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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Choice, filtering and decision making

Choosing and filtering influence decision making.

Across domains one cannot afford to rush into decision making with any ' finite  frames of references or limited options' especially when it involves the welfare, happiness and sometimes the very livelihood and/or survival of multiple stake holders.

However, human knowledge even with all the advantages of technological advancements enabled accessibility and availability hubris , still navigates in the orbit of finiteness.

Whatever they be and however well packaged they are be they surveys,  statistics,  spread sheets all are meaningful abstractions and presentations of multiple facets and factors like randomness, measurable patterns, easily understandable classifications, blue prints or outlines or guide lines projecting or superimposing the trajectory of trends and so on  of real events, activities, actionable remedial measures of  PEOPLE who are involved or impacted by or responsible for such events or activities and circumstances which went on to create those factors or facets. 



" Scientists use whichever methods help  them  understand the  world: drudgelike tabulation  of data, experimental derring-do, flights of theoretical fancy, elegant  mathematical modeling, kludgy computer  simulation, sweeping verbal narrative" -karl popper. "All the methods are  pressed into the service of two ideals, and it is these ideals that advocates of science want to export to the rest of intellectual life. The first is that the world is 'Intelligible'. The phenomena we experience may be explained by the principles that  are  deeper than the phenomena themselves." " The second ideal is that we must allow the world  to tell us whether our ideas about it are correct, i.e. consistency  with empirical evidence".

Vulnerabilities  are unavoidable but leaving them unobserved, unattended and unaddressed is bad.

 "I was at the age when one felt like one needed to read everything, which prevented one from making contemplative stops"- Taleb. 


This happens to most of us. 


In a way it is good initially more the merrier.  Then we end up getting lost with excess of fuzziness than real assimilation.


The INSTINCT/IMPULSE to filter and be selective come with prejudices and biases to NARROWING DOWN on only a few things. However, the ABILITY to do so come with enhanced matured way to choose and decide and end up CONSOLIDATING our radius of receptivity.

Sometimes, many other factors like time constraints, lack of resources etc too limit our options.


I cannot resist quoting my favorite author here. 


" The ability to choose an action that best satisfies conflicting goals is not an add-on to intelligence that engineers might slap themselves in the forehead for forgetting to install! It IS intelligence"- Steven Pinker


" Understanding does not obey Moore's Law: knowledge is acquired by formulating explanations and testing them against reality, not by running an algorithm faster and faster. Devouring the information in the Internet will not confer omniscience either: big data is still finite data, and the universe of knowledge is infinite" - Steven Pinker . He also writes, “if narratives without statistics are blind, statistics without narratives are empty". 

Summing up the whole thing I would like to add that life is injected into the spread sheets only when one SYNERGIZES them with underlying HUMANITARIAN WELFARE ,  long term ENVIRONMENTAL  IMPACT based on  RATIONAL OUTLOOK and SCIENTIFIC APPROACH with CONTEXTUAL RELEVANCE and ensuring not to hurt the SENTIMENTS and VALUE THE SOCIO-CULTURAL SENSITIVITIES of the people involved.

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