Alpha

A ALEATORY means pertaining to luck, and derives from the Latin word alea, the rolling of dice. Aleatoric, indeterminate, or chance art is that which exploits the principle of randomness.

  • Leonardo da Vinci recommended looking at blotches on walls as a means of initiating artistic ideas.
  • Jean Arp made collages by dropping small pieces of paper onto a larger piece, then adhering them where they landed.
  • André Masson and Joan Miró allowed their pens to wander over sheets of paper in the belief that they would discover in those doodles the ghosts of their repressed imaginations.
  • Tristan Tzara created poetry by selecting sentences from newspapers entirely by chance.
  • In music, the major exponent of aleatory was John Cage, who sometimes composed by using dice, and also with a randomizing computer program." — ArtLex 

APOPHASIS refers, in general, to mentioning by not mentioning.

  • "Mr. Ayers. I don't care about an old washed-up terrorist. But as Senator Clinton said in her debates with you, we need to know the full extent of that relationship [with 1960s radical Bill Ayers]. . . Senator Obama chooses to associate with a guy who in 2001 said that he wished he had have bombed more, and he had a long association with him.” – Senator John McCain, Presidential Debate, October 16, 2008
  • "[Hilary Clinton] made an unfortunate remark about Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson. I haven't remarked on it. And she offended some folks who thought she diminished the role about King and the civil rights movement. The notion that this is our doing is ludicrous." – Senator Barack Obama, January 13, 2008

APOPHENIA is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the unmotivated seeing of connections accompanied by a specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness.

  • Pareidolia is a type of apophenia involving the finding of images or sounds in random stimuli. For example, hearing a ringing phone whilst taking a shower. The noise produced by the running water gives a random background from which the patterned sound of a ringing phone might be produced.
  • “In statistics, apophenia is called a Type I error, seeing patterns where none, in fact, exist. It is highly probable that the apparent significance of many unusual experiences and phenomena are due to apophenia, e.g., ghosts and hauntings, EVP, numerology, the Bible code, anomalous cognition, ganzfeld hits, most forms of divination, the prophecies of Nostradamus, remote viewing, and a host of other paranormal and supernatural experiences and phenomena." – Robert Todd Carroll