Letter No 97 - The power of feedback

Dear Friend,

I need to be loved.
I need to be needed.
I like receiving appreciation.

But I like growth and development even more than that.

Life is growth. And growth is fun. And fun is good🙂 I like fun.

But, growth is also painful.

Growth requires change and adapting.

Growth requires learning and improvement.

Growth requires feedback.

Feedback allows us to adjust / change / modify what we are doing in order to get a better output.


The word feedback was first used in the context of mechanical and fluid systems where energy and material flows through a system or pipe, in order to ensure safety, quality and quantity.

In the mechanical world, the only purpose of feedback is to stop something rapidly and certainly. The goal is to prevent something from going wrong and causing damage.

In the earlier 20th century Carl Braun referred to the unanticipated coupling between components of an electronic circuit as feedback. Within a decade of this use, audio feedback - the painful screech we hear when a mic is aimed towards an amp - came into the dictionary. Thus for the first half of the century feedback was defined as a mechanical or electronic effect.

By the 1950’s feedback had acquired an interest to theorists and had acquired a more precise definition - circulatory of action - but still related to mechanisms.

Feedback only started being used in the space of human science theory after the 1940’s. The first known association was known at the 10 Macy conferences on cybernetics from 1946 to 1953, which aimed to bring the ‘material’ scientists together with the ‘human’ scientists. They attempted to create a dialogue between scientists from different disciplines.

The way human psychology was understood by this time was largely influenced by machine worldview. In the early twentieth century, when John Watson established the school of behaviourist psychology, there were no instruments with which to "see" inside brains and study how they processed experiences, information and ideas. In an effort to make psychology rigorous, Watson concluded that if the mind could not be studied objectively with external, mechanical devises, then noting could be known about it.

Over the years feedback has become a part of the business world and for individuals to use it as a system to further improve the quality towards a certain goal or process.

Human learning is clearly mostly feedback-oriented. You try something, you see what happens, you adjust your model of the world, you try something else. It is not surprising that lots of machine learning algorithms work in the same way. They depend on feedback.

In the human world, feedback is not just about preventing damage. Feedback is what we need in navigate our way into growth and development.


I love getting feedback, it helps me understand better, discover some blind spots and improvise to do better.
I have been writing letters for as long as 5 years now and it’s time for me to get some feedback, see what can I further change.

I have attached the feedback form below, please do fill it!