The Mathematics of Happiness

When I first learnt about Probability Theory in secondary school, I went nuts! I fell in love with it, as it seemed almost magical that we could somehow synthesize or calculate the probability of something happening! I feel like I’m a psychic! Boy, was it fun finding out that the chance of a ‘1’ occurring from an unbiased dice was 1/6 or 0.1666666… 6667… or that the chance of even numbers occurring was 1/6 + 1/6 + 1/6 or 3/6 or 1/2. Ok, it is intuitive to arrive at 0.5 or half, but the maths behind it is the marvel.

The other thing that was fun about probability was that there were the card games. It seem like many math teachers are very into card games as many questions revolves around the probability “of drawing the next Ace from the deck, given a certain hand that was already played”. I half guess that this obsession with cards might have stem from the poor financial status of teachers in general. Literature and linguistic teachers will poke fun at the social rich strata while the mathematicians will dream about striking it rich by winning at this weekend’s poker game or blackjack! Of course, there are the boring apple and oranges in a bag questions and red and blue marbles questions, but those are for kids and no one got rich guessing apples and oranges or marbles!

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A Middle-Aged Princess Grows Up

Here’s an article I would like to share with you all. While the ‘princess’ in the blog is a lady, the lesson from it applies equally to all, men and women alike.

An extract below … complete post after the break below

I’ve made some profound changes in my life since then. First and foremost, I stopped blaming everyone else for my own problems. This was the hardest. For my entire life I was told – and I believed – that as a woman, I could do no wrong, that I was not responsible, that I was always the victim in some way. Over and over I had to tell myself that only I am responsible for my happiness.

Once I learned to stop blaming the world, I taught myself to be pleasant and nice. This was hard as well. I had always mistaken pleasantness for weakness. This is not the case. A new colleague at work – a woman from the South – showed me very clearly it’s quite easy to be nice and be strong at the same time.