Friday, October 24, 2014

The Universal Rule

There is only one universal rule: there is no universal rule.

Or, for that matter, there is no universal law, fact, or whatever you might think of.

Everything has some kind of exception. Whatever seems fine right now will end up to be a bias in retrospect. Historically, the Earth was flat, and the universe revolved around it. Then, everything was supposed to fall on to earth. Newton must have had a hard time convincing people that the earth moved towards a falling apple as well. Then of course, mass could never be converted to energy. Even today, some people are pessimistic about the chances of poverty being erased from the face of the earth.

Whenever we do something, there are certain things that increase chances of success. Like studying more increases your chances of getting better grades, exercising more increases your chances of having better health and looks, and spending more time on the internet reduces your chances of spending time with family and friends.

But what if the people grading your tests focus more on originality than cramming, exercise leads to health issues like blood pressure or arthritis, and you are away from family and friends so you end up skyping them all the time?

It does not take long to realize that the tables have turned, and that there indeed is no universal rule. 

I once considered that I could eat as much as I liked, and not exercise at all, and I would be fine. Now that the hidden phenomenon called ageing has started to kick in, I realize that I was wrong. Now that I have written it here, I am realizing that I am a bit embarrassed. Partly because I am not old at all.

Have you ever realized something you considered as a given was not actually true?

Some time back, in another post, I wrote "attack is the best form of defense." Some time later, someone pointed out that this is not really the case. More importantly, they were able to convince me of their point. It is funny how it relates to almost everything in an almost universal manner :-)


18 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, things change rather rapidly. Especially when age creeps up, have to change or become screwed.

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    1. Yes, it seems easy to pretend that you can ignore it. But it gets more and more difficult as time passes by.

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  2. You make a very good point about Newton. Talk about banging your head against a brick wall - He must have been a persistent guy.

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    1. Newton surely was a persistent fellow. Coming from a rural background in that time and convincing the world must have taken some guts and effort.

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  3. Universal rules are tricky. Certainly, in a manifold universe, all possibilities are assembled, there is plenty of room. But some possibilities are exceptional and not tolerated very long by physical laws. Small exceptions are tolerated longer than large ones. This is why weak photons travel billions of years and allow us to see distant stars, while highly charged light disappears quickly--as from a firecracker. It is the exceptionally subtle that teaches us most about longevity and perceptual range.

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    1. Your observation about small exceptions is a very, very valid point. You could write a book on it, and I would surely read it.

      In normal life (not science), we tend to ignore small things in people's behaviour and dealings, but ultimately end up compromising on the big ones too.

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  4. Oh how I relate to this one.
    I cannot suddenly recall something that changed the way I perceived a certain thing. It is more of a socio economic thing.

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    1. Looking at Geo's comment here, it would seem me and you are not alone, Red.

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  5. Your first sentence is a paradox, did you realise that.?? :-)
    Interesting perspective by the way.

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    1. Yes Kanthu, I know :-)

      It got your attention, so it is a good paradox, ain't it?

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  6. I doubt if there is anything like a universal rule... "most" are just what applies to the majority... there is always a set of people who go against the odds...
    And to be honest, there is some fun to go against the universe, and then succeed...
    Besides, till we beat the "universal rule", new universal rules wouldn't be discovered... there would always be a bunch of people like Copernicus and Einstein, trying to prove the majority wrong...

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    1. About your fun to go against the universe thought, I remember reading some great business leader saying something like if people are not making fun of you, you are not doing anything worth doing.

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  7. You proved that change is the only constant. Also that Truth is never absolute.
    Never say you are ageing. Say that you are trading wisdom, wrinkles and wit for bratty youth.
    Might as well enjoy what you cannot avoid.

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    1. Wisdom and wit are great to have, even if they come with a few wrinkles.

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  8. Hey! Nice to see you back here.

    And I call it generalization. Growing up, there have been a lot of things whose perception has changed. It took some time for me to learn and replace the existing beliefs, but once we see the rationale behind, it's easy :-)

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    1. Funny thing, there are are certain beliefs that I know are wrong, but I still hold on to them. Don't know when I will get past them.

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