Decisiveness is generally well regarded, as character traits go. It denotes maturity and leadership. Those of us who, by contrast, find decision-making painful and are capable of dithering between a banana and an apple for hours are viewed as inferior, childish and lacking authority. Until now.
First up, there's George W Bush's memoir, Decision Points, due to be published in November. If ever there was a man to tarnish the idea of decision-making, it is surely him. And not just because he made so many bad ones. The problem with Bush was that he was so decisively decisive. Yes, we will go to war in Iraq! That kind of thing.
But what a title, somehow already ranking among the best Bushisms. What, after all, is a decision point? Is it different from a decision? Is it like a turning point? As is his wont, Bush has managed to take a word and mangle it to the point of meaninglessness. Never has a man had such a brutal relationship with language. He's the opposite of an alchemist, turning gold into drivel.
Bush is not the only one giving decisions a bad name, however. Microsoft is having a go, too. It has been advertising its equivalent of Google - Bing - as a "decision engine". Do you see what it's done? So clever. Swap "search" for "decision", and you automatically think that Bing (Bing?) is the infinitely more intelligent, incisive and useful tool. Don't you?
Well, no. You think: that's the most obvious and risible marketing nonsense I've ever heard. And aside from the underlying truth that Bing is performing exactly the same function as Google, I think there's something sinister about a company selling itself as a personal decision-maker. I don't want Microsoft making my decisions. If it did, I'd probably become really socially awkward and lose the capacity for laughter.
So, there. Decisions have the potential for disaster if made by the wrong people or multinational IT firms. I'd prefer to be searching, not deciding; there's a beauty in uncertainty. And you're much less likely to start a war.