Saturday, December 24, 2005

Unpredictability and Epsilon

What is one thing that you fear the most? Most of us would answer - the future, in other words something unpredictable. How many of us are comfortable with the idea that there is a remote possibility that we would not be alive tomorrow or the guy/girl you marry wouldn't suit you or for that simple matter, we would not get tickets for a movie at a theater. Not many and I would even say that each one of us is trying to manage(should I say,mitigate) this unpredictability in some or the other way, everyday all the time.

Statistics has a word called noise/error factor given to it, and has ‘epsilon’ representing this factor. Any model can be created to explain various phenomena in life, but an epsilon is always tagged to it, just to say that there are certain things, which are unexplainable and cannot be captured by these models and this is precisely what I am getting at.

I see attempts being made by people to rationalize life, to explain everything, to put blame on luck or God, etc. Life cannot be explained. There are too many events, which just happen and have no correlation or association per se with our scheme of things. No astrology, not palmistry, not zodiac signs will help these. The maturity lies in accepting these things as being purely random and completely uncontrollable (in spite of my passion for ‘free will’ as a driver of decision making). The only way to control these is by learning to control our responses to these events, rather than by trying to control these events themselves.

Despite all the best efforts, not getting what you want could be the work of epsilon factor. The best response here is to control the response to such event and think about ways to diversify/reduce risk such epsilon factor can bring...unpredictability is uncontrollable but mitigation of it is!!

3 comments:

Kashyap Chandra said...

Really neat blog entry this vun :). But it got me thinkin.. is Epsilon the same for every person? or does it vary? If it does, is the degree of variance dependent on the perception of the person experiencing the variance?

Cheers anyway.. keep up the brilliant work :)

pavani said...

First of all, if we put forth our best efforts, why would there be any deviation from the normal result that we expect? Again…I’m using the word expect despite putting in the best effort! See there is a fundamental flaw here too! In spite of putting forth the best effort why do we expect or for that matter what do we expect?! So, is it excusable to use epsilon here as a way of quantifying the deviated result (which ironically corresponds to bad/sad ending?!(Like not getting a job/seat in the discipline that we tried to get into…)) If that’s so, surely this epsilon is integrated deep down in the foundation of our thinking itself then. Another funny thing that I find, normally speaking is that, this so called epsilon factor in daily life of one person is the will of another person with whom this person is directly or indirectly connected to (e.g. the M.D. of the firm that u r trying to get in had a recommendation from an M.P. to give the place that u r competing for, to another person)….So one man’s epsilon factor is another man’s will then! Coming to the main stream argument if this epsilon is integrated in our thinking, then surely it must have been dominated by our perception of things…say opinions, feelings or judgment…right?!

How far can we be successful in applying this error factor to human race? I mean in statistics, error is associated with a set of samples…Right? And there will be an error only if there is only a defined standard value (E.g. one of the measurements is closer to the mean and if this is taken as the standard, then another measurement far away e.g. an outlier has an error associated with it…). Thus, there will then be no error if there is no comparison. SOOO is this epsilon/error factor taking us right down to Ur blog on context comparison then?! O MY GOD, the fundamental reason for agony has surfaced in the discussion yet again!!

Well anyway, applying epsilon to human nature…No wonder there is this action of epsilon factor…Alas; life is explained as the unexplainable…Now anyway, statistically, if we take all such individual epsilons (e.g. every epsilon associated with an individual in this world/universe), and do an analysis (statistically I think its defined as the regression analysis…correct me if I am wrong), then I am sure we’d find a defined underlying pattern {Kash’s blog on Deuce ex machinae does complement this…saying that there is ultimate order to all the chaos}. So, does this mean that there is an ultimate cause to all the variables measuring the individual epsilon/ error factors?? And could this cause be what is called the fate/luck/will of God?!....SO I'm not the only lost sheep in this world trying to find answers to certain things then!

My apologies for the author for this comment, I guess it consumed lot of the space and pardon me if u (or is it me) r lost in this argument!!! Keep up the good work.

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