Buridan’s Ass (Buridan’s Principle) named after the 14th century French Philosopher Jean Buridan. The principle is “an ass placed equidistant between two bales of hay must starve to death because it has no reason to choose one bale over the other“
I am reminded of the “Don’t be a donkey” story that I heard Derek Sivers narrate. The story goes, a donkey is stuck in the middle of the road trying to decide to go left and eat the hay pile 1 or go right and eat the hay pile 2, both equally attractive choices. In trying to decide, the donkey wastes all his time and dies with hunger. If only he realized that he could have very well first had hay pile 1 and then hay pile 2 or vice-versa, he would be alive and kicking!
https://sive.rs/donkey Thanks Derek, wise words. I heard you talk about this years ago but only “decided” to apply it in my startup journey today 🙂
A scientific explanation of the Buridan’s Ass conundrum https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181210134902.htm
And an interesting take by Microsoft Researcher Leslie Lamport and the paper.