A 20:80 Rule

Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist. He published a paper showing that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. His principle, called “Pareto principle” turns out can be applied and used to explain a lot of events that happens in this world. In the field of economics, it can be used to show that roughly 20% of the world’s riches control 80% of world’s income. In the field of business, it can also be used to show that roughly 80% of company’s income come from 20% of its customer, as well as 80% of its complaints comes from 20% of its customer. In the field of linguistic, it can be used to show that 20% most used words in every languages will show 80% of the time in that specific language. The list goes on and on. Heck! It can be used to show that you will use 20% of clothes in your drawer 80% of the time!

As a human however, sometimes it is hard for us to care if one only shows us a statistical number. If I tell you that 80% of people who live in your neighborhood only share 20% of the wealth that your neighborhood have, will you take a glimpse and think about them? I don’t think so. Only when you interact with one of them, meet them face to face in person, you will at least have a feeling that you want to help those in need.

This principle will also tell you that there are exist a number of people, roughly 20% of the people you have met throughout your life, that have a great influence in your life. 80% of your success, what you achieve in your life, will be because of them. They may be people who are in the same class at you when you were in high school, they may be the one that you meet in your office and give you a recommendation letter for your new job, they may be your best friend who sticks with your weirdness, they may be anyone you don’t notice at first. What I know that, you owe these people a thank you.

A 20:80 Rule

A Soulmate, A Quantum Entanglement

In his dialogue The Symposium, Plato presented a story about soul mates. It states that humans originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces. It is said that humans had great strength at the time and threatened to conquer the gods. Zeus developed a creative solution by splitting humans in half as punishment for humanity’s pride and doubling the number of humans who would give tribute to the gods. These split humans were in utter misery to the point where they would not eat and would perish. Each human would then would forever long for his/her other half; the other half of his/her soul. It is said that when the two find each other, there is an unspoken understanding of one another, that they feel unified and would lie with each other in unity and would know no greater joy than that. (Wikipedia, Soulmate)

In physics, there is a phenomenon called “Quantum Entanglement”. This phenomenon, occurred in quantum level, states that when particles are generated in pairs, then the states of those particles cannot be described independently. They are tightly correlated with one another. One particle seems to “know” what happens to other particle when we interact with that other particle. This kind of thing is “spooky”, as Einsten said, because we can separate those two particle in any place, in any point in the universe but will still result in the same way. Quantum Entanglement also seems to break the speed-of-light limit law of the universe (a law that stated that nothing, including information can travel faster than a speed of light).

So, have you found your soulmate? Or to say it nerdly, have you found your Entanglement yet?

A Soulmate, A Quantum Entanglement

Unknown Unknowns

There are different level of knowledge and your view about the world:

  • Things you know that you know them
  • Things you know that you don’t know them
  • Things you don’t know that you don’t know them

This fruit of thought is the highlight of a discussion in one moment in my office.

Since we don’t know whose quote was this, i put an extra effort to look it up, it turns out it was a quote from Donald Rumsfeld, here is the full quote:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

The idea of unknown unknowns is interesting, isn’t it? it what fuels human’s advancement so far, the hunger of knowledge. That sensation of walking in a direction of unknowns, not knowing what you will get in the end, even not knowing what to expect other than the expectation to expand our know knowns, or known unknowns at least.

So, how much you know that you don’t know?

Unknown Unknowns