Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Life is not math, even though we sometimes think it is.

We see a girl coming out of a room with a boy after 2 hours of locked silence. We add two and two together and assume they are lovers, when they could very well be clearing off a misunderstanding without wanting to be disturbed.

We watch TV, do our homework, cook, IM, and talk on the phone at the same time. We divide our attention between all these tasks and fail to do justice to any of them.

We hear rumors about what someone had to say about us, how so and so really hates us, how tom, dick, and harry tried to dupe us, and we instantly subtract them from our lives.

And then, we are always multiplying. You lie to your friend about how you need to study for an exam when they invite you for dinner, and then later you have to lie to them about why you ended up watching TV instead of studying, and yet again, lie about how the TV program concerned your assignment. The lies continue to multiply.

And then comes the worst part (but the easiest); rounding off!! In other words, generalizations.

  • If a girl on the road is driving bad, all women drivers are bitches and poor at driving.
  • If a black guy is caught breaking into someone's home, all black men are dangerous and criminals.
  • If one rich boy is arrogant and vain, all rich boys think no end of themselves.
  • If one bengali, gujarati, chinese, mexican, punjabi is smelly, stingy, a poor english speaker, lazy, all of them are the same.
  • If one beautiful girl fails her examinations, all beautiful girls come with "no brains".
  • If one man who walks with a pronounced gait and has dramatic hand movements is a gay, all men who do that are homosexual.
Are we doing all this math in life to make it simpler? Do generalizations help people who appear different than us seem less complicated? Is it fair that we do all this math? Can we not keep life simple?

I hate MATH. Do you?

53 Words of Wisdom:

badshah khan said...

I love math and for sure if 2 is added to 2 then the resultant is 4.

tunnabhai said...

Very true and well said too!...we always jump to conclusions and add 2 & 2 together...we'd rather use the MATH more constructively or not apply it at all, instead of being judgemental!

Keshi said...

Very good post girl!

So true..all these (mis)calculations and mathematical prejudice. U said it the best!


c e e d y said...

you know the consequneces of telling and hearing the truth...

if one has the strength to say it and someone has the ability to listen to it...then math wont be required....

Tuhin said...

I love Math! Don't you see how integral a part of life it is? - add, subtract, multiply, divide is all we do all the time without even realizing it.

BTW, I have been counting all the drivers who make me honk. Women r leading so far!

Abhishek Khanna said...

i think one generalization is true.. all women are bad drivers .. :D

(no offense intended)

Bubbles of FireWhiskey said...

i wonder what danica patrick say to "all women are bad drivers"?

i dont like maths but i admit that its clutches are inescapable... i think its one of those "once bitten, will be careful the next time i see his/her type" things...

Anonymous said...

I guess, I know what you are talking about. When somethings are generalized really harsh, it does make us unhappy.

That guy was hurt bad, but then I told him this-" well all men and women are culprits when it comes to harsh/nonsensical and mindless driving."

I guess generalization.. and being so ruthless in a public arena hurts, but I guess it is difficult to think straight when your head is split apart almost. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Not in any ways trying to justify his comment.

Other than that lies/ rumors.. I guess it is easy to just minus. Hmmm! I guess that trend is going to change for me.. from now on. I will try I say.

carolinagal said...

I think sometimes this 'math' is brought into our lives unintentionally. And yes, it is so much easier to make presumptions about something/someone, rather than searching for reality. It happens so often in our day to day lives, that we don't even realize that we are doing it. Its sad really.

Solitaire said...

@ Badshah, ??

@ Tunnabhai, True!! I do not like rounding up part.

@ Keshi, I thought I will never use math again after I left school. Guess not!

@ Ceedy, I think math is not required anyway. It just gets used!

Solitaire said...

@ Tuhin, ok now! I know that traffic in Houston sucks! Maybe that's why you need to honk!

@ Abhishek, now you are doomed for making that statement.

@ Bubbles, once bitten twice shy. Math again!

@ Veen, that guy's comment is thought provoking. This post is not against the guy!

Anonymous said...

I guessed that of course!

I was telling you what I felt after reading the post..

I think u understand.

Sweetstickychewy said...

If only there were more people looking in that aspect.

Humans generally fall back on something to rest on hence, this miscalucaltions etc.

I dislike math yet there are times i might had done it blindly or even conciously.

Mush said...

A great post. Shows how ur thinking and point of view is so clear and inclined towards truth rather than believing what people say or the deceptive media.

Like the rounding up part. So common these days. A very big and living example today is where one man or a few people spread terror and the whole community is labeled terrorist.

Hope atleast the readers of this blog open their minds and think :)

anuj said...

I love maths.
not the kinds u wrote about though. and there are very few generalisations in maths .. and I guess had math not been there we would have still substracted, multiplied and genralised ..we might not have knwn the names .. else it wud have been the same.

And its a human thing i suppose .. its up to you and up to me or up to the others if they wish to apply this maths or they want to skip it. All I knw, its bad to be judgmental.


Lena said...

i guess thats all about making conclusions without having any backgroun–≤ and proofs. Makes the life spicy but also makes us hurt people all the time.

great post!

cruiser said...

"men tend to write more on technology and women tend to write more on self-growth"

thought u were good with numbers and 'rounding off' :D...
a lot changes in a yr isn't it ...or is it the DID working:D

p.s. does "anonymous comments" means .... comments with no blogs?coz i dont blog:(

p.p.s when did MPD change to DID...guess still MPD is more popular?

Deepti said...

Very nice post!!
Let me quote Calvin "As a math atheist, I should be excused from this."

Emperor Ropi said...

I don't, but I hate CHEMISTRY.

aneri_masi said...

Great post! While some times it does make life simpler to assume things, (nahi to kitna sochna padega har ek cheez ke baare mein!) there are times when we need to look deeper and understand better.

Ugh...Math...I still don't know all my tables.

KP! said...

generalization is real bad....:). being gujju i get generalized all the time for spending my money wisely...i take pride in that....:).

No matter what people say...
Women are bad drivers .. :)(this is solely based on all the womens i know...friends,family...etc.the ratio of accident/tickets is almost 3:1)...:)

rayshma said...

very interesting take... really liked it.
and no, i don't like math. neither the conventional, school type... nor this type! 'calculating' is something i am happy not to be.

Solitaire said...

@ Carolinagal, I think sometimes people like to make generalizations because they like drama and like to feel superior.

@ Sweetstickychewy, no doubt! We all do it.

@ Mush, true! Here in the US, now they are wary of all brown immigrants irrespective of where they come from. It has been generalized to all sects now.

@ Anuj, just as Carolinagal and many others said, it is sometimes involuntary. We cannot control the fact that we end up doing so much math.

Solitaire said...

@ Lena, precisely! We love drama but forget how it might affect someone else.

@ Cruiser, you did not really read the blog well, did you? Or you just picked on what you liked to comment on forgetting the former part of the sentence? FYI, MPD is not a DSM-IV name anymore. Popular or not, you can decide.

@ Deepti, haha. funny!

@ emperor, oh oh! we cannot afford to dislike chemistry. Otherwise, how will you pick up on the chemistry between you and the people around you?

Solitaire said...

@ Aneri, then I hope you are poor at math, at least the kind stated in the blog.

@ KP, did you do a statistical analysis of the men in your life and the number of tickets and accidents. I have been in three accidents so far in the US. Once a man ran into me from the back at a red light, the second time, I was the passenger in a car driven by a man and HE ran into the car in front of him on the freeway, and third was my fault! :)

@ Rayshma, good for you!

c e e d y said...

I agree it gets used...but what if one just keeps that subtraction...

as sometimes its what one says creates a problem and sometimes keeping quiet creates bigger ones

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy, then I would say it was a miscalculation..:)

Cinderella. said...

I hate people who are judgemental about others...!
(guess I've said that ?)
I mean, why on earth is anyone freakin' bothered..!!!
Who kicked who,
who slept with who,
who took who's money,
who said what about who...I freakin' dont care..
All I say to people when they bring gossip to me, is, "Look I aint freakin bothered...and I am the wrong person to gossip with if thats what you're looking for moron !!"
And oh, just for the record, I always hated maths..he he !!

Vinesh said...

it has more to do with the ease of clubbing things together for future identification, even if all things in one group have only one characteristic in common!

c e e d y said...

Sure go ahead - hope you dont trash me :)

Anurag said...

we did this project on gender issues in organizations...there are so many common stereotypes...both for men and for women...i guess that is analogous to the math u mentioned...

nice post

Pri said...

hmm the generalisation..i think i know where the first one comes from...i guess i somehow missed the generalisation there or maybe it was edited later(with ref to ur comment on my blog)..neways u know what to say to such ppl --'TO HELL!!' :D

loved the post and yes life is sadly, all about math...
but sometimes it does have a positive impact too...
i know its a lot easier counting the thorns but sometimes we ought to appreciate the roses too :)

like ADDITIONS---only because of which we can add such beautiful friends to our lives...
SUBSTRACTIONS---which help us minus our negative/bitter experiences/foes and help us move on...
DIVISIONS---thanks to which we are able to manage soo many things at one time...imagine had we not been able to divide our time, we would probably be stuck up doing one thing al our lives...
on second thoughts, u wouldent even be expressing ur thoughts out here had division of time been chucked from ur schedule...
MULTIPLICATION---helps when it comes to the simpler joys in life, the memories of which we keep multiplying with each coming day...dosent it?? :)

as for GENERALISATIONS---i always hated that...and i completely agree with u...
probably they should be chucked out of the syllabus ;)

take care!!

Anjuli said...

Hating to tab sochoongi jab samajh mein aayegi..I do not understand math at all :-(

cruiser said...

i was being sarcastic if u didn't notice :D

did read the whole blog well enuf....u sure that previous lines has got anything to say?

may be was like.... i read that blog immediately after reading the rouding off thing in the latest blog....

btw..wats ur take on origin of thought

aneri_masi said...

you have been tagged!

Alok said...

I love Maths. It's one of the best things ever.

What you're speaking on about here isn't math at all. I can give reasons why, but that's not the point. Math is wonderful.

Here's an example:

You said you hate generalisations. I hate them too. For the very reasons you hate them.
Let's take this one:
"Everything has exceptions"

Assume that "Everything has exceptions" is true. Now, it becomes a rule.

According to the very statement, there must be an exception to every rule.

"Everything has exceptions" is itself a rule, and hence it must have an exception.

Thus, there must be something which has NO exceptions, which in itself is a contradiction to our assumption.

Hence our assumption is wrong.

So you see, that generalisation is smashed! That is maths. And I love it! :D

Solitaire said...

@ Cinderella, woahhh! Some strong but good opinions there.

@ Vinesh, so more like a concept formation?

@ Anurag, could we have a look at that some day through a post?

@ Pri, nice optimistic thinking! A different take on the subject.

Solitaire said...

@ Anjuli, good!! That way you stay out of the complicated problems.

@ Cruiser, I truly did not notice. What about origin of thought?

@ Aneri, uh oh!

@ Alok, GOSH!!!!!! I am totally confused now! Sounds like a flowchart!

Deepali said...

It's not Math (but here we say maths and when I started saying Math cause of watching too much TV, everyone use to laugh, till it became the 'cool' thing to call mathematics) that you should hate my dear. It's people.

Maths is the language of the universe. Don't remember who said that but it was a very brilliant man.

Numbers are everywhere. All around.

My biggest regret of my school life is that I didn't have great maths teachers and I didn't understand it to begin with, so grew up hating it until I joined college. But anything this is about the subject where as you are talking about human nature.

Solitaire said...

@ Deepali, ouch! But I cannot hate people. Because even though people do some pretty silly things, there is a lot of goodness to them. I just hate the calculations that they indulge in.

But I agree. Our entire life is about numbers.

What is your weight?
What is your IQ?
How much did that car cost?
How old are you?

blah blah!

Deepali said...

Haha what about the good thing?

How many grand kids do you have?
How many days did your vacation last?
What was your exam score?
How many cousins do you have?
How many Colin Creevy types in your life following you around?

divya said...

i love math,,but life and math thats a tough one..

Radvixen said...

i hated math anyways and i hate it even more hahah....ure so right!

Solitaire said...

@ Deepali, nice to see you so optimistic today!

@ Divya, as long as you are not the calculating types, you are fine.

@ Radvixen, :)

Amit said...

I love math... I love to calculate..I love to calculate wut other people are calculating at anything or at me..

I feel (dun know since when) is nothing but an equation.. Its all about Maths..! Believe it or not.

The list u gave is interesting, but u must hv noticed u doing calculations everyday in your life. you cannot live without it...I feel.

Vandita said...

ive never been a numbers person... i only used to enjoy calculus in school but math in life is not a good combo ...

Deepali said...

Ya man - I surprise myself sometimes too ;)

Solitaire said...

@ Amit, these days the only calculations I seem to do is how many calories I have consumed.

@ Vandita, yea but we cannot escape it.

@ Deepali, :)

cruiser said...

origin of thought does a thought arise....
i think the factors effecting thought are ....the intakes from the senses...things we experienced previously(sub-consciousness)..the situation...
the personality and character are discrete though

so if u have to make a
flow sheet of a thought...wat wud it be

bt_crist said...

well crafted..n well said tale.
our life is a weaven story mundane operations and disguised enclosures, n v still runs on the zigzag way.

tough 2 + 2 is always 4, but not in all circumstances. u''ve lightfully shed d light on those areas which we mortals come across every day at every moment.

indeed, a true pshychotherapist.

Anonymous said...

i loved maths the subjectm top scored in it. but life ke maths me i fail miserably. my calculations stump me and googlies bowl me out!!!

Solitaire said...

@ Cruiser, maybe I can write another blog on it.

@ Bt, it is not a tale, nor is it a story. It is a fact.

@ Ashu, good if you fail in it. Who wants to be calculative anyway?

Pavi!!!! said...

I hate math literally and was never good at it!

n rgdg wat we are talking about in the post...oh yeah...assumptions and generalizations -reason for so many porblems! . It seems One gets overly creative and imaginative about wat's happening in another person's life n draws inferences way too quickly.
About life being simple...naah no one wants to live a simple life..that would make life boring i guess!