As happens with startling frequency to everyone I know, with little to no discrimination, life decided to drop on me over the last year. Needless to say, blogging took a backseat during the ride.
But, as assured by Keith Westwater below, humans are more elastic that they might seem. [more on the issues bound up with the increasingly popular term ‘resilience’ in a later post, as a good friend, Ashley, recently pointed out].
As I’m wrapping up my PhD this year, not a day goes by when I don’t have thoughts that I want to share, discuss and disseminate. I’ve sworn off social media for some time now…long before #deleteFacebook (and am feeling irritatingly smug about this decision since the emergence of the Cambridge Analytica scandal–feel free to tell me to stop gloating), but this does decrease my ability to reach others with ideas across the internet. Social media also doesn’t really encourage proper development of ideas beyond bite-size chunks. Maybe a proper, regular blog might do the trick.
So here’s a poem, originally shown me by someone I care for dearly, which takes a lovely gentle dig at us ‘mathematicians’ in favour of a more nuanced appreciation of human tenacity. Expect regular blog posts again. We are back to vertical.
Resilience by Keith Westwater
Mathematicians have worked out
how to calculate the bounciness of a ball:
(the coefficient of this x the cosine of that)
+ the differential of today’s weather all ÷ by
a piece of string (and the speed of the train)
= the same as dropping different balls together
and seeing which ball has the longest bounce
Measuring how well a person will rebound
after being dropped on is still being worked on:
some believe it has something to do with
the thickness of their skin whether their stretching
reaches a breaking point or results in withstanding
whether they can fight and flee how many times
the person has returned to a vertical position before