Nobody I know on Tuesday - everybody I know on Thursday

paigetheoracle

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
28
Likes
1
Points
19
#1
When visiting my old place of employment, after moving up north to 'Thurso' (coincidence it was same basis of name as day?), after an absence of 3 years, I found nobody I recognised at all. Going back a couple of days later, I bumped into someone I knew outside and half a dozen other co-workers as well - not to mention a Big Issue seller, who I recognised as always standing outside the store, plus being told of someone I knew still working there who I thought had left. On the Tuesday there was only a shoplifter (allegedly), who I remembered but who didn't seem to know me.

All a bit like an episode of The Twilight Zone - has anybody else encountered anything like this?
 

kmossel

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
108
Likes
14
Points
34
#2
I have often observed that "meeting people you haven't seen for a while" seems to happen in clusters. You go about your business for weeks on end, seeing only people you see all the time, and then in a matter of days you meet an old classmate in the supermarket, a former colleague in the pub, and an oft-wondered-about distant relative suddenly phones.

I amuse myself with the fancy that the scriptwriters for the cosmic soap are focusing on me for an episode, but I'm sure there is a statistical/probabilistic explanation for this. Still, it can be disquieting.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,267
Likes
20,691
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
#3
Yup. I once took my teenage daughter to a supermarket, at a time when I desperately needed to get her 'onside'. (Parents of teenage daughters will understand! ;) )

Normally I'd nod to few people and perhaps chat to one. But this time, I kept being stopped by people who all, in front of Daughter, told me how great I was. One was a former boss, one was a bloke who'd taken on a dog I'd had to home, and so on - it was like the Godfather's study on his daughter's wedding day! :lol:

I couldn't have possibly arranged this, and I've never experienced it since. Daughter's eyes were like saucers. 8)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
kmossel said:
I amuse myself with the fancy that the scriptwriters for the cosmic soap are focusing on me for an episode, but I'm sure there is a statistical/probabilistic explanation for this. Still, it can be disquieting.
Littlewood's law...
states that individuals can expect a miracle to happen to them at the rate of about one per month.

The law was framed by Cambridge University Professor J. E. Littlewood, and published in a collection of his work, A Mathematician's Miscellany; it seeks, inter alia, to debunk one element of supposed supernatural phenomenology and is related to the more general Law of Truly Large Numbers, which states that with a sample size large enough, any outrageous thing is likely to happen.

Littlewood's law, making certain suppositions, is explained as follows: a miracle is defined as an exceptional event of special significance occurring at a frequency of one in a million; during the hours in which a human is awake and alert, a human will experience one thing per second (for instance, seeing the computer screen, the keyboard, the mouse, the article, etc.); additionally, a human is alert for about eight hours per day; and as a result, a human will, in 35 days, have experienced, under these suppositions, 1,008,000 things. Accepting this definition of a miracle, one can be expected to observe one miraculous occurrence within the passing of every 35 consecutive days -- and therefore, according to this reasoning, seemingly miraculous events are actually commonplace.
 

mindalai

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
798
Likes
22
Points
34
#5
A similar sort of thing happened to me on Friday. A few years ago I used to hang around with two other people a lot of the time. I haven't set eyes on either of them for about 3 years now. I bumped into one of them in the park on Friday morning and bumped into the other in a pub on the Friday evening!
 

OldTimeRadio

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
5,526
Likes
120
Points
114
#6
My old friend the late Lou Tabakow's dictim that "reality has scalloped edges" would seem to resonate here.
 

felixgarnet

Junior Acolyte
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
59
Likes
3
Points
24
#7
Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon of thinking you see someone you know but haven't seen for a while, realising you were mistaken and then see the real person a few hours or minutes later? :shock: Often, I will see more than one "forerunner" in an afternoon before the genuine article hoves into view. Weird.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,267
Likes
20,691
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
#8
Again, yup. Some years ago, I kept seeing people in the street whom I knew, some way off, and popping over the road or whatever to greet them. Only, when I got up close, it wasn't them, and in fact looked nothing like them.

One of them was an uncle whom I hadn't seen for quite a while. I jumped off my pushbike and ran back along the pavement, calling his name, but when he turned round, looking puzzled, it was a stranger.

I also 'saw' another uncle driving his old car towards me - a car which had been scrapped decades before. I flashed my lights and waved to him, but when he drew alongside, it was just some bloke in a Sierra, wondering why this mad woman was making such a fuss.

Both these people died shortly afterwards, as did everyone else I greeted by mistake.

These days, I wait until I can see the whites of the eyes before I say hello! ;)
 

mindalai

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
798
Likes
22
Points
34
#9
felixgarnet said:
Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon of thinking you see someone you know but haven't seen for a while, realising you were mistaken and then see the real person a few hours or minutes later? :shock: Often, I will see more than one "forerunner" in an afternoon before the genuine article hoves into view. Weird.
I have a feeling there's a whole thread on that somewhere. I'm sure there'll be a link to it here shortly. ;)
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
35,762
Likes
21,807
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
#11
It's funny, but over the years, I've bumped into quite a few friends or acquaintances, etc.

Sometimes, they are people I've been thinking about, and all of a sudden - there they are, walking towards me in a street or in a shop.
I guess public transport might be the key - I normally drive quite a lot, but on the few occasions when I use a train to (say) go to London, this increases the probability that I might encounter somebody else who's had the same idea... King's Cross and Waterloo stations seem to be places where I've bumped into most of my acquaintances, completely at random.
I guess if you just sat at the main notice board in King's Cross for long enough, sooner or later you'd spot someone you know.
 

Dingo667

I'm strange but true.
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
1,813
Likes
57
Points
64
#12
I used to go out into town to "find" my friend without looking for her. Basically when her mom said "she's in town", I used to head off, drifting from shop to shop, dawdling, looking at stuff, all the time "knowing" that all this is needed in order to "bump" into her. Needless to say it worked most times [at least 3 occations I remember]. This didn't just work with my friend but also with my mum or anyone I am linked emotionally to.
 

OldTimeRadio

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
5,526
Likes
120
Points
114
#13
Dingo667 said:
I used to go out into town to "find" my friend without looking for her. Basically when her mom said "she's in town", I used to head off, drifting from shop to shop, dawdling, looking at stuff, all the time "knowing" that all this is needed in order to "bump" into her. Needless to say it worked most times [at least 3 occations I remember]. This didn't just work with my friend but also with my mum or anyone I am linked emotionally to.
Really good private detectives and professional people-trackers seem to use something very similar, in conjunction with more mundane techniques.
 

PlagueRider

It's just a flesh wound
Joined
Dec 1, 2003
Messages
264
Likes
21
Points
49
#14
I once used to work with a really annoying guy that would spout the most ridiculous lies, acting as if they were gospel. He was a right twat.

Anyway, one Friday a few years ago I had been thinking about him and the stupid stories he kept coming up with, and that afternoon I spotted him in town, and completely ignored him as he called me, basically because I never liked him and was happy just to scoot along. Then, the day after, in a completely different town, he confronted me out of nowhere and said hello. I made my excuses and left. The then-gf shat herself as my pockets were loaded with several thousand pounds of her money at the time and she thought we were on the brink of being robbed.

Basically I live in the same town as him and never spotted him whilst out shopping since I left my old workplace. Then to see him in the space of two days just made me want to get that dartboard out with his face plastered on it.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! :splat:
 

gmcholland

Fresh Blood
Joined
Mar 29, 2006
Messages
12
Likes
0
Points
17
#15
Weeks and Months go by and I never meet anyone on the train to and from my station that I know to speak to. There are the obvious faces that you see on a regular basis, but they are just commuters you never speak to.

A couple of months ago I sat next to/opposite three people I know in the space of three days.

Day One: An old friend I had worked with at a previous company sat down opposite me. We both had our heads buried in the evening newspaper, before we both looked up at the same time.

Day Two: I sat next to an old friend I used to know at the local football club that I had not visited in over a year after falling out with the club management. He noticed me as I had my head buried in the evening newspaper.

Day Three: I sat opposite my sister-in-law, who never normally caught the same train as me. I knew she used the same station, but normally caught a much earlier train than me. She tugged at my evening newspaper to attract my attention.

As i'm not the sort of person who always settles in the same seat in the same carraige, the events were completely random.

And that's been it. Another two months gone by and I've just kept my head down reading...yep the evening newspaper.
 

icarusgirl

Fresh Blood
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
24
Likes
5
Points
19
#16
Coincidence is a strange thing,especially when it comes to bumping into people.

For the last couple of months I've had a "casual" relationship with a nice young man that goes to the same university as me. I became quite besotted with him, and had liked him since I met him. Throughout the whole of my first semester I would always hope to bump into him around university, expecting to do so as we had lectures in the same building etc... I would always be looking out for him, hoping i'd bump into him and see if he fancied doing anything (he was a hard person to get hold of :? ). I never ever saw him.

Fast forward to now. He's broken things off with me and i just want to get over him. But guess what, i'm finding it a bit hard. This is because in the four days that i have been back to uni since the easter break i have bumped into him about 4 times. last night i even came out of a night club and he had just come out of another and we pretty much walked straight into each other. The other day i left my department for 5 minutes to get a bottle of water from Boots and as i walk in i literally crash into him.

Sigh. He's too good looking to keep seeing around when i'm trying to forget him. Life is cruel! :x
 
Top