Saturday, March 3, 2018
Today we have a tax code that increasingly looks like codified envy. Which is, strictly speaking, un-American. We are not an envious people, we're an aspirational people. That's why we're the only developed industrial nation in the world that has never had a large successful redistributional socialist party. It's also the case that envy isn't fun. Did you ever think it's the only one of the seven deadly sins that doesn't give the sinner even momentary pleasure? (I'll pause while you go down the list ... )
Friday, March 2, 2018
Pete Carroll was a victim of our tendency to equate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. Poker players have a word for this: "resulting." When I started playing poker, more experienced players warned me about the dangers of resulting, cautioning me to resist the temptation to change my strategy just because a few hands didn't turn out well in the short run.
... Why are we so bad at separating luck and skill? Why are we so uncomfortable knowing that results can be beyond our control?
-Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
...........The only thing that could improve this one would be for Abbey to have lived for another twenty years. A wee excerpt:
"Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here."
To say that I had strayed from the academic path might seem like an understatement. But I realized pretty quickly that I hadn't really left academics as much as moved to a new kind of lab for studying how people learn and make decisions. A hand of poker takes about two minutes. Over the course of that hand, I could be involved in up to twenty decisions. And each hand ends with a concrete result: I win money or I lose money. The result of each hand provides immediate feedback on how your decisions are faring. But it's a tricky kind of feedback because winning and losing are only loose signals of decision quality. You can will lucky hands and lose unlucky ones. Consequently, it's hard to leverage all that feedback for learning.
-Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All The Facts
Thursday, March 1, 2018
"We don’t know so much more than we do know. Live the best life you can live and things will take care of themselves.”
-more from the conversation here
"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
-Theodore Roosevelt, from his 1903 Labor Day address
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Get rid of irrelevant details so that the essential things and the relationships between them stand out. As the saying goes, "Any damn fool can make it complex. It takes a genius to make it simple." Think of Picasso. He could paint beautiful representational paintings from an early age, but he continually pared down and simplified as his career progressed. Not everyone has a mind that works that way, but just because you can't do something naturally doesn't mean you can't do it - you just have to have creativity and determination. If necessary, you can seek the help of others.
-Ray Dalio, Principles
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Learning must come before deciding. As explained in Chapter One, your brain stores different types of learning in your subconscious, your rote memory bank, and your habits. But no matter how you acquire your knowledge or where you store it, what's most important is that what you know paints a true and rich picture of the realities that will affect your decision. That's why it always pays to be radically open-minded and seek out believable others as you do your learning. Many people have emotional trouble doing this and block the learning that could help them make better decisions. Remind yourself that it's never harmful to at least hear an opposing point of view.
-Ray Dalio, Principles
Monday, February 26, 2018
Late this morning, the mailman delivered my very own copy of Michael Wade's (long awaited) Random Thoughts: Brief Reflections and Moments of Clarity. My very bright daughter intercepted the delivery and is apparently taking the book to work with her tonight. Further report to follow....