Thursday, June 7, 2018

Everything w.r.t !


I was thinking, what is the most impactful word in any language? Of course there can be different answers for this question. After all it’s a ‘’subjective’’ question. Am I right? But what determines that subjectivity? Again it will be “your experience”, “your thought” so on and so forth. I found “my” answer not in philosophy or sociology but in physics. The word ‘with respect to’ or w.r.t is more powerful than any other word.

Now, read all the inverted commas in the above paragraph by keeping in mind “with respect to”. We develop our thought or anything “with respect to” something. This w.r.t is in our mind both explicitly and implicitly. Perhaps, education tries to make it more explicit and coherent so that it becomes predictable. This gives birth to another word “predictable”. Life is not easy!

Predictability is the single biggest pain in Physics or for that matter in any other subject. We all want to know what is in store in our future. We work hard to “predict” our future or in other words to reduce uncertainties. Uncertainty is the single biggest challenge. Einstein refused to believe this uncertainty while Heisenberg capitalized on it. The difference in views of both the great scientist was due to “w.r.t”! Einstein viewed the world of small with respect to the world of big! Human beings has been reducing uncertainties by minimizing risk or reducing uncertainties. It is precisely this activity which sets us apart from other organism. Perhaps, it is one of the reason how our species became dominant while others such as homo erectus or Neanderthals lost the race. The biggest challenge in any economic model is to make it more predictable. But economic models try to reduce the uncertainties by removing some of the “with respect to” (w.r.t) portion. This makes them constantly changing model. The input variable which is sometimes assumed to be constant tends to change in the long run.

This leads to another question, is 'constant' good? Or is status quo good? This can be answered looking at the quantum mechanics theory of uncertainty. Perhaps, things remain uncertain because of our inability to make it deterministic. Neither the atom nor the humans are having so called “Free will”. Free will is perhaps the integral of all our experiences. These experiences are always with respect to something. We may or may not be able to explicitly mention it but it does exist. Well, this was free will w.r.t to science. When free will is mentioned w.r.t economics it means the person decides his/her without any governmental influence. Now, back to the status quo question, is it good or bad? Imposition of it is bad. Since status quo can be changed by the integral of various small steps. For eg; earth appears to be flat but if one takes the integral of all the spaces it becomes a spherical similarly for a giant ship it will take a lot of time to turn. Similarly, imposition of status quo is against natural instinct of change. The basis of any advertisement is that we don’t have free will i.e we get influenced! In fact there is a ratio for cuteness too. Disney exploits it in a better way. They design the cartoons to appear cute and attract people.

Its interesting to relate uncertainties with capitalism! Capitalism increases randomness because more and more people are empowered, but this will increase the level of uncertainty. Hence, should we follow socialism or communism? The answer is big NO! Because this randomness is good as it brings creativity and new thoughts. Compare this with socialism or communism where the government is all in all, this reduces or perhaps, kills creativity. Now in this case all the risk is in a single basket of creativity, compare this with capitalism where risk is averted by having n numbers of baskets of creativity. Socialism or communism is like maintaining the status-quo. Sooner or later this will be challenged. They are in fact counter-intuitive.

In fact the cognitive dissonance can also be explained with the word “with respect to”! The input item in the case of cognitive dissonance was also not constant for long run. This created a shift in “w.r.t” portion of the initial decision! Jisko constant soocha wo to variable nikla! This shifts the “w.r.t”!