This is a new word, even though proverbs have captured the essence long before the last century. It’s the change that follows consequences. Learning, in other words.

Now of course this all depends on the perception of the consequence. Feedback is very much specific, but it cannot be objective. Take autoimmune disease (I have one so I am learning to deal with it) – the feedback is skewed so my body learns to very efficiently attack itself. Which incidentally leads me to the notion of the dependence I now have on a system that is by no means ideal even when it has the best intentions – the health system. I am no longer free to survive by my own means in an apocalyptic, dystopian future. Have you ever had that fantasy? The world has been turned upside down by a certain event (be it natural, man made or alien induced) and we ride into the sunset, free and wild in a strange machine that was made from scraps found around us in the rubble. Except if you have some disease that requires regular medication, in which case you are pretty much stuck, the freedom imagined turned inevitably into scrounging up for ever decreasing, ever worse expired medicine… until you can’t find any. It is a bitter irony that this type of fantasy leaves you grateful for that health system we love to hate. For this way you can lead a life that, if not free and wild, it is at the very least tolerable… and really, it just makes me specifically even more determined to think of ways to improve the health system, to donate more to meaningful research, to find ways to fund the research that actually counts for me. One should never underestimate the power of self-interest πŸ™‚

And that is the feedback from only one system, isn’t it? But the body is made up of many and they interact, so the feedback runs on that many loops and the learning happens in weird and occasionally unpleasant ways. Because the body itself has overlaps and multiple controls, all of which I guess serve to limit any damage, so that the body can heal pieces rather than just dropping off dead , which is not sustainable, really πŸ™‚

And limiting the damage, then healing cannot happen without feedback. Such a tiny, repetitive thing, such an important part of the whole system!

Can we override feedback? Well, yes, of course πŸ™‚ We keep digging when in the hole, we keep wishing for different results from the same actions. And it seems so quaint to resist temptation, so easy to take things for granted, to believe in our own imaginary immortality… or to go to the other extreme and get paralyzed by the uncertainty of it all. Fragile or bullet-proof? Which are we and when and how and why? I have been teaching the little one the value of proper explanations – she loves the game πŸ™‚ Don’t worry, I don’t have the answers to the questions above, but if I ever learnt something during the years is that they still need to be asked, so that we do not turn silly-smug as well as fantastically surrealistic!

Did I digress or was this all just learning about change and consequences?


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