Prepping: Being Judgmental is Good

A Short Course on Judgment

As investors, and preppers, we are called on, dozens of times per day to make decisions about whether to “hold ‘em or fold ‘em.” Or, in the prepping context, “What’s the next shoe to drop likely to be?”

What makes the difference between a successful survivor or investor and a loser of either stripe is as much about their judgment skills as it is about understanding “technical measures” of a given situation.

But how much time to most people spend learning what judgment is and how to improve it for their own advantage? I figure not many.

In fact, most people invest sophisticated lies to tell themselves to avoid “ownership” of outcomes. Or, they use transference in order to blame the wrong cause of judgment lapses. Or, a good portion of people turn to substance abuse (“the excuse-juice”) to tell themselves:

“My bad judgement is OK because_________”

Before we launch into a set of tools that may help you improve your “batting average” though, let’s consider the decision-making processes for what they are: “judgment” calls.

Every judgment you make shapes your personal future. Therefore, if you’re not happy with your present, be 100% totally assured it is due to bad judgment in your past.

Like the law in physics (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) all judgments make your future better, or worse.

When is a Decision a Judgement?

Judgments are based principally on facts or data.  Decisions can be based on anything, in particular, emotions.

Modern (“social media addicted”) media portray judgment as a bad thing. In 2009, a book came out with the paradoxical title “How to make Judgments without being Judgmental.” No, I didn’t buy that book; the premise in its title was (to me) quite absurd. Guilt-trip sounding; Losers make excuses.

I make mistakes all the time.  I own ’em, too.  But, I also brace the management concept of 3M, “fail faster.”  I screw up, I own in, I move ahead on course.

Let me suggest that social media has adopted and is marketing this BS and that you need to get clear of it…pronto!

If I seem “excessively judgmental” in views on things like cartels running black tar heroin across the former Mexico border, that’s not excessively judgmental. Our family lost a 26-year old to black tar.

“Excessive” is – in this example – a left wing, open-border apologist’s ploy to move an agenda.  Theirs,

It’s not a reasoned judgment based on facts. I have yet to meet an open-border apologist who’s lost kin to overdose (or violence) from clearly Mexican source.

“Excessively judgmental” is played like a harp by anti-American media before an audience of button-pressing apes – all guilt-tripping in unison. Lacking facts or personal “skin in the game” they will swallow anything; applying no decision-making skills. They lack judgment.

Let’s begin a little exercise: look-up of what judgmental means:

adjective: judgemental; adjective: judgmental
of or concerning the use of judgment.
“judgmental errors”
having or displaying an excessively critical point of view.”

See how the subtle dumbing-down of America is at work here? Even the dictionary (a linguistic flag blowing political winds) has gone soft-headed, too.

The giveaway is the linking of the phrase “excessively critical” to “errors.” That’s propagandist talk; not the art and skill of highly logical people. Where is the steel-trap mind?

To demonstrate this Big Lie, let’s go for a ride in a KC-135 jet. To make things interesting, we will load it up with nitro glycerin. Hmm…83,000 pounds enough? On the upper deck, let’s load in 37 members of your closest family and friends, too.

Now we’ll fly it up to Elmendorf Air Force Base – 19 gun shops, 21 liquor stores, 4 massage parlors, three topless bars, and 7 pawn shops up the street from Anchorage, Alaska.  Let’s make it dusk – the hardest time to judge altitude above the runway.

To add realism to our experiment. As if a four-engine jet with a cargo bay full of nitro (and 37 people sitting on top of it) isn’t enough “fuel for thought,” let’s bring in a terrible spring storm. Mighty gusty winds coming up Turnagain Arm. Then we’ll toss in a low overcast so the pilot won’t be able to see the touchdown point until he’s 5-seconds from impact, landing, or executing a missed approach.

Now, I ask you: Is there any possible circumstances where you (riding in the jump seat of this nightmare) can imagine the pilot’s view as being even remotely “excessively critical?”

I sure couldn’t, but then I’ve got a lot of jump seat time in commercial jets. 99% of pilots I know would agree: “The Company thinks they pay us to fly planes. But given a commercial jet, we’d fly them free – they are so frigging cool. What the Company does pay for – and through the nose – is 5-minutes a month of ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT JUDGMENT.” AFM, brothers and sisters of the sky.

I’m comfortable with excessively judgmental people because – if anyone takes the time to ask – most have first-hand, hair-raising tales that have improved their judgment. Not pushed over some left-wing political precipice.

Judgment doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s an art. Takes practice, review, correction, and lots of repetition. Exactly like “excessively critical judgment” which I heartily endorse.

When Elaine and I were doing a lot of flying, one of my FAA “WINGS” Program courses that drove this all home was titled “Aeronautical Decision-Making.” The more data you have to base decisions on, the better. But, you don’t have all day. You are required to order the data and assign it weighting so when it’s time to be life-savingly excessively judgmental you pull it off flawlessly and instantly.

Although not put into such direct language, that course is about Making Good Decisions 100-percent of the time. Because one percent of dead is…what? Dead.

In other words, get to be excessively critical of your flying and you will live. Gravity gives not a shit about political-correctness. (d’uh.) Neither should you.

Fail to be “excessively critical” and the details you overlook in your analysis will kill your ass.

There’s no “erring on the side of caution” penalty among seasoned pilots, A thousand hours or more and several transcon’s will help to develop your “excessively judgmental thinking.” Go for it. You’ll piss a lot of people off but it’s the cost of an error-free life.

That’s where hangar-talk sayings come from. Like: “I’d rather be DOWN HERE wishing I was UP THERE, than be UP THERE wishing I was DOWN HERE.”

I assume you know the saying “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. But never any old Bold pilots. The ones who live tend to be “excessively judgmental” tend to collect Social Security.

8-Steps to Excellent Judgment

Here’s an example that comes up all the time. Someone wants to borrow a car from you.

1. What is the judgment? “Do I want to buy this stock?” “Should I lend so and so my car?” “Is this a safe flight plan?”  “Do I lend so and so an expensive tool?
2. Separate Facts and Fictions: When you make any decision, assemble as many pertinent facts as you can. Someone wants to borrow your car. Do you know their driving record?  Or, someone wants to borrow an expensive tool:  Do they know how to operate it safely?   Got a fresh route forecast before take-off? Get data if you don’t have it, then decide.
3. Project Your Judgment’s Results: All decisions (judgments) have consequences. When you make a judgment, don’t waste a lot of time considering all of the stake holders. Instead, make all decisions based on cost of error and outcome probability.  Collect facts and then make a judgment.
4. Bound Your Decision: Make it clear who is the ONE person who is responsible. The person who you have knowledge of, the one with the best flying record. The one person who brings tools back when borrowed. No one else.
5. Time the Decision: If a person borrows something, set a fixed date for its return. Flying an instrument approach, don’t push “decision height” – it’s there for a reason. When the time comes, act.
6. Reduce it to Writing. Even in stock trading, I will reduce a judgment to a “bail out point.” (E.G. sell xxx shares if my account balance goes below yyy dollars.) If a borrowed tool, write it down so there’s documentation if its broken. If you’re flying an approach, have the track to the alternate airport ready on the kneeboard. Because if you don’t pre-plan the future, you may not have time when you need the information.
7. Execute. Make the best decision you can then see it through. Second guess after you land, not while flying.
8. Defend Your Decisions. As you go through anything in life, people will attack your decisions. “That was excessively judgmental!” for example. Tell ‘em to take a hike. It was your (prepping/tool loaning/ flight planning) responsibility. You gathered facts, forecast a likely future outcome and acted in a manner most beneficial to all. Reduced to writing, review it later.

One of the surest paths to success in life is to operate your lief as though it were a business.  The tool rental joint won’t let you take a tool without paperwork, for example.

Be a mental hard-ass. People may think you over-confident, pompous prick. Let it be water off a duck. There’s no such a thing as “excessively judgmental.”

There are people who “get drifty” and lose their “edge” and part of good judgment is learning to spot those changes.

From personal observation, more than 80% of the time, people who wield such pap as “excessively judgmental”  are generally both inexperienced and/or incapable of making consistently great judgments in many areas of their lives.

People are like gardens:  Judge them by what they produce.

The FAA checks driving records because DWI’s tend to be statistically tied to fatal aircraft accidents, for example. People with bad judgment can’t (or don’t want) to see it in themselves. But it comes through in DMV records or after crash investigations.

What other people think of you is not your problem.  Takes a bitg of confidence to be a stellar decision-maker. Aviate, navigate, communicate.

And go easy on those Elmendorf landings, right?

Write when you get rich,

author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

23 thoughts on “Prepping: Being Judgmental is Good”

  1. Run your life from the inside out so you control your decisions & thinking, not from the outside in where outside influences control your decisions & thinking. Take a deep breath & look inside yourself & stay there.

  2. Bravo G, AFM Brother!

    I am so digging your dissertation on Judgment this AM, that I have decided to whole heartedly support TRUMPS idea of SHIPPING/Transporting/Busing ALL ILLEGAL Immigrants currently held in Detention along the southern border to SANCTUARY Cities – YESTERDAY!

    This is going to be great day for MARK and his ilk in SanFran, NYC and other Demonrat cities. No worries huh?

    • I’m sure there must be some logic in there somewhere lets see we ship all of those to sanctuary cities, where they apply for ALL KINDS of federal assistance from food stamps to health care,to rent to you name it and then offer them citizenship down the road.Lol and people wonder why the country is in the shape its in, but what the hell another trillion or two added to the debt means squat now.!!

      • I think the idea is sound.. send them to the sanctuary cities.. then pull any federal funding or bailouts for those cities and states..
        the term ILLLEGAL… not that everything is black and white but .. if they wanted to come to the usa.. then go through proper channels..

  3. How we gonna take care of all these wetbacks if we cant even take care of our own homelessness?

    • I have an Idea Joe..

      How about we trade even up.. get all of our middle class and below and march them on Mexico’s border..send buses full down there..I wonder.. what would happen if we did that.. just ask for volunteers go work for one of the major manufacturers.. maybe even an old boss of yours…
      they send in a million we send them a million just dump them on them..LOL…send dependable tax payers.. even up.. seems our industrial complexes are going that way follow the work.. they send their people here we go where the jobs are.. they pay less taxes a lower cost of living.. medical expenses a mere fraction of what we pay here.. heck if they are already homeless then they know how to fend for themselves in a daily survival mode.. no freezing at night..
      Now imagine.. wouldn’t that be a sight.. LOL I am curious what would they do.. all of a sudden people start jumping the other direction over the fence LOL

  4. True dat, yo! Im out runin side dump on the convention center expansion this mornin. Aint nuthin like runnin 18 gears, 60+ feet in down town seattle. A thousand peeps on bikes, walkin with head phones on and all those one way roads. Always an excercise in intuition and anticipation.

    Only yelled at one person ever. A few years back this girl in a Toyota corolla kept trying to get around me and i almost squshed her twice. We got down over on 9th and olive and she ended up between a bus and half way between my truck and pup.

    She lays on the horn a couple times ans waves her arm to get my attention. so pull the break step out on my step. I said hey! Are you ok? She yells back can i get around you???? I yelled back whats your name darling? She yells back Jennifer! I yelled back Jennifer! She yells back yeah! I yell back Go “fck yourself”. Got back in my truck and grabbed some gears.

    Bout 10 min later my boss called and said Hey, some lady just called about you! I said was it jennifer? He said yeah, how did ya know? I said oh we go way back. She is crazy. He said oh okay, carry on.

  5. You forget George that 90% of the people are creatures of habit and that’s not going to change.Take the political system either people vote D or R and that’s why we ended up with the orange clown in office, saying he was the lessor of the two evils,yet still evil and will never ever vote for third party,if they had voted for Ron Paul in 2000 without a doubt there would have been no wars in the Mid-East costing us trillions ,and putting us trillions in debt,and no bail outs of the to big to fail,and I see reading the replies that there are still those seeped in that old mentality which means nothing will change until we hit the bottom.!!

    • Oh Robert…I don’t think it would make any difference which candidate got the job. DJT has been trying to get us out of the battles that have been shoved upon us.
      They have fought him tooth and nail to stop him from making any advances. No matter what channel paper or news source you’ll only hear negative trying to discredit him.

  6. Great column today!

    Here in the ‘Golden State’ one factor that drives the high cost of housing, is the huge number of illegals who are living 20 to a 3 bedroom house or apartment, that the landlord can get top dollar for. The 1 paycheck away from disaster folks can’t afford the prevailing high housing costs, and are forced into the streets after the first bump in the road. Just my 2 cents..

    What happened tp the Computational Future link? I found it much better than Drudge these days. I thought you had it set up to run mostly by remote control. I can’t complain about the stuff you do for us for free. Thanks.

  7. Interesting article with some very good points! I’ve probably learned more about decisions and judgement from flying than anywhere else. You don’t get a do-over unless your decisions were at least “good enough”, and you often don’t have the time to choose accurately unless you’ve thought things through beforehand.

    I’ve been graced to have survived poor choices, but that’s not a reason to push the envelope even further. It’s about learning from the experience.

    Even on the ground, one of my best decisions was made based on modeling years ahead of time. This is especially true in business. When critical events repeated within a particular window, the decision was already made and all I had to do was to execute this (very hard) choice. The modeling was based on careful judgements. The execution was about trusting the model.

  8. Defining bad judgement as any action with negative outcome might be a bit narrow. I try to base my judgemental comments on cold detached observation and life experience first before going to literary references, or shared gossip. Which means I am not what passes for a scholar in this culture.
    Sometimes standing your ground has immensely adverse consequences, whereas ducking and running away may have economic advantages. In an American community, such decisions requiring judgement in almost no-win scenarios may present themselves in the form of the jury summons from gangland hell, or in the form of a wealthy psychopath who wants your property as an ethnic hate trophy. Criminals, many of the wealthy, and psychopaths in particular want what is yours, because they want bragging rights for the trophy they have pried from your hands. In the most extreme cases, that trophy may be your life or your future.
    While I reject the idea that personal honor should be placed above all other considerations, saying “no” to the adversary without conscience may not be profitable, but it may be the best adult judgement. Be advised, however, that those in the government, the press, and the legal profession won’t be around to assist you, but will be available to assist your adversary for the right price. Also note, that you can’t run from social media gang stalking. Adult judgement isn’t for kids.

    • Good stuff. No is a full sentance. :)

      I gotta git. Thank you. Thank you all. You have all taught me so much. Truly!

      See ya later old dude.

      • There are some forks in the road not taken which make me wish I had had the long version of G____’s judgement 101 short course back in grade school or college. The main problem was I didn’t stop to recognize when I was at a fork, and just walked on oblivious, until two decades later when I paused and looked back. Of course, hindsight is always 20-20.

  9. Objection G? Leading the witness? Sustained!

    Just cause n___ didnt know i called him chet to get him to reveal it meant nitrogen and had no idea you were gonna do an article with nitro in it is not my fault. Lol. Which if you checked Ure data, Eye hadn’t clicke on yet, when i answered n.

    Now, here is head scratcher. Did i know back when i first called n “chet” on his very first comment on Ure site?

    Hahhaaha! Well, what do ya do?

    Have to play sometimes. :)

    Relax, Just horsing around. All is well. :)

    • An apology, then? I mean if he didn’t think it was funny?
      This ain’t late night tv here…we’s about discourse not horse play

      • Ure right. Ure right. I appologise. I should have left it alone. Error in judgment on my part. Tried to gtfo here. I repent. As you know Repent means taking a differnt path.

        Sometimes im an s$$hole. I kept it all inline with your article.

  10. I have a rule.. never loan anything unless you can accept the fact that you won’t ever see it again..
    Kids mean well friends mean well.. fate has other plans all the way around.. that way there are never any harsh feelings..

    when you go in to apply for a job.. before you applie.. check the place out.. WHY .. are they seeking new employee’s.. is this common for them.. why do they loose good reliable employee’s.
    It cost money to train.. usually the higher the wage the more the boss is going to take advantage of you.. he knows that if he is paying five dollars an hour over average that your not going to go out and find another job.. so he will use that to his advantage always.. except for a few.I have never seen it other than that .. those companies you can tell.. they have the lowest turnover rates known to man.. say what you will but.. DJT is one of those employers and they are rare…. want a job there.. well Ralph is looking peeked.. he may be kicking the bucket in a few years keep an eye out for his position to open up…. one of the good places here made windows and doors.. still do.. but the boss died and the kids took over.. he seen that single moms were tardy or missed the most.. in checking it out.. he realized that.. the kid gets sick.. mom has to stay home..daycare.. one of the biggest expenses… so he designed sick child daycare.. hired a couple of people to work.. bussing.. company daycare at a fraction of what they had to pay anywhere else.. it only took a few feet of space.. problem solved..
    it wasn’t anything for him to just give employees a perk in the paycheck.. if he did good you did good.. one year his wife and him took a cruise.. heck weather was bad.. lets all go.. he booked a two week company paid cruise for workers and their families.. picnics you were family.. big time and you were proud to say you worked there.. I tried hard to get a job there.. but someone had to die or retire first and no one wanted to do that.. the same thing for the burial vault place.. tough place to get in.. same reasons.. great employers.. the wage itself wasn’t anything more spectacular than anywhere else.. the Boss was.. the Same with Walmart.. when SAM was alive.. he was an employer that I would have been proud to call boss..I don’t know about the ones that own it now but I do know a lot of employees that love the company.. did his legacy follow.. well they have a higher turnover rate..
    Anyway I digressed there.. you look for an employer first check to see how often they advertise.. then make a stop.. find out where the employee’s go after work to vent and listen.. or if they have break room tables outside stop by sit down and have a cup of coffee.. it won’t take you long to get an idea of what the company is like.
    My rule of thumb is a thirty percent and lower the company is good and stable.. its college school kids making the turn over.. thirty to fifty percent. there’s something serious going on.. is it greed.. ( there is one media company.. won’t say which one.. they fire everyone the week before xmas.. always work the snot out of the guys up till them and let them know they are having an important holiday meeting before xmas.. the guys always think.. god we are getting a bonus.. LOL they couldn’t give me their product at all.. ).. fifty and above employee turnover.. there is a very serious problem with management of that company stay away even if it looks good.. that cake is not a good one to take a bite out of.. I have told all of my kids that advice.. find out first.. then if you decide to take the job as a learning tool take it just don’t be surprised that you won’t be there a long time.. and every time they have they have come back and said.. wow.. you hit that one on the nose..

    • I managed one department in one retail outlet.. they had a rule.. ninety days and get rid of them.. make it hard for them to stay.. don’t fire them.. they have to quit.. the reason had to do with payrole.. they got assistance with payroll.. I lasted almost a year in that place.. then couldn’t take it and left they did every dirty trick.. I would get notes saying make sure your workers know this isn’t a home but a campground while they look for another job….After all of these years I only crossed the threshold a few weeks ago..and the only reason was because the wife got a gift card for that hole.. and can tell you. they don’t get a dime of my money..Pay and benefit wise. the place was the best paying job I ever had.. best benefits to.. but I couldn’t take the attitude and how they wanted to treat the workers that were there..

  11. I forget where this nugget of wisdom originated or where I first heard, but never forgot it:

    “Everything you’ve done in your life has brought you to where you are…right now”.

    It sure is something to ponder.

  12. You are brilliant, George! What saddens me though, all your efforts will not change anything with regard to human behaviour.

    I’ve looked at our history, just during my stay on earth, and it’s very, very sad, and it’s getting worse.

  13. Netflix has a new original movie out called ‘How It Ends’ meaning the USA. It shows a beta male big city lawyer traveling from Chicago to Seattle with his fiance’s father, a retired Marine general. The west coast is toast and the national power grid is down. Compass needles spin wildly. People are clueless and fall back on pure animal survival instinct. Makes the viewer think, “What would I do?”which is a great thought challenge for prepping and personal decision making.

    I don’t plan on surviving that type scenario, but believe I would make better decisions than the lawyer did. He finally wised up by the time he reached what was left of Seattle. Good flick, but lots of f words.

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