Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

NonRant: There's a Difference...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

There are two ways that a bad outcome can arise directly from a decision - without the interference of the outside world.

The first way, is simply that "Shit happens".

The second way, is that the decision itself is badly thought-through.

Think of it this way.

You're playing Minesweeper. There are only two ways you can lose

(1) Shit happens. You wind up in a situation where there is no "information content" left, and you're forced to make a guess between equally-likely alternatives. you pick the wrong square. Tough luck, but... shit happens.

(2) By ignoring information content. That is, you can see - if you bother to look - that one of the exposed squares is marked with a "2", and if you bothered to look you've just right-clicked on the THIRD unclicked cell in the environs of the cell marked "2". Boom... but it's your fault, you schmuck.

That second instance is NOT the result of 'Shit happens'. It is the result of negligence... laziness... not paying attention... or perhaps deliberate and wilful self-destructive behaviour. Call it what you will. I call it "the Bush Doctrine".

To my way of thinking, there is no excuse for the second scenario. That is, I believe that it behoves us to extract as much as we can from the information content we are given, and the result is that bad outcomes are simply the result of things that cannot be foreseen based on the information in the possession of the decision-maker (no, not ""The Decider") at the time of the decision.

more on this later. I am basically just wasting time while some images upload to MediaMax...