In keeping with my previous few contrarian posts, I write this, as a late V-Day special.
So everyone says love at first sight is one of those things which is totally inane and destined not to work out, for “looks can be deceptive”. I prefer my opinion on this to remain ambiguous, but here I argue about why it is possible.
The matter for this comes from some Miss Marple story, where Jane Marple is discussing someone’s suicide/murder attempt with someone else. This someone else says, she saw it coming. On the morning of the incident, when she saw the suicideVictim/murderAttempter enter church, she had a feeling all was not right. She calls it a premonition. Jane Marple promptly says it was not just an arbit feeling, but was probably spawned by the fact that the suicideVictim, who was normally careful about her clothes, had her hat on crooked, and her dress and hairdo were carelessly done.
Struck me, that has happened a lot to me. Sometimes, a dress someone is wearing seems such an assault on the senses for no tangible reason, but more often than not, the reason is intangible only because you are not able to express it appropriately, and not because the reason is invalid.
One of my friends says this is so because the mind works faster than you can think, and puts together things so fast you don’t realize how the final result came about. And that these quick computations are right often enough, and will be right even more often if only you train it the right way and trust it often enough for it to gain sufficient confidence to make decisions based only on the data it has and untainted by your external, seemingly practical views.
So occasionally, it apparently makes sense to throw all common sense to the winds, and follow what the heart says. Whoops, make that what the brain says.
(Aside: A closely related category is people finding answers to long-standing questions in their dreams – like the benzene ring structure.)
And… love at first sight is just one of the applications of this er.. ‘theory’. When you see someone, you perceive a lot about them; you even perceive a lot that you are not even aware that you’ve perceived. And hence the split-second decisions occur. Your mind gets made up even before you know it. Like… you keep hearing about some study which proved that people make their minds up about others in the first few seconds of meeting them… and that this first impression seldom changes.
It doesn’t make much sense to try and rationalize these split-second decisions. You don’t know what parameters your mind has used to judge. What combination of inherent looks, dressing styles, gestures and mannerisms…. and best of all, you don’t know what you like and what you don’t, that your mind decided things this way. It is highly dependent on the experiences you’ve had in the past, the sort of people you’ve met in the past and how they’ve made you feel. And it also depends on how much you perceive. Too many variables.
And how are you to know whether this is the mind’s informed decision or the sort of fancy a monkey has for a shiny trinket?
So you have one of two choices – Go with the thought, or dismiss it completely and base your decision on pure rationality and reason. With one being tangible and the other intangible, you don’t know what weightage to give each so as to be able to make an accurate sum.
What you choose depends a lot on your emotions, and what you want to believe. If you’re once-bitten-twice-shy, you’d want to play it safe and go with only what you can reason out to be a good bet. If you are the sorts who has a lot of confidence in your mind’s split-second decision making capabilities, you’d probably take the risk. There are a lot more scenarios where people will choose one or the other, but they are way too numerous to be listed here.
And the accuracy of your mind’s split-second judgements is something only time and experience will tell. So if you have a good track record of split-second judgements, chances are high even this will turn out good.
It might be an O(n) problem to bruteforce your way to the perfect someone, but the size of n is too large. Plus, your adoption of bruteforce as an algorithm tells a lot about your unsophistication. And… iterations shouldn’t ideally be speeded up.
So you optimize. Use filters. There are loads. While some of them might turn up false positives or false negatives, they give, on an average, an approximate solution. when used in judicious proportion.
And so far, this was a discussion on how appropriate LoveAtFirstSight is, as a filter (Yes, if you trust your er… ‘intuition’). And whether it can be used in combination with other filters (Nope, not at all. Though you might want to, at leisure, dispassionately, examine why your mind suggested what it suggested… to understand how it works).
If your world came crashing down at this dispassionate analysis of the most overrated emotion in the world (If you want, I’ll give a similar detailed analysis on this), I’ll just say the most beautiful things are those which are still beautiful, or even more beautiful after stringent overanalysis and microscopic scrutiny.