Choices, choices, choices

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Tom Ela » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 22:47:53


he battle has raged for years, inside the sacred virtual halls of
CSMA and beyond, over who has the best computer platform. It's time
to stop the silliness.

Choices, we all have to make them. Even more fundamentally, we are
making choices every moment. By reading this post, you are making a
choice. The brand of computer and the software you are using are also
choices. Every aspect of your life that led to the present moment is
the consequence of past choices. Choice is even more certain than
death and taxes, those after all also represent choices we make.
(Yes, death is a choice, at least as long as you are alive.)

If choices are so basic, then how do we make them? The process is not
simple. Each choice we make is a complex decision with many possible
alternatives. In most cases, out of all the possibilities we only get
to take one. How do we sort through those and choose that one that is
"best"?

In economics we teach a simple decision model that has enormous power
to explain how humans make decisions. It rests on a few common sense
assumptions: 1) we are rational, that is we decide based on what we
regard is the best for us at that moment; 2) diminishing returns
apply, that is the more we have of something, the less we enjoy one
more unit of that item per fixed unit of time; 3) we make decisions on
the margin, that is we consider what one additional unit of something
is worth; 4) resources (time and income) are limited.

Though not part of the model, we know that the values upon which
choices are made are different for different people. We also know
that those values can change over time as we assimilate new
information and experiences.

(Rich and poor alike, we all have the same problems. Bill Gates and
Steve Jobs may be richer than me, and their range of choice may be
much wider, but at the end of the day they nonetheless have to make
choices. Besides, even if they have more money, they still don't have
more time. I find that to be very satisfying to ponder)

Based on those assumptions it is trivially easy to show that the
optimum set of decisions result when we choose to allocate time and
money so that every dollar of income and every second of time is spent
so as to equalize the marginal amount of satisfaction receive from
every one of those dollars and seconds. This is also a logically
simple result - if any one choice gives us more satisfaction on the
margin than any other choice we could increase satisfaction by buying
or doing less of something and more of the choice with a higher
marginal value.

If we apply the economic decision model to the choice of computer the
decision turns out to be not a simple "which is best" but a much more
complex "which is best for me in the situation I face today." The
values upon which that decision will be determined are intensely
personal, and not subject to review by a 3rd party referee. That
explains why the arguments get so heated - the values placed on the
differences are very different for different people, and we do not
like it when people try to tell us what our values "should" be.

In my own case I find that Windows machines do everything I need from
a computer, and more. Furthermore, I have worked with Windows since
version 3.0, and I know how to use the OS and Windows-based programs.
Since Windows 2000 came out the stability and hardware compatibility
have both improved significantly. In other words
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Bob » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 22:57:58

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,


MANY, MANY WORDS SNIPPED

Cripes. This is a man with way too much time on his hands.

--
Cheers,

Bob S

 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by TravelinMa » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 23:01:30

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,


[snip of Tommy's self-rationalization]


Good. Now go away.


No Mac user I know ever denied that. After all, most Mac users have to
use Windows at least some of the time. Many of us buy both - yet prefer
the Mac.

AND, you'll notice that Mac users aren't over in COMA spreading FUD like
you and your Windroid buddies are doing here.
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Tom Ela » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 23:04:15


Retirement is a wonderful thing, it does change the amount of time you
have to play.

Tom
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Tom Ela » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 23:06:18

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 14:01:30 GMT, TravelinMan < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >




Joey, everything we do is rationalization. You seem to regard think
that everything is absolute. It's not. Have a great day.

Tom
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by TravelinMa » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 23:10:51

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,





I noticed that you haven't responded to any of the content of my post.
Why is that?
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by imouttaher » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 23:20:18

>Why is that?

Seen Tom's new boat?

www.fishinfrenzy.com/idx.troll.jpg
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by TravelinMa » Tue, 19 Apr 2005 23:43:13

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



I don't think so.

Given how he keeps bragging that he can't afford a real computer, his
boat probably looks more like:

http://www.yqcomputer.com/
nly_0/103-2942795-0291832?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=585496&s=imaginarium
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by NashtO » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:35:49

om Elam wrote:

Well put, Tom but why bother with the Mac fanboi?

Nicolas
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Tom Ela » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:36:12

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 14:43:13 GMT, TravelinMan < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >



Typical Mac user attitude. If you cannot attack the decision, attack
the decision maker. Weak, weak, response. Pitiful, really.

Just goes to show; my argument is airtight, the logic is impeccable,
and the critics have nothing to add.

Tom
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Tom Ela » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:45:32

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 14:01:30 GMT, TravelinMan < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >




Good for them. If they want to spend the extra money for something
that, within their framework of personal values, gives them
satisfaction, then this is exactly what they should do. The fact that
I don't want to spend that money for something I don't want is also
OK.


You, Joe, are the king of FUD. When you stop *** ing Windows users
as cheap, irresponsible, know-nothings I'll go away. Within the
subset of tasks I need done my computer can do anything that yours can
do. Yours may do things this one will not, and mine will do a few
things yours will not, and that is OK. In fact it is more than OK, it
is totally irrelevant to the point at hand.

So Joe, take your pompous, Mac-loving at any cost attitude, and shove
it where the sun don't shine

<deep breath> That felt good.

Tom
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by Tom Ela » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:49:45


It really bothers me when someone attacks my personal value paradigm.
Moreover, it bothers me even more when people refuse to acknowledge
facts in front of their face, and resort to personal attacks to
deflect the argument.

T~
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by TravelinMa » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:51:07

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,





Except for one thing - I don't go to a Windows advocacy group to talk
about the Mac or slam Windows users. Even here, I don't arbitrarily go
around calling Windows users 'cheap, irresponsible know-nothings' as you
claimed. In fact, I've repeatedly said that Mac users also use Windows -
which completely negates your allegation.


I see you've given up even pretending to be ratianal.


Making yourself look stupid makes you feel good? Whatever.
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by TravelinMa » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 00:51:37

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,




ROTFLMAO.

Then your job is done. Go away.
 
 
 

Choices, choices, choices

Post by TravelinMa » Wed, 20 Apr 2005 01:00:40

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,




No one's attacked your personal value paradigm.

You came to comp.sys.mac.advocacy to repeatedly post prices for the
computer that you like and taunted Mac users with it. You insist that
we're overpaying for our computers.

Seems to me that YOU are the one not respecting the values of others
here.


Then why are you doing that?