Sunday, January 04, 2009

I See Life In Algorithms

As I go through life, I am confronted in many different situations. Most of them are simple and come to a quick and easy solution. Some are more complex. When this happens I run the who thing through an algorithm. An algorithm, as defined by Merriam-Webster Online, is defined as a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer. I'll sit there and break down every decision and every choice and reaction that might happen. This is what usually helps keep me out of trouble but it usually ends up with the safe answer of not doing anything and avoiding people or situations.

Here is an example:

I had a chance to go to Walt Disney World in Florida one summer as an intern for school. I singed up and got accepted. It was going to pay minimum wage and have my room and board taken directly out of my pay check. While I was there I would be in monorail operations and attend classes. They had buses to take you to town if you needed things and you lived 4-8 to a suite. With all that described, I ultimately didn't go. It was based on three parts, one was on getting down there, second were the bills that I had accumulated at the time and had to be paid, and general felling of how would people accept me down there.

Let us take part one, getting down there. The first option, and the one I was rooting for was, was driving my car driving down there. With that came the following issues. One is gas money, the cost to get there and back and to run around down there. Two, maintenance and break downs. Back then I would have my father and I fix my car, being that far away, it wouldn't be feasible. What if it is stolen? What if it is Damaged? Etc. So, what other ways to get down there. We could fly. Well you would have to plan two one way tickets there and back. The second you would have to plan while you are there because you could be asked to stay on for a second semester. Well then there is the price. They aren't cheap. Would I have enough saved to pay for the second ticket home. Plus how would I get from the airport to Disney. Take a taxi, that would be a fortune. Try to figure out the bus schedule. There are still a lot of variables, but the main one is the money issue, especially for the return trip. This all leads in to bills that need to be paid.

The second main thing holding me back from going to Disney was that of the large amount of bills I had accumulated in my brief but expensive life so far. I was about 20,000 dollars in debt at the time and was barely making the minimum payments for the bills. I racked up all this debt from living with my then fiancée. It was from the both of us living on credit cards and trying to live together without money management. If I only knew then what I know now. I eventually filed for bankruptcy. This is a major NO is the Disney quest that I was on. There would been no way for me to be able to keep up with my bills with being there and everything. I needed my job as a pizza delivery driver to get by. It was a hard money management lesson I had to learn.

The third reason is a more personal reason and has to do with me self esteem. I thought that I wouldn't be able to get along with the roommate that I would have because of a few factors. One, I am not the most organized person in the world. I am organized through chaos. But a lot of guys my age are like that so that may not have been as big of an issue at I thought. Secondly would be my biggest hurdle, and that would be my size and the way most people I think people react to it. At least form the mind of a 20 year old. I thought they would not accept me and not include me in going out or going into the part for recreation and stuff. I just thought they wouldn't let me be their friend. It was a hard thing for me growing up and at the time, trying to make good and close friends so that is why this made me not go to Disney.

So as you can see my thought pattern in that it follows an algorithm. I look at things that I want to do and the options to get them done, and see if they pass the yes no algorithm. In this case, and in most cases it seems, that it always fails to not doing what I would like to see happen. You should see it when I apply it to relationships. Sometime I get into the algorithm to a fault and I will just go into seeing what should happen if a happen do they react b or c. Well if b well continue, if c stop. Sometimes I get ahead of my self and I start looking at it days, weeks, months, and sometimes even what years of decisions would bring. It is this kind of thinking that gets me in trouble, because I think I see where everything is going to go and most of the time it leads to a bad end in my mind. I think that is because that is where mostly all my relationships have lead to.

At any rate, can I keep applying the algorithm decision making process to my life. Most of the time it has lead to me not doing what I most wished because of this way of making decisions. But the real question is, do I have the fortitude to make decisions with out my decision making process I have leaned on all my life.

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