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RE: [gthomas] Moments of Truth

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  • Jeffrey Glen Jackson
    Regarding synchronicity, I work on compilers, which are computer programs that translate programming languages, such as FORTRAN or C or C++ into machine
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 1, 2000
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      Regarding synchronicity, I work on compilers, which are computer
      programs that translate programming languages, such as FORTRAN or
      C or C++ into machine language. These programs are themselves
      written in a programming language and so are used to compile themselves.
      (Sorry for the long technical explanation -- I'm getting to the point
      soon). Now, the C compiler is written in C. A new version is compiled
      with an old version of the compiler. Then we recompile it with the
      new version we just compiled. Then, we do it again, and make sure
      this third generation of compilations is identical to the second
      generation. The new compiler compiled with the old compiler should
      generate the same results as the new compiler compiled with
      itself. However, if the new compiler has a bug, it might generate
      incorrect code for some portion of itself, causing the new compiler
      compiled with itself to behave differently than the new compiler compiled
      with the old compiler. More often than is reasonable, the module it
      generates incorrect code for is the module that has the bug that
      caused the incorrect code to be generated in the first place. This
      happens so often its downright spooky.

    • odell mcguire
      ... Joe/Jim Excuse me for butting in, but it seems to me this synchroneity business poses something of a dilemma for the historian. No one trying to do
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 2, 2000
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        joseph baxter wrote:

        > At 09:31 AM 10/1/2000 , you wrote:
        > >--
        > >If you are willing to actually accept synchronicity as real I suppose it
        > >could exist. The problem with synchronicity is that it is purportedly
        > >"acausal". It is very difficult to reject the laws of cause & effect which
        > >are required by science & the scientific method.
        > Jung called it acausal, but I don't see that as part of the necessary
        > explanation. As you put it, it is difficult to reject cause and effect. So
        > it could be that two things happening at the same time are the effects of
        > causes. By way of example only, one could argue that both efffects are
        > sympathetic responses to something larger, as opposed to one being the
        > cause of the other. I believe that Jung himself meant something like this.
        > Joe


        Excuse me for butting in, but it seems to me this 'synchroneity' business poses
        something of a dilemma for the historian. No one trying to do history from
        primary sources can accept the kind of seemingly meaningful coincidences being
        discussed without exhaustively eliminating all possibility of causal
        connection. If he does not hesitate to entertain the idea of simple coincidence
        he will never learn anything about his subject from his documents except what
        their writers want him to think.

        Coincidences happen. But some cannot be swallowed. I keep thinking of
        Jesus bar Ananias. According to Josephus (Jewish War.VI.300ff) this character
        was a peasant, a posessesed lunatic who, some four years before the war began,
        created an incident in the temple by repeating the words of his 'voices' at the
        Feast of Booths: "... a voice against Jerusalem and the temple (NAOS), a voice
        against bridegroom and bride, a voice against all the people" and carried these
        cries into the streets. "Woe to Jerusalem" he kept repeating. He was chastised
        first by 'leading citizens' and finally brought before the Roman governor and,
        when he refused to identify or defend himself, he was scourged 'to the bone.'
        Woe to Jerusalem.' he said. But he recovered and continued repeating his dire
        prophecies until he was finally killed by a ballista bolt during the last weeks
        of the siege in 70 AD.

        A total coincidence that a peasant named Jesus, thought to be crazy, speaking
        with the voice of a spirit, was involved in a temple incident, predicted the
        fall of city and temple before the war, was finally hauled before the Roman
        governor, refused to say who he was or defend himself, and was severely scourged
        -all a few months before Mark composed his tale--??? Some say so. But I smell
        fish, a barrelful. Else I am no historian.

        But I am nowhere near accepting as explanation the theory, currently being
        mentioned favorably by some on the Xtalk list, that Jesus, as Mark portrays him,
        was a Markan midrashic creation. (Partly based on an oral memory of Jesus

        What, then? The best I am able to come up with is that there *was* a lunatic
        Jesus Ananias who prophesied the destruction of the city, but probably after the
        siege began, and that he thereby got himself in somekind of trouble with the
        authorities and thus left a trace in the documents that Josephus worked with.
        (So far, an acceptable mass of coincidence; one can easily imagine kooks such
        as this in Jerusalem under siege and Jesus was a very common name; Josephus
        alone deals with some 20 Jesuses)

        But it was not enough by itself for a good Josephan story. (And they *were* all
        *very* good stories) By most accounts, I think, Josephus wrote 'War' in the
        80s. About 10 years after Mark wrote 2G. I suspect that Josephus had a copy of
        Mark's gospel in his library (or its predecessor PN), recognized the real
        parallels, and copied the rest to
        flesh out his story. If this is true, the real historical value of the Jesus
        Ananias 'coincidence mass' lies in the fact that Josephus had access to Mark
        before he wrote 'Antiquities' and the passages lying behind the Testimonium
        Flavianum. Etc. Etc.

        I love a mass coincidence in primary texts. As another Mark wrote about
        Historical Geology:

        "It yields such wholesale returns of conjecture out of a trifling investment
        of fact"
        From *Life on the Mississippi*
        Best wishes, Odell

        Odell McGuire
        Prof. Geology Em., W&L
        Lexington, VA
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