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What is Choice?

Decisions are not weighed or executed upon a fixed grid of values; rather, they are honed on an ever-focused set of comparable, relative and recognizable Boolean-style bases generated from the operable, recollected, near-replicable sets of perceptible data presented by ever-developing episodes: whether to strike the F key instead of the D key; whether to check one’s Facebook news feed, to respond to an e-mail, to drift into the kitchen for a quick snack, to hydrate, to go for a run, or to stay the course. 

The reader can easily follow the train of thought which has heretofore directed the ever-comparable sets of inductively-relatable options. The controller of this vast grid is always oblivious to a near-infinite array of alternatives which might, under a variety of other circumstances, appear viable and relevant to his position. 

For example, Miguel Cabrera is far less likely to consider the value of the shotgun offense while he approaches the plate at Comerica Park, while game-time Tony Romo is likewise seldom, if ever, focused on scheduling his next dental appointment, navigating the skies in an F-22, or considering inclusively the myriad dynamics which will physically enable a successful ball transference from the hands of his center, Travis Frederick, to his own. The process is simply executed through the near-intuitive exercise of replicated, practiced expectations. 

Of course, those athletes widely considered to be the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks have long been those players who have focused not upon the anatomical physics of their teammates’ hands, their college majors, or the scores of other values complementing their respective lifestyles, but rather upon the coverage and pass-rushing schemes of their opponents. Oftentimes quarterbacks will fumble a snap, lose track of the play clock or game clock as it ticks toward zero, or complete the throwing motion after dropping the ball. This is the consequence of pruning, priming, proactive interference and flow, all of which predispose subjects to circumstances which enable strict and attentive focus on practically and historically useful, reliable translations and processes and upon particularly pressing or enjoyable tasks while ignoring surrounding, imbedded, and non-crucial information. 

This phenomenon is critical to a complete understanding of volition and choice in the market. Whereas onlookers will occasionally cite foolish on-field mistakes, or errors, during any game, the fans will rarely focus on the computational front on the sidelines and in the press boxes or the largely unseen dynamics across the average 134 plays during any game, let alone the greater business of the stadium, the team’s executive office, or the surrounding metropolis. 

Of course, these bystanders have become nearly completely outcome-focused, as they far more intimately understand the object of the game than they comprehend its intricate processes, never hesitating to praise their teams’ respective successes while offering relatively little appreciation for the off-the-screen practices and near-miracles of timed and positioned force regularly producing momentary gaps for the running back to navigate upfield or for the quarterback to scramble away from defenders to allow time for his receiver downfield to create separation and open a throwing lane. 

These lapses in critical and macro awareness, patience, and judgment can create grave consequences, and they often appear upon podiums, grandstands, magazine stands, online publications, less-than-scholarly research, hastily- and sloppily-manufactured theory, and nearly every television station across the globe, even those which purport to be more serious and newsworthy than the rest. 

This is the never-ending episode of polylogistic human behavior. Its layers and dynamics are fascinating to discover and appreciate. They are useful in recognizing our strengths and our shortcomings, as well as our relationships and causes of emotion and disagreement. Becoming aware of these layers is to contribute to an ever-becoming intelligent civilization. Remember, you never truly know the extent of someone’s choice.

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