The Roots of Coincidence
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First UK edition (1972, Hutchinson)
The Roots of Coincidence is a 1972 book by Arthur Koestler, an introduction to theories of parapsychology, including extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis. Koestler postulates links between elements of quantum mechanics, such as the behaviour of neutrinos and their interaction with time, and these paranormal phenomena. It is influenced by Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity.
Appearance in popular culture
In Volume 7 of Alan Moore-David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, Inspector Finch is seen reading The Roots of Coincidence. Koestler is referenced several times in the work, and in the movie novelization by Steve Moore. Koestler's ideas would also make their way into the Dr. Manhattan issues of Moore's and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen.
The musician Sting was an avid reader of Koestler. Sting named The Police's final studio album Synchronicity as a reference to The Roots of Coincidence. Sting had named The Police's previous album, Ghost in the Machine, after another of Koestler's books.
The youth fiction book Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett references this work in chapter 14.
It also featured in Episode 4 (Entangled) of Series X of Red Dwarf, to explain the cause of apparent coincidences.
- The Roots of Coincidence (1972), US, Random House hardcover: ISBN 0-394-48038-4
- The Roots of Coincidence (1972), UK, Hutchinson harcover: ISBN 0-09-110280-4
- 1973 Vintage paperback: ISBN 0-394-71934-4
- Brian David Josephson views on parapsychology
- Novikov self-consistency principle - a principle developed in order to solve the problem of paradoxes in time travel
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