Safety in numbers

Nov 27th, 2005 | By | Category: Personal Columns

We all remember kids at school who had a passion for numbers; or maybe we can all recall boys at school who had a passion for numbers, because, looking back, it seemed a male thing.

There were guys who remembered cricket statistics or football league tables or attendances at matches. Often they weren’t the best at sports; sometimes they were loners. I remember them because I think I was probably one of them.

Why numbers? Because numbers don’t hurt you; numbers don’t bully you; numbers don’t call you names; numbers don’t have any memory, emotion or pain attached to them; they are simply numbers.

I continue to be fascinated by stock market indices, currency exchange rates; government economic data; and, of course, attendances at football matches. I once bought a Thomas Cook European Railway Timetable; I had the excuse that we wanted to travel from Sweden to Copenhagen, but the real reason was to spend time concocting imaginary journeys.

I now find myself fascinated by the sudoku puzzles in the daily newspapers. I can spend ages engrossed in the completion of a single puzzle.

Reading through columns of numbers doesn’t cost me any psychological effort. Numbers have a beauty and life of their own.

People are fickle. Numbers are constant.

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