A Mind Experiment – Part 3


Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful! – Thomas Dolby

Welcome to the final leg of the mind experiment.  This post will be a little different from the previous two in that it requires those who wish to be the subjects that shape the findings to answer some questions in the comment section below.  If you choose to do so, please answer the following questions from which I will derive the results of the experiment – assuming that it will yield results that bear upon the theory being explored, of course.  The nature of the scientific method is that it rules theories out just as frequently as it bolsters them.   Here are the 5 questions:

  1. At the end of part 2, I asked you to pay attention over the course of a day to “any random thoughts that enter your mind without any apparent outside stimulus. A friend you haven’t thought of in years, a vague memory suddenly coming to the forefront of your mind for no obvious reason”.  If you experienced anything like this (including dreams with odd or unexpected subject matter), please describe the situation(s).  If you did not, just write “none”.
  2. Name the last program you watched on TV.
  3. Last week, incarcerated Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten was granted parole for the second year in a row. Last year, Governor Jerry Brown overrode the parole board’s decision forcing her to remain behind bars.  Do you have any strong feelings about this?  Do you believe the 68-year-old “model prisoner” and former homecoming queen should be granted a release?  Whether your answer is yes or no, please explain why you feel the way you do – preferably from a human/emotional standpoint as opposed to a legal one.
  4. What do you make of the platitude “there are no coincidences”? Not from a linguistic angle, because of course, any 2 things happening simultaneously constitute a literal coincidence by virtue of the fact that they coincide.  I mean, do you believe this statement to be true in its implication that “everything happens for a reason”?  If you care to, please elaborate on your answer.
  5. Take your best guess as to what I am trying to discern with this experiment.

Thanks in advance to anyone and everyone who takes the time to answer the questions above in the comment section below.  I will wait a couple of days and then post the results in the finale.   (I’m not sure if there is a limit to how much text a comment window allows.  If your answers to the questions exceed the space provided, please send them to me via the “Contact” page.)

30 thoughts on “A Mind Experiment – Part 3

  1. I have been thinking about a friend known only from social media, “Sunshine” she’s been a catalyst of sorts for my recent inner journey, I’ve not heard from her and she’s in So. Florida- T.V. Myth Busters- Leslie.. let her free, she’s not likely a threat. No coincidences-There is an interconnectedness in the cosmos that most may not be conscious of the law of attraction, and so on. I think you may find the answers quite similar or may be hoping to

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Whoa, spooky action at a distance, I guess so. I just started following you, now – I’m somewhat scared! (ha) In theory, I could answer these questions without knowing anything about part 1. Then I would be providing a false positive in your experiment as I only answered half of the questions… I will wait for the results however, I can’t wait~Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. A memory came to me without any obvious reason, which may even be a memory of a dream, I’m not entirely sure. I was about 9 or 10 years old in Paris with my Dad walking by a large copse with a bike track around it. It was late on in the day, and there was a sense of sadness at having to grow up and make sensible decisions instead of doing the fun stuff like spontaneous bike rides.
    2. Peep Show (UK comedy)
    3. I wouldn’t say I have a strong emotional feeling about this, but my general opinion is that she should get parole. Without doubt people change their views and motivations over such a long period of time, and she was still so young and under influences we cannot understand when she committed her crime. I also think if a ‘model prisoner’ is not given parole, it sends the message to other prisoners that there is literally no benefit to them in making efforts to reform.
    4. I don’t believe in a divine fated plan, but I think there are causal relationships behind events that we can’t always see. That doesn’t necessarily make coincidences connected, it just means there is something going on in our minds that makes it more probable that we will notice certain things.
    5. My guess would be something to do with subliminal messages and the way our attention is focused in particular directions without us consciously noticing.

    I look forward to results day!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 1. I saw a woman in the supermarket who looked like a girl I barely knew twenty years ago, who died from cancer not long after I met her.
    2. The first episode of the second season of “Daredevil”. (Some unbelievably racist stereotypes of Irish people in that one, watched it anyway.)
    3. No strong feeling, but given her age at the time of the crime and the fact that her brain was not fully developed at the time, and that she has been a ” model prisoner”, parole seems reasonable. However, the family of her victim and their feelings should also be taken into account.
    4. The human brain is hardwired by evolution to look for patterns, for example, seeing a “face” in the moon when there are only craters. We see connections between events. Sometimes they are real, other times imagined. When they are particularly fortuitous or particularly ironic, we tend to feel we are being favoured or punished by unseen forces.
    5. My guess would be that you are trying to determine general worldview and it’s relationship to suggestibility.
    Cool experiment in any case, definitely got me interested in your site.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 1. “none”

    2. Sherlock

    3. I have not followed the Manson stories over the years, so only know “of” them, not “about” them. That being said, I would think that a person such as this who committed a heinous crime in their naive youth, and who may have been unduly influenced by the machinations of another, can surely reform, in time, and prove to be a better person at an advanced age than they were in their youth. If she were eligible for parole, and that parole were found worthy, I would have no problem whatsoever with her release.

    4. I do not adhere to this adage, with a however or two. Things just happen, in life, in the universe, and the “reason” they do is the one that we assign to it. I do, however, consider our assigned reason to be legitimate. Therefore,if we presume that my wife and I were “meant to be” because we are so compatible, it happened for that reason. For us, it was not a coincidence. I do not, however, believe that invisible forces in the cosmos brought us together. So, subjectively, things happen for a reason. Objectively, not so much.

    5. My best guess is that you’re trying to draw a parallel between a certain mindset (perhaps the fixed or growth mindsets of Carol Dweck’s psychology studies, or something similar with imaginative/pragmatic mindsets) and the influence of subliminal messaging? Or you were just finding a cool way to share that awesome video from Part 2, that I can’t stop re-watching (or hearing). Either way, I’ve loved the maze and enjoyed being the rat!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 1. None: too much outside stimuli due to storm coverage (former Katrina refugee) and my post-op oral surgery weekend.

    2. QI (British panel show) Season 1 Episode 1 We had not seen that particular episode yet.

    3. I believe she should get parole. 3 reasons:
    a. She is not harmful to the outside world.
    b. She was a victim of extreme manipulation.
    c. It would save taxpayer $’s

    4. I do believe in coincidences. I do not think their is an uber-plan that has everything working in conjunction to bring about every event towards some master event.

    5. 1 of 3 possible reasons:
    a. I believe you are doing this to engage a collective of diverse humans in a shared event to prove the uniqueness of our spirit. You are a student of universe and wish to helps reveal this uniqueness to ourselves.
    b. That was one helluva doobie.
    c. You bet your brother a single $1 you could get a bunch of cyber-strangers to do this.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 1) I think I already mentioned the dream I had where I took two penguins to a wedding.
    2) Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    3) Yes. If they let Karla Homolka out of jail after only twelve years, then Leslie definitely deserves a chance.
    4) Not really, but I do believe that certain people are meant to meet each other for whatever reason.
    5) I think you’re trying to find out the meaning of life, the universe and everything. The answer is 42.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 1. None. Sorry, my life is pretty simple and so is my brain.
    2. Daily Show
    3. If we don’t trust the parole board, why have them? Let her out.
    4. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so I don’t think events are completely unrelated but I think we also tend to find meaning where there probably is none. We like to feel important. And clever, after all.
    5. I think you just want to see who is paying attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 1. None…… I was busy writing for a post since 2 AM.
    2. FIVE on Netflix before I turned it off to concentrate on posting.
    3. I ‘d seem heartless if I said no parole for a 60 year old woman…. but….. she and her cohorts murdered a pregnant woman who was about to give birth. To me, that was unforgivable.
    4. I think ” everything happens for a reason” and ” there are no coincidences ” are 2 different matters. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, but at same time, I also believe there are no coincidences. Is that oxymoron or a paradox ?
    5. I have a feeling you are trying to discern our spirituality and moral values/ethics.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that pro-choice doesn’t equate to pro-abortion and I feel much the same way. However, Leslie wasn’t there on the first night of murders when that happened to Sharon Tate. Susan Atkins was responsible for that. Leslie was at the LaBianca house on the second night and she stabbed one of them 16 or 17 times.


    1. Great replies! Of course, now that you’ve seen the conclusion, you realize you gave me far too much credit for your answer to #5. But I completely understand what you said for #4 and I think it’s a paradox but not an oxymoron.


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