TED Conversations

Ramiro Benavides

Teacher - AP Calculus, Universidad Central del Ecuador

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Do you think that there is a revelation for everyone, a sort of a guideline for (re)designing our lives?

Sometimes, individuals feel that they need some kind of guidelines for continuing with their lives. Several reasons establish an stagnation-like way of living. Maybe you and I were in this situation in any time. It were hard to find a person who really understands our feelings and thoughts about a certain matter. So, we were forced to take crucial decisions by ourselves. But, in some cases, we realized that decisions taken this way were not the ones we should take. Then, we ask to ourselves: "Could we get some kind of revelation in order to feel we are doing 'the right thing' from now on?" What is the nature of this source of revelation? Can we trust this source of revelation? How can we be sure of the value and scope of revelations given? Are revelations only possible inside a theological framework?


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    Aug 2 2012: From your experience I think you learn when in a very similar situation to take the aforementioned short cut. When a situation is entirely new, you will need to make judgments again- and maybe once again look back when all is done and see a more straightforward way. That would be the inductive approach.
    If you are looking for a deductive approach, which is to say a prior analysis based on theory, how to make the most promising choices depends very much on the decision problem at hand.
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      Aug 3 2012: Thanks again, Fritzie. I don't understand quite well when you show those approaches for analyzing scenarios close to crossroads, because I think that those scenarios have not enough information for making a flat and precise decision. Indeed, those scenarios are random and even chaotic. Controlling consequences of the decisions about changing them it's something that, theoretically (read chaos and catastrophe theories), can be done. But, in fact, it's almost impossible to have a controlled scenario of this type. Instead, it's probably you the entity under the control of circumstances. This way, it emerges the paradox of who's the actor and who's the object of the action. That is, who's really making the last decision on this chaotic environment and who will be affected (and how) since the execution of those decisions. This is something that was formerly analyzed by some advanced economic theories, as well as by complexity theory. Thanks again for your collaboration.
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        Aug 3 2012: We make decisions all the time under uncertainty by using the information at hand and considering probabilities and risks. If we could act only in the face of "controlled scenarios," we would be in big trouble.

        Still, unless we have others make the decision of course of action for us, we make the decisions ourselves. The consequences follow from our decisions, from the responding and simultaneous acts of ohers, and from factors in the external environment, both endogenous to our decisions (affected by them) and exogenous (coming from the outside).

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