There are so many threads on this and I thought I posted in the main one just a bit ago. It looks like this may be the OP on the subject. Hope it's
okay that I repost this here...
I'd like to throw in another perspective on this if I may. My wife and I have discussed this type of thing before and I'm willing to bet, you've
encountered the same thing.
Just the other day I saw a new VW Beetle in Tokyo. I said to my wife "wow, 2 years in Tokyo and this is the first Beetle I've seen". She says,
"hmm...I see them all the time...I think...". That was just a couple weeks ago. Now we see Beetles literally everywhere. That blew away the
rarity that I thought existed.
This is an example of what is sometimes called The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon
Potentially it may be a bit of selective attention
amplified by the
When I taught in a classroom, I saw this happen quite a bit. Students never noticed certain things brought about within lessons, but soon saw those
things literally all the time.
In the case of the birds and fish, yes, this has happened before...in just as quizzical numbers as we are seeing now. A quick internet search focused
on just one year dredged up this thread: www.puppstheories.com...
September 2004 sure looked like it may mark the
end of the world. In all likelihood, these sorts of animal deaths occur quite commonly. Try a search yourself...it's quite enlightening.
First, we have an interesting, though not totally unusual story about birds falling from the sky at the turn of the New Year. The cause is yet
unknown, but Occam's razor suggests that we tend toward the simpler, or more common answers...that being of natural effects. Next, let's add in the
large amount of media attention this story has garnered. Closer attention reveals that fish have died somewhat nearby, but the laws of probability
are not necessarily bent or broken here. Now, "selective attention" is paid, not just to this localized area, but rather on a global basis
amplified by what has been recently noticed.
Has this happened before? You bet. Does this mean that this new observation is purely coincidental and it is just our minds trying to put it all
together with some sort of pattern? Probably, as that is what our brains are so darned good at and Occam's razor would lean us in that direction.
Though it also means that the answer could also fall on the smallest margin of the razor.