Synchronicity, Coincidence or Conspiracy?

We live in interesting times. I remarked the other day that this is Alex Jones’s world and we just live in it. One aspect that is interesting is that which was once dismissed as coincidence, such as Mrs. Clinton approving the sale of 20% of America’s uranium while her husband, the former President, was given over a half million dollars for a speech. To draw the connector of intentionality between the two actions (approval, payment) is to engage in conspiracy theory – not the more legal-sounding quid pro quo, but a fever dream in the mind of the insane. What drives the conspiracist is identifying clusters of coincidence, or synchronicity, and sorting out a cause for them. What are coincidence, conspiracy, and synchronicity?

Perhaps a trigger warning: this isn’t an exact science, and previous studies on these go from psychology to parapsychology, a field that includes Extra-sensory Perception, ghosts and remote readings. We’re not going to stare at goats today. With that, Psychology Today describes coincidence as an exercise in probability that gets people to pay attention.

One thing is certain about coincidence. The phenomenon fascinates believers and skeptics alike. It’s a porthole into one of the most interesting philosophical questions we can ask: Are the events of our lives ultimately objective or subjective? Is there a deeper order, an overarching purpose to the universe? Or are we the lucky accidents of evolution, living our precious but brief lives in a fundamentally random world that has only the meaning we choose to give it?

For those with a highly empirical bent, a coincidence is happenstance, a simultaneous collision of two events that has no special significance and obeys the laws of probability. “In reality, the most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidence,” says John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia, and best-selling author of Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences. “Believing in the significance of oddities is self-aggrandizing,” he adds. “It says, ‘Look how important I am.’ People find it dispiriting to hear, ‘It just happened, and it doesn’t mean anything.'”

Synchronicity is related to coincidence in that there seems to be no discernable connection between coincidental events. There is no cause. We know this through the statement ‘correlation is not causation.’ We get synchronicity from Carl Jung, who provided a wealth of concepts for study.

Synchronicity (German: Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. During his career, Jung furnished several slightly different definitions of it. Jung variously defined synchronicity as an “acausal connecting (togetherness) principle,” “meaningful coincidence”, and “acausal parallelism.”

Jung’s work inspired Arthur Koestler, who in turn inspired Sting of The Police.

The Roots of Coincidence is a 1972 book by Arthur Koestler, an introduction to theories of parapsychology, including extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. Koestler postulates links between modern physics, their interaction with time and paranormal phenomena. It is influenced by Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity and the seriality of Paul Kammerer.

The psychologist David Marks criticized the book for endorsing pseudoscience. Marks noted that Koestler uncritically accepted ESP experiments and ignored evidence that did not fit his hypothesis. Marks coined the term “Koestler’s Fallacy” as the assumption that odd matches of random events cannot arise by chance. Marks illustrates the fact that such odd matches do regularly occur with examples from his own experience.

Koestler’s Fallacy describes either angelic/demonic action or conspiracy theory. Our good friends at Merriam & Webster define this as “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.”

As we move through the news these days one wonders about coincidence and the rest of it. There are folks who even subscribe to the theory that there is no such thing as coincidence. See what I mean about this being Alex Jones’s world? Is that coincidence? Synchronicity? Conspiracy?

Aside from the news, why is all of this important?

We are eye witnesses to life in a country without a functioning Bill of Rights: the Accusation-Is-Proof-of-Guilt instead of Due Process, stacked courts and prosecutors behaving badly, nuns [still] on trial for not providing abortion drugs, and a homogeneity of political belief among the legions of nameless, faceless bureaucrats.

Is this state a coincidence? Synchronicity? Or Conspiracy?

For the Rats, welcome to Finals and Living Certified.

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SMA Has a New Uniform

Well well doesn’t the SMA of the Army look resplendent in his “pinks and greens”.  Trouble is the originial “pinks and greens” were an officer uniform; soldiers and NCOs wore a green wool blouse about the color of World War I uniforms, shirt and tie, with the same color wool pants.  They did not have a cloth belt!  If they wore a belt is was a brown leather one with a plain buckle.  I had79fce5695e68d7498d9d1b2ca951a48ve a suggestion SMA need get out of the clothing business as they screw it up.

Posted in Army, CSM Going Bat Shit Crazy, History, Idiocy, Sergeant Majors being stupid, World War I, World War II | 2 Comments

“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

The world is coming to an end, if this happens in the USAF, will Aviation Warrants be a thing of the past?  The USAF is thinking about Enlisted Pilots!

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Posted in Air Force, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Looking around

Blogging here at intheoldcorps and previously at OPFOR is fun and engaging. We blog about VMI, the military and society in general, and specialize in outrages. What one notices going through the posts is just how cyclic the outrages are.

Once a year, during budget-formulation time, the Sergeant Major of the Army introduces an initiative to change the Army’s dress uniforms. Each year more bells and whistles are added, and each year confirms for me that to be SMA one must exceptionally insecure in their manhood (or womanhood when that happens). Since the SMA have invariably been tankers they don’t get the CIB, Airborne, Air Assault badges, Ranger and SF tabs, and combat patches of units held in the highest esteem, like the Ranger Batts.

Townie loves writing about this annual outrage because, without fail, the uniform changes cost soldiers of all ranks a whole of lot dollars they don’t have in savings, don’t add to the professionalism and esprit de corps, and don’t instill respect or fear in our enemies. All this just for a single man’s vanity: the legacy of the SMA.

Once a year, during budget-formulation time, the Pentagon announces it may have to re-write the retirement and family-care benefits because of cost. Without fail the Congress reacts for faux-outrage at the taking of hostages and votes to fund Pentagonian acquisition boondoggles.

And shall we go into that litany of infamy?

V: “Oh Congress, this new [insert Lockmart’s latest gadget here] is absolutely indispensable to defeating [insert name of whatever politically correct name of an enemy here], and will only cost 1, just 1 billion, no – 3! 3 billion dollarzzzz!”

R: Must. Have. Make it 6 billion.

Each year, as hunting seasons roll around, Lt Col P reminds us of safety, medical and gun training, and above all to be safe as we enjoy nature and harvesting Bambi. On the surface this isn’t outrageous.

Until.

Until one considers how many times an armed citizen prevents a massacre, or had there been an armed citizen a massacre would have been stopped. Or, as in the case of the church massacre in Texas, Holy Government-that-solves-all-problems had simply done the 5 minute task of entering the POS name into the database. That event suddenly brought up two salient points: stopping a massacre isn’t a what-if, it’s a when-if and are you prepared? The second point that many on the Left got slapped with is there are laws and infrastructure to enforce those laws, should it choose to enforce the law.

Now, no one has ever accused me of thinking, but I would think that the outrages of the past year have to be causing synapse lapses among folks who brag about being rational, thinking, and aware folks. If I recall correctly Vice President Mike Pence was pilloried for having and enforcing a policy of not allowing himself to be with women not his wife in public or private settings, and to have witnesses in his dealings with women not his wife. You recall the names and accusations: prude, sexist, and so on. From the rational people.

How’s that been working out for society?

Back in the 80s America had a choice: Hugh Hefner or Jerry Falwell and Pope Saint John Paul II. One side was libertine, hedonistic to extremes and wholly inwardly focused, the other sought freedom through self-restraint, self-respect, and respect for others. Well that’s no fun, especially when the hormones are raging!

Today society is treated to daily outrages of women and men finding themselves navigating the hook-up culture and getting raped, diseased, and broken. Funny how that dusty old book sitting on the top shelf, the one written so many years ago that it can’t possibly be valid today whispers ‘you don’t have to live like meat for someone’s momentary pleasure.’ Perhaps one day the churches will figure out folks not only want boundaries, but expect the church to teach those boundaries.

Being originally from DC, and somewhat warped by that experience, I’ve found the daily outrages over sexual relations and politics to be interesting for one reason. The men and their female enablers being purged all have five things in common: 1) their actions (deeds, not just words) were intrinsically evil; 2) their actions were intrinsically hypocritical; 3) they were enabled (lauded, feted, GIVEN women, men, children for their use) by people who wrap themselves in Alistair Crowley’s fanciest word-robes; 4) the Accusation-is-proof-of-guilt – that favorite tactic of Alinsky and the Left are in full bloom and no talk of equal protection of the law under the law is comprehended; and 5) they are all Clintonistas.

Number 5 is hysterical. Yes, some women are sexual predators. Didn’t feminism teach us every gender is the same? I know, crickets from the newsies on that score. Some women are enablers, but have managed to slip the dagger in similar to Donna Brazile’s timely character assassination of the Clinton Machine. We’ve gone from the free-sex hook-up culture to frigidity in which no man can acknowledge the existence of a woman without being accused of sexual assault, even decades later. “Hey, his handshake was kinda clammy, he musta been in lust! Time to call Gloria and get my payday!”

It’s easy to see why so many bloggers burn out. There are too many outrages and so many of them are calculated to piss off you and me in order to effect a desired outcome. Why should you feel outrage? It’s in the contract you signed – just like Darth Vader, Government can alter the deal at any time and the lawyers will ensure you have no recourse. Concerned that pretty woman will accuse you of rape just for asking her to supper? Why should you feel concern? She doesn’t know how she’s supposed to act either. After all, is it proper etiquette to have sex before the supper, after, and should you learn each other’s last name after the pregnancy test comes in? Not sure who to vote for since the politics business is designed to attract slime?  Outrage is just business, and it wears one out.

And we haven’t even talked about VMI and its transgressions. I won’t go there, so Happy Friday to all!

Posted in Just for Fun | 1 Comment

Trip Report through the Southwest

Thank you for your patience with my absence. I enjoyed my first non-working vacation visiting Santa Fe, Patagonia, and the Mojave between Palm Springs and 29er Palms. No itinerary beyond moving around and seeing the people and places and trying to get the vibe of each place. Thanksgiving was spent in the desert with family – a non-chaotic affair that was thoroughly enjoyable.

And no T.V.

And almost no internet, mostly maps.

Using B-n-Bs instead of hotels is a really good choice. When one is tired of the restaurants there is the option of a home-cooked meal. The B-n-B in Santa Fe was a few minutes walk from the central plaza. Three places to eat that you will enjoy are The Shed, Ecco Gelato &  Espresso Shop, and the Plaza Diner. Sites to see are Meow Wolf and the Turquoise Trail. I wasn’t too happy with the Cibola National Forest for two reasons: 1) I was hoping to skirt north of Sandia Mountain and avoid Albuquerque, but the road stopped at the crest of the mountain so I had to backtrack; and 2) lots of unharvested deadfall that created significant fuel for forest fires. What was worth the money was BLM’s partnership with Pueblo de Cochiti that permitted a drive up to view the Tent Rocks National Monument. I normally wouldn’t give BLM the time of day, but they did so much better than Smokey’s people that it deserves mention.

Patagonia is just north of Nogales and our border with Mexico. The B-n-B was a casita in Green Valley. One place to eat is Wisdom’s in Tumacacori. Just look for the giant chicken! Patagonia is artsy, but the area around it – Elgin and Sonoita are cattle and wine country. Lots of cattle (my kind of people!) and lots of wineries. There’s a brewery going in, too. Green Valley is different in that it bills itself as a retirement community, and it is. The climate is very dry and ranged from the 70s during the day to the 40s at night. With Green Valley Recreation, there is plenty to do. Arizona is California’s Florida, just like Florida is New York-Michigan-Canada’s Florida.

There were two day trips: through the Coronado National Forest and through the grasslands of Elgin, and to Tombstone. Given a choice, go with the forest and the grasslands. Tombstone was interesting but kitschy. Very touristy and I get it. Big Nose Kate’s served some good food, and among the memorabilia is VMI brass used on the choker collar on the cadets’ white uniform. The pistol range was fun, as was the tour of the Birdcage Theater and the O.K. Corral museum. Lots of tools of the cowboy trade that are still in use today, if glitzier.

While I was away from the news it seems a lot happened. Zimbabwe overthrew Mugabe finally. Maybe they can take care of their 90% unemployment and unbelievably high rate of inflation. McConnell’s hit on Judge Moore in Alabama has been effective. Why McConnell and not the Dems? No Gloria Allred leading the charge. And lots of navel gazing at past hypocrisies, but only with politicos who are no longer young enough to carry the revolution forward. More on that another time.

I recommend the Southwest, and taking time away from the T.V., the news, and as much of the internet as you can and vacate your life for a couple of weeks each year. Back to the blogging tomorrow – see you there!

Posted in History, Just for Fun, VMI | Leave a comment

Is VMI a Hedge Fun

Just a question, given the moves on Capitol Hill to start tapping the trust funds of colleges and universities. About time, too.

Posted in VMI | 1 Comment

DoD News: the Bad, the Good, and the Troubling

This is bad. This is very bad.

This is good: a lone man, visiting the freshest graves in Arlington.

This is troubling: two stories in which following one’s conscience requires not following a lawful order.

Given the timeline from alert to launch of nukes, is there time for the lawyers to get involved and argue whether or not the Commander-in-Chief would press the button? When the POTUS gives an order, is it correct for DoD to ignore it? It is good to have this moral examination – and at the same reassuring the world we will nuke them until the world glows. This article and its sisters may just be click-bait, but…

What I find of interest in this report is that the Bureaucracy moved Heaven & Earth to issue a waiver stating a sex-change operation “is medically necessary.” Given the suicide rates of people who undergo the full meal deal, isn’t this surgery a gross violation of the Hippocratic Oath, or a demonstration of the Hypocritic Oath – funded by you, Dear Reader.

Also funded by you: the eternal butthurt of a spying mind. The trouble with spies is the paradox between following a moral code that has boundaries that won’t be crossed, regardless, and not having boundaries whatsoever. You, your family, and the identities and money necessary to live in America today are mere collateral damage. I wonder if the nuclear launch codes are next?

Posted in Army, Defending the Homeland, Leadership, Mattis, Military and Politics Don't Mix, Navy | Leave a comment