Archive for February, 2008

A River runs through it

February 29, 2008

My head, I mean. We went to Newlands Forest on Sunday, and sat by the river under the bridge.

The boys looked for tadpoles, Ginny sat on teh rocks and I sat on a uprooted tree. I closed my eyes to listen better. The river flowed over the rocks. On the left side of my head there was a different frequency to what was coming out on the right. It felt as though my head was tuning the water. Churning it as it passed through me.

So here is the metaphor: one must not wade through the river of life, but instead let it run through you.

Positive Feedback

February 21, 2008

Hashim Khan, grandfather of the Khan squash dynasty, wrote a funny book on the subject, which was typed in the Pakistani English that he spoke. Here is a sample:

“Here is number one rule I teach you in squash: Always keep eye on ball.”

C’est la vie, huh?

Now in engineering terms, the term ‘negative feedback’ refers to the capability of a system to act on a stimulus or the environment in such a way as to reverse the original effects. Or something like that. On the other hand, ‘positive feedback’ refers to the system compounding the effects of the stimulus or the environment.

As an example, the common or household thermostat gauges the ambient temperature, and then adjust the temperature towards the prescribed setting. So it is a negative feedback system because it acts to reverse the ambient temperature towards the prescribed setting: if the ambient temperature is too high, cooling takes place; if too low, then heating.

On the other hand, a positive feedback thermostat (if such a thing could exist) would have the effect of driving up the temperature higher and higher above the prescribed setting; looping as it were, indefinitely, or until the whole thing overheats and blows up.

Now my point is this: relationships between couples sometimes contain a positive feedback element. In particular, the ‘issues’ between couples tend towards blow-ups and heated arguments because the postive feedback mechanism greatly amplifies minor problems. The minor problems add up to a BIG problem. Obviosuly years of this arrangement results in petty issues of yore resulting in divorce. Normally, this is ‘relieved’ by argument. This happens on a frequent basis whenever the system (= couple) reaches the blow-up point. A tiresome arrangement if one has ever been in such a cycle.

Recognising this, it seems that one way out of such cycles is for one of the members of the couple, or both, to short circuit the system by introducing an element of negative feedback.

How so? Act cool.

A Day in the Life

February 20, 2008

(to be sung to The Beatles’ tune:) 

Got out of bed.

Made the breakfast.

Took Noah to school.

Got back and checked email.

Read Frederick Forsythe’s book of short stories. Actually, that was yesterday. Amusing stuff.

Did training.

Met with Amanda and Nico for coffee in Kloof Street.

Met with Eben and Gregor at the office in Mowbray.

Two lattes later, preparation complete. Had to drive back though to check on another issue in the office.

Got home. Going dancing with Ben and Helena later. Maybe drinks afterwards.

If the future does not change…

Pool blue; mind clear like the sky

February 19, 2008

Continuing the last thread’s theme of rainbow colouring: After months of pea soup in the pool, I managed to figure out how to make it crystal clear. Top secret. Then the chlorinator broke. It took the pool people two weeks to figure out the problem. I kept the pool blue.

My mind cleared of a fog during this time. Coincidence? Perhaps the pool is my Zen Garden of sorts. I clear the pool, somehow thereby by some Universal link, I connect the correct neural pathways in my brain forming a new state of mind.

It is similar, I guess to what I have mentioned before under other blogs. See, for example:

https://the1rod.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/a-cure-for-consulting

Actually, these are not Zen States (of Mind) necessarily. Just switching from one part of the brain to another. But who/what is doing the switching?