Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

Synchronicity and Books

I’ve just had an “Oh my God” moment, or OMGM if you will, but that acronym almost sounds like something else, so you shouldn’t.

deer_palaceI’ve just finished reading a book about the family history of a well-to-do Iraqi family, in a book called Late for Tea at the Deer Palace. From the onset, set at first in 1833, it’s a charming book. Then as times move on and the book progresses to the present it becomes, well, less charming, and more about struggles and strife. All honest stuff none the less and I found it an enjoyable read.

The family is the Chalabi family. I decided to Google “Chalabi” and the first result was the Wikipedia page about Ahmed Chalabi (or Ahmad Chalabi as his name is written in the book). Whilst reading the book I kind of glanced over the details about Ahmad, as you do when you read a part that doesn’t strike up any particular interest.

I started to read about him on the Wikipedia page, the opening paragraph is this:

“Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi… (born 30 October 1944) is an Iraqi politician. He was interim oil minister in Iraq in April–May 2005 and December–January 2006 and deputy prime minister from May 2005 until May 2006. Chalabi failed to win a seat in parliament in the December 2005 elections, and when the new Iraqi cabinet was announced in May 2006, he was not given a post. Once dubbed the “George Washington of Iraq” by American supporters, he has fallen out of favor and is currently under investigation by several U.S. government sources. He was also the subject of a 2008 biography by investigative journalist Aram Roston, The Man Who Pushed America to War; The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, And Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi…” – wikipedia

That last part is cited, the paragraph doesn’t quite end there but I clicked down the page to the source, following the trail of breadcrumbs as I tend to do. “The Man Who Pushed America to War; The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, And Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi” is a book, the citation pointed to a web page that didn’t work (it’s linked to a .com address but Googling it will get you to a .org address which works but doesn’t seem relevant to the source).

prophets_of_warI looked up the book on Amazon, which it found. Then, in glancing down the list of results, the book suggested after this title is one called Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex by William D. Hartung. I was intrigued. I clicked on, into the details about the book. The breadcrumbs seemed to be to my liking – I’ve read books by James Bamford and the description of this one by Hartung seemed to be of a similar tone.

I scrolled down to the reviews. Amazon said there was one. I read it. It was helpful. I glanced at who wrote the review…

Rolf Dobelli.

thinking_clearlyAnd there it hit me, the “Oh my God” moment (the OMGM if you will, but shouldn’t). Rolf Dobelli. as I immediately recognised was the author of the book I had read prior to reading Late for Tea at the Deer Palace. His book was The Art of Thinking Clearly – the secrets of perfect decision-making.

I can see no link between these books, why a few hops across bread-crumby stepping stones, seemingly in a straight line, lead me in such a circle. As I recall, I had picked up a few books from the library on the same day which included the Deer Palace one and The Art of Thinking Clearly. I had pulled them off shelves from two different sections, with no thoughts about links between the two, but now they were, through the powers of weirdness (which I like to call synchronicity), both mysteriously pointing to this third book, which I don’t think I have heard about before, nor its author.

I will seek out a copy. One can’t let these synchronicitical moments pass us by without acting on them… or writing about them on one’s blog.


I’ve written about Synchronicity before [link], I sometimes refer to following their trails as Chasing Gooses [link].

Prophets of War –

The Art of Thinking Clearly –

Late for Tea at the Deer Palace –


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