pen underlinings and margin notes. The markings stopped at Hysteria and Hypochondria, half-way through the book, where the writer/owner left his business card: Brian R. Cocivera, Guard Division Manager for Elite Protective Services, Chelsea, MA 02150 (617) 887-**17.

Today I received another order, a used copy of Foucault’s Madness: The Invention of an Idea.

And I’ll be damned. The book is filled with ballpoint pen underlinings and margin notes, by the same guy: same ink, same writing up to page 66, almost half-way through the book, (no business card).

The first book came from a dealer in Boston, the second from a dealer in Illinois.



  • The Matrix has you...

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, April 22, 2016  

  • Yes, it do.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 22, 2016  

  • Yes, it do.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 22, 2016  

  • When you begin to think these oddities over they usually don't appear so odd after all. This guy obviously read one book, then its sequel soon after, At some point he decided to sell both through Amazon. Thye ended up with different buyers, who in turn put them up for sale at, presumably, about the same time. Lo and behold, both were bought by yourself, at approximately the same time. They both have what we might call a 'specialised market'. Therefore the probability of the same person acquiring them both (i.e. yourself) was much higher than with a bestseller novel.

    I assume the original owner was one of those types who love to write marginal comments in books. I do it myself occasionally, but never to this extent.

    That is my learned comment, for what it is worth.

    One day have a look at "A Mathematician's Miscellany" by J.E.Littlewood, in the chapter entitled "Large numbers". Also Warren Weaver's "Lady Luck". Both these contain some almost unbelieveable coincidences (or whatever else you want to call them).

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, April 22, 2016  

  • But CDA, the books, long out of print, are rare, obscure actually.

    And the guy's books ended up at two, distant book sellers, which use Amazon to offer their goods.

    I could have bought each book from any number of Amazon sellers, as many had old copies. I picked two who offered good copies -- although the copies were not good, marked up sloppily by the guy who left his business card in one of the books.

    The odds that I'd grab books from the same guy, out of a number of offerings is more than coincidence, isn't it?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 22, 2016  

  • Quote from rationalwiki: "Synchronicity is a phenomenon described by psychologist Carl Jung as "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." The inability to test for it has marginalized its scientific importance."


    cda's J.E.Littlewood book (go to page 104) https://archive.org/stream/mathematiciansmi033496mbp#page/n115/mode/2up/search/large+numbers

    By Blogger scherben, at Friday, April 22, 2016  

  • One more Rationalwiki link (that I've not read myself yet): http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Improbable_things_happen

    By Blogger scherben, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

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