A Queer Theory of Momentum

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Crazy ideas

I’m not going to blaspheme physics and disgrace the elegant Theory of Momentum. This post is dedicated to humbler and less useful endeavours. No math proof is offered because maths sometimes obfuscates reality. The conjecture is based solely on Galileo-like empirical observation.

What do blogs, the credit cycle, job hunts, and male-female relationships have in common? The common thread that links these seemingly unrelated areas is Momentum.

Blogs first: Poor old Haphazard Linkages wallows haphazardly in the World Wide Web, revelling in oblivion. Google does throw it up but a rather focused search string is required to get to it. A search using ‘Satire blogs’ or ‘random blogs’ refuses to identify this blog even after the first few pages. Hits remain low. Pretty sad sounding story line this. (The Google Search itself is a good example of momentum at work. Interest wanes after the first couple pages and mostly useless stuff makes up rest of the numerous pages).

Part of the reason is the low-frequency posts. Frequent posts coupled with good packaging generally translate into more hits. More hits = popularity. Momentum does the trick. Google Reader feeds start showing up Popular Blog X, Google Ads start popping up more often and generally helps spread goodness all around. Lack of momentum leads to a Haphazard Linkages.

Credit cycle: The mechanics of Leverage offers an interesting and paradoxical example of momentum. The amount of leverage that can be obtained bears a direct relationship with ‘asset value’ and ‘wealth’. Consider real estate. Rising real estate prices increase the value of collateral (a house, for instance) leading to ever-increasing leverage availability to borrowers. Falling real estate prices work in the opposite direction. Much of the recent credit crunch could be attributed to the positive and deleterious effects of momentum. Access to credit generally bears a direct relationship with wealth. So we have a situation where the rich draw credit at low rates and the poor frequently having to mortgage themselves to obtain credit at usurious rates. (I’m not arguing against this system, though. I think it is fair for things to be this way, but I digress). Rather than blaming capitalism, the poor would probably benefit by devoting time conjuring up ways to put Momentum at work.

Job market: This market is a fertile ground for Momentum and Phony. Potential recruiters are very interested in knowing the number of potential employers ‘talking’ to me. Often times they are keener on knowing ‘names’ rather than my background, expertise and other such glorious non-necessities. Name throwing is the name of the game. More employers à more demand à increasing market value à generally more interviews and offers. A straight ‘I’m-not-talking-to-anyone-as-none-of-them-fit-my-requirement’ leads to a polite ‘we-will-get-back-to-you’. Talk straight and go bust. Spin a web and everyone lives happily ever after.

Male-Female relationships: This one is queer but offers yet another amusing example of the Theory of Momentum. Quite interestingly though, the Theory is generally restricted to men; holds less compellingly for women. Ever been to a pub and caught a guy sitting alone, drink in hand? 9/10 times you come back after couple hours and find him happily in his own company. (It’s a different story if the protagonist were a solitary woman). The difference between Solitary Sam and Happening Hulk is Momentum. Hulk’s North-South-East-West directions are generally occupied by beauties. Beauties not occupying one of these directions often silently remonstrate and spend time thinking up ways of occupying one of the directions, or better still, assuming sole proprietorship over Happening Hulk. Solitary Sam, meanwhile, continues to enjoy his own company…Lest I appear biased, the above mechanism has also been observed to hold in cases with a woman as the lead actor. Only, it holds weakly at best. The same theory holds in the area of marriage partners. Jobless Jims are shunned and their relative positions deteriorate remarkably quickly compared to the Happening Hulks.

Momentum is a funny thing, quite an arsenal in ones armoury. I wish I practiced what I preached…


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