Do Bad Things Really Come In 3's? You create your reality!

Started by inavalan, January 10, 2023, 04:27:42 PM

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QuoteDisasters and catastrophes always seem to come in threes. Why is this?
By Julian Huguet

Scientists found the reason why bad things "come in threes": they simply don't. Humans look for patterns in random data in a way to extract order from disorder. The tendency is called apophenia and it was first described by German psychologist and neuroscientists Klaus Conrad 1958 who was studying people suffering the onset of schizophrenia. For them, they experience delusion as a sort of revelation.

The ability for mentally healthy people to identify and exploit patterns in nature has given us a tremendous evolutionary advantage. Mathematics, for example, is a way of describing a pattern or event that occurs in nature. Astrology, on the other hand, applies patterns onto perceived events and makes vague predictions that are easily applied to a variety of different situations. Astrology is hard to dismiss because it takes into account another human flaw in perception known as confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is our tendency to essentially cherry pick information that confirms our beliefs and conveniently overlook the examples that don't.

Another important component is the affinity of the number three in Western culture: there's a preponderance of examples of this in religion (the Holy Trinity), storytelling ("The Three Pigs", "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"), literature (the three-act play), and so on. There are threes everywhere. In reality, bad things happen all the time, but because of confirmation bias, apophenia, and our own cultural biases, we just have a tendency to group them in threes.

Do you find yourself believing in any other superstitions that you have a hard time letting go of?

Somewhat I agree, but mostly I disagree. I agree that there is no external force that impose on us bad things, and even less that it groups them in 3's. On the other hand, it doesn't explain the anecdotal evidence. Blindly negating is as "bad" as blindly accepting.

Dismissing the "number three in Western culture" is an example of short-sight, and arrogance.

For those who believe, or at least suspect that there is a reality to "bad things come in threes", that becomes an example of creating reality.
  • Something bad happens.
  • You start to worry, because you know that "bad things come in threes". So, you attract / create another bad event.
  • This confirms your belief that a bad thing doesn't come alone, and now you're worried what'll be the third bad thing. The shoe drops: the third bad thing happens!
  • Now you feel a relief: three bad things happened, so you don't need to worry anymore. Guess what: no more bad things happen!
You create your reality!

Although I don't always write it explicitly, it should be inferred that everything I post is "my belief", "my opinion" on that subject, at that moment.


Replying to myself ...  :)

During my almost daily walk, I pass by a few homes with pet-dogs. As we've never been introduced, they see me as a potential threat to their territory, so when I approach they start barking (usually from behind windows, doors, garage doors, ...). The barking gets more and more "threatening", until I pass that house and I start leaving it behind, when the barking gradually quiets down to an end.

I guess that from this chain of events, the dog concludes that his barking chased me away. So, next time he barks with even more conviction that he's acting effectively, chasing away the intruder.

I love dogs.
Although I don't always write it explicitly, it should be inferred that everything I post is "my belief", "my opinion" on that subject, at that moment.