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June 25th, 2008


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01:28 pm - Bruges
The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon is a sub-category of synchronicity:

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon occurs when a person, after having learned some (usually obscure) fact, word, phrase, or other item for the first time, encounters that item again, perhaps several times, shortly after having learned it... unintentionally coined by readers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press ... a reader submitted a story about how he or she first heard about the Baader-Meinhof Gang and then heard about it again a short while later from a totally different source... There are several theories about the psychological explanation of the phenomenon, including a popular one that cites as its primary cause the recency effect, in which the human brain has a bias that lends increased prominence to new or recently acquired information.


I find that once you have heard about the phenomenon, it will occur as a meta-phenomenon. That is, having heard about the B-M effect, you will notice not only a run of synchronous occurrences constituting a B-M effect, but a run of BM-effects.

A BM-phenomenon happened to me recently after I watched In Bruges. Much of that action in that film centred on the tower of Bruges cathedral. I then listened on audio to the second half of Cloud Atlas, the penultimate part of which was set in Bruges, with much of the action taking place in the cathedral tower. Next I visited my mum, and noticed a framed picture she has owned since before I was born. That tower looked familiar. I looked closer at the artist's initials, next to them was written the tiny word Brugge; I assume that means 'Bruges' in Flemish. The picture was of the tower of Bruges cathedral.

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:June 25th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
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Having spent a holiday there in about 1980, I suspect a lot of the locals would say Bruges means Brugge in French.
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From:hafren
Date:June 25th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
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Snap! The sane thing occurred to me.
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From:communicator
Date:June 25th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
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Right. I wonder why we know it as Bruges in this country then?
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From:andrewducker
Date:June 25th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
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Amusingly, I have read Cloud Atlas, and the fact that a chunk of it is set in Bruges completely passed me by. I suspect that were I to read it after seeing In Bruges, it would have struck me more - thus highlighting the mechanism behind the phenomenon :->
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From:communicator
Date:June 25th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it was the second time I had gone through it, and it hadn't registered with me the first time either. And I definitely have seen that picture in my mum's living room, thousands of times.
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From:korintomichi
Date:June 25th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for that - it was really interesting. Suspect that's how we ended up visiting Armenia a few years ago. A Sergei Paradjanov film followed by a few Atom Egoyan movies and Kurt Vonnegut mentioning Armenia in one of his books all within the space of a few weeks and we'd developed a fascination - we had to go find out what the place was like! And the answer was 'very lovely indeed'. Now I know this to be a phenomenon I'll start looking out for the B-M effects.
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From:communicator
Date:June 25th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
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How lovely to have the free kind of life where you can think 'Let's check out Armenia' and be able to do it.
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From:korintomichi
Date:June 26th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
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It wasn't as impulsive as it sounded! But movies have most definitely shaped our holiday plans on a number of occasions.
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From:communicator
Date:June 26th, 2008 08:41 am (UTC)
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What did you think of the football last night? I went in with no preferences but from five minutes in I was rooting for Turkey and gutted that Germany won.
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From:communicator
Date:June 26th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
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When I say I went in with no preferences I'm misremembering - I went in like you with a vague feeling of support for Germany, but they blew it with their indifferent lacklustre performacne

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