The Dysfunction of Infinite Feedback

In so far that we had praised the extraordinariness of the invention of the Internet and other technology that “connect” us, there is always the other side of the equation.

Beyond hacking, beyond privacy, beyond other social issues, I find there is a bigger underlying trend that needs to be look at — the amount of feedback we receive because of all these inventions.

Let’s define feedback first. Feedback is an evaluative reaction or response to an originating process or activity.

We know feedback is useful for us to improve in whatever we are doing. Complicated machinary would always have a feedback system to adjust, adapt, and correct a subsequent action from the prior one.

Individually speaking, we have parents, friends, relatives, co-workers doing that.

But we are living in a modern world of technology, and in this society through the Internet and various other technology, we can get as many different feedback as there are people out there in the entire world. Thus an enormous amount of feedback.

That causes two perceivable problems.

1st one has to do with the amount of feedback rendering all the feedback completely useless. Just remember what happens when you put a microhpone to the speaker that its sound is coming out of. You get this unbearbly sharp, squealing sound becase you have created in infinite feedback loop. Our brilliant Internet and social networks can precisely create such a loop, and having too much feedback and having too much options are the same, where one gets completely confused.

2nd problem has to do with the quality of feedback. Feedback allows us to improve in so far that it is a constructive response. When one has as many response as there is Internet users out there, the quality naturally goes down the drain. Worse yet, when one takes them seriously, one likely becomes immobile because when someone who has many judges watching his every moves and beat him with a stick when he does wrong, he simply cannot move. Or, he can only move when everyone approves and we know that’s nearly impossible.

Applying the above perceivable problems that are currently affect every facets of our modern life — the individual, social, cultural, national, and finally global level — we have a world that is mostly confused and thus chaotic, and also a human social entity that is mostly unadaptive and unable to do what it needs to do.

I mentioned the above 2 problems without mentioning a key… issue. The media companies. Wherein if you add their “selling of drama through exaggeration and twisting of the facts” — be it news or TV programs — that serves to amplify the two said problems, it is only natural that the world is as absurd as it is now.

And we cannot blame the media companies either, because they do what they do only because it DOES sells.

One last observation is how we seem to find truth in only what has feedback coming from the news/media and the majority population connected by the Internet and technology. What has little to no feedback from those places, what cannot become famous, has no meaning and is not important. Is that truth?

Here ends my rant of the day :)

This post is more or less just an observation but is very much related to three posts from the past. You read and connect the dots :P

Originally posted 2010-03-14 21:56:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Too Many Minds

I wrote this awhile back:

We should not establish our happiness upon others’ pain
Nor should we establish others’ happiness upon our own pain
Perhaps it sounds a bit selfish, but it’s the same analogy as “If you want to manage other, manage yourself first.”
Equivalently, if you want to help others, please help yourself first.
There is a quote told by Omura to Captain Nathan Algren in The Last Samurai
“Too many mind. Mind sword, mind people watch, mind enemy. Too many mind…”

I find this quote very meaningful and philosophical. In other words…
We often worry about others too much or try to take care of everyone else, and as a result, what we should be doing are not being done.
We try to take care too much. We worry too much. Consequently, we lost sight of what means the most to ourselves. The goals for ourselves become blurry.
If we cannot take care of ourselves, how do we take care of others?
Therefore, I will maintain “the self”. Keep it healthy, keep it happy, keep improving it.
If I want to take care of others, I will first take care of myself.
If I want to love others, I will first love myself.
If I want to instruct others, I will first teach myself.
If I want to criticize others, I will first evaluate myself.
If I want to make others happy, I will first make myself happy.
Everything beings with “the self.”

Originally posted 2007-07-06 01:48:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Wisdom — the Ability of Critical Thinking

Everywhere I go on the internet and many materials I read, people use the word success as an acryonm of the possession of incredible money and wealth. I do not intend to criticize people who use the word as such, because such usage of the word has been built into us over the centuries and has become a natural trend. But a mindfulness to pay attention to such details and critical think such informaion is what we need to overhaul many existing problems. This brings me to the topic of wisdom.

Wisdom is the process of critical thinking accompanied by awareness. By such, I mean the process of taking in information, understanding and evaluating them, then using your own aggregated version of such information adjoined with your set of principles and values to change and make decisions — meanwhile, doing each step in the process with awareness.

Such is wisdom. Wisdom connects the dots between information, which is learned using intelligence.

The conditions of current society and education system have mostly strip away people’s ability of critical thinking. In other word, intelligence is emphasized and wisdom neglected. Without critical thinking, the more you study, read blogs, news, books, and accumulate informations, the more harmful it becomes because you will get information poisoning. Without the ability of critical thinking to process knowledge and information, you become a mannequin that is pulled in all the different directions implicated by them which came from different sources, or you may get hung up on one specific idea told by an important world figure, a writer or a blogger, which includes me.

Do not simply listen to me or others. Understand yourself. Think for yourself. That is what I always urge. And that is why I rarely dose out specific details or sets of rules and tips on what to do on personal development and personal finance here. First of all, because I am no expert and I am always still learning myself. Second of all, if my words motivate you to think and act for yourself, you can easily find lots of information out there. If I or anybody else simply tells you what to do and you simply follow the words, that is not useful in my perspective. Learn to critical think and you can become wise and useful for yourself and others around you, without reliance on experts, gurus, or whatever.

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”

Each of us already has a lot of information inside our heads, being part of a culture, club, religion, or sub-community that are governed by a set of beliefs and rules… however, did you ever calm down and look closely to evaluate them? Did you ever attempt to understand what they truly mean? Do you simply tie yourself to a set of principles that came externally? And take them as your own and perhaps try to force them on to others? Do you dare not dispute them? I am not asking these questions to criticize you nor to ask you to haphazardly reject what you believe at the moment. I am asking you to think. Be honest with yourself. Be aware.

Imagine information and knowledge as a double edged sword and wisdom as the strength to wield the sword. Wisdom allows one to wields the sword of information and knowledge and leverage them to create positive change and results through informed decisions. Like someone without the strength to wield a sword that is too heavy for him will invariably get hurt swinging the sword, information and knowledge will invariably hurt those who lack wisdom yet wield them.

During today’s information age, we have more information, more knowledge available than ever, but we lack the wisdom to wield them currently. That is why so much harm we are doing to each other and to nature.

Originally posted 2008-06-08 14:08:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

No Need For Financially Aware Consumers

Between the housing slump and the effect of globalization, U.S. economy is highly dependent and driven by consumer spending based on data from the first half of the year. Why did I bring this up? We people who blog about personal finance have often mention the need to teach financial awareness. This is especially true after looking at the lowest American savings rate in ages. People should educate themselves about personal finance to be financially ready for the future, to be able to take care of the inevitable parts of life concerning personal finance…

But then, I think those business people (I’ll call them “the man” from here) don’t want people to be so financially aware…

“The man” don’t want us to understand to figure out lesser deals that means bigger profit margin for them.
“The man” don’t want us to be frugal.
“The man” don’t want us to have budgets.
“The man” want us to put all our money into their pockets!

I know. I know. It’s a bit “conspiracy-theory-ish”, but after all, the economy is ESPECIALLY depending on consumers’ spending these days.

Just a thought.

Originally posted 2007-06-29 00:47:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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