Friday, November 23, 2012

Obsessed with round numbers!

To begin with, let me brag a bit. I started running some 2 months back. I use to struggle to complete 5kms in 45 minutes, but now I can finish 7kms in 42 minutes. To a commoner that’s just an improvement of 2kms but to a novice runner it means a lot because every breath counts. I must than my adidas shoes, my nike shorts, apple ipod and Katrina Kaif for this.

By the way, did you notice the numbers here? 7kms in 42 minutes, that’s an average of 6minutes per Km. There are days where my Nike Running app tells me that the average is 6.04 minutes and that seriously bothers me – because it’s more than 6. But, an excess of 0.04 minutes is just 2.4 seconds, so should I actually be bothered? There are days, when I do 6.85km, this again upsets me as I couldn’t do 7km.

My other problem is rounding while tipping. What if the total bill on credit card charge slip is 1317, in all likelihood, I’ll spend some 19 seconds to make it round. So depending on the service, tip may be 83 or 183 just to arrive at total bill of 1400 or 1500. But, shouldn't I be just adding 100 or 200 instead of doing this rounding drill?

Am I the only one who is obsessed with a round number?

I think I am not alone; we all are obsessed with some or other patterns as far as numbers are concerned. Sometimes Round Numbers, say 80% marks are hugely better than 76.2%. Sometimes a Special Sequence, Car license plate number 1234 is far better than 1247. There are people who like numbers associated with Special Dates, a guy born on November Ten says,1011 is all he wants. There’s also a category of people who have their Lucky Numbers, and this tribe can go beyond any imagination to get that.

While I understand that 60% marks are better than 59% because our education system classifies 60% as a first-division but why a car license number 1234 is better than 1247? Sometimes we give logic that these special numbers are easier to remember. So, mobile number ending with 12345 is far better than 26749 because 12345 is easy to remember, right? But, who remembers mobile numbers anyways, it’s all stored in memory of phones – and I am sure that phone program won’t have any more difficulty in remembering 26749 than 12345.
Other obsession is our ‘show-off’ tendency – car number 007 is damn special. You really think a Honda City with 007 numbers has more ‘show-off’ potential than a Merc with 2680?

There are some who take this obsession to absurd heights, Read this report Wannabe mothers line up for 12/12/12 babies. So, I am sure Sunny becomes special because he is born on 12/12/12  and that's enough to get him a wild card entry to IIT, IIM or MTV Roadies!

Let’s stop obsessing over special numbers, move on, and enjoy life without numbers. Ok.

PS: By the way, I have crossed 1000 followers on twitter and just 900 short of 2000.


Shiv said...

Enjoyed reading it.
Hope, my comment is at to....I mean it's no.1....

deadlycurve said...

As always very nice post. With your posts you have brought sanity back in fashion.

Vikas P Goel said...

Thanks ShivJi & The Deadly Curve.