I’ve always been proud of being on outlier,
a statistical abnormality,
the point that messes up your entire correlation equation.
I’ve always believed my small rebellions would be amplified,
sending shockwaves through a system;
altering means and medians,
skewing the bell-curve
with just the tiniest ripple.
I needed to prove that I was more than just a statistic
that I was more powerful than any number
they assigned to value my worth.
The thing about people
is that they don’t like looking at outliers.
They can make systems very complex.
And I’ve always said
when doing math, try and make your life easy,
Which is why I shouldn’t be surprised
when they found a way to ignore my rebellion,
and decide what society actually is, without me.
They can either remove my data set entirely,
and be arrogant about it
or they can use complicated strategies
to confused the layman
and present an image
they will convince you is the truth,
but you can’t be sure because
mathematical jargon is the strength of
the ‘objective’ outliers painting the picture.
I found one such jargon, called
The Harmonic Mean.
Sounds pretty doesn’t it?
Sounds artistic, even.
But really it’s an equation
to account for our abnormality
to stabilize our influence in society
without sending us to exile
in their back-alley databases,
or categorising us as ‘human error’;
it is the sound of a melody
that could soothe our souls enough,
to pull us drunkenly away from the party
and into a corner
acknowledging our existence
but diminishing our power;
It is more diplomatic than asking us to leave.
I’ve always wanted to be an outlier
because I like to shake up the system,
and keep those who enjoy predictable trends on their toes.
I guess I have never realised,
they are the ones controlling the music.
Note: This poem is inspired by the definition and conditions under which the Harmonic Mean is recommended to be used in mathematical analysis. This no way explains the concept fully but this poem hopes to act as a bridge to understanding it. If my understanding of the concept is flawed, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than willing to learn from you and attempt a new poem.
Harmonic Mean by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.