Thursday, June 25, 2009

Feedback Systems: Life and a Lot More!

Since a little while, I have been catching up quite a bit on ideas from other related disciplines - like the areas which do not necessarily deal with generally networks, or specifically social networks. I won't consider myself a "pro-network researcher"; a distinction that I have begun to realize this summer. Nevertheless I wouldn't consider myself as one of those guys who does social networks to leverage another complex problem, like information retrieval or classification or media summarization. My problems are very grounded; and I would like to keep it that way.

Anyhow, talking about where in the research chart I would put myself, needs an altogether separate blog post - something which I am not planning to accomplish today; at least that's not what I started out writing on! I am going to talk about an obscure connection - the connection of feedback systems to life, in specific instances, as well as in general.

As they say, to err is human (and I am intentionally leaving out the "divine" part of it, for reasons that you might already know from my previous posts!). And I have this entire blog post which I wrote on this pessimistic truth that abounds our lives. But I am going to talk of a very optimistic look-out to the entire thing today; and this connects itself to the ideas of feedback systems that I have been reading for a while.

Can you recall when was the last time you made a "mistake" in life? No, I am not talking about the mathematical, algorithmic or whatsoever mistakes - I am talking about the actions that we do - the times when you stop being a level-headed guy and do something which doesn't reflect your own self. The errors we make in our lives all the time; sometimes of choices, sometimes of people, sometimes of our goals or sometimes of our work, and the list can go on ...

What happens then? Maybe sometimes we feel terrible, we rebound. Or sometimes we just leave those mistakes there - let it be. Or sometimes we set out to make it a point not to repeat it again. Exactly like how a feedback system would work - it takes the output from an event, and refines the input to optimize some loss function - until the error is infinitesimally negligible or theoretically zero.

We all love perfection in our lives. That's why we set out to rectify those mistakes in the future; like a feedback system. And that's the spirit of life I believe! Because life is not about being perfect; but striving to be perfect, in exactly the same manner a simple feedback system would work!

Did you tune your feedback system yet? I am trying to tune mine :)

1 comment:

Aravind Krishna K said...

Very nice connection to feedback systems.. and thoroughly inspiring !!

I especially liked the way your notion of "mistake" here -- Actions we do -- the times when you stop being a level-headed guy and do something which doesn't reflect your own self.

Great post.. Thanks for sharing !