Sometime back I lost the duplicate key of my house. I searched for it frantically to no avail. More than losing the key, I was worried if it has fallen into some wrong hands. My wife and myself discussed about the safety measures to be taken presuming that the key has been stolen. I was too tired thinking and I sat down exhausted. I could not rest my mind. It kept racing, thinking about many things at once. It kept thinking about how to search for the key efficiently, how people from various backgrounds would search for their lost keys … As I watched my mind drift away into such thinking, it was indeed a bit funny. Later I made note of it and now I present it here.

How to search the lost key (or anything for that matter).

The Mathematical Way : The key is where it is. If searched elsewhere, the probability of finding it is zero. If searched in the place where it is then the probability of finding it is 1. So the key is exactly at the location where the probability of finding it is equal to 1.

Let p(blah) be the probability of finding the key in a location named “blah”
then p(location_of_key) = 1 => p(other_locations) = 0
Therefore, key can be found in “location_of_key”.

Did someone say Mathematics is declarative, not procedural ?

The Algorithmic Way : Here is a recursive solution to find the key.
Let Threshold_space = 1 square meter ( or any such are where it is relatively easy to search).
Divide House into two parts P1 & P2. Now Subdivide P1 into two parts and so on till
the subdivision is <= Threshold_space.
Now, search in the Threshold_space. If found, exit, else continue the recursive search.

The Object Oriented Way : Get hold of the Static class that manages the instance of all keys. Pass the message Key.findkey(key_id) to obtain the key.

The Doctor’s way : Fondle the good looking nurse. Ask the not-so-good looking nurse to search for the key.

The Pyromanicas Way : Burn down the house. Its easier to search for the key in the ashes.

The Policeman’s Way : Get a sniffer dog and search the house.

The Professor’s Way : Firstly, forget the fact that you lost the key. Mistake some other key for the lost one. Rant about lack of Quality and that nowadays keys dont open the locks they are meant to open. Blame the system, education or the lack of it etc.

The Lawyer’s Way : File a case against the Lock Manufacturer. The Lock Manufacturer will furnish you a duplicate key. Later opt for an out-of-court settlement.

The Politician’s Way : Blame the opposition for the lost key. If that doesnt yield any results, Blame Pakistan and their terrorists.

The Internet Way : Try googling … Who knows … someone out there may know where you’ve lost your key !

The Facebook Way : Write in your Wall that you have lost the key. By doing so you may not find the key. But atleast you’ll have a few friends who’ll sympathize with you and may be some friends who might even “like” it.

Did I find my key ? If so, what method did I employ ?

I gave up my search for the key.
Then one fine day, one fine moment, the key showed up while cleaning the house πŸ™‚

Feel free to add “Your Way” in the comments section below !