Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The coincidence of April 10

Today life threw up one of those freaky coincidences.

Let me explain.

After a few months of planning, today I revealed plans for a new YouTube channel.

The channel will be about computers and computer science.

In some ways it will be a spin-off from my mathematics channel, Numberphile.

For that reason I wanted to call it COMPUTERPHILE.

Unfortunately the YouTube username computerphile was already taken by someone in Norway.

I contacted the owner and explained my situation.

Luckily the owner - a chap named Jan Kristian Fagerstad - knew of me because he watches Sixty Symbols.

(This is not the coincidence)

Jan agreed to let me take over his channel because he did not have any followers and used the account simply for viewing.

So after a few technical machinations, today (April 10) I finally took control of the computerphile channel.

I was able to delete most of Jan's history and data - allowing me to start with an almost blank slate.

I then advertsied the channel for the first time (in this video), in the hope of building some subscribers before uploading new videos from May onwards.

Amazingly the channel went from zero to 10,000 subscribers in just a few hours. People seem enthused.

But here is the coincidence.

The only thing I could not delete from Jan's original details on the profile was his joining date - April 10, 2009.

And the date I "launched" the channel, revealing it to the world - April 10, 2013.

Exactly four years later.

This was not planned and I did not even notice until a Twitter follower pointed it out!

I just "went public" the day it was handed over to me.

I dunno, maybe this is silly... But I was amazed.


  1. 1/365≈0.00274
    So probability was about 0.274%. Cool

  2. It's not a coincidence! I planned this over 4 years ago because I knew you would eventually ask me to hand over the YouTube channel! :P

  3. A love things like this. Really amazing :)

  4. Have you already covered chance occurrence and coincidence with numberphile? if you haven't already, I recall Dr Karl Kruszelnicki mentioning something about a month being a long time for those one in a million chance events to occur, and that we should experience such co-incidences regularly.

  5. Just as James Grime once said in a numberphile video about coin tosses: "Even really unlikely events happen." By the way, that was a very funny comment, Computerphile :D.

  6. Wow, Norwegians really are super organized.

  7. As Pratchett says, a million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. If you can get the odds up that high it's an almost certainty that it will happen.

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