Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In-or-out of the box

Mathematics is getting more and more complex and difficult. It pressurizes and plagues most students all time. Most students are usually very tense and stressful during lecture time. So, the lecturer made a joke in afternoon lecture yesterday. Here it is:

Almost every student laughed at it. I bet you find it very funny unless you have heard that kind of jokes before. The joke is simple and amusing. It took a while for hundreds of students to stop laughing at it.

Meanwhile, I asked my friend a stupid question. I said, “Why are we laughing at it? (^^)” He said, “(@_@) My God! That is a funny joke (:D)”. Well, of course I know that is a joke. You may wonder why I asked that stupid question then. We laughed because we know it is mathematics.

Let me clarify my statement. We laughed at it because we know it is a mathematical joke in the first place. We know what mathematics is, how it looks like, what dy/dx stands for, and what we are supposed to answer to that question. We look at it from the mathematical point of view. What if you show that joke to someone who knows nothing about mathematics and is confused mathematic with someone’s name? Would he possible laugh at that joke? I guarantee you, hell NO! He might even says, “Correct lah (:P)! There you see (pointing at dy/dx in question)”.

Our mind categorizes things we see based on our knowledge and images captured. If we see something that looks like a bird, we automatically think it is a bird. If we see something we are unfamiliar with at night, it must be a ghost. I know it is kind of lame but it’s the truth. The mind sees what it chooses to see. Our mind is framed up to narrow down into a certain way of thinking when we see something. In a way, we can’t normally think out of the box. What we have learnt in life make us to be able to realize or comprehend things faster. That is why smartest are the dumbest sometimes. Their brain is too quick in categorizing things. It is just too fast in getting into the box. It is a draw back of knowing too much. (A good reason not to learn :P)

One of my Poly lecturers told the class a story once. I don’t remember who and when he did. It is a true story though. I would like to share the story because it is about smart people who can’t think of out of the box at the right moment and a normal guy who saved smart asses.

A group of professional engineers were in dilemma. They were assigned to build a lift in a hotel to facilitate the guests’ access. To build a lift, it is required to drill big holes on ever floor. No guest likes to stay in a hotel where is rackety and messy. More importantly, they need to shut down the hotel for a certain period due to construction. Shutting down the hotel is the last thing hotel owners want to do. It would certainly affect the business highly. At the same time, the hotel is in a desperate need of a lift. The engineers were discussing over and running out of ideas.

Lucky, there was a cleaner who was washing the floor nearby. When he heard the discussion over, he said, “ You know what! If I were u, I would build the lift outside the hotel”. *CLING*

That is what happened when you cannot think things in a simple way. This is what happened when you are too smart. This is what happened when you cannot think out of the box.

Anyway, this is just my opinion though.




sharnge said...

Nice... keep on blogging ... I want to learn from you ...