Sunday, August 16, 2009

Feedback Control

I’ve been thinking these days, about how we tend to define ourselves and what and who we are and how we should act expecting that it would bring us and others around us happiness (I guess if we try to summarize everything that we want to do and be, from success to family to love, in the end we’re all looking for happiness…true happiness which is not brought by riches or material things, but which is a state of mind, and I think all we do is to achieve that happiness in the end). This brought the analogy of feed back control to my mind (that’s the techy in me :) )…

‘Feedback control is a control mechanism that uses information from measurements to manipulate a variable to achieve the desired result. In feedback control, the variable being controlled is measured and compared with a target value. This difference between the actual and desired value is called the error. Feedback control manipulates an input to the system to minimize this error’ as per Wikipedia.

So comparing with that analogy initially we define ourselves, and think this is how we should be and act at certain situations (input), in order to achieve the desired result of ‘happiness’. But then sometimes, we suddenly come to contact with a completely different point of view or, see that what we thought all along, may not be right, that we will not achieve that ‘desired result’ if we continue in this way, then we have a tendency to overcorrect our ideas and our behaviors in the opposite direction, and go in that way... Just thinking about myself, I can see instances there I think that society or the world is so wrong, that I think I should be or do something in the total opposite way just to balance it.

The major difference between Feedback control and us though, is that we don’t always measure, or question our ideas, and go on in one direction, thinking that it is correct, until something awakens us up and makes us question about our view of the world and our selves.

It just reminded me to actually question myself and see whether I am going in the correct direction... Especially when we grow older, we tend to get set in our ways and stop questioning ourselves or looking at ourselves critically… this analogy just brought me back to remind me that we should always be learning, from life and from each other…

I think we should move like the damped oscillations in the diagram (for the nerds like me :) ) and keep swinging in the two directions, correcting ourselves, and learning along the way till we reach the ‘happy medium and ultimately, our desired result… :) ) Unless ofcourse if we could actually reach the desired result right away without all the oscillations (I guess Saints must be like that), but then that's not me...

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2 Comments:

Blogger Anna said...

I'm reading a book of quotes by Mother Teresa right now, and some of her words bring me to your thoughts, in that our actions need to be so much God's way, and while I so wish I was more like that, only Mother Teresa could be Mother Teresa.

but it gets me to thinking, as your post has, and I think it's only day by day we go. I'd love to be fervent in prayer, austere in my daily life, giving and thoughtful, yet as you note, only saints are that way. I'm not either. :)))

but that's okay, as again, each has a job/role to fill. when I accept my flaws, I'm more able to realize whatever grace has been given is that, given. nothing I can do but allow it to flow more freely (which does come down to prayer and awareness).

I so enjoy your posts!

3:13 am, August 19, 2009  
Blogger smiley said...

Hi Anna, thanks :) I just like to blabber about my thoughts from time to time, nice to know tht others relate to them :)
I know wht u mean abt trying and wanting to b closer to God, but then, it;s a long process, i guess wht;s importatn is that we realise that we're not perfect and that we try our best to b better ppl and closer to God

11:19 am, August 19, 2009  

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