Tag Archives: Social Life

Predicting the Unpredictable

“Change is the only constant”. We all take this sentence to be true. We have always looked backed on our experiences to find proof for this statement. We are also currently a generation which prides itself on saying “Being weird is cool”. We also believe in experimenting new things. But when was the last time we accepted change willingly when we last expected it. What assumptions did we make when we saw someone weird? When did we experiment with something without predicting the outcome.

From the very beginning, we have always tried predicting the outcome. Our “leaps of faith”, experiments, friends are all a result of predicting the result. How well this will serve me? return on investment, risk analysis etc. We all do risk analysis subconsciously. Even when someone completely changes their career, it’s because they always wanted to do something else in their heart. There was only a single option always for them, to do something they feel in their heart is for them. We have a whole range of labels for such acts. They range from stupid, idiotic to courageous, bold. But are these moves taken without any thought? We always weigh what we giving to what we are receiving. To take such a drastic step, we know they couldn’t bear a single moment in the same environment and that the change couldn’t be worse than it is right now. By doing this, we predicted what they are giving up to gain something. Such acts are surely courageous but we cannot label them as stupid acts because we unknowingly are analysing our situation.

Our friends also slowly reveal their inner secrets after predicting that telling us is ok and that their secrets won’t spread. No one will spill their secrets until they have predicted how the person is. We always predict how people will behave before we do something. Sometimes that leads to overestimating or underestimating the response. Connections can be easy or hard to form depending on what we assume about the person. By just certain actions and appearance, we assume how a person is. Those assumptions are the root cause for connections. That’s why “First impression is the last impression”

Predicting the outcome based on previous experiences and examples is something we do subconsciously. It is embedded in our genes. Man has always tried to be safe than sorry. Assumptions and predictions have helped us survive for so long. We also believe in “fitting in” and in the herd mentality. How much ever we say we dont, our actions say otherwise. This is how we know we will survive in this world. In the end, the game of life is a game of predicting the probabilities and proper estimations. 

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Our Grading System

Anytime we write exams which were subjective in nature, we have tried showing the important steps/points in the solution to the problem asked. It has been taught to us as kids that, steps have to be shown as it is the basis on which marks will be given. One step might carry 1 mark another 2. This distribution is often fixed throughout all schools. During our final exams, the teacher who set the paper would share a model solution showing how much the different steps weigh by doing so there is a standard by which everyone is evaluated. But in real life, we all evaluate friendships differently. We all judge and feel happiness differently. There is no standard for these things.

We all have different tick boxes for friendship. These criteria and their importance vary from person to person. This can be considered a form of weighted average. Their importance is based on our individual personalities and past experiences. For someone initiating a conversation is a big thing as it is not something they do normally but for others it can be trivial as it is something that is the basic requirement of a friendship. For someone, telling their everyday life along with trivial details is important while for someone having deep, intelligent conversation is important. That is why rarely friendships are on the same level for both. We all have different needs and requirements, if these are fulfilled we are happy else we wont be fully content.

In all situations, there is a fine line where good turns bad or stupid. How should one differentiate trying constantly and a fool’s errand? No one knows. There is no standard time period. It all depends on the person’s capabilities and tenacity. If they will keep trying no matter what but they dont possess the necessary skills, this becomes a fool’s errand but if you do possess such skills but dont have confidence in yourself or you cannot wait for too long a period (again subjective, varies from person to person) you would give it up, does this mean that you are a fool for giving up? Some will say yes, others would say no. We all have different perceptions and depending on them we decide to draw that fine line.

Even in today’s world with corruption, nationalism people are forgetting the fine lines. Nowadays nationalism is being synonymous to patriotism. Both being very much different in meaning. One believes in values nad beliefs, the other in cultural background and heritage. George Orwell said that “Nationalism is the worst enemy of peace” but still many of us follow nationalism in the name of patriotism. Where do you draw the line. In America, where a single person could change everything in 4 years and his present policies are almost similar to dictatorship. A similar situation is taking place in India, where words have taken over the minds of many people. Religion is being forced on ordinary citizen and secularism is shown in the form of removing a certain religion from the country itself. Where does one draw the line. Some people already feel this is against everything what their countries stand for while others feel this is a step in the right direction. But who is deciding what is the right direction? Unfortunately we dont have models to show that.

We all have our different thresholds and back stories that make us who we are. But sometimes when we give advice to others, we take our thresholds as an input which we shouldn’t. The other person isnt us. They might have gone through something more challenging or less, making their limitations different from ours. We have to keep in mind the weighted average and try understanding what the other person feels. It is only by following this path can we understand and help each other.