Saturday, September 15, 2007

Matching Networks

Since one of the goals of my ideal world is electrically analogous to allowing each component (person) to operate within its preferred range of conditions, “impedance matching” is critical. Think of a filter: Only those signals that are within a component’s operating range can get to it (or through it); everything else is shunted somewhere else. Similarly, the “matching network” enables the component to attract signals it requires to keep operating.

In an economy or a society, pre-conditioning in the form of education enables people to be productive and to interact with others (in our analogy, modify and share signals without damaging other people). A certain minimum amount of resources allows them to at least live (passing signals that others might want or need). Where a people can’t adequately connect with others, they are helped by people who specialize in helping them (or, if they are destructive, reducing their impact); these specialize people are the equivalent of matching networks.

In the analogy, consumption of resources is equivalent to “power,” which is proportional to “resistance.” Like an electrical resistor, some of what we consume is converted to waste (“heat”). For people among us who have a high amount of intrinsic wastefulness, the resources (“current”) that reach them will likely need to be reduced, based on the requirements of the rest of the components. This reduction is also one of the functions of a matching network.

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