The Anti Stats

Yesterday I wrote briefly about the early day motion calling for disestablishment of the church whichstats666 had received the motion number 666. Worryingly synchronicity or mere coincidence combined as my related end of day blog stats worryingly revealed themselves (no really).

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2 thoughts on “The Anti Stats

  1. that’s pretty awesome. It’s a real shame that ‘666’ was mistranslated, though, and that the ‘true’ number of the best is nowhere near as symmetrical.

    Yesterday I heard Uri Geller on a ‘paranormal’ radio show hosted by the guys from Ghost Hunters (do they run that television show in your neck of the woods? If not, just imagine Most Haunted, but with ever so SLIGHTLY more credibility and less silliness) talking about his ’11:11 theory.’ Apparently Uri keeps noticing that it’s 11:11 when he looks at clocks, microwaves, etc., and figures that it means some sort of consciousness is trying to make him aware of it. He says that curiously, the more people he tells about this, the more emails he gets from people who also always notice with it is 11:11. Your 666 coincidence reminded me of this latest bit of silliness from the world’s most famous spoon bender.

  2. Some years ago, I had to devise a programming project for 1st year computing students. My idea was to give them three sorting algorithms and get them to program these. Neat and simple. But of course, I had to supply a set of random numbers for them to use to test and validate their programs.

    I decided I wanted a set of numbers that not only was random but also looked random. It was thus that I discovered the impossibility of producing a set of numbers that looks random. Can’t be done.

    Why not? Because the brain is expert at seeking out patterns. It will find patterns even when there are none (remember Lowell’s “canals on Mars”?).

    The thing about random numbers is that, by definition, they can be any numbers. This means they can run in sequence or be repeated and that it will look as if there is some significance in the numbers “chosen”. The significance, however, is purely in the imagination of the observer.

    That is not to say that these chance arrangements do not sometimes appear strangely appropriate. Nonetheless, this very appropriateness is also a function of the observer’s imagination: one takes the pattern and seeks a “reason” for it.

    One reason why people agree with Geller that they keep noticing the clock at 11:11 (apart from natural sycophancy that makes people agree with whatever an admired person says) may be that manufacturers of clocks generally set them at the time of 10:10 because this makes a “smiley” face and makes the clock on display look friendly and attractive. People will be seeing these “smiley” clocks every day in shops and in shop windows. It’s easy to mis-remember the image as 11:05 or 11:10 because one wants to agree with Geller.

    People like to believe in strange things.

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