October’s Last Letter

Friday, 4 October, 2013

My Dear Reader,

I have had a good start today. The weather is cool, but there’s light. I’ve set the fan in front of the heat radiator, pointing into the room. Usually the breeze from a fan is thought of as cooling, but after twenty minutes or so the entire apartment was much warmer, as the hot air was moved around, rather than hovering above head height. I mentioned to you yesterday that I’ve been… out of it – not myself – and you can probably see better as to why, looking over my previous letters. I’m coming around now, and choices are becoming clearer. I need to hit a few angles at once, and get probability on my side. I’ve always functioned with probability in mind.

I think back to my past, when I played the trading card game, Magic: The Gathering. The game is all about probability: you build a deck of cards so that you have a high probability of getting the cards you need, and the cards that work together for maximum effect.

Probability can also be applied to riding a bicycle. I ride at high speeds because when you pass by obstacles at a high speed the probability of an accident decreases as the time spent at the obstacle decreases, and this is balanced by the safety principle – that is, if the calculated path has any facet of non-safety it is done slowly. Most people, however, do not calculate this in, because fear takes hold of them, and they assume non-safety without actually looking at the problem. When crossing an intersection, for instance, I always lean slightly into the direction of possible incoming traffic from the cross-wise direction; and this way I can turn immediately into the direction of traffic in the event of an unexpected crossing. Reaction time is quicker when turning than when breaking. Again, working with probability, the probability of not seeing incoming traffic is low, and I neutralize the small remaining probability of accident by implementing the safety procedures describe above.

Even Wing Chun (the martial art I practice) works this way. In keeping constant forward energy (even if it’s light) you are aware of any chance that the target may become unobstructed. When training with advanced martial artists it is common that successful strikes are due to the opponent’s mistake rather than your own skill. This constant forward energy, on the attack line, keeps the probability of finding an opening relatively high, and it also holds a high probability of detecting an incoming strike, since there’s little reason to strike off the center, and a non-center strike would deal negligible bodily harm.

Probability. I need to hit the work force at multiple angles to maximize my arriving at an occupation which is both in demand, and suitable for my skill set. I also need to maintain a wide array of expectation, to be available for both high pay and low. Funny, because I would automatically expect low pay to start with in most entry level professions. But, why not shoot for high as well? It might be worth it to some. In fact, some may value my skill more at a higher price.

So here I am, today. Much to do and think about. How much do I need to make, what am I worth, what is my skill worth, what is the demand for the skill I have? I hope to call around some more as well, and potentially apply for some hospital or clinic jobs, just to get a foot in the door, so to speak, or at least have an income in the event that other work does not present itself.

Wish my well, my dear reader.

The Solitary Interpreter

P.S. I apologize for the vagueness of some of these letters, and for my digressions, to those readers who are not so intimate with my person and my habits. I hope the vagueness does not cause you to avoid my letters, and I also hope to be more clear and on topic in the future.

About m_syme

A lost mind and a rogue scholar.
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