Culture

A brush with life

It strikes me that we are all too often these days driven by the requirements of technology. 

Alexa orders for us and reminds  us of our appointments tell us to stay in for a parcel. My smartphone has a variety of functions that can order my life.  I now commit my data to the ether  through a QR code when I go to the restaurant , the outcome of which could have me being locked  in my house for 14 days with people bringing me food parcels. A friend’s car reminds her that her commitment to speed was unacceptable in the current jurisdiction and mildly  castigates her for taking a less than ideal route . ( She bought a Lexus ) . 

But every morning and evening  my toothbrush , yes my tooth brush,  sends me urgent vibrations dictating the period of time for which it must be used . 

It was that really that got me thinking . Is this really necessary ? 

With regard to my toothbrush, statistically it seems it isn’t. It insists that I give two minutes to its usage twice a day, that is 240 seconds of battery insistent commitment to dental hygiene . But is my toothbrush coming to the right conclusions based upon the statistical evidence that could be available to it ? 

Is it for instance,  giving adequate consideration to my life choices? 

The  adult average human has 32 teeth, I don’t.  Perhaps that makes me sub optimal or flawed? But I am not yet down to sucking blended food through  a straw so what I have, still function .  I had 4 wisdom teeth removed and by accident and wear I have lost 3 others, so I am 7 teeth short of a full set . About 22% deficient . So if 32 teeth need 240 seconds surely with my 22% dental deficiency would require me to brush for just 78% of the fully equipped adult’s time? So that is about 187 seconds . Seems reasonable. 

But is it ? 

The purpose of brushing is to keep your teeth clean and whole  for the remainder of your years .

There is the rub. Or the brush off. 

If I have just got rid of my milk teeth then I can get the 240 seconds a day stricture . It makes sense,  it  is an investment of time for future benefit . But I am 68 and the average life expectancy of an adult male in the UK is 79.3 years . Put it another way,  I am about 85.75%,  done . 

Humm, didn’t see that coming!

Returning  to the task in hand and now with no time to lose, here is the next pressing question :- 

 “So with that consideration, in  cost benefit terms,  is brushing my teeth for 240 seconds  a day,  time well spent? “

Back to the calculator. 11.3 years left . So that is around 4124 days multiplied by 240 seconds per day gives me 989, 760 seconds or 16,496 minutes or 275 ( near enough) hours. That is nearly 11.5 days brushing my teeth?  Seriously? 

Add a variety of other necessary physical functions and it is a lot time doing stuff that  doesn’t even get close to my prime areas of enjoyment . 

I mean what will your dying  thought be?  Memorable moments in the shower ? ……Ok that might be a bad example for some, but I am sure imagination can take you other places. The point is just the same, I can think of a lot of other, far more enjoyable , things I could so with 11.5 days. 

But there is no need to be gross about this. Consider halitosis, one has some obligations to one’s fellow humans, so some brushing is necessary . So statistically, what should we be looking at here? 

Rounding up, if I am 86% done or there about then I am looking at dental protection for 14% of my life . Given that I had worked out that my remaining tooth count justifies 187 seconds of daily brushing perhaps it makes further sense to apply  remaining life expectancy to that number . 14% of 187 is around 26 seconds, so 26 seconds brushing seems fair and proportionate.

So I have saved 214 seconds a day and with 4124 days remaining ( it is  mid day as I type this but I’ll give myself that  half day leeway ) I have just saved myself approximately 245 hours to dedicate to other, more enjoyable pursuits. Result!

Of course this is quite mad, but it has had a very good impact on my life .

I bought a manual toothbrush . 

It makes no demands . No stress. 

people woman girl brush
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2 replies »

  1. Technology is good but don’t let it rule your life, eg I will never give something Alexa houseroom because I do not know who else is listening and what else are they eaves-dropping about me and what it’s being used for????

  2. Mike has an electric toothbrush which does exactly the same – ‘buzzes’ to tell him how long to brush his teeth.
    I question why he has an electric toothbrush.
    I’d – tell it – what to do! I regularly swear at the car for trying to order me about. That kind of plays along with giving the dratted things a personality – but – makes me feel better!

    https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/02/03/working-our-brains-to-the-bone/

    https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/06/20/artificial-intelligence/

    Did you see the episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ where Rajesh is enamoured of Siri?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vti6yzyuy1I

    Say no more.

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