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How the Wizard of Oz Can Help You Make Better Decisions, by Adam Rifkin | LinkedIn

Stashed in: #lifehacks, LinkedIn, Emotion, Courage, Wizard of Oz, @ifindkarma, Fear, Management, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Give and Take, Benjamin Franklin, Roosevelt, success

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A framework for thinking through these important multifaceted choices must be efficient, offer a course of action, and instill more confidence than simply flipping a coin or just choosing anything.

The Wizard of Oz Decision Strategy is such a framework.

For any important decision, ask yourself:

  1. What do the facts say?
  2. Do I have the courage for this?
  3. What are my emotions telling me?

This post builds on some thought I wrote long ago on Quora (and later on PandaWhale) that was recently tweeted by Rachael King.

Read more:

Cool stuff.  


I've always loved Benjamin Franklin's Moral or Prudential Algebra, which he describes in a letter to Dr. Joseph Priestly on September 19, 1772:

"Dear Sir,

In the Affair of so much Importance to you, wherein you ask my Advice, I cannot for want of sufficient Premises, advise you what to determine, but if you please I will tell you how [bolding emphasis mine]. When these difficult Cases occur, they are difficult chiefly because while we have them under Consideration all the Reasons pro and con are not present to the Mind at the same time; but sometimes one Set present themselves, and at other times another, the first being out of Sight. Hence the various Purposes or Inclinations that alternately prevail, and the Uncertainty that perplexes us. To get over this, my Way is, to divide half a Sheet of Paper by a Line into two Columns, writing over the one Pro, and over the other Con. Then during three or four Days Consideration I put down under the different Heads short Hints of the different Motives that at different Times occur to me for or against the Measure. When I have thus got them all together in one View, I endeavour to estimate their respective Weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out: If I find a Reason pro equal to some two Reasons con, I strike out the three. If I judge some two Reasons con equal to some three Reasons pro, I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length where the Ballance [sic] lies; and if after a Day or two of farther Consideration nothing new that is of Importance occurs on either side, I come to a Determination accordingly. And tho’ the Weight of Reasons cannot be taken with the Precision of Algebraic Quantities, yet when each is thus considered separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, I think I can judge better, and am less likely to make a rash Step; and in fact I have found great Advantage from this kind of Equation, in what may be called Moral or Prudential Algebra..."


That is excellent. I love the phrase "prudential algebra".

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