Imagining Success Versus Anticipating Failure

Imagining Success Versus Anticipating Failure

I am guilty of not spending enough time planning what to do when things don't work out the way I want. I have written in the past about the importance of planning for failure and adversity, but like many others, I find it hard to do and hard to get myself to sit down and … Continue reading Imagining Success Versus Anticipating Failure

Subjective Gains and Losses

Subjective Gains and Losses

"Outcomes that are better than the reference points are gains. Below the reference point they are losses."   Daniel Kahneman writes extensively about our subjective experiences of the world in his book Thinking Fast and Slow and about how those subjective experiences can have very serious consequences in our decisions, political stances, and beliefs about … Continue reading Subjective Gains and Losses

Understanding the Past

Understanding the Past

I am always fascinated by the idea, that continually demonstrates validity in my own life, that the more we learn about something, the more realize how little we actually know about it. I am currently reading Yuval Noah Harari's book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and I am continually struck by how often Harari … Continue reading Understanding the Past

Ignore Our Ignorance

Ignore Our Ignorance

There is a quote that is attributed to Harry Truman along the lines of, "give me a one-handed economist." The quote references the frustrations that any key decision-maker might have when faced with challenging and sometimes conflicting information and choices. On the one hand is a decision with a predicted set of outcomes, but on … Continue reading Ignore Our Ignorance

A Condescending Impulse

A Condescending Impulse

In my last few posts I have written about Johann Hari's research into Harry Anslinger, the nation's first Commissioner for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and what Hari learned about Anslinger and the start of the nation's war on drugs. Anslinger held deeply racist views which he channeled into propaganda and drug policy in the … Continue reading A Condescending Impulse

The First Value of Deep Work

The First Value of Deep Work

"Deep work is not some nostalgic affectation of writers and early-twentieth-century Philosophers," writes Cal Newport in his book Deep Work. "It's instead a skill that has great value today."   A tension that I think a lot of us face (I know its true for me) is that we are pulled in two different directions … Continue reading The First Value of Deep Work

Game Theory of Mind

Game Theory Interactions with Self Deception

"Self deception is useful only when you're playing against an opponent who can take your mental state into account," write Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson in The Elephant in the Brain. "Sabotaging¬†yourself works only when you're playing against an opponent with a theory-of-mind."¬† When we think about other people and their actions, we don't just … Continue reading Game Theory Interactions with Self Deception

Led Astray by the Idea of “The One”

In his book Some Thoughts About Relationships, author Colin Wright addresses a common idea that we carry with us and frequently see in romantic comedy movies. In dating relationships, we often have this idea that there is one perfect person out there in the world that is meant to be with us. Somewhere there is … Continue reading Led Astray by the Idea of “The One”