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The Physics of Decisions


mathgeek15

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Let's cut to the chase: Life is full of decisions, especially as a senior in high school. Over the years I have noticed that many people have a difficult time making decisions, so I have decided that I am going to release my decision-making secret, the reason why I can so easily make decisions: I use math.

Making decisions is like momentum (p= mv) , two opposing forces collide, changing the directions of the objects. To make things simple, let's refer to only two balls (aka choices). Each ball has a different mass, which is the equivilancy of importance for you. For example, a math test would probably have a higher mass than going to the movies to see Side Effects (which comes out February 1st ^-^ ). In most cases, the objects/ choices are travelling at different velocities, also known as the personal preference velocity. Using the scenario above, going to see the movie would have a high velocity than studying for that upcoming test. With hat information, there is only one thing left to do: LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!

To find which decision is best, assign one choice as a negative and the other as a postive (it doesn't matter who gets one sign). then, using conservation of momentum, figure out which direxction the objects will go after the collision (you need to use a sticky collision). To show how it would work, I am going to plug in numbers for myself:

mTest= 5 (for economics)

vTest= 7 (since I already have a 88 in the class which is low for me)

mMovie= 2

vMovie= -10

mTestvTest + mMoviesvMovies =(mTest + mMovies )v'

5(7) + 2(-10)= (5 +2) v'

35- 20= 7v'

15= 7v'

v'= 2.14

Thus, the best choice in this situation would be to stay home and study for the test; so I will have to wait to see Side Effects after I get an A on the test.

Well, now you know my secret to successful decisions!

(Warning: with three or more decisions this equation does work but instead of putting it into a collsion, simply compare the momentum of each choice (signs will not matter, so they can all be positive). Which ever momentum is highest is the best choice. And yes, I actually do something like this in my head everytime I have a difficult decision to make. What you think I leave it up to feelings? Physics is the answer to everything!)

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OMG, this is awesome! Definitely using this later. Not only have you made me more confident, but potentially more decisive ;P I give you credit, my preference velocity has been remarkably low for econ lately... Like, if I drove at the same speed as my preference velocity, I would be passed by pedestrians. Really old, sluggish ones in wheel chairs.

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