1801: "Decision Paralysis"

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1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Hiferator » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:02 am UTC

Image

Title text: "Good point--making no decision is itself a decision. So that's a THIRD option I have to research!"

When I read the title I knew this comic would feature a situation I could see myself in. I do this over-thinking decisions-thing all the time; and don't point out a third option if you want a decision this week.^^"

I'm sure I'm not the only one; it seems like something Randall's demographic would be prone to.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:13 am UTC

If they ever eventually get to the base, I hope he doesn't get stuck deciding between defusing the bomb or disarming the bomb. Options, options...

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby mfb » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:58 am UTC

Take the left car. You won't get into the right car at the driver's side.
Unless this is in the UK, then take the right car.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby speising » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:12 am UTC

Or, since time seems to be at a premium, take the one that's easier to hack. Might not be so easy to google that.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Hiferator » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:53 am UTC

@mfb: But what if one's a left-hand drive and the other's a right-hand drive?

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:13 pm UTC

I see two cars and two people. Seems there's a clear optimal approach :-).

Unless only one of them knows how to defuse the bomb (and, based on previous answers, only the other one knows how to disarm the bomb :mrgreen: ).

I can also submit yet another alternative: pick the car with built-in wifi and SSH to the bomb, hack the password via the famous keyboard-mashing technique, and shut it down just as the countdown LED gets to 00:04 .
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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:40 pm UTC

I was going to either say that I'm also a person who doesn't like making decisions, or just suggest that a straight roads trip of any decent length can best use the highest top speed (even without the traction control, that it already has), whilst a convoluted journey of multiple shorter disjointed lengths could do with the acceleration (and some traditional judicious 'feeling the road') as long as the brakes were up for it.

So, do we know what the route look like? Where's our personal HUD with the rotating map and radar-blip of the first checkpoint on it?

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Flumble » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:27 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:and shut it down just as the countdown LED gets to 00:04 .

These are the worst bombs: no matter how early you arrive to the scene, they only allow to be defused in the last ε to 10 seconds.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby orthogon » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:06 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:I see two cars and two people. Seems there's a clear optimal approach :-).

Unless only one of them knows how to defuse the bomb (and, based on previous answers, only the other one knows how to disarm the bomb :mrgreen: ).

Or only one of them knows how to drive? (Not being able to drive is totally a thing in the UK).

cellocgw wrote:I can also submit yet another alternative: pick the car with built-in wifi and SSH to the bomb, hack the password via the famous keyboard-mashing technique, and shut it down just as the countdown LED gets to 00:04 .

... by entering a valid tar command?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby gd1 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:00 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
cellocgw wrote:and shut it down just as the countdown LED gets to 00:04 .

These are the worst bombs: no matter how early you arrive to the scene, they only allow to be defused in the last ε to 10 seconds.


No no, that's perfect. It's Schrödinger's bomb. Just ignore it and it won't go off. Or go out to breakfast, watch a movie, play some computer games, and then go disarm the bomb when you feel like it.

Hiferator wrote:@mfb: But what if one's a left-hand drive and the other's a right-hand drive?


Right one is left hand drive. Left one is right hand drive.
Last edited by gd1 on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:01 pm UTC

Maybe the cars were made by the same company as in the movie Pacific Rim. Maybe they need two compatible pilots to operate.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby somitomi » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:11 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:I see two cars and two people. Seems there's a clear optimal approach :-).

There's still the decision about who gets into which car, a formidable conundrum if you ask me :mrgreen:
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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby abide » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:45 pm UTC

Decision Analysis Paralysis

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:18 pm UTC

To which the cure is the old adage "Shit or get off the pot."

Wisdom of the ancients, right there.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby poof312 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:25 pm UTC

Traction control? Unless you suck at driving, Traction control is a negative, not a positive. Just ask Jeremy Clarkson!

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby qvxb » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:44 pm UTC

Check Consumer Reports and choose the car with the best frequency of repair record.

If the bomb is less than a quarter of a mile away, look for a fuel-injected Stingray and a 413.

If the cars are a Yugo and a Trabant, just go home because you'll never make it in time.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby orthogon » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:52 pm UTC

poof312 wrote:Traction control? Unless you suck at driving, Traction control is a negative, not a positive. Just ask Jeremy Clarkson!

There may be a significant correlation between tendency to decision paralysis and sucking at driving. Driving requires you to make arbitrary or near-arbitrary decisions all the time. I'm reminded of those signs that say "Use All Lanes", an imperative that makes perfect sense in the second person plural but is highly unhelpful for the individual driver.

(The public transport equivalent is "use all available doors").
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:57 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:To which the cure is the old adage "Shit or get off the pot."

But which one of those options should I choose? In order to 'shit' I have to resolve the original conundrum, but to 'get off the pot' is to forego whatever benefit hoped to be gained by making the correct decision in that conundrum, so now I have to weigh whether the effort of resolving the original conundrum is worth the benefit hoped to be gained or not, which is just yet another conundrum...

(That was a joke, but meta-problems like that are a bigger problem for me than first-order problems. There's that old prayer asking for "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" and to me that last part is the entirety of the problem. If there's nothing to be done, fine, I'll just do nothing, why would I try at something that's futile. And if I can change it and just have to do it, of course I'll just do it, no question. The hard part is: will I be wasting effort trying to do something that turns out to actually be futile, or will I be letting opportunities pass by doing nothing when a challenge seems insurmountable but actually wouldn't be if I tried?)
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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:30 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I'm reminded of those signs that say "Use All Lanes", an imperative that makes perfect sense in the second person plural but is highly unhelpful for the individual driver.

Image

(That must have been a wild ride, for the driver, looking at the way his cab is facing.)

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:55 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Whizbang wrote:To which the cure is the old adage "Shit or get off the pot."

But which one of those options should I choose? In order to 'shit' I have to resolve the original conundrum, but to 'get off the pot' is to forego whatever benefit hoped to be gained by making the correct decision in that conundrum, so now I have to weigh whether the effort of resolving the original conundrum is worth the benefit hoped to be gained or not, which is just yet another conundrum...

(That was a joke, but meta-problems like that are a bigger problem for me than first-order problems. There's that old prayer asking for "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" and to me that last part is the entirety of the problem. If there's nothing to be done, fine, I'll just do nothing, why would I try at something that's futile. And if I can change it and just have to do it, of course I'll just do it, no question. The hard part is: will I be wasting effort trying to do something that turns out to actually be futile, or will I be letting opportunities pass by doing nothing when a challenge seems insurmountable but actually wouldn't be if I tried?)


The answer is simple, once simplified.

The amount of time you can spend on deciding on an action to take must be equal to or less than the amount of time saved by making the decision.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Flumble » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:18 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Whizbang wrote:To which the cure is the old adage "Shit or get off the pot."

But which one of those options should I choose? In order to 'shit' I have to resolve the original conundrum, but to 'get off the pot' is to forego whatever benefit hoped to be gained by making the correct decision in that conundrum, so now I have to weigh whether the effort of resolving the original conundrum is worth the benefit hoped to be gained or not, which is just yet another conundrum...

(That was a joke, but meta-problems like that are a bigger problem for me than first-order problems. There's that old prayer asking for "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" and to me that last part is the entirety of the problem. If there's nothing to be done, fine, I'll just do nothing, why would I try at something that's futile. And if I can change it and just have to do it, of course I'll just do it, no question. The hard part is: will I be wasting effort trying to do something that turns out to actually be futile, or will I be letting opportunities pass by doing nothing when a challenge seems insurmountable but actually wouldn't be if I tried?)


The answer is simple, once simplified.

The amount of time you can spend on deciding on an action to take must be equal to or less than the amount of time saved by making the decision.

But how do I know how much time each of those parts take?

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Keyman » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:14 pm UTC

A childhood spent walking while reading books has prepared me unexpectedly well for today's world.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:26 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Whizbang wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Whizbang wrote:To which the cure is the old adage "Shit or get off the pot."

But which one of those options should I choose? In order to 'shit' I have to resolve the original conundrum, but to 'get off the pot' is to forego whatever benefit hoped to be gained by making the correct decision in that conundrum, so now I have to weigh whether the effort of resolving the original conundrum is worth the benefit hoped to be gained or not, which is just yet another conundrum...

(That was a joke, but meta-problems like that are a bigger problem for me than first-order problems. There's that old prayer asking for "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" and to me that last part is the entirety of the problem. If there's nothing to be done, fine, I'll just do nothing, why would I try at something that's futile. And if I can change it and just have to do it, of course I'll just do it, no question. The hard part is: will I be wasting effort trying to do something that turns out to actually be futile, or will I be letting opportunities pass by doing nothing when a challenge seems insurmountable but actually wouldn't be if I tried?)


The answer is simple, once simplified.

The amount of time you can spend on deciding on an action to take must be equal to or less than the amount of time saved by making the decision.

But how do I know how much time each of those parts take?


Well, being srs for a moment, you make an educated guess. If the time to perform the task is so short you can't make even a rough guess at the time saved for each, then you'll just have to go with a gut feelings or random choice or familiar action over the unfamiliar. Certainly vacillating or not choosing isn't the right choice, if the given task is necessary or important.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby morriswalters » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:19 pm UTC

Steal both cars and race to the bomb. Winner defuses.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:12 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:To which the cure is the old adage "Shit or get off the pot."

Wisdom of the ancients, right there.


Congratulations, you get to face the next challenge - a decision which is very close, but might be possible to resolve without resorting to an arbitrary decision.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby dclxvi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:13 am UTC

It's Buridan's Ass with cars instead of animals. Does Pixar know about this?

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby morriswalters » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:45 am UTC

The hard part is: will I be wasting effort trying to do something that turns out to actually be futile, or will I be letting opportunities pass by doing nothing when a challenge seems insurmountable but actually wouldn't be if I tried?)
Make enough decisions and you'll do both. You find serenity when you can accept that.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby somitomi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:01 pm UTC

qvxb wrote:If the cars are a Yugo and a Trabant, just go home because you'll never make it in time.

I beg to differ1. The Trabant also has the advantage of being so simple, that fixing it on the side of the road with two spanners and tinfoil is actually feasible from what I've heard.

1But just so I could link Trabant rallye cars
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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Reka » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:25 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:The Trabant also has the advantage of being so simple, that fixing it on the side of the road with two spanners and tinfoil is actually feasible from what I've heard.

An auto mechanic friend once fixed my mom's (later mine) Volkswagen squareback with a bottle cap (scrounged in the parking lot) and a bit of wire. Granted, it was just so they could drive the car a few miles to his shop and actually fix it, but still.

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Re: 1801: "Decision Paralysis"

Postby Schol-R-LEA » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:26 am UTC

OK, so I am somewhat late here... though it is a repeat of something I Twitted the day it came out:

So, if Black Hat did this to Cueball intentionally, would that make him Buridan's (cl)asshole?


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