Monday, April 08, 2013

Ideas regarding the barrier theory, non linearity of time and idiots

Let me talk about my ideas regarding my barrier theory today

Though I don't know if something similar exists, and I haven't completely thought it off (its still half baked right now).

I have been watching a lot of videos these days, some of them related to rape victims, some others related to gun violence, yet others related to crimes and murders; basically, atrocities that humans commit against fellow humans out of their own insecurities and insanities,

And one thing, that people usually say for any new measure is, if someone wants to do it, they will do it, no matter whether you reduce the number of guns in the market, no matter whether you remove those window films for car tints, no matter whether you close pubs at the right time, no matter if women wear long clothes.

The argument boils down to having a better policing, rather than focussing on all such measures.

While I agree with them, that the perpetrators will do it no matter what, I think what people miss out from the bigger picture is, the barriers.

As a law enforcer, a civil servant may not be able to prevent all the crimes. The civil servant belongs to an organisation, all organisations have finite resources. No matter how huge they be, most organizations are not as big as the number of possible perpetrators. Which practically can involve anyone not part of the organization, and might also involve some internal members because of internal inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. Thus, they/ their agents cannot stop all the crimes (each and every instance of a crime).

Yet, some steps, like law, punishment, deterrence, help them increase the barrier to committing crime, on the average.

So yes, one cannot prevent all rapes happening behind those blackened windows in cars, psychos will rape no matter whether there are tinted windows or not, but you can, definitely reduce the average number of such cases.

Its because most people are not intrinsically bad (or good, they are in the grey zone), they have their moments of lapse of judgement  and effective policies that increases the barriers to stop them from committing the crimes can be good enough in short term.

Of course, just preventing the crime is not good enough, it doesn't kill the thoughts from people's mind. But then, Preventing such thoughts from people's mind, providing them a good upbringing, making people as better human beings is  not something for the police to achieve, its the education system. The former is a short term measure, the latter, a long term measure, and both are important for a society to maintain its standards of sanity.

I guess why people frown on measures like these is, because these measures tend to shift focus from the real issue. Its basically like, lets say the system works 50% of the time, for effectively curbing, we need to make it work to say 75% of the time, with barriers we can probably do with system working for say 67% of the time. People are not frowning the barriers (always, though many a times they do), they are frowning that in the name of the barriers, the workingness of the system will be ignored, and it will stay at 50% rather than move up to minimum 67%.

So the bottom line is, there is always a tradeoff - you increase the barriers for stopping the bad from happening, and you need lesser amount of manual interventions. But you still need a minimum amount of intervention effort to be able to handle situations correctly. The barriers work only beyond a certain point of parity.

An effective system is one, which continuously keeps lowering the barriers for people to commit good, while increasing the barriers to stop people from commiting bad.


So, now I think I can move on to another theory of mine, non linearity of time.

A lot of people believe that all humans are created equal.

I disagree. I believe most humans are created almost equal. But there are mild differences. Some are created faster than others, some are created smarter than others, some are created sharper than others, and so on, IMO, the original belief usually stems either from the fact that all people are equal before the eyes of the law, or from some socio-religious preaching. 

Anyways, the problem starts arising, when people start comparing their times with someone else's time.
I have 24 hours in a day, so has the prime minister of India; However, the amount of change he can potentially bring in 24 hours, will be much higher than what I can bring, at this stage.

No, its not about his age alone, you take the prime minister and another random guy aged 77, and the dear prime minister can still cause much more change than the random guy could possibly make.

Its about the responsibility a person has, the number of things someone is responsible for. That makes his time non linear, more important than the time of the other people around him. Because, each of his minute can have possibly more ramification than those of others.

Interestingly, even the same person, lets say I, will find that my time is more valuable now than it was an year or two ago. (That is, if I am on moving up in life) Because now I am responsible for more things than I earlier was.

There are many ways to view life, I think one of the ways to view life can be to view it as a maximization problem  - you try to increase the value of your time by as much as you can. 
Yes, time is money, and you have to invest it carefully, so that its value grows over a given duration.


A third thing I wanted to talk to talk about is about life of idiots. I was (and still am) reading a book - The Dilbert principle by Scott Adams. Scott mentions how we spend a major part of our day being ignorant idiots at different times in the day.

So one day, I was just thinking, when finally the realization set in how we are all idiots.
Basically, if I haven't invested my time to learn anything new yesterday, I am an idiot for whiling my time away. If I have, then I was still an idiot, since I knew less than what I (potentially) might be knowing today, I would be less smarter than what I was today.
A flipside is, I keep forgetting a lot of things as I grow, hence I am still an idiot, I know much less today, in comparison to the sum total of all that I have know for my life (Think every piece of knowledge added over every day of my lifetime)

For me, being an idiot is all about being ignorant.
Its funny, how there are so many idiots all around us, yet no one likes being told on their face that they are an idiot. Its kind of a bubble in equilibrium - Everyone believes that they are smart, while we are all only smarter than what we were yesterday and what we forget tomorrow.

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