Synchronicity, Hyperdimensional Strings, and Sybil’s Garage

Skein of the CosmosYesterday I went to a lecture on String Theory at the Hayden Planetarium. I took the C train to 81st street and arrived way too early, so I decided to walk over to Broadway and get something to eat. As I’m walking, I’m thinking, “My sister lives in this area. Wouldn’t it be funny if I ran into her? But you know what they say about Manhattan: ‘It’s so large you hardly ever run into anyone you know.'” So I finish my meal, wander over to the Planetarium, and eventually take my seat inside its giant spherical chamber. So, can you guess who walks in to the very same row (and mind you, this theater seats about 300) ? Yes. My sister. Just happened to be there. So here are the events that connected us:

I must have once paid for a ticket to the Museum of Natural History with my credit card because I get a brochure from them every month. Last week I flipped through it, thinking, “Oh, this lecture on String Theory sounds cool.”

My sister, on the other hand, plays soccer in a league. One of her teammates is getting a degree in Physics from Columbia. He was originally set to go with his friend, but this person bailed, so he asked my sister.

We ended up sitting together. This, to me, is especially uncanny because I had thought about it only moments before it actually happened. To someone like Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, (and incidentally, last night’s lecturer, Leonard Susskind) it is probably just a coincidence. I feel, however, that ‘coincidence’ is too simple a word to describe this. Aren’t there possible causes that brought these seemingly random events together? Physics as we currently understand it offers no answer to such events besides random chance. That, to me, is a cop out. Carl Jung moved in the right direction (even if his use of astrology as a data set is a bit kooky, in my opinion). We need a better understanding of the Cosmos to understand events like this. How weird that the lecture was about String Theory and invisible higher dimensions. Maybe we were connected in one of them?

Also, incidentally, the lecture was fascinating, if a bit historical. I now have to do my homework on “Eternal Inflation” and “Bubble Nucleation,” the hot new buzzwords of Cosmology.

Anyway, a brief Sybil’s Garage slush queue update:

231 total fiction submissions
6 stories accepted
60 poetry subs (approx.)
5 poems accepted

Big Note: We are closing to poetry on December 31st, 2006 and fiction on January 15th, 2007. Please note these dates.