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“”Pink is my favourite colour, do you know what pink is? Red 27,white 65. 65 plus 27,92. 'pink' has 4 letters, 92 divided by 4, twenty-fucking-three.
|—The film Number 23|
Michael Jordan's jersey number a number which, for some odd reason, strikes a chord in the minds of certain conspiracy theorists and related people, who claim it has a significance that other numbers don't; some people call this the 23 enigma. Twenty-three is one of three numbers used as the basis for pseudoscientific biorhythms. The mysteriousness of the number 23 was first raised as a concept by Robert Anton Wilson, to whom William S. Burroughs related (no doubt in his trademark dry, gravelly voice) that "he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident. That very day, Clark’s ship had an accident that killed him and everybody else aboard. Furthermore, while Burroughs was thinking about this crude example of the irony of the gods that evening, a bulletin on the radio announced the crash of an airliner in Florida, USA. The pilot was another Captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23." Wilson apparently went on to study the number more closely, and discovered that it seemed to occur more often than circumstances called for, although he admitted that "When you start looking for something you tend to find it."
Devotees of the 23 phenomenon include the mathematician John Nash (who once claimed to be Pope John XXIII and died on May 23rd in a car crash); the Discordians (who probably got it from Robert Anton Wilson); and the appropriately-named 23rdians, who involve it in their mystical thinking. The Knights Templar had 23 Masters and are implicated in all that Priory of Sion/Da Vinci Code bollocks. It is also one of "the numbers" on the television show Lost. Movies have been made about this idea, both bad and good. The movie Number 23 starring Jim Carrey is a great example of this theory, as well as how it may affect the mind of someone who would start digging for the number 23 everywhere.
- Number 23 (2007): Quotes, IMDb
- See the Wikipedia article on 23 enigma.
- 23 fascinating facts about the number twenty-three, The Independent, 23 February 2007
- Number 23 recap: let me count the ways in which you don't add up, Stuart Heritage, The Guardian, 11 Aug 2013