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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Nothing in Abundance

Visionary, with a vision so scary

Is it happening? Seems pretty damn fairy!

Global warming is a hoax, it’s declared

Cannot question the highest authority, people still dared

The last of the coal that’s left

Will be used coz we think that’s best

Everything in abundance, we believe,

The earth is infinite, it seems

It’s not the end I fear, it’s the suffering that will lead to it!

It’s not the ending I doubt, it’s the profuse absurdity in the world today, that will heed to it!

Daily Prompt: Profuse

 

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

 

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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