SDLC – III : The “Normal” perspective

This is part 3 of a 13 part series.

The following theory is based on discussions with people through different media like social networks, phone calls, dinners and coffee breaks. It statistically attempts to answer the question, “do I belong here? “, and the conclusion is quite “normal”.

In this case, normal refers to the famous “Gaussian distribution” or “Normal Distribution” (for mathematical overview refer wiki page for Normal distribution). The following diagram of the distribution will give enough details to connect with proposed theory.

Gussian distribution, a.k.a Normal distribution.

Given any sample space large enough, the nature of distribution of quality tends to follow this graph. As it can be observed from the diagram, the three major markers are the 1, 2 and 3 which provide the measure of difference in value of a sample to the mean/average of entire set hence also known as standard deviation. Basic description of this distribution is enough to put forward the idea hence detailed mathematical analysis is not recommended.

Assuming the above diagram represents the distribution of intellect, with entire human race as sample set. It can be easily inferred that majority is around the center. These 68% around the mean are often “the majority” for all practical purposes in most of the social norms. All definitions, systems, processes are designed to cater to these people and hence compliance to their will is considered as “normal behavior”.

But there is a flaw in this distribution of authority; these 68% get strength by dominating and bullying the lower tail 15% as well. Hence the majority now rises to 83. So now it is clear that world is not dominated by the elite but the ones who define the term “elite”, and often accommodate their own mediocrity conveniently. This also explains the rationale behind the 66% distinction margin in academics.

The core problem is inability of masses to align them under appropriate region under this curve. The top 2% between (+2, +3) are naturally gifted and are simply out of bounds for this argument. But now comes the tricky part, the people between (+1, +2). Naturally gifted but socially biased. They end up spending lives trying to figure which part they actually belong to, the outliers or the majority. This is where the talent either goes down the drain when they announce themselves as superior and stop improving or the miracle of will takes over and they just upgrade to outliers with hard work. This issue lies at all boundaries of that graph where the people place themselves on wrong side of margin. The move to right side of margin is the one which leads to innovation but the one to left is the one which raises concern. That is possibly the gravest concern of the industry, education system and hence society.

Only a free society allows the right shift, where failure doesn’t demote the person immediately to a lower outlier. For example a student who tries too many different fields just out of social pressure to excel, ends up as a failure or a sample in (-1, -2) category for rest of life. Whereas under rational conditions he or she could have easily been part of (0, +1) space and later tried to right shift closer to +2 margin. That leads to a prosperous society and progressive industry. But now the focus of “Majority” is short term gain and that is leading the mean to shift to -1 rapidly. In a typical social terminology, a wasted, lazy and dumb future generation.

So one can argue what is wrong if majority chooses to be “Dumb”. Well the problem is extinction of the 13 % (+1 to +2), who actually connect the theoretical and the practical world. This 13% are the bright and innovative graduates who understand the theories made by top 2% and convert them to product ideas for the remaining 83%. With their extinction due to “Normal” rules of society the functional paradigm will be lost forever. Such extinction could be seen as a recurrence of the pre Renaissance European Dark Age. Working from (-1, 0) class to (+1, +2) demands too much effort and given the social obstacles, it is best left to the inspired courageous individuals and not masses in general.

A possible solution could be masses accessing tools through education to map them on this curve with enough accuracy. This could at least drastically reduce the left movement of masses in near future. If average intellect is respected, then the attempts to popularize average as excellence will stop eventually. That is, if parent accept the natural intellect of their children and educates them to their strengths. Eventually the world will have a majority of optimal task force hence a more satisfied world and a happier life for all. The answer lies in being honest to self. Then all one has to do is try to beat the right margin of his or her section on the graph. Everything else gets taken care of automatically.

Click here to read part IV : Requirements Gathering.

SDLC Series iterator : I : Preface , II : Introduction , III: Normal Perspective , IV: Requirements Gathering , V: Functional Specifications , VI : Development , VII : Testing , VIII : Alpha Release , IX : Beta Release , X : UAT , XI : Migration , XII : Release Notes , XIII : EOF , Book Shelf: Bibliography

Human by default, Engineer by Education and Programmer by Choice. This blog is digital diary for all the technical information parsed while solving problems at work. Targeted purely as a collection of the basics that are independent of employment status and designations, but some how are most crucial in defining career and inspiring growth. If anything unique is found here then it is definitely by accident !!


  1. […] The grading system not only fails to classify students, it also helps boosting hollow egos of those who tend to be ranked higher on the measurement scale. This short sighted measurement technique is resulting in massive loss of time and hence money for the industry. The lack of humility is resulting in slow or no learning in industry resulting in a generation of thinkers trying to sell stale ideas for years. With laws not allowing the removal of such people from industry they are forced to have subordinates compensate for their superior’s lack of skills. But the subordinates come from the same system and are equally helpless in terms of innovation, resulting in industry expecting them to accomplish superhuman feats. This is precisely the -1 to +1 jump explained in part 3 of series. (Normal Perspective). […]

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