A Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Paula Marantz Cohen, “We Are All Quants Now,” (9/13/14) related this story. A 7-year-old girl was working on a drawing. “That’s good work,” her babysitter encouragingly said. “Are you proud of it?” The girl responded, “I’m not sure. I’ll bring it to school and see how many ‘likes’ I get.”
POEM: A QUANTITATIVE LIFE
We no longer measure qualitatively, nay.
How do we measure value today?
Life is measured by how much we own
and not by how much we’ve grown.
Art is measured by how much is paid
and not by the beauty conveyed.
Books are measured by how well fame sells
and not by what truths the story tells.
Music is measured by the downloaded plays
and not by the lilt of a haunting phrase.
And self-worth is measured by the “Likes” I receive
and not by how I, my own self, do perceive.
Yet adding up all we can own and can count
However large the number or great the amount.
We end up with nothing of value to share.
Of meaningfulness these days
the shelves are quite bare.
Our values are vicarious
made to dive or spike
by those who do or do not
click on the “Like.”
© 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
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