Nothing new and exciting can exist without some deviation from the norm. To change, one needs to innovate, and to innovate, one can't just follow the beaten path, but needs to find a deviation in the route, a turning none other has yet taken, and follow that new path to wherever it may lead.

Thus, one needs deviation to discover what is truly "out there", to find some meaning in this crude, imperfect world that still evades the reach of oh so many. Of course, not many can take the same path, follow the same trail, or it too will become too normal for anything new to be found along it.

We each need our own deviations, and it is those deviations that make us different, each an individual. Indeed, one could say that that is the very definition of what it is to be human.

The deviation of a particular number in a set is determined by subtracting the mean value of the set from the number in question. In the study of statistics, it is often desirable to find the average deviation of a set. Unfortunately, when deviation is calculated in the standard manner they will generally cancel each other out when averaged. Since numbers in the set will deviate from the mean both positively and negatively, the standard method of finding the mean, namely adding the numbers together and dividing the sum by the number of numbers in the set, will yield an answer that's generally near zero. This is not very useful.

To overcome this, statisticians take each deviation and square it before taking the mean of the set of deviations. This mean is called the varience. Taking the square root of the varience yields the standard deviation of the original set of numbers.

De`vi*a"tion (?), n. [LL. deviatio: cf. F. d'eviation.]


The act of deviating; a wandering from the way; variation from the common way, from an established rule, etc.; departure, as from the right course or the path of duty.


The state or result of having deviated; a transgression; an act of sin; an error; an offense.

2. Com.

The voluntary and unnecessary departure of a ship from, or delay in, the regular and usual course of the specific voyage insured, thus releasing the underwriters from their responsibility.

Deviation of a falling body Physics, that deviation from a strictly vertical line of descent which occurs in a body falling freely, in consequence of the rotation of the earth. -- Deviation of the compass, the angle which the needle of a ship's compass makes with the magnetic meridian by reason of the magnetism of the iron parts of the ship. -- Deviation of the line of the vertical, the difference between the actual direction of a plumb line and the direction it would have if the earth were a perfect ellipsoid and homogeneous, -- caused by the attraction of a mountain, or irregularities in the earth's density.


© Webster 1913.

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