Saturday, March 17, 2007

Patterns


A while ago I received an e mail entitled ‘Coincidences 11?’ What follows is a long list of things that one way or another equal 11 and are grouped around the theme of September 11th. The last few things get you to change a flight number into Windings and asks you: ‘what do you think now?!!’ Initially my response was a straightforward: what a pile of bollocks, then a rather confused, OK plane flying into two bits of paper (alright, I see they are supposed to be the Twin Towers), skull and crossbones and TA DA DA DAH ... the star of David? I knew that last symbol was the star of David, I also know that in religious symbolism there is a fair amount of cross over, but my exhaustive (not) Google search did not bring up little known Islamic star symbols. So not only was this a pile of bollocks, but whoever had compiled this list didn’t even recognise one religious symbol from the next, the end conclusion being that this was put together by an idiot. A small amount of logical thought had made the holes in this become so gaping that the universe could disappear through it.

BUT...

Then again logical thought encourages us to look for patterns or coincidences in order to understand the world. For instance:
180°
360°
540°
720°
The sum of the interior angles of a triangle is 180°, a quadrilateral 360°, a pentagon 540°. As a side is added to a shape the sum of the interior angles increases by 180°, so logically two triangles must make a quadrilateral and three triangles must make a pentagon and so on.

The never ending quest for patterns has enabled humankind to learn and develop.

BUT...

Patterns can also be akin to superstitions. When I watch Liverpool play I wear red (even if it’s just my underwear). There is no evidence that suggests that they play better when I wear red, I’ve never kept notes on this, I really couldn’t say. I recognise this as a rubbish superstition, but I do it anyway, there is no pattern to this.

Yet the never ending quest for patterns has made me begin to find them where really they shouldn’t be. At certain times of the year things happen to me. This number is significant because that is when everything tends to right royally fuck up. I am engaged in a battle with myself over logical and illogical thought. It was logical thought that led me to these illogical frankly superstitious conclusions.

When I sift through my own life I want to slap myself across the head because I’m an idiot. When I tell my colleagues that Mr. X is an assassin listing reasons a – g they laugh all the way, but the big joke is that about halfway through you can see them really thinking about it. That’s logical thought again.

So I suppose my conclusion is that there is a fine line between idiot and searching for patterns for the improvement of humankind (although the assassin joke is probably quite close to idiot as well).

7 comments:

Minx said...

We are blessed with minds that try to see the logic and see reasoning behind everything we do, hear, say and experience. Order is what makes us rational and to live in a random world is just un-thinkable!

Btw, my boss has been replaced - 'bodysnatcher' style. I have convinced everyone now!

Verilion said...

Until we consume large amounts of alcohol and then everything becomes random and chaotic.

Like you know about your boss being replaced bodysnatcher style. That is just bouncing around in my post Paddy's night brain, all random and chaotic and it isn't connecting with anything. Help me!

Shameless said...

V, this was a great exercise in how we think and try to make sense! :) I think there's room in there for the whole kabang!

Confucious Trevaskis said...

The only problem i can see with your Liverpool superstition...is that they don't know about your red underwear- I'm sure if they did, well..............
So that's onclusive proof that superstitions DO work ...voila....................

Verilion said...

Right Confucious I'll have to pass that on to Rafael Benitez and see if it makes a difference.

Debi said...

Ah yes, patterns. I've been deeply immersed in Ancient Egypt (son's project, my obsession). Do you know about PYRAMIDS??? Like wow man!

Verilion said...

Oh tell me about Pyramids. I was going to write back telling you that I didn't really know about Pyramid's but I could tell you about Fibonacci's triangle. Well it turns out that I was mixing up Fibonacci with Pascal, but then I found out about spirals and man Fibonacci is a helluva cool dude too!

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