Category Archives: 140+

Precomputed Choices

We make tons of choices in life. Some are the choices we make more consciously and carefully – the big hairy audacious choices (after BHAG) such as choosing a job, or graduate school, or a life partner and some more mundane ones – going to the movies or staying in, getting a drink at a pub or going to a fine dining restaurant, reading a book or going to the gym.

Frequently a lot of the latter aren’t choices at all. They are so instinctive that you do them without the act of ‘making a choice’. Thus, in everyday life, one has a ‘precomputed set of choices’ – time spent on work, with your better half,  friends,  video games etc. A precomputed choice is a choice that one has made after (typically unconsciously) factoring in all the other choices that existed.

It is both a challenge to change them – that is why changing a habit is hard – because while you did something unconsciously before, you now have to make an active effort to make a different choice – example – giong to the gym instead of sitting at home. The other issue arises when other people don’t see it for what they are, and instead assume that your consciously choose to slight them, and therefore have misplaced choices – for example, choosing to spend more time with one set of people or another.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

140+ is a new category for my blog that I am creating for lone thoughts and ideas that come to my head, but I never find the time to write an insightful post about them and they just don’t fit in the 140 character Twitter constraint (And I refuse to use those other apps that link to a separate site).

So, what are withdrawal symptoms? Withdrawal symptoms (normally this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withdrawal) is the phrase I am using to describe the initial resistance people show to something new because they are used to the old equivalents (Facebook design changes come to mind, iPad launch comes to mind). Also, how to do you do useful ‘human-centered’ design when you are creating something different from what people are already used to?