Strange Attraction

Last night provided further evidence towards the hypothesis I formed some time ago – that I am a strange attractor. I’ve suspected for some time. If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, perhaps I should explain what a strange attractor is first.

According to the world of chaos mathematics, strange attractors exhibit stable, non-periodic behaviours or dynamics that can be represented as a non-repeating pattern in the system’s phase space.

In terms that anybody outside of a mathematics lecture might understand, a “strange attractor” is any object or device that causes statistically unlikely results to occur within it’s presence. I cause statistically unlikely results to occur in my presence all the time. Ergo, I’m a strange attractor.

Let’s give you an everyday example. I can walk into town and not see a single person walking, and no cars will pass me as I walk along the side of the road. When I reach the road junction perhaps half-way through the journey however, traffic will arrive from all directions at the exact moment I attempt to leave the pavement to cross the road.

Let’s give you an even better example from last night. We ordered fibre broadband at home before Christmas, and with everything else going on promptly forgot all about it. Last night something tripped my memory, and I called the supplier to see what was going on. After much digging, they had to admit they had never processed the order (they had processed the money though). We had essentially fallen through a hole in the system *perfectly*.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened – which is why I’m starting to wonder. Several years ago we switched broadband suppliers, and ended up with no broadband for six months because we fell perfectly through a hole in the system.

Tonight I will cycle home from the office, and reach a T-Junction. As I approach, a stream of cars will pour down the hill behind me, and prevent me from turning across the traffic. I will sit at the side of the road, and eventually start counting the cars. If I look into the distance in both directions, there will be no cars before or after the stream that coincide with me at the junction. It happens every time I reach that junction – and you know why… because I’m a strange attractor.

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