Patterns That Aren't There

Shared on a Dr. Who Facebook page. What jumps out to me is the silliness of the quote itself. If my wife orders pizza periodically and I notice she always orders sausage and mushroom, I can say “I see a pattern.” If I’m working with numbers and I see “1,2,3,5,8,13,21” I can say, “I see a pattern” (I could even name that pattern after an Italian guy). But in neither case am I seeing something “really there.” I’m not seeing sausage and mushrooms, and I’m certainly not seeing numbers. Simply put, patterns are never really there. They are a mental construct.

So, what the Doctor’s statement really boils down to is, he’s telling us “I’m smarter than you. I can make better mental constructs than you can.” But to indicate that he sees patterns that are “really there” may not be such a smart thing.

Of course, maybe this is just what he’s saying: “You think these patterns are really there; actually, no patterns are really there. Take that!

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