FA 100 Difficult Decisions

Introduction topic

  • A retrospective of Feral Attraction, from Episode One to now

    • Favorite Episodes of doing the show

      • Shame

      • Empathy

      • Non-violent communication

    • Least favorite moments of doing the show

    • Appearances in media

    • Responses to fandom / societal trends

      • Alt right

        • Intolerant to intolerance

        • If you have the patience and empathy, trying to understand where those who leaving the alt-furs are coming from may help

          • Offering a path to redemption for those who see the see error in their ways

          • Don’t put up with violations of your own boundaries

      • Response to “Coddling of the American mind” and the decline in classical liberal values

        • Punching left when we need to punch right

        • Remember the value of big tent politics; it’s how durable social change is accomplished

        • Replacing treating ignorance with anger with empathy

        • Be better judges of intent

        • Don’t reject science that doesn’t fit a narrative, the left needs to remain reality-based!

  • How have we changed since starting the show

  • What changes can we expect to see coming forward

    • Metriko's departure (46:00)

Topic

How to give yourself the best advice for decision making

  • Pretend you are advising a friend

    • Your short-term emotions (and even your nostalgia/memories) can interfere with rational decision making

    • This helps you to overcome your default assumptions and sometimes make decisions that are the opposite of what you typically would

      • This can be helpful if you need to break out of your comfort zone a lot

      • Even if you end up going with the more comfortable decision, it allows for you to think more critically. We advise the following steps:

        • List all your assumptions about the decision

        • Reverse each assumption to its opposite

        • Ask yourself how to accomplish each reversal

      • This will again allow for you to determine what it is you really want to get out of the decision itself

    • Metriko: I use a KK Slider Amiibo and I address it like I am talking to myself

  • Limit the amount of information

    • While it is true that the more information you have available, the better, the catch is that it depends on the information being ready.

    • There is a point of diminishing returns with information, and we can get stuck in a rabbit hole of trying to find that missing piece of information rather than actually making a decision

    • Ron Friedman, Ph.D., wrote the following on this principle:

      • Generally, that curiosity is useful. In our evolutionary past, knowing whether that rustling in the bushes belonged to a tiger or a mouse could have meant the difference between life and death. We're wired to reduce uncertainty because our minds were adapted for another, more hazardous, time. Seeking out information comes with a downside, however, which accounts for the intriguing difference between the two groups. When data is missing, we overestimate its value. Our mind assumes that since we are expending resource locating information, it must be useful.

      • https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/glue/201212/why-too-much-data-disables-your-decision-making

  • Ask yourself if the decision is reversible

    • At many points we make important decisions that might be life altering, but we imagine they will be permanent. While moving across the country is a big deal, that doesn’t mean that we can never afford the opportunity to move back.

    • The inconvenience might be overwhelming, but it can be reverted.

    • Again, this goes hand in hand with having too much information-- oftentimes even making a full pro/con sheet will cause us to focus too much on the information gathering and mitigation than it will the actual decision itself

  • Set a time limit for decision making

    • For small decisions (where to go to eat, whether to buy X or Y), consider a time limit of 2 minutes.

    • For larger decisions, especially ones that impact groups of people, try to take time to ensure that they are involved in the decision making process, but don’t give too much time as to never arrive at a conclusion. If a train doesn’t reach its destination it runs out of fuel and goes nowhere fast.

      • Sometimes though taking some time away from the decision and not thinking about it will help. Oftentimes a good night’s sleep will give a clearer head and easier decision making and problem solving

  • Ask if other people would be expected to do the same

    • Sometimes the decisions we make are not ones we feel are fair

      • Moving shifts at work

      • Moving across the country because a mate got a new job

  • Establish a Standard Operating Procedure

    • You can mitigate future choices, often with a simple if/then approach

      • If I am offered a new job with better pay, then I will tell my current work to see if they will increase my pay. If they tell me no then I will accept the other job.

    • Standard Operating Procedures can help to make unpredictable, unforeseen decisions a part of your routine, and rather than languishing over the decisions then you can actively make them

  • Think in both short term and long term

    • It’s easy to avoid making decisions because of a short term inconvenience, even if it presents a long term benefit

    • Think of decisions in a psychological sense of consequence-- positive and negative-- and try to make decisions that have the most long term positive consequences for you.

    • If you exist in reaction mode, only acting on the short term, and don’t plan proactively, more often than not we don’t make the difficult choices that are of maximum benefit

  • Consider the decisions you make and try to reduce the amount of active decision making you do in a day

    • A study from Columbia University shows we make roughly 70 conscious decisions a day and this leads to decision fatigue, where we are exhausted of choosing and either don’t choose at all or go with the most convenient option

      • This can actually have an impact on our integrity where we go along with things we typically would not just out of ego depletion

    • Try to analyze and make important decisions early in the day, and minimize the decisions you make

      • Even things as limiting your wardrobe will help

      • Regulating your life (you wake up at certain times, you eat certain things, you live in a routine way) may seem boring, but there is still room for improvisation and you curb the amount of decisions you make drastically

    • Avoid the past-tense What-If Game

      • While mitigating is a valid approach, that only works for setting up future decision making processes. Giving in to the hypothetical of “what if I’d gone the other way” is just us spinning our wheels

        • We need to live in the present, not in the past

        • Ultimately, we can only operate with the information we currently know

          • Professor Jim Taylor says “The bottom line of decision making involves determining which potential decision will offer the best possible outcome based on what we know now."

    • Stop Dreading Making Important Decisions

      • Philosopher Ruth Chang says this in her TED talk on making hard choices:

        • Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.

Closer

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Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.