Decision Making Taxonomy
Recently an ancient document was discovered which is ascribed to Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇), the first emperor of China, who planned the Great Wall in 220 BC. According to the latest translation undertaken by 36 specialists, under the supervision of the Argentine librarian Jorge B., it is claimed to be the ultimate guide on how to make the right decision at turning points in life. However, some translators are currently arguing, the document may simply refer to architectural structures of crossroads. In their opinion, the translation is such:
There are crossroads, which could be divided into necessary and otiose ones. We could call them forking paths, forks in the road, crossroads, crossings, and intersections and sometimes we have roundabouts. The next distinction refers to the occurrence of these systems in the universe, such as on earth or simply on the surface of this planet, whereas others are subterranean.
We can look at them in general or in particular. Some of them are Y-shaped, some X-shaped, others T-shaped and some can be either called O-shaped or star-shaped, which in this case makes no difference at all. Their structure often reminds one of ramifications like the roots of a tree – or its trunk with boughs, branches and leaves, each with its own venation. This can also be found in the wings of butterflies or other insects and in the network-system of venous blood vessels or the nervous system of living creatures. Even looking at liquids can remind us of this: the ocean is fed by many rivers, which are developed by numerous creeks and originate from uncountable springs – and the ramified structure of frozen liquids is visible in ice crystals.
Sometimes we can observe a horizontal, sometimes a vertical, or even a diagonal division and most of the previous mentioned lead into several divisions, depending on our point of view. These divisions can be equal, which makes the decision obviously very difficult; or they can be unequal, which makes the decision sometimes too easy and regretful. Furthermore, they can be obvious or confusing, especially if there exists a particular destination. It is hard to identify paths as detours, shortcuts, traps or dead end roads, which lead to nothingness, before taking them.
Furthermore, a practical distinction can be made between traces, footpaths, bridges, stairs, rail tracks, roads or flight paths. We can observe that some of these branchings were made by force of nature, some by animals, and others are manmade. Amongst these, some are superfluous and some are necessary.
Trees, street signs or traffic lights can indicate a fork in the road.
As a final result, the document concludes: which ever road we take, whatever decision we make, our path is our destiny and already predetermined, as are the points on the railroad switched by the pointsman – or to be precise – in whichever way the wind blows.
Exhibited: galleryeight, Sydney, October 2010
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