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Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein

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CHAPTER FOUR

Coincidences and Curiosities

WHEN WE NOTICE A COINCIDENCE, we may not be sure what to make of it. Is it just an accident, or is some deeper pattern at work? Observing a coincidence means that we’ve spotted some events that seem related to each other even though they don’t seem to have any obvious causal link.

Coincidences are chance concurrences that should be ignored except that every so often they provide us with an early warning about a new pattern. When Michael Gottlieb encountered a second and then a third patient with a compromised immune system, he might have dismissed it. Instead he became suspicious. Something was going on, something he didn’t understand, and he needed to monitor it more carefully. Gottlieb didn’t believe ...

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