Friday, 5 September 2014

A Balanced Budget

(A follow-up to the post Fiscal Crisis)

There comes a point in every man's life when he must confront his past.

For some weeks in May every single day, I boarded a time machine. The dust-filled, at times soggy and almost always heavy trips took me as far back as 5th April 2013. I was sorely tested... at times stretched to the limits of crazy self-flagellation.

Let's talk about the mathematics of the situation. If you read my last post, you would find an estimate of some 150 newspapers piled up in a neglected and inconspicuous corner of my office. It seemed a decent guess back then.

With an inflated assumption of 180 I guessed the entire series could be wrapped up with 12 a day (I get 4 newspapers daily). Elementary maths. And so it began. I was diligent in completing my daily target.

There was just this small problem. The pile wasn't coming down.

I increased my paper intake. I raised the bar to 20. I toiled for a fortnight with the revised strategy. My challenge soon unfolded, the denouement a sinister joke around my infantile obsession. A series of revised estimates told me a depressing and demoralizing fact.

There were 800 newspapers in there.

It seemed a worthless struggle. I could have done better with that time. But deep reluctance in throwing away all that knowledge to the kabaadi was too much to bear - I held on.

After the tenth day something remarkable happened. On a pure whim, I upped my intake to 30 a day. And a few days after I completed 50. Something clicked. I was on fire.

My personal highest?

One Hundred Sixty Seven. In a Day.

Yeah. I did it.

HWR - 11

Haaris' Weekly Round-up is back up and running. I can sense the groans from the back-alleys of Facebook already. If there was ever a written feature that had a shambolic history of laziness behind it, I would be gutted if that wasn't HWR.

  1. A great article on the stringers that get the nine racquets of Federer ready. And for Djokovic and Murray.
  2. The maddening urge to continuously check one's email has followed me to A. An article that argues against this monstrosity.
  3. The great but senile Ed Wilson wants to set aside half of the world for the other species of the planet. Is that possible?
  4. A great piece on how the great statistician R A Fischer devised a wonderful experiment to test a person's claim of knowing whether milk was poured before or after the tea. Courtesy Prof Apratim Guha.
The promise is renewed. The dirty slate is wiped to its former pristine self once more. I will return next time with a new edition of HWR. Really, I will.

For previous versions of HWR: