Saturday, 29 May 2010

On planning

I'm not a big fan of changing one's mind. Not to say its a bad thing, but it just belies poor planning. Sure if the situation changes, and new information becomes available, then changing one's mind is necessary, rather than doggedly following the original plan to certain doom.

For example if offered a cup of tea, where the alternative is no hot drink at all, then I'd choose tea. But if subsequently offered tea or coffee or nothing at all, I'd go for coffee. And then as a last minute change, offered tea, coffee or hot chocolate, I'd change my mind a third time and opt for hot chocolate. As everyone knows, hot chocolate is yummy.

Lets arrange these options in order of yumminess:-
1. Hot chocolate
2. Coffee
3. Tea
4. Lying in bed scratching one's arse.

So, as these option became available be changed our mind several times so as to reach the ideal situation.

But then, imagine if you will, the "Well you can make it yourself" nuclear option. To process it, lets re-arrange the four options into how much faffing/washing up is involved:-

1. Lying in bed scratching one's arse - No faffing or washing up
2. Tea - one tea bag to dispose of, spoon and mug to wash up
3. Coffee - ground coffee to dispose of, spoon, mug and cafetiere to wash up
4. Hot chocolate - milk to source and dispose of empty, mug, spoon, and sauce pan with burnt on milk to wash up.

We can clearly see that yumminess and faff/washing up are inversely proportional, and given the initial satisfactory state of lying in bed scratching one's arse, as more and more options become available we change our mind each time, and eventually end up back at the initial state with no hot drink, but rising levels of frustration.

I'm sure this is how politics is, just look at the progress of ID cards in the UK over the last
ten years.

It doesn't have to be like this though. If the initial proposition had the appropriate quality of information, all the options offered and the "Well you can make it yourself" subclause, then no changing of mind would have to happen at all, no rising levels of frustration, just a leisurely scratching of one's arse in bed on a Saturday morning.

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