I wish daylight savings would come, if it must, on Saturdays.  Only (selfishly) because I work on Sundays and the tricky magician origami folding of time and sunbeams is very confusing in a half asleep state.  I don’t have an alarm clock anymore…because I can never seem to remember to buy batteries for it…so I rely on my phone to keep on top of the arbitrary transformation and reassignment of light.

At midnight (or whatever time is designated by the powers that be for the transfer) my phone didn’t subtract the hour as I slept. For some unknown reason, deus ex machina decided to flex its muscles at 9am.  Which wasn’t helpful.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect anarchy in just about any form, but since I’d already spent half the night doing math problems in my head about how much sleep was left, it switched the denominator and left me wandering about the world in a haze.  I can’t remember which clocks I’ve changed so every room I walk into is a potential time warp.

Once my brain starts going with math problems, it’s all but impossible to stop the random number crunching.  I calculate seconds until an anticipated red light, the steps it will take to get to the corner, how many red cars I’ve passed on the last couple of blocks, the change due to the person in front of me, etc.  Kind of like playing solitary for hours until you finally win, there is always one problem solved in a way that satisfies my brain so it can move onto other things.

Today it was a population problem.  I should back up a few steps (not counting them thankfully anymore at this point) and say that I recently watched the first season of True Detective.  There were a handful of lines in it that still have me processing and deconstructing and trying to spit out a little calculator spiral of paper that says ‘solved’.  One of the quotes was about human consciousness being a tragic misstep in evolution, essentially making self awareness an aberration in nature.  The cure that the character proposes is to stop reproducing.  Let nature get back to being nature.

I started thinking about human population this morning and its rate of growth.  Most couples I know have two children so I used that as my starting point.  I’ve heard a handful of times from people that they stopped at two just to replace themselves.  So then the math kicked in.  One couple has two children.  Each of those two children also has two children.  And so on and so forth.  1,024 children would be the product of the tenth generation (a span of more or less 250 years…only just slightly older than the United States according to a 1976 quarter I have saved to use for scratchers because it’s the lucky one).  Going a little deeper, if you add up every life, including the original couple, there are 2,038 people total.

Good lord.  That’s depressing math yo.  Sorry.

Basically, I guess my brain is trying to say that there are a whole lot of footprints coming down the chute on this planet in the next eye blink.  Imagine beaming all of those people here all at once right now and think about how long it would take for the world to flip the bird and phoenix burn itself into ash.  I don’t think very long…and I wouldn’t blame her.  It’s high time we really really (really) start bumping environmental issues up in the queue of importance if we plan on the tenth generation having anything resembling an inhabitable planet.   Although I opted not to have children, I’m no less responsible for the welfare of those that have.  It’s part of being human. It’s time we get our proverbial shit together.  I don’t know that Mama Earth can give anymore of herself without our help.  And we shouldn’t expect her to forever give more than we take.



2 thoughts on “Why Grown Folk Shouldn’t Do Math

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you…..and for sure, the counting thing is there in me, too. Musical counting is a form of fighting fire with fire, at times.
    Though, I remember listening to that True Detective line in a clip you sent. I think that that is a very glib view of consciousness, its evolution, and the current sad state of affairs. Mind you, I have only heard the pieced together clip. The fact that the human consciousness is not strong or developed enough to overcome our basest desires, isn’t proof of an so much of error, but maybe a call for increased attention to our consciousness?
    The development of consciousness has been at the root of many philosophies, young and old. Maybe that is our next effort in evolution? But, we have drifted so far from Nature, and our own natures…. many people can no longer differentiate the intestinal pang of hunger from that of thirst…We actively search for ways to differentiate ourselves from other animals, and when our theories fail (showing that we are still no different), we set new criteria. Maybe the development of ego, as opposed to consciousness, is the real problem?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How strange also that we, as a species, are struggling to keep ourselves surviving…while also being aware of that struggle…and still somehow destroying the things most intrinsic for sustaining it.
    I agree very much that most sentient life has a form of consciousness, but it is the ego that seems to separate us not only from each other, but from ourselves as well.
    Excellent thinking stuff to muse over on a Saturday morning! Thank you


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