"The Physics of Synchronicity"
"Semper as Oxhousehumper"
Although I had to work had to follow all of Wilson's arguments in the synchronicity essay and the Joyce piece, I was very interested because I keep noticing synchronicities in my own life.
None of them are earth-shattering, but they seem interesting to me. For example, on Twitter, I follow a guy named Ted Hand, who also follows me. What we mainly seem to have in common is an interest in Robert Anton Wilson, although Hand is particularly a Philip K. Dick expert.
Late on the night of Oct. 17, I Tweeted (in a Tweet addressed to Roman Tsivkin, "Iain Banks is the best Anglo-American SF writer I can think of who never won a major award." Hand retweeted my Tweet. I had no idea he was interested in Banks, and he could not even have seen my Tweet unless he followed both Roman and myself.
Meanwhile, Hand sent out a Tweet linking to a posting on the Io9 website about astronomers discovering a big asteroid that might hit the Earth -- and at almost the same time he was retweeting my Banks Tweet, I retweeted his asteroid Tweet.
Speaking of Mr. Tsivkin, he recently put a literary coincidence into my reading life. A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a blog posting here that maybe I ought to recommend that he read George Alec Effinger, a cult science fiction writer I'm fond of, and he went out and read some Effinger books. So I thought maybe I ought to let Roman recommend a book to me, and he suggested I read Too Loud a Solitude by the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal. I'm reading it now.
I've been an avid reader for decades, but I never heard of this apparently world-famous Czech writer. Which seems strange. For years, I corresponded with a very literary Czech man named Vaclav Kriz, who lived in Brno. When I looked up Hrabal's biography, I saw he was born in Brno.
But just a few days after Roman told me about Hrabal, I opened up the Wall Street Journal's Saturday books page, and read a recommendation of Hrabal's novel Closely Watched Trains.
I looked up Hrabal on Wikipedia, and his life is the tiresomely familiar sad story of an Eastern European artist abused by the regime; several of his books were allowed to be published after he gave a self-critical interview in which he supposedly said things like "as a Czech writer I feel connected to the Czech people, with its Socialist past and future." Laughably insincere, but fortunately, Communist bureaucrats don't have any more of a sense of humor than capitalist ones. But see how Hrabal died:
"He died when he fell from a window on the fifth floor of the Bulovka hospital in Prague where he was apparently trying to feed pigeons. It was noted that Hrabal lived on the fifth floor of his apartment building and that suicides by leaping from a fifth-floor window were mentioned in several of his books."
Wilson refers to Arthur Koestler's book The Roots of Coincidence more than once, so I looked it up. Wikipedia says this about it: "The Roots of Coincidence, written by Arthur Koestler, is an accessible introduction to theories of parapsychology, including extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis. It postulates links between elements of quantum mechanics, such as the behaviour of neutrinos and their interaction with time, and these paranormal phenomena. It is influenced by Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity." It would appear the book influenced Wilson's thoughts.
I liked the way Wilson tied the I Ching with the 1's and 0's of computers. This is something he does with Illuminatus!, of course, with the computer programmed to use the I Ching. The dots and dashes of Morse code transmitted on telegraph wires arguably kicked off the telecommunications revolution.
As an American blogger, I feel connected to the American people, with its Socialist past and future. No, wait, that's not current. I think James Clapper is a great American, and I wish the liberal media would leave him alone.