Positive Feedsback -Reply

[Hans Blom, 960307]

I am looking for a metaphor to help me understand the concept of
positive feedback.

A metaphor that I find useful is the one of the hungry donkey right
in the middle between the two stacks of hay. Which of the two stacks
is going to be eaten first? Difficult choice. No, impossible choice
at first: exactly 50-50. But then, by chance, it finds its snout
somewhat nearer to one of the two stacks, and that in itself makes
the choice clearer: one of the two initially equal choices now
presents itself at a closer range, which makes for a choice that
isn't 50-50 anymore. The choice is now resolved into a preference.

Note that the solution to this problem is simple only if there is
just one goal: eating. As soon as additional goals arise, such as
protecting the other hay stack from suspected competitors, behavior
will start to be more complex. Especially, turning to one stack and
attacking it with abandon will mean that the other one cannot be
guarded anymore (as efficiently).

Greetings,

Hans

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Eindhoven University of Technology Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Dept. of Electrical Engineering Medical Engineering Group
email: j.a.blom@ele.tue.nl

Great man achieves harmony by maintaining differences; small man
achieves harmony by maintaining the commonality. Confucius

I am having trouble seeing how this exemplifies an increase in deviation
from the intial status quo.

I am seeing the example as two negative feedback loops. In one the donkey
wants food; in the other he wants to exert as little energy as possible.
So the donkey controls for the first and second variable (food and
distance) and goes the shorter distance toward the food.

I need to thik about his some more. Any more insights?

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