Algorithm

Algorithm

An algorithm as our route map to life?
As if every situation we meet
Is as simple as a T junction
Left or right – no in between

You might use
A robust algorithm for furniture selection
For buying a replacement light bulb
To choose a new insurance provider
For checking if it’s your turn to put out the bins!

As long as you can reduce every decision
To a straightforward binary choice
Yes or No, greater than or less than
If only one option of two leads on to another
You are directed down that route

Thus quite complicated situations
Are reduced to a series of logical steps
Ideal when performing calculations
Automated reasoning, data processing
Problems tackled in short coherent stages

But algorithms are now in the political arena
Blamed for the recent exam results debacle
What happens when the algorithm
For all its logic, doesn’t give the desired out-come?
Of course we scrap it

And resort to human sophistry
To bring us the result
That is expedient
That’s the realpolitik
Of modern life

Perhaps unsurprising in the midst of a pandemic

Ken Fisher

Post Truth Society

Post Truth Society

It has been claimed
That truth has gone
The victim of modern living
It no longer matters
What we say
The world will be forgiving

But not just in words
In actions too
In every task that we should do
With ease, who cares
We simply bluff
Our way right through

When truth takes flight
And fiction rules
No-one knows what to believe
No longer sure
Of falsity or verity
Duplicity designed to deceive

If truth is only relative
Dependent on the context
How then define propriety?
Fake news, white lies
Flights of fancy, the currency of
Our post truth society

Ken Fisher

Out of Hibernation and Into School

Out of Hibernation and Into School

 

As we approach the opening of the new school year
Let us cast aside all doubts and fear
Which in our anxious minds may have arisen
As by Covid into hiding kids were driven

For several months pupils of our nation
Were subjected to forced hibernation
And despite their natural resistance
Had to maintain some social distance

A major aspect of this lockdown
Which to parents’ faces brought a frown
The closing of all schools and other institutions
To which educators had to find solutions

Thus home schooling became the norm
Mums and Dads were sometimes forlorn
They quickly had to learn new tricks
To the teaching problem find a fix

Not only that, parents also tried to work at home
As from the household few could roam
So new uses found for domestic premises
Overloading became the family nemesis

But thank goodness time will bring release
And hopefully a return to peace
When children once again head off for school
And order o’er our homes will rule

Let’s hope kids will be happy to return
When from this hiatus they adjourn
Ending these months of stifling frustration
Embraced by the blandishments of ‘real’ education

Ken Fisher

Funny Summer

Funny Summer

Funny summer we have had this year
I don’t mean ‘funny’ in the amusing sense
Often these days brought little cheer
To lockdown we offered no defence

Since Spring, a new pattern to our daily living
Past freedoms steadily withdrawn
The rules were rather unrelenting
Prospects left us quite forlorn

Why let this ‘new normal’ dictate our mood?
For much in life we should be grateful
Adversity can still yield good
If to kindness we keep faithful

So throughout these long summer days
When daylight our paths illuminate
We give thanks for God’s abiding grace
Our hearts his spirit might still permeate

So as funny summer slips quietly away
As Autumn beckons have no despair
Confident address each coming day
With hope its challenges forbear

Ken Fisher