Thursday, May 27, 2010

Numerical Oppression

I wrote a post a while ago called the Numerical Liberation Front about our obsession with numbers and how they restrict us. We haven't changed and , as usual, I am feeling repressed. What is it with us and numbers?Okay, okay, I know the stock market  rises and falls and the fiscal mayhem is driving people into dire straits and they have to work the numbers to get out of it, but then you see people glued to their computers checking on their shares calculating all the rises and falls and it just looks like torture to me. We need money, though, so I understand their obsession and certainly the planet needs to come up with the numbers to get more people out of the state of abject misery. What I really wanted to address is all the daily  advice  we are given about being a better person,  blogger, worker. 7 hours sleep. 5 veggies a day. 3 serves of fruit. At least 10 minutes to yourself. Only 10 minutes? You are joking! 30 minutes of exercise. 8 words per presentation slide, 250 words per blog post. Number the lists.It used to be write about 3 things at a time..the best 3 things. Then it was the best 5. That transformed into the top 10, the top 20, the top 100. The top 100 companies, the top 10 richest people on the planet, the top 10 cleanest cities in the world. The more we work with databases, the more we obsess with ,and focus on ,aggregation and sorting. So now we are being advised not to do 10 tips or 10 ideas but 7. Seven? Why 7? Yes, it is a very lucky number but seven? It's a bit like when you ask people the time and they say 6.23. What time are we finishing? Around 5.16. Oh, okay. It's all a bit peculiar to me. To me it  harnesses thinking and  promotes rigidity. At this point I am way over my 250 recommended post length. Twitter and its 140 characters would be in a spasm by now. I am always over. Numerically I am terribly inadequate and the constant obsession with numbers just reinforces it to the that more than hundreds? Or is is thousands?

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