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insight into decision making
7/19/2008 4:56:09 AM

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in
use while the other disused. Only one child played on the disused
track, the rest on the operational track.

The train is coming, and you are just beside the track interchange.
You can make the train change its course to the disused track and save
most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing
by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the
train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could
make........ ........

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and
sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess.
Exactly, I thought the same way initially because to save most of the
children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most
people would make, morally and emotionally.

But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the
disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe

Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends
who chose to play where the danger was. This kind of dilemma happens
around us everyday. In the office, community, in politics and
especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed
for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant
the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority
are. The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational
track was sidelined. And in case he was sacrificed, no one would shed
a tear for him.
~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~

While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need
to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be
the right ones.

"Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular
isn't always right."

Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils.


7/20/2008 7:32:03 AM

I still remember our CMT classes. During drills, if one commits mistake, everybody is punished. Fault of one, fault of all. I always followed instructions. I tried not to commit mistakes. I mastered the drills, but I was always punished everytime we have drills. One day, I walked out of the drill area because I've always been punished. That's the only day I was absent. The next day I reported, I was again punished because of what I did. I understand the rule but sometimes it's hard to accept.

I really can't imagine if the lone child playing in the disused track (he believes to be safe) will be sacrificed and those who did the wrong thing will be saved! On the other hand, I can't also imagine a leader who would favor the majority doing the wrong thing! So, what would be the lesson? YOU ARE SAFE IF YOU ARE WITH THE MAJORITY (OMG!).

Leo Beligan
7/25/2008 12:54:42 PM

Alex thanks for your insight.


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