Mens Temporum . UK

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A Shortsited View

It might appear that the format of this website’s name is a little shorter than many, having just the suffix .UK but even this detail introduces a story filled with coincidences which now follows.

I originally registered a name for my eventual website when I was well through writing my novel but that name was the more conventional, that having been the name adopted by the organisation in my novel. At that time I already had another website registered in 2010 on which to document my Honeywell computer project. Before registering the latter I had checked the internet and domain name indexes to ensure that using “HoneyPi” didn’t seriously encroach on anyone else’s existing domains but I found little of any importance, so went ahead and used that name.

One incidental item that did catch my attention was that the singer Kate Bush had released an acclaimed double album Aerial and its first disc subtitled A Sea of Honey included the song Pi in which she sang many of the digits of that never-ending number. I had at the time spent two weeks working intently on coding a very challenging programme to calculate Pi to run as a test of my planned computer just to verify that I would still be capable of writing programmes for it once it was built. Having succeeded in writing it I put that programme, which I called “the Pi factory” on my website. Consequently out of curiosity as much as a liking for Kate’s singing ability I bought the album and indeed the words of that song mentioned the infatuation of a man with the calculation of Pi much as I myself had had for a while.

In 2011 my novel mentioned the KT2400DC computer used to control the environment in the Pumpkin building including the vital temporal and interactive field generators and this machine was usually just called Katie, but I hadn’t intended any connection with Kate Bush although it was said to have a very sultry voice. This machine was entirely separate from the supercomputer used elsewhere, which seemed to have no name or voice despite being far superior. I actually chose a type number for Katie based on Honeywell equipment type numbers, so the obvious nickname may just have been a genuine coincidence for once.

After completing my first draft of the novel I wrote odd chapters of the later story focussing on the essential scenes intending to insert the body of the story later, not that I ever did, so I happened to write the potential end of one novel and the opening of a subsequent one which were connected by a carefully crafted transitional link. This link had as an essential part a portable radio playing Pi from A Sea of Honey as I had succeeded in writing that song into the story line completely and “honey” had itself become a key word in the story. However, my infatuation with the songs of Kate Bush went no further until years later.

Around three years after finishing the novel I received an invitation to acquire the shortened website name These top level domain names had just been released for general use and were being offered to owners of existing names on a priority basis, the owner of a domain having first refusal. My Latin website name was hardly a popular choice so with no company of that name registered I had been offered first refusal and registered the name that I now use here. However, I received no offer of so realised that must have been registered since I had registered Out of curiosity I looked up the owner of that domain and to my astonishment saw my own name there. Fearing identity theft I checked for that as far as possible but nothing was amiss, so I tried accessing that other website and was redirected to a site for a holiday cottage in the far south of Devon. Given the few visitors to my own site I couldn’t imagine that the cottage’s owner would attract many more takers by confusing his site with mine so in the end I wrote to the site’s contact email address directing my message to my professed namesake. He replied to say that he was as confused as I was as he had no idea about the existence of me or my site and was a beekeeper in Bristol who used a Raspberry Pi computer to monitor the temperature and humidity in his hives. He had registered the site name in case he decided to market his design but he hadn’t realised that it had become linked to his other site for the holiday cottage. It was a ludicrous coincidence that two people with the same first and last name should have registered the same website name entirely independently about two years apart.

When my wife and I looked at the location of that cottage we realised that we would enjoy a holiday there but the cottage was too big for just us so we booked a smaller cottage adjoining it with someone else. We did enjoy our holiday in that remote location with its beautiful dark starry sky at night and we also took long walks along the clifftops nearby. Later an old friend of mine who was raised in Devon told me that he was himself very fond of that clifftop area and had taken all his girlfriends there. I also discovered that someone else had also obviously become fond of the area as we had unwittingly walked right past the clifftop home of the reclusive singer Kate Bush! To add to the coincidences I had needed to know the list of names of past rectors hanging inside a church some miles away in connection with the local history of my own home district in Kent and during my correspondence with my namesake I had asked him whether he knew anyone in the area who could look in the church for me. As a result I soon received photographs of the list of rectors, which saved us an excursion to the church during our subsequent holiday.

Just how many coincidences must occur before one feels that something strange is involved? Well, just as an exercise I ventured to discover yet another connected with my novel, the Kate Bush connection feeling a little inadequate. I did mention that our two namesakes’ websites were registered about two years apart but a characteristic of my experiences has been that dates are often very precise, so I gave thought to the fact that the actual interval had been exactly a hundred and five weeks, sceptics also always preferring accuracy to approximations. This very quickly reminded me of the second chapter of my novel in which young children are riding on a carousel, but maybe only a mathematician would see that connection, so I will explain.

In the novel three children are mentioned riding a carousel, a girl followed by two boys. When it stops the two boys get off on one side to avoid the girl, who is lifted off by the attendant. This seemed to me to fit in with a hundred and five weeks exactly by the reasoning that follows. A children’s carousel is likely to be quite small, so it would be reasonable to consider one carrying just seven children. These children could be thought of as Monday’s child, Tuesday’s child etcetera as in the old rhyme so that each revolution of the carousel represented the passing of a week. If at any point the carousel stopped and two consecutive children got off that would leave five to continue riding it. There would have been seven ways of choosing which children left at that point. If it again stopped and two more consecutive children got off there would be five ways of choosing them and three would be left as in the novel. Finally there would be three ways of choosing the last two children to get off leaving just one to be lifted off on her own by the attendant. The total number of different ways for the children to leave would then be seven times five times three, so a hundred and five ways and each turn of the carousel marks one week so also that many weeks.

A sceptic averse to anything defying strict chronology might regard this as just an enormously contrived coincidence, but such thinking would not take into account the specific mind of the one who thought of it. To me it was not a contrivance but a mere moment’s thought, one might say child’s play with mathematics being second nature to me, and if one also takes into account the alleged nature of PMIR then the possibility becomes much higher. The variables involved were exactly when I and my namesake chose to register our website names and the names that we chose. While his choices may have been straightforward even my choice of my computer’s name was an inspired thought and there was no urgent need to register the website name, so my actions were wide open to influence by PMIR. The PMIR model does not require anyone to know how an event will be brought about any more than Zeus knew exactly how to target our ironing board with his thunderbolt. All that is required is that the field of probabilities across time is deflected enough to make the final event more likely, so the degree of contrivance wasn’t an issue and neither were all the vagaries of the time taken for the necessary consecutive events to take place to complete the registration, because it would only have been the possibility of the eventual coincidence, not the intermediate events, being manipulated directly. Some readers may well disagree about much of this, which I can appreciate, but it proved to be an interesting exercise none the less and just the kind of devious trick that my mind would play one way or the other.

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