Parami is a Pali word, which is usually rendered as “Perfection”.
- Ten Paramis
- Ten Upapa Paramis (higher grade Paramis)
- Ten Paramattha Paramis (highest grade Paramis)
In our younger days, a score of 100 marks in an examination is considered perfect.
Our High School Mathematics teacher Brother Clementian (former Brother Director who continued teaching till his final days) trained us to take an hourly weekly test comprising of three questions. So, most students were on track to complete the three hour Matriculation examination in two hours or less and gain Distinction in Mathematics.
A score of 100 could not single out Mathematical geniuses like Dr. Min Oo (Kenneth, SPHS63, Second in Burma, Two doctorates in Mathematics from Germany) and gifted scholars and researchers like Dr. Khin Maung U (George, SPHS63, First in Burma, MRCP, MD).
1972 Munich Olympics saw all judges gave a young woman gymnast Olga Korbut (Soviet Belarusian) perfect Tens.
1976 Montreal Olympics saw more perfrct Tens for Nadia Comaneci (Romanian).
Some critics wonder how to judge superior performances in the future gymnastic competitions.
The ancient sages appreciate perfect shapes such as equilateral triangles, squares, regular polygons and the circle.
Some astronomers felt that the planets should orbit in perfect cycles. To calculate the path of the planets, they hard to resort to the use of epicycles in their models.
Kepler found out that the planets conserve their energy by following an elliptical path. The planets will need far more effort and energy to maintain the supposedly perfect circular paths.
An ellipse has two foci, a major axis and a minor axis. It is a supposedly imperfect shape, but the limiting case approaches a circle with a center (for a single focus) and the lengths of the major axis and minor axis being equal.
High cost for Perfection
The search for perfection may have some negative effects in research.
The 90/90 rule says that in the search for the perfect completion of a project, the last 10 percent could take up resources equal to that of the first 90 percent.
Charles Babbage had excellent ideas for the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine, but his search for perfection in the design and implementation left both projects incomplete.
I am imperfectly perfect. I usually type straight for most of my posts without reference to notes and references. My readers (most of them my classmates, friends and colleagues) correct the discrepancies and errors.
I am glad to give back some of my memories as a birthday present (first in August 2018 and again in August 2019).
I sincerely hope that some inquiring minds will step up to transform my “imperfectly perfect” writings into high quality texts for posterity.