Inevitability of coincidence

I could recount many apparent coincidences from my life, but thought you might be more interested in this...I should mention that I have had some training in, and taught both statistics and mathematics. First, my example...I want to Sydney from New Zealand for the first time in 1980. I had been relatively prominent in my city (local politics), and looked forward to a couple of weeks of anonymity in a much larger city where I knew less than 10 people. Walking down George Street, the 'main street' in Sydney, I met three groups of people from my home city whom I knew on a personal basis. Reflecting on this, and regretting my exposure, I concluded that the opportunities for such coincidental meetings were many - there could have been hundreds of other people from my city known to me whom I might have met in those circumstances. There would a smaller probability of this occurring in Alice Springs of course. Lines unavoidably cross in space and in time, and must surely cross in space-time because there are so many opportunities for them so to do. How can we be sure there is something called 'coincidence', except in the relatively trivial and commonplace sense?
Total votes: 501
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:42:45 +0000Coincidence ID:3516