I could hear the rain drops splattering against the window pane. It was loud and clear, thanks to the silence in my vicinity. And then I could hear my thoughts speak, thus destroying the melancholy calm. The perfect recipe and ambiance to write!
All of us retrospect at times, wonder at times, speculate at times. Just like solving a sum. Retrospection is the given. Wonder and speculation constitute the approach. And then a few steps later, touche! Problem solved.
The stark analogy between living a life and solving a mathematical problem is the most amazing analogy, in my opinion. We keep solving life using our discretion. The “given” is all we have at the outset. The sheer variety and richness of life problems run in parallel with the enormous variety of mathematical problems.
Just so you know, probability helps! It is the “Hercules” of life. (Yes, I like to think that way). You can improve your discretion by weighing the odds in favor, and then act. Premature excitement without hypothesis testing, might disappoint you! Basic damage control. Play safe. Take chances. Life is, in the end, a gamble.
And they did not teach us simple and compound interest just for fun. We are grown ups with a bank account now. Both checking and savings! And we keep swiping credit cards all over, so doing some basic arithmetic in mind to keep a check on our splurging , might also help evade crisis! (I keep getting lectured about saving money. All the time. Even if I do the math right, I get tempted. All the time!)
Time is precious. I get reminded of Dr Seuss’s quote here – “How did it get so late so soon?” Well, probably because I miscalculated. Distance, time and speed again are basic algebra. If I had to reach a certain point by a certain time in my life, I should have paid heed to my speed. Because as they say, “to be at the same place, you got to keep running.” And then there is relative speed. When you think you are moving, actually you are not. The other train just left, and you were stagnant. So think fast!
Have some faith in statistics. It honestly helps. Of course, there are exceptions in life as there are outliers in a data set. But when you fit your data to a model, predictability increases. Not that, you see clear into the future, but you do get a better insight into it. Now there can be unexpected twists, but do you think experiments result in predictable outcomes, always? I do not think so.
There are easy, moderate and tough choices to make and decisions to take in life. The same way that there is a difficulty level of mathematical problems. But when you have mastered the art of permutations and combinations, you can relate to the fact that from a myriad options available in life, you will always have to pick a card and make it right to win the game.
Life is not a solid, straight line. Geometry comes in handy. There are curves, sometimes there are dotted lines, where you need to jump over the gaps. Then there are square pegs and round holes.
Then there are advanced game theories, knapsack problem, and others, all so very pertinent to life at hand.
Life and mathematics share a bond. The strongest of all. Take chances, save money, calculate the time you need and the distance you must travel, trust some already available data, pack your bags (remember knapsack) and set sail. Leave the rest to maths!