The muddy playground

Think about a group of kids playing in the mud. Some of them play pretty carelessly; they just dive in and wash all over their body with mud. Others try to be very careful; They don’t want their mom to be mad at them, so they try to keep their clothes clean. But, after a while they realise that they want to enjoy the game, too. So, they take their shoes off, roll their pants and sleeves up and try to enjoy the game very carefully. You can say, they neither can enjoy nor can keep their clothes clean at the end of the game.

Stop blaming these kids. We are these kids. Most of us live in the way they play. We are afraid of an emotional failure so we either do not initiate a relationship or try to not lose our heart. We are afraid of economic failure so we suppress our business ideas and dreams. We are afraid of death so we deprive ourselves of foods and drinks we like. Let’s stop being stupid. The whole life is like a muddy playground. We cannot enjoy it unless we dive into it. First step: pick a piece of sludge and daub it over your face and your head. Welcome to the game.

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Decision-making: A system model

Quantum physicians argue that the smallest possible time interval is 10 to the power of minus 43 seconds, AKA Planck time. They see any duration of time as a consecutive series of these Plank time slots. I believe that for each person there exist similar- yet quite larger- time slots, those of which during each one he or she makes exactly one decision. Let us call one of these time slots SCDMTS, i.e., the self-conscious decision-making time slot. Therefore, one can divide each human’s lifetime into consecutive series of these SCDMTSs.

A life timeline as a series of the consecutive SCDMTS
A human’s lifetime as a series of consecutive SCDMTSs

I guess that the SCDMTS ranges from a few seconds to hundreds of seconds for different people. I see everything in daily life as a decision-making process; even when I am reading a book for one hour continuously, I am making tens of decisions i.e., I am answering to the question: “Do I want to continue or to stop reading?” once during each SCDMTS.

One SCDMTS for different persons
One SCDMTS for different persons

Therefore, I believe that the decision-making is the only _or at least the main_ thing we do in our life. This is why I believe it is better for all of us to study the process of decision-making. Recently, many authors studied this process and argue that we, as humans, are terrible in decision-making. They have prepared a lengthy list of our typical decision errors. While I want to encourage the reader and myself to study more books and papers on this topic, I want to squeeze the essence of my readings on this topic (until now) into one sentence:
While the human brain’s processing power is limited, it is also stupid in choosing the most important, reliable and relevant information to process.

We also face the same problem in computer science. It is a common situation in computer science where you have too much data that it is not possible for one single processor to load it all and process it in a real-time manner. Despite what computers do to solve this difficulty, what our brain does is this: it simply ignores most of the data and focuses on a small portion of it. Then it makes its decisions based on this tiny amount of information. The most frustrating part of it is that it selects this tiny portion mostly based on its accessibility. In other words, our brain is too lazy to check for importance, reliability or relevancy of the data it processes; it just picks the first thing it finds and starts processing it.

It is not easy to increase the processing power of the brain (at least at nowadays) but we can train our brain to be smarter in selecting its processing input. This is not an easy training though, it is necessary if we are sick of our normal (I mean stupid) brains and the decisions they make.

Decision-making process
Our brain only uses a portion of all of its information each time it makes a decision

This post may seem ambiguous and complicated if the reader is unfamiliar with the topic. I believe it may be clearer if you first read through these web-pages: 1, 2, and then come back and reread this post.

Note: I really do not wish to make it complicated more than this but just let me add that the truth is that the amount of the SCDMTS also changes for each person from time to time based on his or her consciousness at the moment.

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Federal Election of Australia: The polling’s negative feedback

Short Story: While all the polls predicted the easy wining of Labor party in the federal election of Australia, the center-right coalition of Liberal and National parties was elected. “I have always believed in miracles and tonight we have been delivered another one.” The leader of the Liberal party, Scott Morrison, said a few days ago right after the winning of the election.

Discussion: There exist a few important points in this short story that I am going to highlight:

  1. A world of selfish countries: We are facing a frightening stream in society beliefs trusting conservative policies all around the world. The struggle between Labor and Liberal parties in the recent election in Australia was concentrated on whether the country should restrict the coal mining activities due to climate changes or not? People vote not for restriction. While the societies are going to be more selfish than before, some efforts are being made to raise awareness of the societies about the impact of their decisions on others. More precisely I want to appreciate Simon Anholt, the founder of Global Votefor his excellent idea.
  2. The polling’s negative feedback: The victory of Scott Morrison reminds us the unbelievable victory of Donald Trump in 2016’s USA election. In that election also, polls showed that Trump is going to give the election up to its opponent, Hilary Clinton. Many journalists then said that some people did not go to vote for Clinton just because they were sure that she is going to be elected. On the other hand, those who wanted Trump to be the president went to the voting centers despite being among those who usually do not participate in the elections; this time they did just because the results of the polls frightened them. This is a newly rising effect of polling which I call it the polling’s negative feedback. I believe same effect happened in Federal election of Australia and caused the Liberals win with a very slight superiority. This effect is not really a new effect but it has been more powerful these days as the social media penetration rate is reaching up to 100% preparing necessary conditions for such feedbacks to be strong enough to make real changes.

Note: Similar effect happens when people decide whether they want to like a post on Instagram or not. If they see that the post has received enough attention already, it is very likely that they ignore liking it even if they really like it.

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