Just a thought... (about life & feedback loops)

Just a thought... (about life & feedback loops)

I had this epiphany the other day that everything about life, and even more so: everything about about human activities is deeply based on feedback loops.

It starts with natural evolution (including sexual selection) where the evolution and shaping of the species is refined generation after generation based on positive and negative feedback loops from the environment and from peers.

Then, there is so much about human psychology and sociology where ideas and behaviors are reinforced or subdued through feedback loops.

Not to mention the global economy, markets, consumption and speculation that are massively driven by feedback loops…

So, what’s left to pure, unbiased free will? Arts? Love? Thoughts? I don’t think so. It’s pretty easy to find feedback loops in all of these too!!

This doesn’t mean that everything about today is a direct result of what happened yesterday; there are still external stimuli that enter the system at any (random) time, but still… what is the external stimulus allowing for unconditioned thoughts?

Breakup frustration

Breakup frustration
Breakups are frustrating… always… I believe this guy coped with his frustration pretty well, though ;)

5th element style condo!

You’d think the real estate market crashed everywhere and there’s plenty of available square feet, but check this out: what you saw in the 5th element has actually become a reality, in Hong Kong!

Forex frustration

Forex frustration

I've been following the forex rates of the Euro compared to the dollar for several weeks now, since the EUR/USD hit a low point of 1.24 on November 21st (as shown on the forex charts screenshot above).

I have all those USD I'd like to convert to EUR but I just can't get myself to do it at the current rate about 1.40. :roll:

All I can do no is hope that when Obama gets into office it's going to boost the USD enough for the difference with the EUR to go back down below 1.3...

Renting a car at LAX airport

Renting a car at LAX airport
American Spirit / Shutterstock.com

I live in L.A. but I don't own my car; I rent it! Furthermore, I actually turn it in every time I fly out to a conference and then get a new one when I fly back. This gave me the opportunity to try out quite a few different car rental companies located at LAX.

First, they all have a shuttle from the airport terminals to their facility. What you need to do when you get out of baggage claim is locate the curb segment that has Purple signs saying "Car Rental Shuttles" and wait for your shuttle there. The other colors are for Hotel Shuttles and parking shuttles.

Here's my experience with several of the car rental companies (Note that I am typically renting Compact cars):

  • Avis: I've had a "dirty car" experience with them in the past. I've been avoiding them ever since.
  • Dollar: probably the best deals on the cars. You can choose your car within a category section. The problem is with the shuttle. You sometimes wait for quite a bit more than the advertised "every 15 minutes". WARNING: After like 20 rentals with them I needed some documents for my insurance and they never sent them to me. Actually, the people who work at their claim dept are either trained to be disingenuous or they are genuinely retarded. Either way, their customer service is an outrage. Don't go there!
  • Enterprise: expensive unless you have a coupon. Car had no wiper water.
  • Hertz: Very expensive
  • Thrifty: Rude front desk. You can choose your car within a category section. Car had no wiper water. Took 20 minutes to turn in the car instead of 2 minutes everywhere else.
  • Fox: Shuttle runs more often than many others. Efficient front desk. Dirtiest car ever; all seats severely stained with God knows what. You cannot choose your car (and you can end up with an ugly PT Cruiser).

I will come back here and edit this post as I rent more cars at LAX.