Monday, 25 June 2007

Einstein's Folly

I was never 'Good at Physics' in fact I would go so far as to say that my results in this subject were less than marginal.

However, I have a great admiration for scientific genius an in particular Albert Einstein, the theoretical physicist. His theory of relativity is well known but I cannot help but wonder what his output might have been had he lived in modern Singapore.

I suspect that he too would have observed the social mores of Singaporeans, such as their propensity to hog the footpath and not budge an inch, even when faced with oncoming pedestrian traffic.

Indeed, a whole new branch of physics might have eventuated - Social Physics - and I am not referring to a modern definition of this terminology which deals with an individual's digital identity.

The 'Great Thinker's' new branch of Social Physics who have spawned many new equations. For example:

1S=TF (One Singaporean equals the total footpath)

This core equation could then be further expanded upon:

1SA+S=TF X2 (One Singaporean 'Aunty' plus her shopping takes up double the total footpath space)


1SA+S+M=D (One Singaporean 'Aunty' plus shopping plus her maid equals disaster - for opposing traffic)

You may well ask on what are these observations based. To which I would answer, on personal experience.

There is clearly not the same sense of personal space in public places as there is in the West. Europeans tend to fall in behind one another in the face of oncoming pavement traffic. Not so Singaporeans, although they are profusely apologetic if ever shoulder contact is inadvertently made.

There is possibly another good reason for this behaviour as we Ang Mo tend to occupy more space than our Asian counterparts in the first place, especially if one has lived here a few months and put on extra girth thanks to all of the great cuisine!

This leads me to summise on final equation of which the "Great Thinker" would have been proud:

1AM X 2G=3S+TP
(one Ang Mo with twice the girth equals three Singaporeans occupying an entire footpath)


zoe said...

The same equation applies to the seats on a bus.

Jolly Roger said...

A further equeation being:
1S=1tbs (one Singaporean equals the total bus seat)

dr van gogh said...

do you have an equation for one sinaporean uncle driving 7 seater parks on double yellow line to alight one aunty, one maid and nie nie in wheelchair during peak hour?

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, it ain't just Singapore. After 10 years in Hong Kong, I agree: the field of physics and bodies-in-motion-occupying-space, generally, needs to be completely reconceptualized.

Another wrinkle: the phenom of standing still and alone in a large empty space and having one lone local enter that space at some distance from you and, invariably, end up running into you--somehow! I mean, making inadvertent physical contact! Mind boggling.