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Keep everyone guessing!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    It is a pity that most of us think that consistency is a big virtue. I have heard people say of inconsistent blokes that they are not reliable because they are so very inconsistent. I fail to understand the connection between reliability and consistency. The advocates of consistency do not realise what great harm they are causing the human race. Oscar Wilde called consistency as ‘the last refuge of the unimaginative’! Aldous Huxley agrees with him saying "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life and the only completely consistent people are dead." Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago!

    The theory of consistency certainly runs counter to the theory of ‘Survival of the fittest’. Let us examine who are the fittest. In any field of activity, be it love, war or sports, the mantra for survival is ‘Keep them guessing’, what in the parlance of bridge players, is known as keeping the cards close to the chest. If you want to achieve certain degree of excellence in this time-honoured method, you have to be inconsistent. It is the basic ingredient of keeping them guessing. If you are thoroughly consistent and highly predictable and if you are the kind that takes considerable pride in declaring yourself an open book, you can be certain that you are going to be used as a doormat.

    Take the animal kingdom for example. The greatest survivor of them is the fox. Not only the 20th Century Fox but from time immemorial, fox is hailed as the legendary animal. Aesop has woven more fables around the wily fox than any other animal! Even the prowling tigers in extreme pangs of hunger leave them alone and concentrate on docile animals. They are extremely weary of pitting themselves against the wily fox, because they can put up with hunger but not with wounded pride. Now can anyone say that a fox is a very consistent animal?


    Come to sports. It’s now a highly documented fact that the inconsistency of our Indian cricket team has made them a nightmare even among the seasoned campaigners like <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region><st1:place>Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region>. So is the case in military operations. From days of yore, wars have been won only by Generals whose moves could never be predicted. Remember the most feared General of the German Army, Field Marshal Rommel? He was nicknamed The Desert Fox for his most unpredictable strategies. There is absolutely no further need to substantiate this statement. Even in the modern corporate warfare, the element of surprising the competitor always plays a predominant role in the determination of success.

    So if you are consistent and proud of enabling every person who comes in contact with you to read you like an open book, be prepared to be hailed as the greatest sitting duck alive! Keep them guessing is the rule of the game. Can you show me one example of a person known for his consistency who has created waves in any sphere of activity? Further it takes a lot of efforts to be consistent, as the conditions of life do not remain the same. Inconsistency never makes great demands on your resources and you can be as flexible as you desire. If you are consistent, you are accountable even for slight variations in your behaviour. But you can spare yourself all that explaining, if you are inconsistent. Others will do the explaining for you even if it is required. Cleopatra could get away with murder because she was as fickle as the weather and people understood her that way. I just can not understand why anyone wants to be consistent, when it is ridden with so many pitfalls?

    What more effective comment can be there about consistency than the point made by Mark Twain in a hard-hitting speech against consistency? Hear his words:
    “These same men who enthusiastically preach loyal consistency to church and party are always ready and willing and anxious to persuade a Chinaman or an Indian or a Kanaka to desert his church, or a fellow-American to desert his party. The man who deserts to them is all that is high and pure and beautiful- apparently; the man who deserts from them is all that is foul and despicable. This is Consistency with a capital C!”

     
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chenniya Sir
    :hatsoff Yet another great post. I cannot imagine how you consistently are able to produce such great ones. I too consistently give drab and boring replies. I am sure we have some consistent readers who reply consistently and there are ofcourse viewers who also read consistently. Now if you take my blogs for example. I dont have a consistent date of posting. I dont also have a consistent reading audience. Take the case of the numero uno. She is quite consistent in her replies posting at her kitchen forum. She has certain consistent days to post her blog and vedanta posts. She has a very good consistent reading audience. Now that we are not saying being consistent is synonmous with boring are we??
    On a lighter note I have also noted that not being consistent is equated to not being reliabe.hmmm?? Looks like my work for the day is done. shakehead Ciao..
     
    sindmani likes this.
  3. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chenniya Sir
    let me add a little more damage before I go..

    Just now noted you calling those consistent people a SITTING DUCK ???? tsk

    Also you did end with reference to people with a capital C.. couldnt have been more clearer.. TRUST you to be so CONSISTENT..:idea
     
  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC
    Who says Madam is consistent? Take her recipes for instance. Does she stick to only conventional preparations? No consistent person would switch over completely to oats with a vengence! Who knows? Next it may be barley uppuma or cornflakes adai!
    Sri
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Le C & A C,
    Your Consistency in "taking out" on me with a vengeance - though it is amazing, what does it prove, I wonder!
    Well, Sri, Cornflakes payasam will be released for Bogi !
    Adai? - well an interesting suggestion !
    How do I thank you, for helping me think on "new lines" ?
    You are Consistent in your suggestions ! But I will never say that you are foul and despicable !
    Love,
    La C.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  6. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Anandchitra.....

    Your very first fb to Cheeniya had me in splits! Thanks for being Consistently so funny!! An excellent fb brimming with humor. May God Bless you and my you keep providing us with your consistent 'wit for wit' fbs!
    'Chitra vichitra fbs that provides pure anandam'...Naradi...:clap

    L, Kamla
     
  7. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheensaar!

    Sorry for responding to a response first and not your intitial post! The trouble is, you seem to bring out the best in others and I was impressed by AC's quicksilver response!

    That you advocate inconsitency and say that it makes winners of us just suits me fine! Because, I am inconsistent I feel...not by design, but by nature! You might have noticed it too as I am sometimes all over your thread with fbs and at times totally absent. Call it time constraints or plain lethargy, so it is.

    Being consistent may be considered as a virtue. But giving a little leeway to your firm routine, beliefs and habits does make one more adaptable and deal with different situations easier is what I feel too. This has come to my assistence as I had to constantly adapt myself to the changing circumstances in my life.

    As usual, a wonderful essay. I am always looking forward to your write ups and did wonder what you will be delving into this time. You never disappoint and thanks for the wonderful reference points.

    Mind you, I may be inconsistent, but am never unreliable.....Had to make that point! Okay, now, all set to enjoy the further hobnobbing here........

    L,Kamla
     
  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Looks like the concluding sentence of Mark Twain's quote has hit you on the solar plexus! Otherwise there can be no explanation for all those blue C's!
    C comes after B. So Cornflakes payasam follows Bhogi. Something starting with a Q being lined up for Pongal?!
    Sri
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    You have made it appear, by your interesting, enjoyable writing style, that consistency is not a virtue as much as it is made out to be !
    Well, it only proves your writing skills.
    Perhaps, in a "patti mandram" type of debate, if you were asked to speak "for" consistency, I am sure your side would have won, thanks to you.
    Though you write that you do not "advocate" consistency, you take care to consistently post on topics, which will lap up our attention.
    In personal life(only), consistency does help and is necessary to a certain extent.Otherwise we will become not only unreliable but also unpredictable.
    Imagine, your wife giving you morning coffee at inconsistent times everyday! It may be 6 AM one day, 9AM the next day.Will you not bother about it?
    The tendency for procrastrination can be conveniently attributed to the statement " I love to keep them guessing" !
    Ofcourse, as you rightly put it, "corporate game" is a different subject altogether.
    Viswanathan Anand may make moves which cannot be predicted, but we want him to win consistently, every title.
    Well, Sri, my cho chweet young lamb said it right in her first FB about you.
    Ofcourse did her usual quota of damage in the following Fb. There also, she proved her consistency in humorous hints.
    Love,
    La C.
     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla
    I cant agree with you more on the subject of AC's humourous fb's!
    You may not be consistent in other things but you are absolutely consistent in your generous appreciation for my threads!
    There is a saying that if you have got work to do, give it to a busy man; others may not have time for it! Similarly, if you want some reliable help, go to an inconsistent person; a consistent person may not be reliable!
    Somewhere down the line even Mahatma Gandhi is reported to have made some adverse remark about consistency. But the best was from Bernard Shah when he said, "Consistency is the enemy of enterprise, just as symmetry is the enemy of art"!
    As someone said, consistency can be a virtue for trains and other modes of public conveyance! And for some recipes!
    Sri
     

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