On perfection

21/02/2018: Further reflection of The art of Not Giving a F*ck. This time with more theoretical approach and relation to trivial mathematcis. Elementary functions are trivial, right?

Sixth chapter of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson has lead me to agree with his point that everybody is always wrong about everything. It is not that there would be no correct answers to a specific question. 8+8 = 16, right? Or is it x00001000? What about #F? All of these answers are right but wrong at the same time, because each of them assumes certain numeric system, which makes them all incomplete. The only right answer would be an endless list of answers related to assumptions and specific situation. Like whether it is right give your train seet up to a pregnant woman. Did you make a reservation? Isn’t she just fat? Is she being an asshole about it? Again, the same thing. And the problem is that because we all make assumptions every day, nobody is ever 100% right.

But relaxing these assumptions, admitting our imperfections to ourselves, is what ultimately leads toward a more complete answer or skill or whatever. This generally requires certain amount of brainpower, physical activity, and/or use of existing (yet still imperfect) skills applied over time.

Every day, we strive to make our actions perfect, yet, because of the vast quantity of parameters involved in determining the resulting performance, we never quite get there. It would require becoming perfect in what influences every single one of these parameters, which encloses us in endless loop. And our lifes are not endless.

We sometimes even deteriorate, become more wrong, over time, because the influencing parameters fail us. Our body and mind have an expiration rate and tendency to get influenced by external factors, like a flu, or injury, or death. In the Inheritance Saga, the elves exist, who can live thousands of years, who are often the only ones able to provide an answer to Eragon’s questions far less wrong then the dwarves, and exhibit skills no other race is able to demonstrate. Still, all of them keep occupied, learning and further perfecting the one thing they chose to excel at. And still, they fall to fuckups in combat, diseases, injuries, and mistakes.

Usain Bolt is the fastest 100 meter sprinter in the world. He had trained his ass off for that and then ran like crazy to snap that world record when the opportunity came. And then again and again, until he dropped the record to 9.58 seconds. Perfect? No! Because he is just human, who cannot be perfect. Because the science has shown some imperfect indication of that human could run the 100m in even less than that. And also because the higher powers like weather and entropy are at play. He just got the closest to the asymptote than anyone else (without cheating, that is).

And so, this is an evidence of asymptotic nature of human performance at things. I have illustrated it mathematically, feeling pretty confident about the model. But there is still a lot of assumptions I had made in there.

So why try? Because that is the point. Because our society is based on being competitive, our species on reproduction of only the best and able individuals, our survival on their offsprings doing their best and so on. And this post is just an imperfect evidence of the fact that you can always improve. No matter who you are.