Thursday, May 31, 2007

An Impulse Decision

This morning in my communications class we were talking about the impulse function, and its Fourier Transform (another impulse) and impulse trains, and convolving an impulse train... which is of course my favorite thing to do. Really. No, I'm not joking.

But impulse is also something else in physics, instantaneous change in momentum, or a force over some interval of time causing (and equal to) a change in momentum. Momentum, by the way, is the quantity describing the speed, direction, and mass of a particular object. That would be, how big an object is, how fast it's going and which direction. Momentum. So let's move out of this domain of math and physics and talk about life.

You can think of momentum as being your life: where you're going with it, how fast you're going there, and all that it contains (be that experiences, acquaintances, so forth.) And then an impulse... change: something which pushes you in another direction, or maybe the same direction.

Sometimes I consider myself to be spontaneous. In the above analogy, it would translate to a large force and a small amount of time. Some people, to change, perhaps take less force but more time to see the same change. But I didn't really bring this up to talk about forces and time... but that sometimes I make decisions very quickly, and they tend to be the ones that I appreciate most in the end. Some people might call that "trusting your gut" or "following your instincts."

Let me give an example. A few years ago, I saw a pink corduroy jacket at a store I would shop at occassionally. Pink corduroy. It was either very trendy or very dorky--but it was on sale. And it was pink. Ok, imagine my eyes just lit up. So I try it on, it fits, it's cute, and I buy it. I wasn't looking for a jacket, I didn't really need one I suppose, I didn't consider the pros and cons of buying the jacket. Just saw that I liked it and it was very affordable and I wanted it. And I wore it out. I wore it for days, weeks, until it got a little more snug than I liked and I started to wear looser clothes anyway. It was a "fall" jacket, I loved it. I loved the color, the style (which was unique really), the fashion statement it made. And I purchased it on impulse, so to speak. It was a split-second decision that I never regretted.

Another example--last September I drove to New Jersey for a friend's wedding, and the opportunity to see another friend and his family. I left around midnight Saturday, after deciding only on Thursday or Friday to actually go, and it is still a weekend of only very wonderful memories. Not to mention last summer I decided less than a week in advance to go to the ICNA Convention in Hartford and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just a few weeks ago I made a "sorta" last minute decision to go to New York, and I don't regret going. In all three of those cases, my decision was very... sudden. I couldn't decide, couldn't make up my mind and then, I did, and bang. I went, it was great. Alhamdulillah. And maybe He had a hand in helping me make those decisions?

So I think about this in other areas of my life. Some things need to be carefully considered, because they'll be with you a lot longer and be more heavy on you than a weekend trip out of town or a light jacket. For example, buying a car. I regret buying my car because I paid too much and I can't wait to get rid of it, honestly. I like it, but it's just not worth it. It was a pressured decision, and I hate that about it. It wasn't "impulse" like the others. It never really hit me that this is the one, this is the car I've got to buy. It was the one in front of me and seemed to fit the bill. Maybe I settled for it because I was so tired of searching. (Or I was fast-talked into it by a sleazy salesman. Gr.)

I don't like decisions like that. And I'm about to make some pretty important decisions for my life, now. Who to marry? Where to live? What to do with my life? More school or a career, for example? Well I could make them on impulse, and I am so ready to do that right now.

But I can't. Interesting circumstance. I can't... yet. I have time and time over (more time than I want, honestly) to consider, and reconsider, to think, and rethink. So even if I feel certain now, having to wait before it becomes possible to make a decision leaves room for doubts to creep in. So I figure, if I can bide that time without doubts, and since any more certainty would be difficult to come by, then it's even better than an impulse decision. It's a sort of strung out impulse... or maybe a sum of two. The first, a force and a time. But now that I'm going the right direction, the force is essentially zero right now, having no effect on momentum.

That is of course, sum of all forces is zero. There are forces but... I'm still going the same way.

And it's a fun ride. When it's over, I'll have to make sure I go on a roller coaster. It's been a while...


jamal said...

As-Salaamu 'alaikum

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Aviator said...

lol, an excellent article for engineers.

Let's first describe a person as a system (system: controller, feedback...)

Impulse input may result in many outputs (responses): and these responses actually depend on the type of the system under study. Overdamped, Underdamped, Undamped, Critically damped are all outputs (or responses).

Will the system be stable or unstable under this type of input???
Check with "Routh-Hurwitz Criterion".

Thoughts and environment are inputs, behaviors and relations with the others are outputs. Brain is the controller.

The overall body is the system we try to study.

Who and where is the FEEDBACK?? May be friends, relatives, environment, co-workers, the readers of blog .....

So, an important thing is to make sure the system has a feedback. This feedback must be correct. Because bad friends will give incorrect feedbacks and thoughts.

Also, if one don't have a feedback. It is considered a huge problem.

Well, I am sorry for most all the readers who read this comment, because "non-engineering or science cultured" will find it strange words.

As Amy mentioned, marriage is not like buying a car or making a trip!!

I think we need a mathematical modeling and analysis of humans and our life before we go on in this stuff!!!!

Marriage, buying a car, relocating can be considered a step input.

trips, weekends, journeys, ... are considered all impulse!!

So, one should take care when he/she is going to make a step input.

For this analysis, I assume a man to be a second order system, and a woman to be a first order system. :-)


Do a man and a woman have the same controller???
Do all men have the same controller???
Do all women have the same controller??
Do all Americans have the same controller???
Do all Egyptians have the same controllers??
Do child have the same controller as adults???

Does the same person have the same controller all over his/her life??

Is it possible for a person to change his controller at a second??

Can environment or certain actions change person's controller at a second??

Will a person change his controller (brain) after marriage??

It looks this subject is very big and needs a Phd to be able to analysis it totally !!

Muslim also should pray "Salat Al-Estiqhara". Allah will help him/her
with it. This Salat is very famous in Islam, and very important.

Amy said...

Uh-huh. Well, why is man second-order and woman first-order? Are you afraid of 32nd order? According to my very boring and occasionally spaced out controls theory professor, he read in a magazine about a NASA missile requiring a 32nd order system to describe the movement, because there were so many variables.

And indeed there are. I didn't think about creating a system, feedback and all. But in reality, there is also feed-forward! Especially if you're calling input from friends to be feedback. Feedback (and feedforward) come after the controller and go back to make the original input. But sometimes people's opinions don't really affect us until after the decision has been made--feedforward.

For example, my mother tells me I'm going to hate this dress and shouldn't buy it, but I don't listen. Until I have worn it once, got a bunch of funny looks and decided "Mom was right, I don't like it." Kinda like feedforward.

As far as damping... well I can't figure a place for damping yet, we'll have to come back to that point.

I think in my case, the current system is much higher than 1st order. You see, there are so many variables to be considered (as I described before--where I live, with whom, what career, role of my parents, frequency of travelling home, environment for my kids) in this current situation, which would be finding someone to marry. The final output depends on all of those conditions.

Whereas a man need only pick the woman. Picking a woman does not force him down a career path, into a particular location (you see it's not really favored for a man to settle based on his wife's job, and follow her around. It says in the Qur'an "Settle you (1st person) and your wife." Not, "You two settle." So the man should settle based on what's good and his wife follow. Yet as a woman, I still can decide to marry such a bloke or not as I find in an unusual position. So there, my output not includes who should be the husband but also the position of myself in the future, actual location.

The influence of all these variables creates a much higher than first order system.

Now your questions:
Do a man and a woman have the same controller??? No two people have the "same" controller. Each person is affected by different "variables."
Do all men have the same controller???Negative.
Do all women have the same controller??Negative.
Do all Americans have the same controller???Negative.
Do all Egyptians have the same controllers??Negative.
Do child have the same controller as adults??? Negative, with age each person's controller may become more simple or complex.

Does the same person have the same controller all over his/her life??Negative, just answered.

Is it possible for a person to change his controller at a second??Naturally, in a split second, a new variable, obstacle, or opportunity may be introduced. It is only a minute change in the controller actually, introducing one more factor, but this can drastically change the output.

Can environment or certain actions change person's controller at a second?? Whether an internal or external influence, many things can cause the controller to change.

Will a person change his controller (brain) after marriage?? If not before, during the planning stages. Controllers are likely constantly becoming more complex.

It looks this subject is very big and needs a Phd to be able to analysis it totally !! It just so happens I know someone with a PhD, but he's a bit busy for the moment. Nevertheless, I think I know his answer:

"Nod politely and say 'I do' anytime you are asked a question."

Aviator said...

Not afraid of 32nd order!

Never ever afraid from Control Theory and higher order systems. However, used to get mad about Navier-Stokes equations and Theory of Relativity. Can't imagine that time can change from one frame of reference to another.

lol, feed-forward is a kind of feedback, because it contribute to the system.

Yeh, a man (husband) in Islam is 88 order even!!

According to Islam, a man has more responsibilities than a woman. He is responsible for housing, clothes, food and health care for his wife and kids. At least, women don't have to work and support financial care of kids.

So, man is going to be at least a second order!!

This is while a woman, don't have any finaaaaancial responsibilities!!! So, she is going to be a first order.

A first order, and a first class in this world!

Actually, all that what you mentioned are not variables!!!
It is boundary conditions!! And you decide it just once in your life. :-)

However, husband has long life responsibilities....

As I think, your system is still first order, because whatever the reasons you have (as a muslima wife) still don't have many responsibilities like a man.

The variables (boundary conditions as I see) you mentioned are not new to the world, and of course many muslim reverts have faced it before you, and they were successful (like what you will be, in shaa allah) in finding a solution (output) for it. Just check with elder reverts!

mm....., may be marriage is an sdditional pole or zero to the system!! it may has effect on stability! i said it needs Phd ! :-)

Well, get my Phd after 6 years, if additional poles or zeros have no force in the other direction.

Live in east, west?? If stay in west, there will be a chance to publish islam and let people know the truth and tolerance of islam. If stay in east, one is going to make dawaa to help people to be good muslims. Hehhh, this is regardless of stupid politics!!!!

All are lands of Allah, and all are good if muslim do his/her responsibilities.

Environment for kids: two choices about this issue.

Kids grow in eastern countries..... Or may grow at western countries....

If they had a good care, they are going to grow as good muslims regardless of the country they live in.

There are many good muslims in eastern and western countries.

However, many non-conservative muslim in eastern countries like Egypt, Emirates, Saudia Arabia. Also, you are going to find many non-conservative muslims in USA and western countries...

Hidayah is from Allah, and one just is doing reasons to help kids grow as good muslims.

As I know, the role of parents should be highlighted. Parents are a serious issue in Islam. In my opinion, one should meet parents at least once every two weeks. If not possible, then may be by phone calls or video chat. This is regardless of their religion!

One of the most important issues about marriage is understanding and compatibility between the two partners.

If they understand and respect each other, it is going to be a good and happy flight!

Amy said...

So I definitely don't think you know what it's like to take care of kids if you think that financial responsibilities are somehow harder to handle than just about every other responsibility existing in the upbringing of children--which of course are the charge and responsibility of the mother.

Getting the money? That's the easy part. But spending it wisely? Getting a house? Easy. Making it a home? The woman has to take care of the children, care for their health, their education, and their deen. She is the one who chooses what to feed them and when... she is also charged with the responsibility of taking care of the home.

So a man has only financial responsibilities for the family... but a woman has all those other responsibilities for children and home?

Been sniffing the low-lead, have you?

You can stop telling me what to do, by the way. I'm most definitely not interested. In general I welcome advice, but from someone who knows what he's talking about. You've made it clear for some time that you have no appreciation or respect for the plight of a revert--and in reality, mine isn't so bad as that of many others. But you also are ignorant of how Muslims in general are treated in the United States. I should say the latter one first, because if you don't even know how Muslims are treated, how could you know how Muslim reverts are treated?

Really, you get on my nerves and your comments make me angry.

Aviator said...

obbs, what an impulse reactions really!!

A man also shall share in the health, education, deen of the kids.

So, he is not just a machine to bring money!! He has other responsibilities besides the financial one.

Ok, don't get that angry.

Women are second order and men are first order!! Is that ok???
Ok, then men is first class in this world!

I don't mean to tell you what to do, just expressing the boundary conditions.

I know exactly how muslims are treated in USA, and this is not just virtual thoughts, it is from everyday life of muslims in the states!!!!! Lol, And I have words that can't be mentioned here.

And I really appreciate and respect what it means to be a revert muslima.

Also, you who make virtual problems for yourself, and not taking it easy!!!

Don't you hear about terrorists muslims everyday????

Aviator said...


I have been visited by FBI before. Don't get scared. They just make sure that I don't make any thread to the airports as a middle eastern or muslim (whatever the reason.) when I get in a piper cherooke or Cessna airplane with one another pilot only.
They spoke with me for about two hours. They were nice and polite people. I think they just wanted to make sure that i don't have any attacking or terroism thoughts.

Then, you think that I don't know what does it mean to be a muslim in the states!!
If so, please let me see the missing information rather than getting angry about my comments!!


1) My name is Eslam or Islam as appears in the official paper.
2) I am a muslim.
3) from middle east, Egypt.
4) study aeronautical engineering.
5) student pilot (sports) as well.

According to your ideas about muslims in the states: every point in these five points make people get scared from this boy!!! However, this is not correct, and this did't happened.

Well, what do you expect from FBI and americans to do with me if you think muslims are not treated well in the states??? I tell you, they are fair in the states with muslims. You just who make virtual barriers in your mind.

Well, I see many muslim women do shopping in Nashville malls with families without any fear. I see them normal persons in society!!

I have made picnic with miuslim families including an American revert wife; they all are normal persons growing their cute childs safely and peacly.

May be some American get scared from muslims, however this is going to vanish soon.

This is a basic role in the states to be able to involve all cultures and religions. That is tolerance and understanding. Democracy!!

I tell you my experience in a new work place (all employees are non-muslims): people get scared at first. Not all people. Top managers know exactly that muslims are normal person.

Well, after one week, employees start to speak with me. Then they redraw their picture about Islam and that Egyptian boy. Yes, they change opinion when they see good or fair muslims and middle eastern.
Then after two weeks, they become my friends.

I think you are not so much suspected like a middle eastern muslim boy called Islam from Egypt and studies aerospace engineering who take an airplane and fly around an international festival in the states!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Are you????

Huh, please don't describe me as an ignorant person since this hurts me a lot, and if you see shortages in my thoughts, please help me complete or fill this shortage rather than …!!

Anyway, hoping to enroll university in the states soon, and see what the community will looks like!! Sure, will be exciting, in shaa allah.