"Satisficing" vs. "Optimizing"
From: Thomas Lofft (tloffthotmail.com)
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 18:48:12 -0700 (PDT)
Sharon Villines wrote:

"A decision-making concept I was introduced to last week is satisficing, a 
blend of satisfy and suffice.

I've never been comfortable with the sociocratic standard of "good enough." 


 

'Satisficing' has certainly been in the community planning jargon since the 
1960's.

It is a concept in rational decision making that is contrasted to 
'optimization'. 

 

Satisficing is dependent upon first being able to come to agreement on the 
criteria for a decision.  The Satisficing principle says, 'If an alternative 
meets all the criteria, then it is acceptable.'

 

Of course, if our criteria identifiers are not extremely specific, multiple 
alternatives may perhaps meet the criteria. Then the choices are to revisit the 
criteria to make the criteria more specific, at the risk of having some 
judgmental party attempt to skew the criteria at this point to filter the 
options already in consideration.

 

An important point to retain in the current active memory is that only one 
criterium can be 'maximized' or 'minimized'. All other criteria can be held as 
constraints in the optimization process. 

 

N.B.: Optimization is not at all the same thing as maximization. 

 

Optimization is the total decision based upon the most acceptable balance of 
the important criteria under consideration.  

 

Maximization is attempting the realize the largest amount of one particular 
criterium. 

 

E.g., trying to achieve the largest possible common house at the lowest 
possible cost with the best quality materials possible and the lowest 
environmental impact possible in the least possible time will be very 
frustrating. 

 

If you don't believe that, consider the five elements of that statement. Are 
any of them contradictory? 

Are any of them not contradictory? Only one of them can be met.  All the rest 
must be set independently as constraints for measuring and evaluating the 
options.

 

Happy Decision Making,

 

from

 

Tom Lofft

Liberty Village, MD

 

 

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 08:56:42 -0400
From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com>
Subject: [C-L]_ Satisficing
To: Cohousing-L Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
Message-ID: <A743866E-B1C5-410C-9212-58159983AADE [at] sharonvillines.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
 
A decision-making concept I was introduced to last week is 
satisficing, a blend of satisfy and suffice.
 
I've never been comfortable with the sociocratic standard of "good 
enough." Even when good enough is placed in the context of an ongoing 
cycle of evaluation and improvement it seems a low level to start with 
and has no energy in it. I also know that many decisions never get 
reviewed no matter whether they are good or good enough. There are 
too many new ones to make to revisit old ones.
 
A satisficing decision feels like a better standard, and probably the 
same as is intended in saying "good enough" but the image it evokes 
seems stronger. it isn't enough for a decision to suffice; it must 
also be satisfying.
 
Sharon
----
Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
http://www.takomavillage.org



                                          
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