Sunday, December 21, 2008

How I measure my grasp of reality

There has to be a criterion to measure my grasp of reality. For me this is the degree to which I can predict and control myself and the external world along a certain set of factors. These factors can be divided into two categories: Intrinsic factors – that have to do with myself and extrinsic factors – that have to do with the environment outside of me.

The list of intrinsic factors along with the method to gauge how far I can predict and control these factors are as follows:
1. Factor: Knowledge.
Method to gauge: This would be easiest if we were assessing the knowledge of structured course subjects such as those taught in University programs and measure our expertise in it by giving tests designed by subject experts.
2. Factor: Skill - clear thinking + clear communication
Method to gauge: To measure this we can use the 1-page, 5-page, 10-page and 15-page test where these are the number of pages that one should be able to write on any topic clearly
3. Factor: Skill - social skills
Method to gauge:
a. “Degree” to which I can predict and control the outcome of a meeting with people I have interacted with over 30 hours (Not sure if it should be 30 hours, more or less).
b. “Number of hours” spent with another person to be able to predict and control the outcome of the meeting with him/her.
c. “Range of people” with whom I can predict and control the outcome of the interaction, given that a certain minimum number of hours have been spent with that person.
4. Factor: Skill – stop watch time at self-discipline i.e. the time it takes to get myself to do an act which requires the exercise of will power for the next five minutes. This degree of will power required however will wary with the following three factors:
a. Difficulty of the initial conditions. For the purposes of the stop watch test these conditions should be normal, i.e. not harder or easier than usual.
b. Difficultly of the act to perform. For the purposes of the stop watch test the act should be of average difficulty.
c. How harsh are the consequences. This factor can be eliminated. Example: Shooting myself in the foot without anesthetics does not count because the impact of that on my will power will be exerted even after I have shot myself.

The list of extrinsic factors along with the method to gauge how far I can predict and control these factors are as follows:

1. Factor: Nature of job
Method to gauge: Of all the jobs that I have heard of am I doing the one that I enjoy most?
2. Factor: Salary
Method to gauge: Statistically how am I doing compared to other people in society?
3. Factor: Circle of friends
Method to gauge: Do I have a close-knit circle of friends who I can relate to well.
4. Factor: Health of relationships within family
Method to gauge: Is anyone in my immediate family in any trouble that I can help out with and am I helping out. Secondly the degree to which I am happily married.

There are a number of things that are beyond my ability to predict and control such as an event in which I meet a serious accident or let’s say the chances that I develop cancer. In these and other similar matters my place is that of a Fakir (beggar) in relation to God and nature.

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