Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

17 Oct 2005, 13:14 p.m.

Decision Procedures

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

When I go to a restaurant, I limit myself to choosing from a fraction of the offerings at that restaurant. I have made one very big decision (continuing to be vegetarian) that frees me from many tiny decisions throughout my daily life. It is much easier to choose among four equally appealing options than among fifteen. Since I live in an area where restaurants always have a few vegetarian options, I don't lack for variety, but I space the variety out among meals.

Sometimes, I'll go to Greens, or Herbivore, or Golden Era, and find myself gobsmacked at the choices available to me. Just as, after turning 21, I had to rerender my map of the world, reminding myself of each bar I passed that I could enter it freely and legally, I stare at the Lucky Creation menu for minutes, trying to accustom myself to the concept that I could eat anything on there.

I've cleansed my closet and dresser of clothes I didn't want. So now I have a slightly more limited selection of clothes, but all of them are ones I want to wear. I've both created and removed constraints. And constraints are how we get anything done.