the anti V brigade

Absolutes Vs Percentages by antivbrigade
April 4, 2007, 4:47 pm
Filed under: Shout Out

Disclaimer : Author as his nickname suggests has no formal or informal training in economics finance philosophy or anything that relates to this article. He is also a big fan of alice in wonderland and wants to tell everyone that previous article was actually titled Alice in drivingland hmmp!

If the whole world seems dusty, maybe you need to wipe your spectacles—ancient proverb

Well maybe my glasses are dusty but everywhere I look today I see this eternal debate between the Absoluters and the Percentagers . (The absoluters are those who believe that absolute figures say more while Percentagers believe the truth is in percentages)

I see this conflict in issues that affect the country as well (such as the charities scandal) and personal everyday issues(where to have lunch) and Financial issues small and large.

Let me explain this with the bigger issues first. One major problem everyone had with the charities is that they only used a small percentage of the funds collected for charity. These people are the Percentagers. They believe the charitability or the personal charity budget of individuals is finite and that if these big charities had used a greater percentage of the charity money for charity more poor people would have benefited or at least the givers would have saved some money.

The people who run the charities are the Absoluters(either that or machiavilian villains). They believed that for charity it is the absolute money raised that is important. That ten percent of ten million would help more poor people than 80 % of a hundred thousand. I.E – they believed that the charitability of the public was not finite. If they didn’t spend money raising money it would not have been raised- they believed.

Now to the more personal issues. Sometimes within myself I notice a Percentager and an Absoluter. Some times my two halves have very violent debates about my personal budget.

The Percentager would argue that saving money on lunch, (For example, a four dollar lunch instead of a eight dollar lunch) is more important than saving twenty dollars by buying a 30 dollar shirt instead of a fifty dollar shirt for example). This is because the savings on lunch is 50 % compared to 40 % for the shirt.

The Absoluter would counter that such logic was absolute nonsense. Twenty dollars was twenty dollars and four dollars was four. The real question ofcourse was if the more expensive shirt had a greater value and if this difference was greater than the additional benefit of the more expensive lunch.

After much discussion my two halves have concluded that the whole(different from the parts) needs a bit more money and a lot less time.

– The Dentist


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

hey kannan! that’s v.profound thinking! Have never thought of life in this perspective. But it really enlightened me! =)

And was the conclusion a subtle cry-out to pay rise? haha!

Comment by Elaine

hey Thanga Kamhi… that was an interesting read!! you write well… you observe better…
keep blogging me will keep reading!

Comment by GOD_Almost

hmmm..this is indeed a very simple but yet abstract thought..something which not many people analyze it on a daily quite a Percentager myself..n at times an Absoluter,but end of the day it boils down to the value of each item i spend on..i rather save on the lunch n spend on the shirt,as it is worth more in my eyes,as it is gng to give me economic benefits ovr the long run..hahaha..opportunity cost etc..anyways..good stuff u hv written! kudos!

Comment by Jey

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