• The views expressed here are my own and do not represent any past or current employer or client.

Get Updates Automatically

Decision Making

  • Loading...

« Heaven only knows what we want | Main | A bank teller's perspective »



No painted yardstick intended…that would be judgmental.

I believe that wisdom--defined by the dictionary as the knowledge and experience needed to make sensible decisions and judgments--is increasing, without diminishing the soulful aspects. We just don’t hear much about it.

I think that progress in the brain sciences—especially neuro-economics—will reveal that much of what we attribute to ‘soul’ and emotion can be explained objectively and demonstrated scientifically. This does not diminish our humanity; it enhances it.

The definition of ‘fringe’ is a function of what we know by-way-of evidence. Those who are regarded as fringe change as we learn more. I think it is a good thing we stopped burning witches and started sailing ships over the horizon. People did not regard those decisions as fringe during that period; we do now, because we know more now.

Much violence and stupidity has been committed under the cover of intuition and wisdom. The current US government administration is an example of intuition and wisdom gone tragically awry. We expect more.


Thanks for your comment on point 2, list 1 above.

Let me try to explain why I think this is important. This issue is about the ascendancy--and immense potential, of self-determination and self-creation. Traditionally, the choices we made were drawn from what we perceived to be available or possible. For example, as I was growing up, my parents were clear that they expected me to go to college. There were consequences if I did not. An authority in my life limited my choices. (It helped that I would have been drafted during a war without a student deferment--a clue to my age!)

Brands are another example where an authority determines choice. I view brands of all types as "pre-made decision packages." The people in charge of brands are helping us to decide by limiting our range of options to a narrow set that optimizes each other's goals. There is the old saying, "No one ever got fired for buying IBM." Brand managers have the time and resources to decide, so we don't have to. Don't get me wrong. This is not all bad in retail where many product distinctions are silly. I am not so sure about our two-party political system or elementary school curricula.

A couple of more examples. There are several hundred different kitchen blenders available worldwide, but 'only' 22 for sale at Target. While there are between four and five million music CDs in the marketplace, there are less than 10,000 available at the biggest box stores. (eBay and Amazon are replacing the old authorities.)

This is all changing, which is what I began to write about in the second list. It is hard to know where this re-distribution is headed. I do believe we will continue to see choice disrupting many institutions that used to control it. The new media of citizen journalism, blogging, self-publishing, etc. are the most evident examples of unauthorized individuals influencing others' choices in unprecedented ways.

Jessan Dunn Otis

Point 2, first list "pits" the haves against the havenots.

How does that matter in terms of choice? If it matters, how does it matter? If it doesn't matter, why/how is one convinced that it does matter?


MLPF member

Joe Begalla

In point 3 of the second list, it looks as if you're painting a picture of a future that will discount intuition and wisdom in favor of a yardstick of objectivity that discounts the "soulful" aspects of our individual journeys. I really like the stimulating thoughts in this post...and will continue the discussion. From the Fringes - Joe

The comments to this entry are closed.