Just Another Statistic (Just Another Long Entry To Be Ignored)

Just went to celebrate Tzen Wah’s birthday at the Marina Bay steamboat place (HAppy Birthday!). It’s still as sweaty and icky as I remember it. I think I eat less the more often I go. Perhaps the memory of good food does stay with you.

We decided to go for drinks at Boat Quay after, and ended up sitting beside the river (I can almost hear the foreigners jeering) at a dingy little bar that served us watered-down beer, the lighting and music provided only by the restaurants beside it. Evidently sitting in the bar proper (where the epilepsy-inducing lighting and radio-tunes were at) would have cost us up to 50% more per drink. It was a bad choice (mine) and I was rather sorry about it, though I’m not sure why I didn’t nip the bud before it bloomed.

Somehow we got to talking about female disadvantages and such things as the girls’ inability to trust men.

I am not the best proponent for male rights and equal gender-rights, being easily confused by What Is and What Should Be. On the other hand, I was rather struck by Chu and Karen telling me about all their friends who had been cheated, violated or generically mistreated by males and their distrust of my gender. As Chu asked “How many good men are there out there?”

And on the way back, I kept thinking about the girl whose condolence book I was doing (because I was editting the condolences for errors) and a phrase that many of the condolers used – “Don’t let it be just a statistic”. I remember being vaguely amused about the phrase, because it was an idealistic one that sounded nice but made no sense – everyone was a statistic, you can’t hide from being part of a large number crunching somewhere.

Then I got a little confused, because if applied to the rules of mate-seeking, since you can’t trust most men it would suggest that statisticall it wouldn’t be worth your while to date anyone at all, since the chances were tilted against your favour that you would lose. You may argue that a discerning eye for suitable qualities may even the playing field and eliminate the lousy men, but it is common consensus that those involved in matters of the heart are poor judges of character. So it goes to show that we fly against the face the statistical truth when mate-seeking.

Then why do we keep doing it? What makes us believe that, given the enormous numbers of relationships that end prematurely (prematurely I take to mean before the people involved die, because that seems to be the romantic ideal these days), makes us think that we are able to find one? The odds (empirical statistical, not observable) are highly against us.

I think that’s what it means not to take something as another statistic, not some phrase thrown form the mouths of well-meaning people.

So let’s apply it to the poor girl’s example – I guess then it would mean that despite the relatively low rate of motorcycle incidents (I’m not sure about this) we should place the fear of flying into our dooms in as high a regard as our seeking a romantic partner – which then leads to the logical conclusion that we shouldn’t ride a bike at all.

And, given this conclusion I guess no one who doesn’t ride a bike yet should attempt to do so and no one who already does should continue. That’s obviously not the case. So I guess a lot of people then will take her as just a statistic. And that is logical, believing in statistical evidence.

Is romance so wonderful, that we keep ignoring statistical truth to pursue it?

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