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Bon Journal

Yoga, tai chi, or party?

I do ashtanga yoga on Sunday afternoons. Today, there's a new tai chi class right afterwards. If I didn't have a visitor, and if I hadn't accepted an invitation to a tea party, I would have gone to these classes.

My friend tells me there are two kinds of decision analyses: multi-attribute and decision trees. In the former, you have to select among items which have lots of features (such as deciding on a car, stereo system, etc). In the latter, it's about uncertainty.

Today, my decision is based on trade-offs. It's a multi-criteria trade-off analysis, the third kind of decision analysis. I clearly can't do yoga and attend the party. I thought of bringing my friend to the party and I go off to do yoga. I thought of going to the party with my friend and then going to tai chi by myself. I have to consider whether my friend will feel comfortable among strangers. I'm also aware that it's not polite to leave my friend in a stranger's house.

In the end, I skipped yoga and tai chi, rationalising to myself that these classes won't disappear. But the combination of my visitor and the party will. One-off events are worth attending. Recurring events are worth skipping.

In the rain, we cycled to the house where the party was held. I made my raspberry crumble with Creme Anglaise, otherwise known as custard. Each portion was small enough for each person to want more. But there was no more left. Similarly, I passed around copies of my Bon Journal newsletter to get feedback. Each issue was a dim sum of sorts -- just enough to whet the appetite. I played the piano, or rather, improvised with two guitar players. Again, we played long enough to want more.

Four hours later, we're the last to leave the party. The others wanted more of my berry crumble, my writing, and my piano playing. I don't think yoga and tai chi would have given me this feeling of being so wanted.

20 October 2002 Sunday

Decision analysis
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