Poem a Day 2013 #10: Archimedes Other Less Famous Principle


Poem number 10. I’m not sure I’d call this a poem. I’m not even sure I’d call it a prose poem. I started work on this some months ago, and did nothing with it. I re-read it today, and it made me laugh, so I’ve quickly spruced it up a bit, and present it as my poem for today. It is probably in the top three for weirdest poems I’ve ever written.  I hope you can apply the formula in your own life.

Archimedes Other Less Famous Principle

Also known as The Distance from Happiness principle states that:

A life is deflected from its purpose by a force equal to the weight of its worldly worries. The extent of divergence is measurable and is termed “distance from true happiness”.

To express this as an equation, we can calculate the distance from true happiness (Dth)  as follows:



Where (all measurements are to be taken from subject’s life to date):

Dth is the distance from true happiness in kilometres

 L = total impact of lies told  (in kilograms per square inch)

T= distance run to avoid facing the truth (in kilometres)

S= distance travelled out of way to help a stranger (in kilometres)

R = resilience / sensitivity measured by thickness of skin on the back of neck (in centimetres)

Ws = the weight on shoulders (in tonnes)

Ch= Number of Chips on shoulder (nearest integer, count both shoulders)

Wp = Weight of material possessions (nearest tonne)

F = Mean number of true friends (beware of zero divide error)

En= Mean number of enemies

Xs= Number of ex-wives, husbands or partners (avoid double counting items from En)

Wb = Weight required to cause the bottom to fall out of subject’s world

It is clear from the formula that a life, the trajectory of which is deviating from its true purpose, can only be deflected back onto its correct path if the force applied by total worldly worries is negative, and will only remain on trajectory where total worldly worries is = zero. Negative total worldly worries can also be instrumental in deflection (for more information, refer to Archimedes other principle, of self-delusion).

Consider also that if the subject accumulates such an enormous WS x Ch x Wp (weight on shoulders  x  chips on shoulder  x  weight of material possessions) as to cause it to exceed Wb, this will result in the bottom falling out of its world. In this case the distance from true happiness is immeasurable. (refer chapter 39 for a full explanation of Wb).



Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013


7 thoughts on “Poem a Day 2013 #10: Archimedes Other Less Famous Principle

  1. Works for me!

    If En = “Mean number of enemies”, do you reckon En(squared) would equal “Number of mean enemies”?

  2. A poet, physicist, mathematician AND psycho-analyst! What a talent, MH! (You analyse a lot of psychos, obviously.) I’m pretty sure the answer is 42. Now, I notice you didn’t include a ‘number of mean friends’ factor. Start again! 🙂

  3. I love this Mike, I can feel that if I’d paid attention at school instead of humming quietly with my eyes and mind closed during Maths classes, I could do something to prove you’re wrong. Or right. Or something more than just being a funny smart arse . . .

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