Room for Being Wrong

We all like to think of ourselves as being rational beings, unaffected by bias and holding opinions which are, majority of the times, always right.

During this, we fail to realize the fact that rationality, by itself, is nothing but subjective. If there’s nothing inherently objective and absolute, how can rationality be? To think that the choices we make, the opinions we form, and the decisions we take, all have to be right is based on a false assumption.

We often get into spontaneous arguments with friends, coworkers and family where we try our best to reaffirm our stance and how it’s the correct one. The arguments are based on subjective opinions, and in cases where a reference to some absolute facts is involved, people often end up believing what they’re thinking at the back of their minds are the apparent facts. This can happen without any true knowledge of the underlying facts.

For example, two persons debating which browser is the best. A Firefox fan can make up an argument that it’s the best browser since it’s installed on the most number of devices. It may or may not be true; but since that person is a hardcore user, they’d like to think of it as the most downloaded browser. In reality, Chrome, for example, may have more downloads. If the number of installs is the only criteria for being “the best”, shouldn’t Chrome be ahead, then?

This takes us to another challenge. When pointed out that our stance is factually incorrect, we often shift the argument. The basis of our previous argument no longer means anything.

In the example above, if the number of downloads is indeed the criteria for being the best, our stance turned out to be wrong and it’s Chrome which should be on top. How many will accept it and change opinion, if their assumption (read fact) was proven wrong?

Being self-critical can be good if we don’t judge others and don’t automatically put down the opinions of others. Embracing difference of opinion is excellent; the world can be a better place if we don’t always judge others as wrong and realize it’s down to having different perspectives.

I’ve just started reading the book Thinking, Fast and Slow, and it has me wondering: The understanding of how we think and make our choices is an interesting science, and being aware of it can help us in becoming more accepting of other’s views.

Home Advantage and Adjusting to Conditions

(My article for The Express Tribune, a major English newspaper in the country. Originally appeared here.)

Historically, cricket pitches in Asia had the tag of ‘lifeless’ and ‘flat’ associated with them. They’re considered as batting paradises where scores of 500 and above are regularly posted in Test matches, and taking 20 wickets is akin to climbing Mount Everest.

While it may be true in some cases, despite the notion that they’re flat, some non-Asian touring teams have often been found struggling in these ‘batting friendly’ conditions. The pitches on which Continue reading Home Advantage and Adjusting to Conditions

What Do You Do When Your Laptop Gets Fried?

It can happen. It has happened, to many a great warriors, and now to me as well, a mere mortal. Just when I was starting to wonder—why my laptop hasn’t malfunctioned since the time I bought it? Why am I so lucky? That was the moment. Evil eye struck. My own!

Honestly, laptops getting fried is a scary reality, but how you take it is what matters. The loss can be catastrophic, especially if it takes along your storage media as well, roasting it to nothing but a toast. People, by virtue of being humans, have different instinctive reactions to such events. It may trigger the fight or flight response in some, and while I can’t speak for others, I can tell you what my reaction was.

I was frying a cheese omelette, just a few minutes later. I had never fried a cheese omelette before in my life. So what do you do when your laptop gets fried? Personally, I fry a cheese omelette!

I’m glad I didn’t panic, as it does nothing but add stress when you should rather be calm. The best method of dealing with bad situations is to think. You can’t think if you’re not calm, and both are never mutually exclusive. From dealing with anger issues to responding to a rude comment on an online forum, if you remain calm, everything will start to fall back into place.

So coming back, I was done having my self-cooked, delicious cheese omelette, and the energy that it provided me with, I spent it on taking my laptop to a technician who was able to fix it. They say they invented Cloud for a reason. You can’t possibly realize its importance unless you go through this!

In a nutshell, when life gives you lemons, keep them in a refrigerator and cook something delicious.