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Decision Scene

Page history last edited by John 14 years ago

I feel the ideal image for my manner of making decisions lies in the process of screwing in a bolt.

[Image Credit: Ground Shoulder Bolt from boltman.com]


To better understand why I chose this analogy, I'll explain the generic process for screwing in a bolt. Simple process, yet many steps are overlooked.


In screwing a bolt like this into a piece of wood or metal using a socket wrench, the first thing you do is (1) examine the head of the screw to get a rough estimate as to its size. Once you've got a rough picture of the size of the bolt, the next step would be to (2) grab a socket that looks close enough to the size of the bolt you're trying to screw in. Then, by (3) placing the socket on the bolt, we can see whether or not our choice was right or not, and, depending on whether it was too small or too big, we (3a) move on to the next socket and test it out. Once we've found our match, we (4) place the socket on the wrench, and (5) screw the bolt into place with no problems whatsoever.


So what the hell does screwing a bolt have to do with decision making? The nail in the board was a prime example of decisive state of mind with no question as to why it was chosen. Yet by looking closer, it can all become so much clearer.

By (1) examining the head of the screw we are analyzing a problem or situation.

By (2) reaching for a socket we think might work, in decision-making we're looking for possible solutions to our dilemma on-hand.

By (3) testing our chosen socket on said bolt, we are mentally going through probable scenarios from each proposed solution, looking for the best 'fit' for our current scenario.

By (3a) changing what sockets we use, we get a chance to think of alternative solutions to minimize the most impact. If we find a nut (solution) that's too big (over-shoots the problem), we end up stripping the nut (aggravating an already big problem) and making the bolt (our problem) un-usable (uncorrectable). Changing sockets keeps us involved with the issue until a resolution is met. It shows tenacity and dedication (in a very corny use of the terms).

By (4) we've got what in our minds is the best solution for our little issue. This stage marks the beginning of plan deployment.

By (5) we have a working solution (or the best possible) and put it to work, fixing our problem with relative ease.




When involved in such situations as watching a movie in a theater and on TV, studying in a library, and going to church, I'm always attentive, studying what's going on in front of me and trying to pay attention to the story being told. However, get the material boring enough and one is known to fall asleep from time to time.

Now when I visit my parents or take a long trip by plane or car, I tend to chat with whoever is around, both updating them on how I'm doing, and listening to their new stories since we last talked. Each experience gets you closer to the person and re-attaches you from long periods of alienation.



[Image Credit: Alienation Nightmare from Colorado.edu Journals]



[Image Credit: Jim's Boredom from lifeintheoffice.com



I think it's fair to put here as well that I have no idea what Ulmer was going for with this exercise. It seems as if his bullet points had nothing to do with the original question in italics:

"If driving a nail flush into a board is an image for a decisive state of mind, what is a good image for your manner of making decisions?"

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