I, The Absolute

Math, Coin & Coffee and Sartorial philosophy

Posted by itheabsolute on April 19, 2005

• I used to hate math. Not because of any great reasons but that the teachers, later professors never explained the application of mathematics. The context was missing to appreciate its beauty. Why did I need a quadratic equation? Why do I need to understand calculus? These were some of the questions that went unanswered.

Today, after many years I still struggle to concentrate in a math class. Though I know much more of math than I knew when I was in school or undergraduate college, I still cannot claim to understand the usefulness of each theorem. I hate math when it is not provided with context. I asked the professor to provide the context. He asked me to be a bit more patient till we reach calculus by when it should be evident on the usefulness and business application of math. I surely have that much of patience.

• ISB has coffee/tea vending machines at some corners. You can have your coffee/tea by using a “five rupee coin”. It accepts nothing but a five rupee coin. This morning an old visiting professor was disillusioned after he failed to have his coffee with two and one rupee coins with him. A few of us had had such experience of not being able to have coffee despite having five rupees but not having a five rupee coin. Now I guess all coffee lovers can be spotted with such coin in their person. I will wait for all new things that ISB campus and education will make me do.

• I was sick of seeing myself and people around in formal attire. It is a refreshing change to see people in informal wear. The informal dressing goes with what happens in the campus. Informal atmosphere. No fetters. There is a book called Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle in which he writes about the philosophy of dressing. What you wear to an extent influences what you (can) think. Nakedness and self-watching are an effective way to purge ‘ego’.

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