Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is it good enough?

Being a finch would narrow down the choices some. Is it food? Yep.
Like most things, the question comes back to: given your situation, what do you want?
What do you want is one of two fundamental problems. Either you don't know what you want or you don't know how to get it.
The big version of that question is insufficiently constrained to be useful without three weeks in an ashram. If you have that answer, carry on. You'll be unstoppable.
In the drive-thru, the what do you want question comes with enough context to be easy: burger, fries, drink.It's good enough.
Would a six course prix-fixé with wine pairings be better? Probably. And sometimes the drive-thru is good enough.
It's a question of satisficing, opportunity cost and horizon. What do you want? How much do you want it relative to everything else? How much energy do you want to put into deviating from the default option?
In math, the local maximum of a function is the peak where the values go down in both directions. If up is 'better', doing less makes things worse, and doing more makes things worse too.
Good enough: Best available option within how much you care.
If you're looking at a wider horizon, it may open up other possibilities to optimize outside of your local max.
If you can easily improve, you're probably not at a local max. Keep improving.
Don't forget, you're on the clock. Everything becomes good enough when you run out of time or energy to change it.
It might not ever be perfect. And it might be good enough.

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