I keep seeing 12:34 on my computer clock. Cue the numerologists!
Posted by David Brooks | Tuesday, May 6, 2014
At least once a week I notice that the clock on my Windows computer at work says 12:34. (that's p.m.; I'm not at work at midnight) My attention is drawn to that one-minute slice of the workday far more than it is drawn to any any other minute ... or is it?
No, it's not. I know the phenomenon is just selective memory at play: I actually see times like 10:47 or 2:16 just as often, but they don't register in my mind due to lack of obvious pattern.
I know this is true - but man, it sure SEEMS weird how often I notice 12:34. Significant, even. Hey, maybe the cosmos is trying to tell me something! Wow - I'm special!!!!
Don't laugh. Google "12:34 keep seeing it" and you'll find a incredible number of websites about "angel numbers" and psychic numerology and enough hoo-hah to boil the blood of even a placid skeptic. They're all based on assuring people that yes, you're special for noticing 12:34 or 11:11 or 9:11 or some numerical pattern of significance to them in their digital clocks.
The moral: Human brains don't handle randomness and coincidence very well. Not even my brain, which otherwise is pretty awesome.