Our Binary Decisions Are Often Worth 0

What If your essence, your very “being,” that thing which is “yourself” could be translated into an algorithm, defining everything that made you function?
How many terabytes would your uniqueness have spanned?
Perhaps a better question would be “How many terabytes do you think that your operating system would’ve required to function?”
Imagine the surprise if you were to find that only a small amount of data turned out to be a representative “you?”
But obviously I’m just talking fancy here.
I’m not a neurobiologist by any measure.

I do know a bit about conditional operators though.
Most would recognize the “IF STATEMENT” as being one of the better-known examples.

This is a far stretch from creating “The Algorithm” but often I’m amazed when I figure out just how simple my decisions “can be.”
Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally perceive them to be as anything other than disastrous!

Now let’s say you’re in a bit of a bind.
You wish to park your car but the parking bay looks ominously small.
That ostentatious SUV you purchased might not fit in!

So how do you go about this?
You will no doubt tell yourself that there are a thousand factors that could determine your actions.
That’s possible.

Consider this bit of pseudo code.

If VERY SURE CAR WILL FIT THEN
DRIVE INTO BAY
ELSE
GO FIND ANOTHER SPOT FOR BIG CAR

We can even expand on this a bit.

If VERY SURE CAR WILL FIT THEN
RE_EVAULATE IF CAR WILL GET SCRATCHED
IF NOT TOO WORRIED ABOUT DAMAGE THEN
DRIVE INTO BAY
ELSE
GO FIND ANOTHER SPOT FOR BIG CAR

Or even more…

If VERY SURE CAR WILL FIT THEN
RE_EVAULATE IF CAR WILL GET SCRATCHED
IF NOT TOO WORRIED ABOUT DAMAGE THEN
RE_EVALAUTE IF YOU CAN OPEN DOORS
IF YOU WILL GET OUT BUT STILL DING OTHER CAR THEN
DRIVE INTO BAY
ELSE
GO FIND ANOTHER SPOT FOR BIG CAR

Or …. even more…. what about a thousand choices?
Choice is also not decision although many have started to use the words in an interchangeable way.

If (INSIDE THIS SECTION YOU CAN PUT MANY ARBITRARY CONSIDERATIONS/OPTIONS/EMOTIONS/CHOICES) THEN
RE_EVAULATE IF CAR WILL GET SCRATCHED
IF NOT TOO WORRIED ABOUT DAMAGE THEN
RE_EVALAUTE IF YOU CAN OPEN DOORS
IF YOU WILL GET OUT BUT STILL DING OTHER CAR THEN
DRIVE INTO BAY
ELSE
GO FIND ANOTHER SPOT FOR BIG CAR

While you were considering the feasibility of the space you no doubt thought about the consequence of dinging the car, you were changing gears, working the brakes, singing along to the radio.
All these actions and thoughts create the illusion we’re multitasking.
That isn’t true though.
Each separate thought might very well be just another branch where a simple “YES” or “NO” would’ve sufficed.
Quite often we also confuse thoughts about consequences with the actual decision.

Of course you can nest the levels for making decisions as deep as you wish.
You’re stranded in a crypt, you stole the secret jewels of the Shadow Wraith and his minions are coming for you.
In front of you are 3 or more doors… perhaps a dozen, it really doesn’t matter.
You still need to choose only one.
And then make the actual decision to go through ONLY one.
Is it really that simple though?
The conditions that lead you towards making a decision can happen before you even move towards a door.
I’m sure you’ll debate with yourself for a long time…
What are your options, why do have these choices?
But just remember, weighing the options, examining the choices are still not the actual decision you make!

But wait… There’s more!
We also complicate matters for ourselves when we are presented with scenarios such as “Choose Four and get one free!”
Is the REAL problem/decision the “choice” or “paying for what you chose?”
Do you have enough money to pay or not?
We can’t really exhaust this topic in one session, but I do hope it might help a bit when you’re ready to make an actual “decision!”

There are times when I really need to ask myself, “what is the bottom line?”
See, a whole article could have hinged on the simplicity of asking one question!

Why venture into the realm of “Yin Yang” or “YES/NO” decision making though?

The reason for writing all of this is actually quite simple.
Yesterday I was presented with the decision of escalating an issue I had with “colleagues” or not.
My choice was simple, do I win the battle and let it go, or do I make a fuss and potentially kill functional relationships.
The complicating factors are things like the emotions, irritability, sense of pursuing justice.
Then there are the consequences, and questions about consequences … Would it serve any purpose if I were to escalate?

On a personal level this really helps me.
When I’m faced with options, I don’t see them as “decisions.”
When difficult emotions wash over me, I don’t see them as “decisions” either.
As obvious as it appears to be, next time the going gets tough try telling yourself the “emotion isn’t the decision!”
Choices aren’t decisions.
I address the emotions, and often use the options or choices as considerations in relation to one another to do what needs to be done in the end, “choose one” and make a decision!

What is your take on this?
Are we capable of making more than binary decisions?