On Deciding . . . Better : Imagination as Simulation

On one monitor tonight I’m watching Garry Winogrand’s New School interview via 2point8. His work was just taking pictures. He transformed the ordinary by capturing it.

On my other monitor, Dave Rogers reminded me just how long we’ve been at this. The Edit This Page group is now going on 9 years of online writing.

Groundhog Day: “Tomorrow will mark the ninth anniversary of my effort in this thing called ‘blogging,’ or, as I tend to think of it, ‘ranting into the void to no discernible effect.’ Not sure if longevity counts for anything, but there it is. Been here longer than Scoble. Go me.”

I think Dave can safely assume his writing has been toward some end, as we have all moved to occupy different spaces than we did 9 years ago. We’ve gotten somewhere, but not where we imagined back then. I still enjoy reading Dave’s work on figuring out exactly how that works.

Since my original weblog is now lost to time and the discontinuation of the ETP servers, I go to the Internet Archive every once in a while to read what I wrote back then. From Dec 5, 1999:

On Deciding . . . Better : Imagination as Simulation: “Simple solutions to complex problems are usually wrong. Complex problems usually require complex solutions. In a complex situation it can be hard to know which variables are important. We tend to act from simple biases based on simple analogies once complexity becomes too great.

When decisions involve uncertainty, multiple goals and multiple effects technology can help amplify imagination. In my own life, I’ve been exploring how this technology can help me clarify my goals, understand my assumptions and help me act in a way that is most consistant with what I believe.”

My set of concerns are very different now and my approach to this complexity is also very different. My decisions are now much smaller and short term. They are less focused on getting someplace, less focused on defining path. More taken with what to do rather than which to do.

The problems are no less complex and the uncertainty is just as great. Yet rather than looking at the pieces analytically, I’ve moved to a wider view in which emergence of choice dominates analysis of options.

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