I’m going to spend some time on judgment and decision making. Careful readers may have noticed this thread running through many past posts. Before setting out, however, it is useful to determine a destination.

Finding herself at a crossroads, once upon a time, Alice sought help from the Cheshire Cat.

…‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘I don’t much care where—’ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

‘—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’1

Very often we find ourselves agonizing over a decision no finite being could ever make with certainty. In these situations, it’s better to make an instinctive choice or flip a coin, thereby preserving some mental energy to deal with the outcome.

‘In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,’ waving the other paw, ‘lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.

‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’

How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.

‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.2

Pick a path and start walking.

  1. Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. London: Heinemann, 1907. Kindle link ↩︎

  2. Carroll, Kindle link ↩︎