Thursday, June 22, 2006

From the Devil's Workshop-II "A&P"

Sometimes, there seems to be some words in English which seem to be used very rarely and doesn’t seem to be very important to have a place in our vocabulary. There are two such simple words that i discovered recently.
For the sin I have made that I fell in love in with a subject called Operational research in my engineering, though I could only remember the greek letter ‘mew’ of the long formula from queuing theory, whenever I used to stand in a queue in a railway station , I used to think of the service rates and the demand rates and the 'n' number of queues and how each queue is getting serviced and which queue is the best to stand in.

Now the last idea “which queue to stand in” would have been easily solved if it carried 16 marks in my final exam and I had all the data to solve it. But it’s a totally different thing here. Any way I feel taking a decision about which queue to stand in is a lot easier than to choosing among people.

This is where the word Priority comes in. And before I go further into Priority, there is a very good logic in set theory about how many subsets are there for a set, it says we should count the null set also. Now there is something, which one forgets a lot of times while Prioritizing is the person himself. I feel that’s the unseen null set.

Now I can't even imagine the number of factors that influence a persons Priority. But I wonder at the frequency of the rate of change of Priorities. Let us assume two sets , where both the sets contain all the people in the world. Now if we are mapping both the sets and for each mapping we give a number based on his or her priority (I mean explicit priority). There is a minimum probability that a person is mapped to his own self in the other set.(This is my belief, however there is another side to it.)

To be clear on the word Priority in terms of people, I would like to refer to 7 habits of highly effective people where it is said every thing is created twice, once in mind and the other in material or physical. So if you are deciding between two persons, the degree of thinking about them in mind is what I would call Implicit Priority and the conversion of thought into practice by doing something or spending sometime is what I would call Explicit Priority. Its not for sure that both the lists would match.

Now to move ahead, I would like to bring in the next word,


I some times feel Acknowledge is a very young brother to the word empathize. Its very funny that we don’t acknowledge the word Acknowledge itself until we receive an acknowledgement card.

So moving ahead Acknowledge is what acts as a bridge between Implicit Priority and Explicit Priority .There are many things we feel in ourselves but never acknowledge the very feeling that exists in ourselves. For instance , selfishness exists everywhere , infact in every person. The fact that we feel happy after doing a so-called selfless act is a proof of our selfishness. One would not have done a selfless act if he or she doesn’t feel happy. There is this wonderful line (or a rather cynical line as some would call it) “Buddha wanted all his followers to be devoid of desires, which in itself is a desire”. May be He just didn’t acknowledge it.

There is an interesting Phenomena of Acknowledgement while prioritizing. At every step of explicit prioritizing , we put ourselves on the top of list of Implicit Priority. That is, if we are spending time with some person, it is only the happiness that we gain through that meeting that makes us to put that person on the top.

In that case there might be a statement or rather an argument that a person himself will always be at the top of the Implicit Priority list. There are a lot of things which we do even if we are not interested in it , but we do it for someone’s sake and which is absolutely by force. We will not be on the top of Implicit Priority list as long as we are thinking of someone else’s happiness and not even acknowledging our happiness and how many other people we are ruling out and whether we are ruling them out with or without a reason.

There is one more interesting proposition where the person himself is on top of the priority list. This would happen when we are in control of every decision we take and every priority. In fact I skipped a significant case where your priority number towards a person is not matching with the other persons priority number towards you. To analyse that case, I think one can refer to the Law of Demand and Supply. I don’t think there is a better way than that law to explain it.

One last case-When there is no one to prioritize, even in this there are two cases, that the person may still be not on top of the priority list as he is still thinking of someone else whose priority relation is not at all mapped to him. They can be called fools.(and people like them write articles like these).Only way out of this case can be derived from age old process of formatting our computers. We use a reboot floppy which supports to install a new operating system. The only reboot floppy we have is we ourselves. All we can do is put ourselves on top of the list and reboot.

P.S : It seems the devil had gone more devilish. I could not cover the word Acknowledge as much as I wanted to. I have strayed from my usual style of writing where I do not make statements regarding personal issues. And I think , the usage of the pronoun of the word “we” would have change the essence of what I wanted to say. It could be replaced by “one”.But as usual , it seems I have been successful in negating myself a number of times.