revolve around coincidence.... Since coincidence operates at such a basic level ...

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polar44

Banned
Korean
The following sentences are about ' coincidence.' and I don't understand exactly what the red parts imply.

According to Tenenbaum, many of the connections our minds make revovle around coincidence.... Since coincidence operates at such a basic level in our brains, it is not surprising that we someties see connections where they do not exist.
 
  • katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    Revolve around.

    Imagine the centre of the brain being like the universe. At the centre is the sun, and so at the centre of our brain is the word coincidence. All the planets revolve around the sun (circle the sun) and so everything else revolves around the word coincidence.

    The basic level is the same as natural instincts, things we do without giving much or any thought. breathing, sleeping, involuntary movements are all done from base level. Things we do without have to initiate them or consciously think about them.

    I hope this makes sense.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The following sentences are about ' coincidence.' and I don't understand exactly what the red parts imply.

    According to Tenenbaum, many of the connections our minds make revovle around coincidence.... Since coincidence operates at such a basic level in our brains, it is not surprising that we someties see connections where they do not exist.
    In this context, the word coincidence is used in a somewhat different way from the norm.

    In normal conversation I understand coincidence as the third definition in the WordReference dictionary:
    3 coincidence, happenstance
    an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental

    In the topic example, coincidence is used in a more literal, more scientific, way to mean something much more like the first definition:
    1 concurrence, coincidence, conjunction, co-occurrence
    the temporal property of two things happening at the same time;

    So I understand the sentence to mean that many of the connections are minds make are based on (revolve around) our memory of connections observed in the past - of past events that happened at the same time or were directly related in time.

    For example, I found out yesterday that if I turn my central heating boiler up to the maximum it overheats and stops working. That is a coincidence of observed events based on my doing this several times. I have no learnt that if I want to keep reasonably warm then until the boiler expert comes along to sort out this problem I should avoid turning the boiler to maximum.

    Such coincidence is an essential part of our learning process, part of our way of intelligently adapting to the way the world works.
    The second sentence makes the point that because coincidence is so much a part of the way our minds work, we are always looking for connections, it is not at all surprising that from time to time we make the wrong connections
     
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