The Tyranny Of Numbers


We are oppressed by numbers. We really are. All our lives we are the victims of these seemingly simple symbols – and I think it is time that we fought back!

It seems incredible that such a small group of squiggles on paper or a computer screen should make our lives so difficult – after all there are only ten of them in common use. They might gang up and form armies but they really are only ten separate shapes.

As school children we were daunted by them, then seduced. They were presented to us on the walls of the school room in bright colours – and we remember them in these colours all our lives – and drawn with cute cartoon characters to convince us that they were harmless. All through our school lives they were pressed upon us in increasingly complex forms until we were reduced to tears.

All the rest of our lives they pop up to tell us that we are not doing well enough, or are in danger, or should be uncomfortable…when we are not. Other tyrants and enemies use them to bully, rob, and cheat us. What we would resist with a fist can be imposed with a number. We are frauded, defrauded, and refrauded continuously until we are hounded into an expensive grave.

Time to fight back. Refuse the numbers. When someone tells you that something must be desired because of them – or abhorred for the same reason – demand to see the actual benefit in happiness, comfort, and satisfaction – or the actual danger in terms of pain, sorrow, and death instead of some sort of a number. The number is a pen stroke – your life is far more than that.

A sad reflection…It must be a living or dying hell for gamblers – they are number people trapped under a grillwork of number rules in a pit of  number pain.

Case in point: Today the weather was hot. Not so much so as to be totally uncomfortable, but that was dependent upon your circumstances and your perceptions. An Inuit would have felt bad – A Kalahari Bushman would have been delighted. I just carried on and had a good time in spite of the shrill yapping of the announcers on the radio with their forecasts and temperature numbers.

I strongly suspect it might be the same with money earned and spent, days, months and years of life, and many other aspects of our existence. If we don’t bother with the numbers…they don’t bother us.

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