The Grey Area

New personal twitter account at www.twitter.com/chrisburtkc.

A quick note unrelated to this post: Thanks to Amanda Vandervort (www.amandavandervort.com) linking up to my blog in one of her recent posts, I now feel pressured to get on here and write more frequently. I was for the time content to only promote this to my internal personal network on Facebook, but now it’s out there. My goal is once per week and it will probably be on Sunday, since that is about the only free time I ever have. It’s also the day that I spend freaking out about all of the work that I have to do, so this could be a good distraction/relief from that. By the way, this post by Amanda: http://www.amandavandervort.com/blog/2010/09/five-reasons-to-own-your-own-domain-name/ gives a good description of why I’m on here doing this. I’m just amazed at how much time it actually takes me to write something. Anyway, on to this weeks topic….  

So…I opened my first post about the site, by saying that I’m very opinionated and this would be a place for me to expand on those opinions. Well, that’s true and it isn’t. This post is about what I call the Grey Area. The area between absolute yes and absolute no and between black and white. This applies to both personal and professional thoughts and actions. A good friend and I, have on a couple of occassions, had a very good discussion on what I call binary code reasoning. He actually learned about this in psychology coursework, so I’m sure there is a true name for it, but I’m sticking to calling it the binary code reasoning.

The basic premise of this reasoning is that you are either all in with a decision (1) or completely out (0). For example, if I’m going to draft up a partnership with a company it is unlikely that I don’t have some doubts about the return on investment of the partnership. In the thought process of determining to partner with a company, I had to weigh all of the potential benefits against any drawbacks that may occur. So, my thought process is somewhere in that grey area or as the binary code reasoning would put it on a scale between (1) we partner with the company and (0) we don’t partner with the company. The binary code reasoning then simply states that when you go to act you’re either at 1 or 0 and no where in between. We can’t .9 partner with a company or .3 not partner with a company. We either are all in and partner or not. Make sense? The actual conversation that we were in that brought up this discussion was based around a personal relationship that I was in at the time. No matter where I was at in this grey area or scale between 0 and 1, I was either in the relationship (1) or not (0). It’s an over simplistic way to look at decisions and the thought process. There are faults, but when you think about it, every decision you make can be weighed on a 0 to 1 scale and if you’re closer to one side or the other, you make that choice and your actions are immediately at that end of the thought scale. 

I feel like that paragraph is a lot easier to explain in person than to put on paper. What does this mean and why is it important? The binary code reasoning is not what’s important here, but everything in between 1 and 0 (the grey area) and the thought process that we go through to get to the decision and action. A grey area signifies the problem of sorting reality and issues into clear cut categories. My opinion is that for the most part all of life is a grey area. No one individual knows more than 1% of 1% of all of the information in the universe. We live in a world right now where there are incredibly polarizing issues, including war, religion, abortion, gay marriage, international trade regulations and other government policies to name a few. Extremists on both sides of the issues can be unwilling to realize that they may not be absolutely right and the issue could be in the grey area.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” – Rene Descartes. 

 

New York City Mosque Protest

 

Who are we to say what is right and wrong? Who are we to make definitive decisions when we don’t have all of the information? For example, who am I to determine if the government’s stimulus package or other decisions to revive the economy were correct or not? Do I have the same information to review that they reviewed and debated prior to signing off on different policies? Do I know right now the condition of the economy fifteen years from now? 

I’m not saying don’t make decisions or make a stand for what you believe is right. I think one of the things that has made me successful is my willingness to make decisions and accept the results as the success or failure of my actions. The case that I want to make in this post, is that we should seek knowledge, recognize other options and realize that we don’t know every thing and there is no way to know the absolute right or wrong. I can’t judge the decisions, opinions or value of others unless I have all of the same information that they had/have available to them. We fail when we do not seek out all of the information available when making decisions or take the opportunity to really learn what the other side of the argument has to say. 

At the end of the day, you take all of the information that is available to you and you make the best decision possible. You don’t have all of the information in the world and you can’t accurately predict the future, but you can make a decision and put yourself 100% behind it……until it fails, then take responsibility for the mistake, learn from it and move-on. 

“Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our own power.” – Rene Descartes. 

 

 

My last thought for the day: The Kansas City Chiefs are not good. They’re better than last year and I think could be a playoff team next year if the young players continue to develop and they make some off-season roster moves, but they are not good right now. They will play a lot of close games with average teams and maybe some good teams at home, but they will lose more of those than they win. Good teams that can move the ball on offense consistently and pressure our offensive line will whip us.The Monday night football game at Arrowhead last week was unbelievable. One of the top live sporting events that I have ever been to. 

 

    

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