Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What Are the Odds?

Yesterday I arranged to see the nice people from iPadio about a new idea I have had. We agreed 5pm on Wednesday. I asked if they would mind coming to my office. They said yes, where is it? 375 Kennington Lane, I said. Well that's rather convenient, they said. "Our previous meeting is next door at 371 Kennington Lane."

What are the odds on that happening, I wonder? Spooky.

15 comments:

Stepney said...

Crikey.

When I was 9 I went on a caravanning holiday to Scotland (yeah I know, but it was the 70s). We stayed at a campsite in Northumberland and I went down to the beach where I found a cow's afterbirth. I was poking it with a stick (I thought it was alien), when another stick joined mine and poked the big red blob about a bit too. I looked up and there, holding the other stick was Dave Brown, who I sat next to in class, in Lewisham.

Christ, I must be bored.

tapestry said...

I used to pull stunts like that when I was in sales. I'm in the next door room right now......etc

Used it in politics as well.

I had to meet UKREP in Brussels as they were not understanding the position of the industry I was representing.

The UKREP negotiator was never in to phone calls, busy or out.

But one time I got him.

I told him to look out of the window. 'You see that bloke in that nice restaurant wearing the funny hat looking up at you. Well that's me.'

He heard my case, and said it was a far better briefing than he'd had from the DTI, possibly saving Europe from losing the hallmarking of jewellery, in the process.

Probably been scouting you for weeks Iain.

Scrobs... said...

In London alone, 34,500,000/1.

Chris said...

Better than you'd think. It always seems odd when coincidences happen to you because one forgets how often they happen to other people. Consider this, if you walk into a room with 19 other people, there is a 5.1% chance you share a birthday with one of them but a 52.1% chance that at least two people in the room share a birthday. Coincidences are happening all the time and every now and then they happen to you. Which is normal and entirely predictable.

If that makes any sense.

6p01156f32a1a6970c said...

Well it depends on how many meetings you have per year, are the people you deal with concentrated in a similar geographic area etc etc.

Most coincidences are just that, but then you get into synchronicity and it all gets a bit deep :-)

graybo said...

What are the odds that 373 Kennington Lane suddenly disappeared and neither of you noticed?

Bardirect said...

surely 373 is next door?

Surreptitious Evil said...

Selectivity. If they had said, "Well that's rather inconvenient - our previous meeting is at the Heathrow Hilton, we'll do our best to get to you in time", you'd have just marked it up as one of the manifest penalties for working in London.

Nothing to do with Bayesian algebra (Chris's point) or Scrob's stat. Are there really 34.5 million addresses in London? 3 per inhabitant (roughly)?

Oh, and what happened to 373?

Mike Rouse said...

373 is where Iain stores his ties and Shane stocks his hair gel.

Dobson said...

My relationship with our next door neighbor of many years was an occasional nod. On holiday in Canada I went to see Niagara Falls; I looked across at the English sounding person next to me and it was my neighbor, and yep you guessed it... we nodded politely and then went our seperate ways without exchanging a word.

miggles said...

I find this series of coincidences that happened to us wonderful, but no doubt someone like Chris will say 'not so, short odds!'
Being a deprived couple (Ahhh!), having never been left an old family Bible with history recorded in it, we had looked for years to find one for sale from another family (sad?). One day I looked on ebay and here was just what we wanted a large family Bible inscribed 'To Barbara Lindsay on leaving service previous to her marriage, from the sons of her past Mistress, Mrs. Smieton with best wishes for her happiness and highest welfare. Panmure Villa, Broughty Ferry. 21st November 1867' and in the middle a record of the births and marriages of their children. Mike was born in Monifieth next door to Broughty Ferry and moved to Cheltenham when he was 7, so we just thought this was not only just what we wanted but very appropriate. Having won the bidding (against an American bidder) the book was delivered on our 40th Wedding Anniversary, again we thought how very appropriate. When we showed the book to Mike's Aunt she said 'I know Panmure Villa very well, I was seconded there as a nurse when it became a childrens hospital' (I think during or just after the war). Coincidence?

John Copplestone said...

Iain

This is not so surprising (even if the coincidence is genuine). Kennington Lane is presumably a hotbed of political and related organisations, being relatively cheap but close to Westminster.

If your address was somewhere like 23 Penge High Street then it WOULD be a strange coincidence...

simonh said...

371 Kennington Lane is the address of Duckie, the nightclub. Coincidence?

Hawkeye said...

I stopped at the garage on the way home tonight to get petrol and check the air in the tyres. When I stopped next to the air line, all four wheels had their valves aligned at the very top of the wheel's rotation.

The chances of that are 1/360^4 = 1 in 16 billion (assuming a 1 degree variation counts).

Peter Baruffati said...

If the numbers were 376 and 372 it would have been 'evens'. Maybe it's not so spooky if you are being stalked. Wait a minute, that IS spooky.