Friday, 15 May 2020

Happy families, Anna Karenina principle, and more #QuoteQuest

Today I learned (TIL) that there is such a thing as Anna Karenina principle. I feel important putting the 'TIL' in parentheses because a few months ago I had learned what TIL stood for. 
One fine day, Reddit started sending emails that had links to many posts (is 'posts' the right word here?), the titles of which started with 'TIL'; and I found most of them fascinating and entertaining and did read them. The first couple of times, I did so without thinking about the TIL part, before finally googling it.

I can imagine someone starting a post with 'you must have been living under a rock not to know what TIL means'. I don't care. I have come to terms with the fact that I have to choose to be under a rock, so to speak, to be even mildly productive.

Back to Anna Karenina principle. This discovery too has google in it.

So, twitter showed me this:

quote leo tolstoy happy unhappy families anna karenina

Today, May 15th is International Family Day. Why is it celebrated and more importantly, how is it celebrated? Well, that's something that I may look up another day. Or I may continue to choose the aforementioned rock in this case.

My first thought on reading this was if I could also say: 'Happy people are all alike; every unhappy person is unhappy in their own way'. And for some weird reason, it made me smile.

The second thought was to wonder which book the quote is from. We put the name of the author under quotes, but they are not always beliefs of the author. At times, certain characters are the ones voicing them. This one is an authorial comment though. So, back to searching the World Wide Web.

Anna Karenina... This book holds a special place in my life. It was my first audiobook. 

I took my time warming up to audiobooks and even now, I read most of my books and listen to very few. But there are many which I wouldn't have gotten to know had it not been for audiobooks. And Anna Karenina was the first of the long list to which Aldous Huxley's Brave New World has been recently added and A.A.Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh is the one I am currently listening to. And I am proudly realising while writing this that that's quite a range.

The first search result on Google was to the Wikipedia page of Anna Karenina principle, which I am finding difficult to wrap my head around. Can someone please dumb it down for me?
Anyway, the name of the principle is derived from the quote that I have quoted above. 
This one: 


Random thought: Why is there a leaf in the image?

By the way, it is the opening line of Anna Karenina. I so need to re-listen to this book.


Hope you are safe. Celebrate your families, guys, even if you are tired of them.