Skip to main content

It simply does not add up

Somebody just pointed out to me a document's final copy -which I designed, wrote, printed and distributed- that had a mathematical error resulting in a total figure that was Ksh. 200 short of the components that add up to it. I told him to ignore it, since most of the readers would not notice it. After all, it is not the first nor the last thing in your life that does not add up. The issue of things not adding up starts from the mathematics class room, and goes on top include many other things in our life. It simply does not add up.

Mathematics used to be an easy subject for me, until a certain point in life where sums simply stopped adding up. I guess it is the same fore most of us. I guess things stopped adding up when the alphabet started creeping slowly into simple mathematics that had involved figures. That did not stop there, strange symbols, Greek alphabets and whole theories were soon added to the mix. It was no longer an operation of numbers, but functions like integration of letters, backed by some theories that were written in bizarre languages. My grandmother, is able to handle all calculations in her life without integrating anything; so I still do not understand why a certain professor insists that I need to differentiate and integrate an expressions consisting of characters beyond the scope of the keyboard that I am using. It also does not add up, top me, why mathematicians are obsessed with the letter 'x' instead of contending with the 10 digits they should operate under. Indeed, I see a situation where Massai alphabet that could soon join the Greek alphabet in this distinguished position. A certain master of mathematics told me that letters are used in mathematics to simplify things. Please- did you see me use numbers in this article to simplify anything.

That is not the only thing that does not add up, nor am I the only person with a set of things that do not follow simple mathematics logic. A visitor to this blog, Lily , says that it does not add how busy I am, given that I get time to write stuff like “25 things”. Lily, given the unemployment rate in this country, plus the people been subtracted from the payrolls daily,you will get a lot of time to write such things. Such time is also available when you are stuck in a road with more vehicles been added into the road, and a fewer number been subtracted from the same road, resulting in a traffic jam. By the way, Lily, the roads ministry, the Nairobi City Council, and other stakeholders are simply puzzled by an equation that would involve smooth flow of traffic within Nairobi city. To them, it simply does not add up. They think their gods must be crazy. Like those gods of the economists.

About the gods of the economists, if Nielsen were to measure their craziness the same way that they measure music album sales, these gods' craziness would have gone multiplatinum. Top foreign executives plus our distinguished ones have been left with ledgers that simply will not add up. Integrating, differentiating and use of bizzare expressions in this ledgers has refused to yield any miracles, since, as I just explained, the economic gods already went crazy. The only solution has been for the firms to file for bankruptcy. In some cases, foreign firms have had to add cash of governments that they can believe in into their operations, in what the governments that we can believe in call a bail out. Such expressions as bail outs are not used in sums of economies of developing countries, as the governments in this countries run economies that under normal circumstances result in negative totals if an attempt to sum them up is made.

In case the use of the term “foreign” in the above paragraph does not add up, it refers to people of a certain nationality who our prime minister has suggested should head the countries electoral body. This is due to the habit of votes cast not adding up when counted by a body headed by a Kenyan. Apparently, a Kenyan head usually integrates the voters in some areas and differentiates voters in other areas. The last time we had such a situation, we had to subtract many heads from our population and add many politicians to the government for things to add up. This has resulted in many Governmental sums not adding up.

For example, summing the number of litres that leave the Kenya Pipeline corporation does not add up to the litres of the same fuel it received. The National Cereals Boards might also require the help of mathematicians to find out why the number of maize bags that are received by millers do not add up to the ones it dispatched from its stores.

For the president, things have simply refused to add up. There is that one sum, involving calculating the size of his family, that has turned to be the proverbial pain in his backside. He has had to give several press conferences where he gives a mathematical breakdown of his family. Despite this, other Kenyans including members of the bar like one Paul Muite have claimed that the presidents Mathematical breakdown is flawed, and have gone ahead to try to sum up the members of his immediate family.

I am sure that there are many things in your life that do not add up. Take a moment and think of it. That is how complex mathematics is. What I do not know is if that still guarantees mathematicians to introduce alphabets and theories into simple sums. Hope it all adds up one day.


Popular posts from this blog

Dar mpaka moro (part 1)

Briefly about Dar
Dar es salaam is an expansive city on the Indian Ocean coast. The city has a peninsula (for the geographically challenged, its a piece of land that juts into the ocean) and a few large islands which are protected marine parks. The Tanzanian government and the people appear to be appreciative about Nature and protect it well. There is also the famous resort of Zanzibar which is tow hours away. In comparison, Mombasa appears restricted by the islands and the Likoni channel which have restricted northward development of the city. Dar es salaam is on the mainland, and even appears to have a larger harbor. You are likely to spot more ships near Dar es salaam, probably due to the harbor and distance from the pirate stricken shores of Somalia.

Dar es salaam, once the capital of Tanzania is quite distant from many areas in Eastern Africa. Dodoma is now the country's capital, but Dar remains the financial and social capital.

Nairobi to Dar by Road
Catching a bus from Nairob…

In a Westernised World, Covid-19 is the Perfect Pandemic

Over the last more than 100 years, the world has undergone numerous advancements. Human beings have been to space and the moon, we have powerful nuclear bombs and nuclear energy, bullet trains, planes that fly half around the world, and we can now treat and cure hundreds of diseases that tormented our ancestors. 
Yet, despite all these scientific advancements, the world is being ravaged by a pandemic. Worse, one that can be eradicated by people just staying home for 3 weeks. What went wrong?
Well, it is important to understand that the world, by nature, is destined for pandemics. 
Forests get extreme wildfires, wild animals get almost wiped out by diseases or drought, and human beings get pandemic. Drought too was once a problem, but the wonder that is the modern supply chain means shiploads of grains and all sorts of food can be easily moved from one part of the world to another. 
Pandemics, like wildfires, droughts and much more are nature’s way of introducing chaos into a system.

Dar mpaka moro (part 2)

This post has been continued from Dar mpaka moro (part 1)

Exchange Rates: 1 Tsh = 0.58 Kshs , 1 Ksh =17.2 Tshs (note to divide rather than multiply fractions/decimals)

Arusha is the capital of the East African Community, and might be referred to as Tanzania's third most significant city. Arusha also marks the end of Tanzania's dry region, quite small compared to Kenya's expansive Northern and Eastern regions.

You will also notice the presence of Traffic lights at major junctions and round abouts, a difference from Kenya's preferred police controlled junctions. However, motorists will at time jump the lights. Be warned though that Traffic Police might be present and will not hesitate to fine you. Overlapping , a common aspect of road behaviour in Kenya is taken seriously in Tanzania, it may land you a Ksh. 10,000 fine and/or a jail term.

Our bus did not stop over at Arusha, which though is quite a large town. Arusha is on the slopes of Mount Meru, one of Tanzania's m…

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes, happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voi…

Why Newspapers Should Shift to Digital Sales to Survive

The digital world is a very different one for newspapers, and this explains why many have shut down.

The ones that survived took some time in the wilderness before figuring it out.

Yet the ones that are transitioning seem doomed to repeat the mistakes of those who have been ahead of them.

The first problem with digital news publishing is competition. Print newspapers are near monopolies. Setting up a newsprint plant and investing in distribution vans is very costly. You therefore end up with a handful of papers or even just one for a certain geographical zone.