Guide A Mere Chance: A Novel (Complete)

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Meanwhile, the owner of the financial institution where Neal works, Denholme Cavendish, has asked him to manage a secret bank account, number , belonging to Andrei Gregorski from Saint Petersburg. On the night preceding the day of the narrative, Satoru and Tomoyo from the previous chapter, evidently in love, share a table with Brose in a cafe. Their obvious affection for each other leads Brose to meditate on love and the end of his own marriage to Forbes. That same evening, a policeman, Huw Llewellyn, confronts Brose about the Gregorski account and demands that Brose give him information.

That night, Brose leaves a large amount of cash in the apartment for his maid. The next day, Brose suffers a breakdown; instead of going to work, he climbs a hill towards the Tian Tan Buddha , along the way discarding his belongings, a briefcase containing his cellphone and pager and his Rolex watch. In the grip of a debilitating diabetic condition, he drops dead, causing the investigation and crash of the financial institution for which he works. As a young girl she is raped by the son of the local warlord, and gives birth to a daughter who is raised by relatives in Hong Kong.

The woman believes that a tree outside the Tea Shack speaks to her and gives her counsel. Over the course of her life, her shack is destroyed several times; first by the Japanese and then by the Communists. Each time, the woman rebuilds the shack and tries to make a living, venting her anger at each group's treatment of her village. Eventually, reformists arrive and open up the shack and its surrounds to tourists, much to her chagrin. On one occasion, she witnesses a man asking another tourist about the origins of a Mongolian folk tale.

Having grown old, the woman discovers that she is now a great-grandmother and her great-granddaughter worked as a cleaning lady for a Westerner, evidently Neal Brose from the previous chapter. The old woman goes up to the top of the mountain, where the Buddhist temples are, to find freedom for her late father's soul. Her great-granddaughter and niece come to visit her in her shack, and while they stay, she peacefully falls asleep dying in the upper room in her home. Urban and rural Mongolia is seen through the eyes of a disembodied spirit, a " noncorpum " which survives by inhabiting living hosts.

It has lost memory of its origin, only recollecting starting inside a soldier's mind at the foot of the Holy Mountain in China.

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Its only other memory is a fable about three animals thinking about the fate of the world. The noncorpum transmigrates from host to host, using whatever measures necessary to find the fable's origins. For years the noncorpum inhabits the mind of the lady of the Tea Shack, manifesting as the voice of tree. The noncorpum subsequently transmigrates into Caspar, a Danish backpacker, after overhearing a guest at the Tea Shack explain the fable's Mongolian origins. Inhabiting Caspar, the noncorpum travels to Mongolia, where Caspar meets an Australian girl, Sherry; the pair initiate a relationship.

The noncorpum transmigrates between a number of Mongolian natives, searching for a Mongolian writer said to know the origin of the fable. When one of its hosts is murdered by a KGB agent, Suhbataar, the noncorpum gets loose and finds itself trapped in a ger with many other ghosts.

It is eventually reborn as a Mongolian baby. The noncorpum manages to transmigrate to the baby's grandmother, who reveals its origins. The noncorpum was once a young boy from a remote Mongolian village. When Communists were about to execute the boy, a monk tried to save his life by transporting his soul into a young girl who later became the grandmother.

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The connection, however, was broken and only the memories passed on to the girl. The rest of the boy's soul ended up in a nearby soldier. Having discovered its origins, the noncorpum decides to transmigrate back to the baby, who would have otherwise died, as her mortal soul. Margarita Latunsky passes her days as a museum attendant in the Hermitage Museum , secretly planning a heist of a Delacroix painting housed there.


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Her abusive boyfriend Rudi is the mastermind of the heist, while English painter Jerome produces counterfeit paintings to replace those which they steal. The band works for the Russian crime boss Andrei Gregorski, who procures buyers and pockets most of the proceeds. Margarita reluctantly acts as museum curator's mistress, at the same time dreaming of moving to Switzerland with Rudi using the proceeds of their heists.

Rudi encourages this fantasy, though it is clear he has no intention of following through. In Soviet times Margarita claims to have been the lover of a powerful politician and an admiral. However, Rudi implies that the politician was a low-ranking official and her "admiral" a mere captain. After the group successfully steals the painting, Latunsky returns to find her apartment ransacked.


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She retrieves a concealed pistol and goes to Jerome's apartment, where she demands he give it to her. When Jerome refuses, telling her she was merely a pawn in a wider operation, she shoots him dead. In Jerome's kitchen she discovers Rudi, who has already been murdered by Jerome.

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Finally, the No-Pre-Exposure group saw no humanoid stimuli during pre-exposure; instead, they were exposed to a set of cartoon fish that had been used in other experiments. All four groups were trained to categorize the same 16 humanoids. Head, wings, body, and arms each varied across two equally frequent values, while antennae and legs varied across four values. While all five dimension values occurred during pre-exposure, none of the training exemplars had been experienced during pre-exposure.

An object might always be in category A if it had either a furry head and square body or a bald head and a round body but never in category A if it had a furry head and a round body or a bald head and a square body. A rule with the same abstract structure could also be applied to the wing and arm dimensions. Critically, successful combinations used to categorize stimuli were head and body or wings and arms; these were the dimensions correlated in the Correlated Diagnostic condition of pre-exposure.

Two combinations that could not be used to categorize the stimuli were head and wings or body and arms; these were the dimensions correlated in the Correlated non-Diagnostic conditions of pre-exposure. During pre-exposure, participants viewed a sequence of pre-exposure humanoids. The Correlated Non-Diagnostic and Correlated Diagnostic groups each saw 15 random sequences of the 32 pre-exposure humanoids constructed for their respective conditions trials.

The Uncorrelated group saw a random set of humanoids. The No-Pre-Exposure group saw a set if imaginary fish randomly selected over the trials. During pre-exposure, we asked participants to press the space bar whenever a stimulus was displayed off-center Before pre-exposure, participants viewed a series of examples of fish stimuli the same stimuli viewed in the No-Pre-Exposure condition that were either on-center or off-center, labeled so that participants could understand how far off-center the stimuli had to be.

A Mere Chance: A Novel (Complete)

Pre-exposure stimulus duration and ISI were ms. Following pre-exposure, participants in all four conditions were trained to categorize with feedback the same set of 16 stimuli, presented randomly over 35 blocks trials. Each stimulus was presented for 1 s. We analyzed accuracy and reaction time during category learning as a function of learning epoch seven training epochs. However, given the difficulty of the exclusive or rule, accuracy in the last two learning epochs was bimodally distributed, with some participants near ceiling while others remained near chance; this occurred in all four conditions.

Therefore, we divided our participants into high performing and low-performing groups based on a median split of accuracy during the last two epochs of category learning epochs 6 and 7.


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  4. Accuracy and mean correct response time in epochs 1—5 were then subjected to a between-subjects ANOVA with factors of Pre-exposure condition and Performance Group. This ensured that the data analyzed in the ANOVA differed from the data used to select groups, while limiting potential ceiling effects. Figure 2. Mean accuracy and reaction time for Experiment 2, plotted separately for high and low performers.

    Our results suggest an effect of statistical learning during pre-exposure on later category learning. This in turn could lead participants to test hypotheses about jointly attended features, speeding learning in the Correlated Diagnostic condition and slowing learning in the Correlated Non-Diagnostic condition. Based solely on the superior accuracy in the Correlated Diagnostic condition relative to the Correlated non-Diagnostic condition, statistical learning might have facilitated category learning, impaired category learning, or both.

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    However, comparison to the Uncorrelated and No-Pre-Exposure conditions allows a more nuanced interpretation, whereby statistical learning may actually impair category learning by directing attention to counter-productive feature combinations. First, superior performance of the Uncorrelated group over the No-Pre-Exposure group suggests an effect of feature familiarity.

    Because participants in the Uncorrelated group were pre-exposed to exemplars with randomly combined features, improvement cannot be accounted for by learning to jointly attend to dimensions with correlated values. Two possible reasons for this effect fall under the rubric of feature familiarity: One possibility is that Uncorrelated pre-exposure increased perceptual fluency with the stimulus features e.