The San Diego Union-Tribune on Fennell's Slices and Lumps

To achieve your goals, lump and slice

Like it or lump it. The derivation of this phrase appears to be dated in the 16th century and is sometimes credited to Thomas Hobson, famous for Hobson’s choice, loosely translated as “take what is here at the moment or walk away with nothing.”

And so we come to the puzzle for today – when the world presents challenges or opportunities in lumps, how do you best slice and dice them so that they can be managed and utilized effectively? For insight in this arena, I turned to Lee Anne Fennell, professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

Fennell frames the problem as “reconciling immediate preferences with long-range aspirations.” For example, I want to go to the beach, even though it is closed because of this damn virus v. I also would prefer to not get sick and stay healthy.

She says that the world comes in lumps and the key is to “assemble right-sized resources or effort” in order to get to the goal. She calls this “engineering the slices.” Think about buying a whole pizza. You are not hungry enough to eat the whole thing, and the whole pizza is beyond your budget. One slice would be perfect, and you could afford it. Unfortunately, this restaurant does not sell by the slice.

Read more at The San Diego Union-Tribune