The conditional shuffle is a useful new coinage. Greg Sargent applies it to Tom Friedman’s support of the “surge” in Iraq, but it can be applied to all sorts of situations. Think about it the next time someone says they can support adding some huge new feature to the product, but only if QA can get it completely tested in three days.

By conditioning their support on a milestone that could never possibly be met, this person theoretically gives themselves an out when things don’t turn out as expected. When the feature gets added and the release is delayed by three months, the conditionalizer evades accountability by saying that they only supported it under certain conditions which were not met. Never mind the fact that it was foreseeable that those conditions were never going to be met.

The conditional shuffle. I like it.