(ORDO NEWS) — We regularly encounter coincidences, but the vast majority simply ignore them because they are boring – like two black cars parked next to each other.
But from time to time we notice something that makes us think that we are lucky enough to encounter an incredibly rare, literally mystical coincidence.
Naturally, it’s all about probability, but when faced with an atypical coincidence, we forget about the basic rule of probability: even extremely rare events are bound to happen if they are given enough time and opportunities.
It often happens that it is not only difficult, but even impossible, to assess the true probability of this or that coincidence, which makes us feel confused or even frightened.
But in some cases, the probability of coincidence can be calculated
For example, the probability that at least two out of 23 players in any football match (including the referee) will have the same date of birth is almost 50/50 percent.
These chances will increase dramatically if we are willing to be a little flexible about what we consider a coincidence.
For example, if only birthdays are considered a match (let’s say October 20th), then the chances of seeing at least one match between two football teams would be 90 percent!
“Mystical” coincidence of the XX century
In 1898, under the title “Futility”, a novel by the little-known American writer Morgan Robertson was published, which told about how the largest ocean liner sank when it collided with an iceberg.
The creators of the ship were so convinced of its unsinkability that they took only a few lifeboats with them… familiar?
Yes, 14 years later, in 1912, under similar circumstances, the legendary Titanic sank – also the largest and also “unsinkable” liner with a minimum of boats.
The publisher quickly changed the title of Robertson’s book to “Futility, or the Crash of Titan”, which, naturally, increased the sales of the novel many times over, and the writer himself turned into a “great prophet of the 20th century”…
But there is no doubt that this is all a huge coincidence, since the threat of icebergs to giant liners and the neglect of lifeboats were a concern long before Robertson’s book appeared.
Moreover, such huge ships were often given some kind of epic name, often drawing parallels with mythology.
In short, many of the “coincidences” in the novel are not independent predictions, but are a direct consequence of what happened during Robertson’s era.
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