Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Kind of Eggs Would you Like?

So the five of us died the same day and confronted God.
“What an unreasonable Universe you have created? Of course, by the looks of it you have tried, but, I am sorry to say the resultant creation is far from pure reason- there are far too many uncertainties. And, the people you have put in it- Oh! My God! - are just a bunch of unreasonable jackasses,” thundered the Mathematician. Apparently he had been waiting for this all his life.
“The motivations you have given people are far too numerous and this simply makes them confused and consequently not very productive. If all the people had a single motive- as I did- profit, the world would have been a much better place,” said the Entrepreneur, almost believing that God would sit up and say – “I will be done by COB today.”
“Here we are, talking to You, and we have proof that you exist. I spent all my life trying to convince people you existed but couldn’t convert very many – or at best gave them a shaky faith. Why couldn’t you simply have put in more faith and then all would behave properly and we would get a perfect world,” pleaded the Theist.
“All this is useless- all we need is compassion- reason doesn’t stop you from killing. Profit motive causes wars, and people do kill others who don’t share their faith or have a different interpretation. So give everyone compassion – just one motive- to do good for others,”
God listened patiently; I guess he has all the time in the world, literally. Then He turned to me and smiled benevolently- “And what is it, that you want?”
I said- “let these guys talk, I will say something when I have something important to contribute.”
God gave me an indulgent smile.
The three whom the Humanitarian had lambasted, were now fairly charged up.
The Mathematician rose in his defense.
“You say that reason does not prevent you from killing. Well, why should it? Sometimes killing someone might be the most reasonable thing to do,” he said. By the look in his eyes I could almost imagine him thinking it reasonable to kill the opponents of some of his reasonable conjectures.
“But, you can kill for the wrong reasons,” the Humanitarian protested.
“There is no such thing as wrong reason, what is not reason is a fallacy and I am asking for perfectly reasonable beings.”
Now the entrepreneur demanded the floor, apparently she wasn’t very used to not being the primary focus of attention.
“Profit motive leads to wars only because the war mongers are short sighted. To my mind, destroying anything or anyone does not make good business sense- All the world’s a market and all men and women merely consumers,” she said.
The humanitarian didn’t buy this argument- “But, don’t you increase your profit by killing your competition, literally or figuratively?”
“Ah! I don’t kill, I convert- I have converted many a competitors to customers”
The theist was waiting to get a word in and realizing that, unlike God, he may not have eternity at his disposal, butted in- “When there is one faith and God addresses everyone daily- there would be no difference of opinion regarding faith and no man would kill those who didn’t agree simply because there would be disagreement.”
“God addressing everyone daily! What a ludicrous idea!” laughed the mathematician. Then suddenly realizing he was in audience with God, added- “Nothing personal, God the Great.”
God heaved a sigh, “Oh! If I started taking things personally! You know, of course that I am the most abused entity in the Universe, if you count the direct and indirect insults hurled at Me and My Creation.”
“And the most praised one too, my God,” said the Theist reverentially.
“Yeah sure! And I am not sure which one I which I find more irritating,” said God.
The Theist was taken aback for a moment but soon recovered and looked at God with increased reverence.
“But you guys haven’t said what’s wrong with compassion. I believe that is all we need for a perfect world. Really!” The compassionate one challenged the others.
The entrepreneur seemed to find this most unpalatable, for some reason and shot back- Everyone would be trying to feed everyone else and consequently everyone would die of hunger, what a waste of resources!”
“That’s why we need reason; the reasonable being would quickly work out the logical conclusion of this course of action and would take appropriate remedial action”
“Of course, if God tells them to feed themselves before they feed others, that will do- Feed unto you ere you feed others.”
“After you feed yourself, you sell the rest to the others, continuously endeavoring to increase your production and lowering you cost per unit. Everyone would be well fed,” elaborated the entrepreneur.
“What if others don’t have enough to pay? Do you horde or simply throw everything away,” asked the humanitarian indignantly.
“If profit is your motive, it might be reasonable to decrease your price or give out stuff on loan,” reasoned the mathematician.
“Hey Prof, that’s good, how much did they pay you at the University,” the entrepreneur seemed ready to give an on the spot job offer.
“Without Faith, all this may or may not lead to the right course of action”
“Compassion is the panacea”
“Only reason is reasonable”
“Profit is the bottom-line”

“Cool down guys, I will give each of you what you want, let me create four universes and hand out one to each of you.”
“Oh, Hell! Four more big bangs and then primordial chaos, evolution and all that, what a colossal waste of effort, why don’t you let me help with your Operational strategy, God?” volunteered the entrepreneur.
The Theist stated thinking aloud, “If God can create one Universe in a week, then He should be able to create four in a month”
“Rigor, Rigor,” scolded the Mathematician, “you are completely lacking rigor.”
God stopped the quarrelling twosome with a regal wave. “You people want the Universes in a stage of development similar to the world today, so I will give you just that!”
All but the mathematician appeared slightly puzzled.
The mathematician explained, “Of Course! He is God, He can start at any point he chooses, just build in evidence of prior evolution and give everyone a complete set of memories and there you have it. All perfectly logical. Sort of like starting a computer game at level 3.”
The Humanitarian looked at the mathematician with a look that suggested, maybe I underestimated reason.
And, so the four Universes were set up.

Husband: What kind of an egg would you like today?

Wife: What are my options?

Husband: 1. Boiled
2. Omelet
3. Sunny Side up
These are the major categories. Once you decide on one we can drill down the hierarchical tree till we arrive at point where no more choices are presented.

Wife: I need a reason to choose one of those.

Husband: Why don’t you flip a coin?

Wife: A coin has two sides, I have three choices.

Husband: You can choose the third if the coin doesn’t fall flat but remains standing.

Wife: That’s a low probability event, so the game would not be fair.

Husband: What about a round robin?

Wife: But that’s still chaos.

Husband: Why don’t you choose the first option today and the second tomorrow and so on?
Wife: Why not in reverse order?

Husband: Let me think of a reason.

Wife: And in the scheme you suggested I should ensure that the number of days remaining in my life (including today) is a multiple of three, for otherwise, I would not get a fair distribution.”


All but the mathematician were laughing loudly, and then the Theist asked the Mathematician-“So what kind of an egg did you have for breakfast this morning?”
“Sunny side up,” replied the mathematician gruffly.
“Why???” said the other three in chorus and started laughing again.
“Because I felt like it,” the mathematician said.
“But in your Universe, there is no feeling, there is only reason.” The Humanitarian said triumphantly.

Wife: What kind of an egg would you like today?

Husband: It is not important what I want, what is important is what you want.

Wife: How can you be so selfish? You know feeding you what you want will give me pleasure.

Husband: True, true. I will let you have pleasure – I will decide to have …

Wife: What supreme sacrifice! Why should you be the one to sacrifice, I will choose what egg we eat and make the sacrifice.

[Enter Kids]
Kids: Mom, Dad we made some eggs for you.

Husband, Wife: That settles it, then.

Kids: But we then decided it’s more compassionate to give it to the neighbors.

Husband: So they ate the eggs then?

Kids: No they decided to give it to their dog.

Wife: So that dog ate the eggs.

Kids: No, when we left their house, the dog was trying to feed the eggs to the cat


The entrepreneur was pretty happy with this. “Ahh… this is nothing new for me,” she gloated- “all my predictions regarding human behavior do come true. In fact to be a successful businessman you need to have a keen understanding of the human mind”

The Humanitarian was in deep thought and refused to grace the entrepreneur’s comments with any remark.

“You know, they couldn’t ever have reached a conclusion on the argument they were having, it’s just a vicious circle”

Husband: So what kind of an egg would you like this morning?

Wife: What does the demand supply graph say?

Husband: Two kids want an Omelet and the third insists on a Sunny side up. We have materials to make either in sufficient quantity.

Wife: Why does one differ? We can mass produce the Omelet and save on fuel.

[Enter Kid Three]

Wife: Why do you want a Sunny Side up?

Kid Three: I want to use fewer raw materials; this one doesn’t require any filling.

[Enter Kids One, Two]

Wife: Why do you both want omelets?

Kids One, Two: Omelets are easier to mass produce, remember we can produce one large component whereas the Sunny Side up will required dealing with individual components. Also, we believe the presence of fillings gives a better ROI.

Husband: Why don’t we mass produce the Omelet and sell some to our neighbors?

Wife: Maybe they are having similar thoughts.

Husband: Why don’t we start a breakfast pool? The mass production will cut costs and effort tremendously. Maybe I should get this idea patented ….


All but the entrepreneur looked fairly amused but the entrepreneur seemed to look on approvingly. But then said for everyone’s benefit- “I didn’t have any breakfast this morning. I was late for a meeting”
“To be making so much money and not eating breakfast isn’t very reasonable,” the mathematician admonished the entrepreneur.
The humanitarian was moved- “Oh! Poor you, didn’t your husband cook something for you and insist you have breakfast.”

The Theist now seemed confident that his would be the winning Universe and egged everyone to take a look at his Universe.

Wife: So what kind of an egg would you like for breakfast?

Husband: What would you say is God’s Will? Did He make eggs for us to eat or should they only be houses for prenatal chickens?

Wife: What about unfertilized eggs?

Husband: Still I am not sure, and then would He want us to eat Sunny Side up or an Omelet or maybe, today being Sunday, He wishes us to eat our eggs boiled.

Wife: Maybe he just doesn’t care.

Husband: Don’t you dare say that. God Always Cares.

Wife: I didn’t mean it that way; maybe he gave us freedom to choose.

Husband: Still we cannot be sure.

Wife: What should we do, the next sermon isn’t till tomorrow morning…


“I ate vegetables for breakfast, not being sure what God’s will is,” the Theist offered by way of explanation.

“But then”, said the entrepreneur, “You are going against God’s will if He meant you to eat eggs and you don’t”

“Perfectly reasonable point,” said the mathematician.

God turned to the group and asked- “So which Universe do we want to keep”

Mathematician: Maybe I was wrong about a couple of axioms; I will work on a more comprehensive plan and get back to you.

Entrepreneur: The breakfast pool wasn’t entirely a bad idea but maybe we do need a couple other motivations, I need to do some market research and analyze the results, feed them into my predictive models (which, by the way, are made my highly paid mathematicians) and then I will devise a better Universe.

Humanitarian: Maybe we need a bit more [her face is now distorted with disgust, yet she manages to say the word] … selfishness. Anyway I am not committing anything yet.

Theist: I will let You guide me, I am but an ignorant man, and you are God the omnipresent and the all knowing. Forgive me, if I didn’t understand your Will. I am your humble servant, let thy servants increase.

Now God turned to me and said, “So now do you want something from me?”

“No, thanks, Dear God, I am a writer and I got what a wanted- a good story – and this will do”

God looked at me and winked- somehow I got the feeling that what I wanted wasn’t very different from what God did.

Then God addressed the group and said magnanimously,
“You guys probably need another breakfast, let’s go and cook up an Interesting Egg”

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