Monday, August 15, 2016

Cause or Coincidence

The reason that I ask this question is because some occurrences, like hearing the words in my mind before some else speaks them, leave me with question marks as to the cause of the occurrence.

Many people are able to predict what is going to happen in movies and even speak the lines or finish the sentences before the actors speak them. I chalk this up to pattern recognition that usually happens on a subconscious level and I do not even consider it unique. For example, some months ago, a friend had just finished singing karaoke and then, just before he said the sentence, “just like old time rock and roll, I heard the words in my mind. At first, I thought, we must have some sort of mind link or mental connection between us. However, as I considered more about how our minds record everything, I realized that, with his portfolio stored in me, I could probably guess with a high degree of accuracy much of what he would say in certain situations.

The situation seems to be significant when looking at these kinds of instances. Today however, the instance did not involve the situation; so much as, it did the technology surrounding it. After having an afternoon nap, I came downstairs and happened to have a thought about visiting a friend in the center of Taiwan. I said to my partner, perhaps I will go down to Puli or even Kaohsiung in the south for a few days. About 10 seconds after that, I pushed the button on my phone and there was the Facebook app that I had not yet closed from an hour ago. As I looked at it, I saw that the app was asking me if I wanted to become friends with the name of someone, I had not seen or communicated with in a while. He is the only friend I have who lives in Kaohsiung.

Does it surprise or worry me that, Facebook is listening to my conversations even when I am not using my smartphone? Not at all: Google apparently does it, and in time, I guess that anyone who wants to, will be able pay Facebook or Google to hear what we say, see where we go and/or link advertisements to the information the apps pick up while spying on us – with our permission of course. To people who worry about this kind of invasion of privacy, I suggest you are fighting a losing battle. Secrets are, in my book, one of the most harmful constructs within and as humanity, and as I have said before, the sooner we eliminate people’s ability to veil the truth of ourselves, the sooner we will be able to establish a form of verifiable integrity within humanity.

Finally, there is one other type of coincidence to relate, for which I do not have a clear explanation. I had been home on summer vacation for about two weeks and had often considered visiting a local outdoor swimming pool. One day, I just decided to go for it and have a swim. When I returned home about forty minutes later and looked at my phone, I saw pictures of a friend’s apartment complex swimming pool along with a message asking me if I wanted to go for a swim. The message had been sent about forty minutes ago, just around the time I left to go swimming in a different pool. I had not spoken with my friend for about two weeks and certainly not about swimming. For lack of better explanation, I guess we are connected in ways that I do not yet understand.

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