About Druid Decision Science:
Decision Science is the study of the ways in which humans, and human organizations, make decisions about their various activities. It can include formal analytic techniques such as risk-analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis. It may include the application of statistical procedures. It may involve operations research techniques, or mathematical modeling techniques. But most frequently, it involves emotionally-driven decisions based on the old, “I can feel it in my bones” method: Choice A makes me feel uncomfortable, so I won’t do that. Choice B makes me feel good at the moment, so I will jump right in, without further ado.
The trouble is: emotional decision making gets humanity into trouble.
So, why do so many people rely upon it? Simple: most decision science methods make people lacking advanced degrees in math and science – and even some people with advanced degrees in math and science –really uncomfortable. The analysis, itself, is simply so difficult that it causes people to despair. And no matter what people say, the difficult decisions are difficult because it is NEVER a simple matter of good vs. evil, but of “good for whom, in what context, and at what price” versus “good for which other people, or in what other context, and at what price.” It is about competing values, both between individuals and within the mind of any given individual.
So, rather than spend our time struggling with complex issues in confusing shades of grey, feeling stupid in the process, and miserably lost at the end of the struggle, we simply close our eyes and go with our guts. And then, we look for blog posts that support whatever decision we have made.
As a Druid, I know that the stakes are too high for that. I hold the Earth as a sacred, living being that merits at least as much love and respect as I do. I know there are others who feel as I do about this, and I want to help out, as best I can.
I happen to hold a few of those advanced degrees in math and science (M.S. in Physics & Science Education from SUNY Brockport, and a Ph.D. in Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University). But I also know how to talk like a person, and I can share the stories of how I came to various personal & family policy decisions, in plain English, for whatever value that might have for my readers. I do not claim to have “the right answers” that hold for all people in all contexts, but I do claim to have made some “right decisions” for myself and my family, based on solid, scientific analyses.
In the posts of this section, I share my decision-making journey. I hope you will find something of value here, to help you along your own decision-making journey.