Murphy’s Law

Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. was an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems. He once said “If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in a disaster, then somebody will do it that way” working at Wright-Patterson Air-force base in late 1940’s, which later was popularized as Murphy’s law. He spent his life working to increase reliability and safety to prevent human error. Overall, it is statement of caution, to prepare yourself for the worst, when the best is expected.

Strangely enough, I noticed that people from both lazy-pessimistic and active-optimistic lifestyles use this quote in their own way. “What has to go wrong will go wrong anyways! Why care about it?” and “If there is something that will go wrong, we need to account for it and at least understand it!” are the most extreme thought examples to support my theory. To the core of its strangeness, human society has remained tolerant of some weird thoughts, but more importantly extremely silent about them as well. The society reveals what it shows, but believes what it does not. So, Murphy’s law might be unknown to some of you, because it is just a saying with no proof, but since the bigger chunk of population is stuck with the 9-5 grind, so Murphy’s law is synonymous with unknown glitches with any kind of work. Ultimately, quoting Murphy’s Law becomes the verbal hunter of all the nervous feelings of unknown failure to shove them deep inside and never to reveal. It makes us believe that the universe a.k.a. nature is out there to get us, so we should not fuss over something that was out of our control and try to learn from it. When I stumbled upon a cool proof recently, I had to write about it.

The most common story capturing Murphy’s subtle rant is of the tumbling of a toast with butter on one side that tumbles down to the floor. It is believed that it always falls butter side down. The toast when tumbles, somehow always falls in the worst condition possible. Robert A J Matthews, who was a visiting professor at Aston University in Birmingham U.K., in 1995, wrote a paper on the proof that the tumbling toast does fall butter down every time. He did this by proving that the dynamics of the toast with butter on one side while it is falling from the table always make it fall butter down. Robert Matthews now works as a consultant in Science and Media across the whole world.

Interestingly, he further goes on to prove in this paper that nature’s or universe’s fundamental constants (like height of an average table from where the toast can tumble which is dependent of average human height) are somehow helping the toast to fall butter down and proving the ‘innate cussedness of the universe’. But the important take away is that as humans, we are supposed to be intelligent enough to not to keep cursing the Universe and find a solution to the problem.

This is for everyone who thinks that the world out there is to get you. This paper, if extrapolated to other human situations, might prove that the world is really out there to get you! But, as humans, we like to stay on top of our life. Ultimately this tussle with the fundamental universe’s constants becomes life! or one may preach ‘ignorance is bliss’ and let the toast fall butter down with not a care! To each his own!

P.S. Nietzsche, a German Philosopher, believed that Struggle is the essence of life. If you are not struggling with something, then you are either on a break, or doing something wrong.

www.aston.academia.edu/RobertMatthews

Tumbling Toast Proof

 

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History Repeats Itself!

Millennials quote on the social media today like unicorns in an acid dream. Everyone loves to quote the quotes and hit ‘likes’ like a newborn unknown to the human kind. I hesitate frequently to vibrate on the social media in-sync with the borrowed quotes owing to their linear nature of distribution. By linear nature, I mean no contextual tagging of where, why and how the quote came about. Nagging about the quotes on the internet, I have made it inevitable for myself to not delve into one. I first heard “History Repeats Itself” when I was 12, maybe. However, I remember the teacher sarcastically grinning and blabbering this quote to a student who was failing at that young-age and had remained stationed in the same class for two years in a row already. I understood the concept with respect to this dude’s life, but I was too young to think about anything else for a long time to come. In the process, I did a lot of self-reflection – Do I repeat certain activities unknowingly? Does this habit last the rest of my life? Maybe repeating my own historic emotional, mental or physical activities and their outcomes in different scenarios is helpful, but how do I measure it? How are people repeating their mistakes, or success? What makes humans indulge so much in the history that they repeat it?

Well, the answer is simple; quotes get thrown around frequently these days without acknowledging the philosophical and worldly context and set up behind it. The original quote in our case is just not “History repeats itself”, it rather is “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Penned by George Santayana (1863-1952) (https://www.iep.utm.edu/santayan/ ), an American Writer born in Madrid, Spain in Dec 1863, in a book called “The life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress”, this was not his only quotable text. Along with the philosophy of ‘not remembering the history condemns one to repeat it’, he also notably asserted, “happiness is the only sanction in life, and where happiness fails, existence remains a sad and lamentable experience” and “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness.” (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana). Combine just these three thoughts – Progress requires retentiveness, Happiness is the only real reason of life, and not remembering history condemns one to repeat it. Pondering reveals a life pattern and a certain vision of it. These three statements, collectively, state that life is all about happiness (in whatever you can find and make meaning for yourself). Life where happiness does not exist for you makes one stress and overthink, and a push to try to find a meaning in life. Progress happens, in general, when the next level is reached, however small or large it may be. The jump to the next level, nevertheless, requires the knowledge or rather the remembrance of the history. History of all people who have tried to achieve this level, and history of the one who is now trying to achieve it. I rather started reading history as lessons learnt. History prepares us like nothing else! The best example is that I remember passing many courses based on previous year’s question papers and frequently asked questions and knowing numerous people who excelled at this art. We cannot quantify its meaning because we are not keeping detailed logs of our own or someone else’s history, and not evaluating every moment in life with respect to what has happened in the past and how it affects our jump to the next step. So, as clearly as the mirror shows you your own reflection processed through your own eyes and brain, the dialectic needed for history is limited for teaching and debating purpose, mostly. But, how do we use history on a personal level to enhance our present? Personally, I think it comes down to Emotional Intelligence (EI). Why EI? Because EI is the power to understand other people’s emotions and then regulate your own to gauge their emotional and mental frequency. (http://ei.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pub184_Brackett_Rivers_Salovey_2011_Compass-1.pdf ). It is the skill to understand anyone’s behavior and more interestingly, the probable reason behind any yelling, love, pleonasm, one-word answers, storytelling, silent treatment and other inarticulate gestures. So, remembering history and using EI together helps understand the plight of others through a much broader perspective and prepares one to act accordingly. Normally, humans like to judge each other with respect to their own experiences in past and their own ability to cope with them. Hence, the next time your parents are lecturing you about the dearth of opportunities in their own time, and the sea in front of you, you just need to understand that they judge you with respect to their own ability or dis-ability. Reasoning is when one looks beyond his/ her own life and takes fact-based examples to understand someone else’s plight. Discussions are healthy when one keeps their own perception of the whole-world at the base level of understanding, and add the facts gathered as layers to the base level, to come to a decision or judgement. Otherwise, the history will just keep repeating itself owing to your judgement of yourself being the barometer of judgement for everyone else. So, do not give a chance to history to ruin your present.

Or, just indulge in your character and purely bi*ch about people being unfair a**holes because that works on a larger level of current-human-understanding perfectly!

P.S:

Murphy’s Law “Things will go wrong at any situation, if you give them a chance”

A good-read is the book “History repeating itself” by Gregory M. Pfitzer that incinerates the idea of twentieth century social studies tampering the history ideologically to make it ‘appropriate’ for the future generation. http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/history-repeating-itself

 

 

 

Image Acknowledgement – http://axtschmiede.com/history-repeats-itself/

AGILE

You are Agile until someone deciphers your technique, puts it in a process and delivers to the highest bidder. Then, you are just a competitor to everyone who bought your process.

e.g. Facebook bought Instagram

So rich people win, even with a little bit of wit. Unless you open source it, then it is in the hands of all humanity to use and come out with an even better version.

e.g. Tesla open sources all of its patents to be used in good faith.

However, you are scared that it will fall into the hands of the evil! Nevertheless, Evil can be rich and can bid for it too! What it needs is a filter; a filter to filter out the evil!

But, have you defined your evil yet?

Or are you even Agile yet?

e.g. YOU!

Daily post – Daily Prompt – Agile

Please Yourself!

A lot of us may know the name “John Locke” from the famous TV series “Lost“. But that lot might not remember his character’s real name “Jeremy Bentham”. His character went through a lot of pain during his life before the plane crashed into the island where he found himself absolved of all pain and began to believe that “The Island” was his place to be, as he found a lot of pleasure in following its vague spiritual orders through “Jacob”, and otherwise.

In the real world too, a Jeremy Bentham existed a while ago. Was he in anyway connected to this reel character? Lets ponder!

Jeremy Bentham breathed through 1748 until 1832. He was the great British Economist and Philosopher who founded ‘Utilitarianism‘ and tried to quantify the ‘Pleasures and Pains’ in one’s life through his thorough but still tacit work called “Felicific Calculus“.

He laid out a very indulgently descriptive list of ‘Pleasures’ and ‘Pains’ in human lives.

The Pleasure of senses, skill, wealth, power, benevolence, amity, good name, imagination; to list a few. The Pains of enmity, association, expectation, ill name etc.

http://www.econlib.org/library/Bentham/bnthPML5.html

His idea was to minimize the pains and maximize the pleasures for the greater good of everyone according to a certain metric he invented. He tried quantification through parameters like the Intensity, certainty, propinquity, purity, duration and extent of Pleasure and Pain. But his doctrine had a flaw – the probability of all these parameters to differentiate for each individual was huge! The chances that 2 individuals will have the same intensity, purity, duration or any other effect of a pleasure or pain was zero, zilch, nada! and the number of differentiating factors and their intensity difference was uncountable! So his “Felicific Calculus” was not as thorough as he wanted it to be.

Hedonism, the philosophy of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain was born from Utilitarianism. So Jeremy Bentham, in a way, pushed the lazy to the couch! But from his written pieces, one can observe that absolute pleasure was not part of his campaign! He was just trying to quantify life through pain and pleasures and the takeaway was ‘For the good of everyone!’

In the modern day technological advancement, a lot of human population is nowadays quantifying their life, but to a better cause of balancing the pains and pleasures. Everyone has these health gadgets these days to quantify sleep, exercise, diet, diseases and other health related parameters. One prime example would be FitBit. Financial gadgets, with the ease of regulations, have caused the rise of fiscal awareness among the common folks. Apps like Robin Hood, PayPalApple Pay, Samsung Pay etc. cater to a very eager audience of today who want to quantify (Read: Optimize) their routine (Read: Time and Money) to the level where they gather information and execute a good amount of financial investment and stabilization tasks with much less time spent. These are just 2 facets of life I have indulged in providing some examples of. There are many more facets (Read: Almost all)  where quantification, not possible earlier, has now changed the way the general human population gathers information and executes daily life tasks.

I think the words to remember are Balance and Over Indulgence. Both serve two different Devils/ Gods of two different worlds.

The real question is

‘Once Self Pleasing attitude starts driving you, How deep would you like to indulge?and in what direction specifically – For the greater good of everyone, a selected few or just yourself ?’

Massively But not Wholly Modular Minds

Some of us like to decide quickly with the minimal amount of numerically and philosophically most accurate choices. Whatever we decide needs to connect with the events of the present or past or both. Choices concerning the future need vague numerical prediction of the future (because accurate prediction is not available yet). Our mind has, over the years, trained itself at every step, nano or kilo, to form processes and modules of different behavioral, gestural, muscular, optical, nervous and other bodily dynamics. Each action has a module of dynamic components reacting in one in a millionth probable way to fulfill your thoughts of acting in a way you want. You train yourself to answer, gesture or physically behave in a certain way for certain situations. But some situations demand natural reactions. But even those natural reactions are a combination of the sub-conscious and genetic data which is hidden. So there is a chance that you never create an original gesture by un-intention!

Our minds have been generally thought to work in modules (module – each of a set of standardized parts or independent units that can be used to construct a more complex structure, such as an item of furniture or a building).

But there are 2 extreme thoughts on this. One extreme hypothesis believes that our mind is not wholly modular and the modularity lies towards the least side of the spectrum. Modularity is analogous with peripheral and output signals of the brain and non-modularity is related to the central cognition or conceptual section of the brain. So the first hypothesis calls our mind meagerly modular, kind of calling only a few of the peripheral signals modular. And our central cognition rules over most of the brain. This would mean that a few modules are created and our brain would not like to form habits of reacting in a certain way to certain situations, but rather act out of the gut most of the time. These brains would be very creative but not very productive!

The second hypothesis asserts that our brain is massively modular, if not wholly so! It likes to state that our central cognitive system is small and non-modular and almost every other system is modular. Now, this would mean that the brain signals work in modules and hence like to form modules for almost everything keeping the gut feeling away most of the times. I think these minds are the most practical and productive minds.

I think one trains its mind knowing or unknowingly throughout the life to either lean towards the natural frequency of it or away from it. The achievement would be the right balance. The right balance would make you a philosophical scientist. A person who knows exactly how to react every time, either through a module or the gut feeling! Balance is difficult to maintain, that is why change is the only constant!

Daily post – Daily prompt – Massive

Picture Credit: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161004-were-developing-brains-outside-of-the-body

 

My Rhythm and Meter

My poetic rhythm is in resonance with the vibration of my heart!

It syncs with inconsistencies of emotions

Sometimes it’s ‘la di da di da’!

Rarely its ‘lub dub lub dub lub dub’!

And also the ‘thump baboom thump baboom’!

 

Its meter is a dictator of my own gestures

It harmonizes with the weirdness of my own movements,

Sometimes, it’s a poker-face to the question asked!

Otherwise it’s a smile when the focus is in requisition!

Rarely it’s the forehead-lines accurately depicting the pondering-over!

And also the subtle teeth reveal for an extended smile showing pride of being appreciated!

 

Its foot is the reverberation of my own unspoken words!

It is just a heavy sigh with the words held moment before the tongue initiates its process!

Falling into the abyss of my soul!

Important is what needs to be heard!

not what I really want to say!

P.S: Rhythm is the pattern of stresses in a line of verse.

Traditional forms of verse use established rhythmic patterns called meters (meter means “measure” in Greek), and that’s what meters are: pre-measured patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Feet are the individual building blocks of meter.

To read more about Rhythm, meter and foot – http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/meter.html

Daily Post – Daily Prompt – Rhythmic

 

Filter

After the morning ablutions, I like to make tea. I start with a pan with the right kind of distorted lower lip shape at one of its top end for easy pouring. I satiate it with water and tea leaves and escalate their chemistry by raising their temperature. When the tea leaves have colored the water their way, I add some grated ginger and cardamom to elevate the essence of their existence. Finally, I pour fresh milk into this boiling hot orgy and a reddish hue is created. Then I turn the heat up again for the final climax. Once this lustful creation reaches the right kind of kinky red and boils, I use a strainer to filter the body and drink the soul of it. Slurrrrrp! Ahhhh!

We humans filter everything every moment of our life! We filter other human behavior, our own emotions, our actions, our expressions and every entity we come across. We are so professional at filtering stuff that we do it sub-consciously! Not even knowing that we actually have a filter running at large! The unknown mysteriously acting filter that works on its own with a little help from our sleeping, dreamy part of the brain. Filtering helps though! It helps to keep us in check! It helps us behave the way society would not cast us as serial killers or psychopaths! There are a lot of very rare species of humans who do not like to filter their emotions and are very blunt in their approach! They are the bunch who believe in honesty and integrity and absolutely hate routine liars. Routine liars are the liars who lie at a daily level as they filter the thoughts and decide it is even easy to just lie that they had great food when they even did not give a thought to what the food tasted like when they were gorging on it! They are just happy they filled their stomach! I do not want to digress from the obvious elephant in the room, our governments!

One apocalyptic example of what our leaders have hid from us for a reasonably long time –

  1. When the U.S government’s B52 bomber was carrying nuclear bombs on board and split in  half in the air and dropped the bombs over Goldsboro, North Carolina. These bombs were 250 times more fatal than the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki each. This happened in 1961 and the document was uncovered by Schlosser as part of his research into his new book on the nuclear arms race, Command and Control. He found that at least 700 accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968 alone. There was only one simple dynamo technology switch between these bombs detonating away.Read more at the link Goldsboro Incident.

We, as citizens, do feel that we need to know everything! and If this news had gotten out at that point, there might have been a ban on nuclear weapons for everyone. But it came out at a time when everyone has already banked on the years of technology advancement and developed highly sophisticated bombs.The news that really matters is always told a little too late! When its importance among the decision making bodies is not relevant anymore! So perceptively, filtering is a way to hide certain thoughts for a certain period of time or forever because it will help you progress with the sinister or angelic plan of yours!

So, Truth becomes irrelevant to time!

imag1346_1

Daily Post – Daily Prompt – Filter

Memoir of a Philosophical Scientist

To err is human. To simplify is very human. To simplify for one’s own convenience is where the two intersect! There is no absolute, but relative! Relative to your upbringing! Relative to your environment! Relative to your hand print on someone else’s face! The only absolute is the fundamental, not the numbers! The only constant is the Principal! The outcome is just relative! Facts are your perception of an event in space and time! Being above and beyond takes me away from my progress in the society. The society wants my non agreement to agree with their herd’s opinion. But I cannot call them wrong only because I think I am a rebel! I need to listen and then walk away if they are wrong only if I cannot convince them off their fate! Well, they are not wholly wrong all the time, just that they are myopic! This apple is red – might be a fact! But it is relative to a pale or a less red apple! It is relative to the apple’s upbringing. It is also slightly relative to the apple farmer’s mood when he took care of those apple trees! It depends on how deep you want to delve!  You can either be a scientist or a philosopher. The combination requires humongous wisdom and diligence to carry it! Keep it simple, but do not forget the important details not mentioned in the simple! The devil resides in the details!

Occam’s razor (the philosophy of simplicity) is not to be followed blindly!

Occam Razor

Daily post – Daily Prompt – Simple

Picture acknowledgement

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