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| Prisoner`s Dilemma |
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 - 8:41 AM SL Time
It did not snow in Colombo,
on that fateful last day of chilly January
What blocked the vision was smoke, not smog
Still it was so icy cold that
the old man of the Queens Street shivered
Just the serene breeze, it was,
not the ominous blackish smoke
that heartlessly carried away,
hundred souls towards the horizon
souls tangled with gigabits of data on the loose
in the form of binary ones and zeros,
released from that gargantuan mainframe
now subdued to nothing more than ashes
Ashes to ashes dust to dust
One hundred souls bursting with life,
Simple men and women,
who never dreamed for stars
nor mythical homelands, nor unitary khetumatis
Who worked hard to feed few hungry mouths
Who travelled from far away in the mornings
carrying the boxes of lunch
tied by the strings of dreams
leaving homes in the early morning
even before the cock crows
Did they all have to die?
Yeap, they were prisoners of the first quadrant
They all, we all, in this forsaken land
Not a single soul exempted
To hell with your beautiful mind
I yell to John Forbes Nash
You are so atrocious
Why the hell you perpetually jailed us
in that miniature square with no exits?
Maths is an evil science man,
says he, not showing any signs of schizophrenia
What I can do, if you are unable to learn,
your lessons in Maths
even after ten long years?
(Note: Exactly eleven years ago, January 31, 1996 LTTE terrorists did a bomb blast at Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Hundred plus INNOCENT and UNARMED CIVILIANS, just people like you and me, who had nothing to do with the ethnic issue died from this brutal terrorist attack. So many hundreds suffered. Nearly ten officers at Central Bank completely lost their eye sight. Many others lost their limbs.
I write this poem one year ago, at the tenth anniversary of the event.
The symbolism I have used might not be clear to some so let me explain.
old man of the Queen`s Street = The Bank of England is usually known as the `Old man in the Threadneedle street`, so this is our own equivalent for the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
gigabits of data on the loose in the form of binary ones and zeros = Bomb blast also destryoed the central computer system of the bank
Prisoner`s Dilemma = A mathematical model that explains a complex human behaviour where under certain conditions two player tend to betray each other instead of cooperating, even though the latter bring more benefits.
Please see my earlier post on this or have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_dilemma
John Forbes Nash, Beautiful mind and schizophrenia = Nash, who suffered from schizophrenia in the latter part of his life was the one who introduced the mathematical model called Prisoner`s Dilemma. Beautiful mind was the film based on his life. It won four Academy awards. The role of Nash was played by Russell Crowe. Please have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forbes_Nash for more info.)