Many, many, Mac years ago, there was a decision making utility for the Mac.
It was uncannily effective at helping me reach rational, logical decisions on any issue, until I learned to manipulate the results. Similar tools exist for the Mac today.
One that is similar, though not quite what I had in mind, and far more complex, is a tool called Consideo Modeler.
Since it’s modeling software, Mac users can use it to visualize, foresee, explore, evaluate complex connections to make everyday decisions. Modeler lets you define a project scope, find and explore relevant factors, identify and analyze cause-and-effect relationships, and so on.
Confusing? Sort of. Most of us make decisions in life using a similar method and criteria, however, we’re much more influenced by external and unquantifiable emotional factors, hence the need for the workflow in decision modeling software for business.
At over $400, Consideo Modeler isn’t the decision making tool for the rest of us, but there is a limited free-ware version that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. So, why am I bringing this to the attention of average Mac users?
Because that nifty little Mac utility from 15 or nearly 20 years ago was soooooo cool and I’ve seen nothing quite like it since.
Decision modeling software is aimed at business because most of us won’t turn over our decision making process to our Macs, even if the software was free.
As I was digging around on the web for Mac software I found a nearly five year old utility called iDecide, which is now called CHDecide, and it works similar, though not quite, to the tool I had years ago.
CHDecide lets you develop rational decisions using up to five options. Each option has a slider for Probability of Success, Utility for Success, and Utility for Failure. The slide can be moved for each option, left or right.
Once you’ve entered appropriate options and configured the slider bars to match your perspective, click the Decide button to show the top choices.
While this is a simple and straightforward way to implement the expected-utility theory for predictions and options, it still isn’t quite what I remember from the tool I used years ago.
Still, the price is right. Did I mention that iDecide/CHDecide is free? Despite the fact that the application is old by modern Mac standards, it still runs on OS X Leopard.
I still want a decision making utility for my Mac, or, for my iPhone. It’ll need to accept a range of criteria, slider bars are good, and with a single click, arrive at a decision based up on numerical input. In the Mac utility from many years ago I learned to manipulate the resulting decision by modifying the criteria weight.
Our Macs do a lot for us these days. They hold all kinds of data, alert us to meetings, track our mail, documents, spreadsheets, help us to plan and keep on schedule with projects.
But the Mac doesn’t do much for helping us make logical decisions. That’s a piece of Mac history in software that I would like to see again.