Decisions

Lowering the probability of errors, bad choices.

  • When things go wrong, don’t blame others, you’ll stop thinking. (“Factfulness“)
    • Don’t look for bad guys.
    • Don’t assume everyone else is an idiot.
    • Don’t assume bad intentions.
  • When things go wrong, don’t get trapped in negative thinking patterns, interrupt them. (“The Happiness Hypothesis”)
    • It’s easy to get trapped in ongoing, automatic, negative chatter.
    • Switch out of “narrative thinking” and into “experiential thinking” mode.
    • Quiet your mind by focusing on something internal or external.
  • When things get complicated, don’t rely on your instincts and intuitions, they don’t work as well.
    • They don’t work well in unpredictable situations where there is no clear and immediate feedback. (“Making Sense — Daniel Kahneman“) 
    • They filter your attention and make it hard to get the facts right. (“Factulness“)
  • Don’t take on financial obligations if they can trap you. (“How Will You Measure Your Life“)
    • When things go well, don’t expand your lifestyle to fit your salary.
    • It is difficult to unwind.
  • Don’t take financial risks if they can ruin you. (“EconTalk — Nassim Nicholas Taleb (3)“)
    • Avoid risks that have potential large, irreversible, unrecoverable losses.
      • Even if the probability of a negative outcome is very low.
    • If things go wrong, there is no way to (ever) recover.  
      • You are out of the game.
      • The usual cost-benefit trade-off is irrelevant in this context. 
    • Don’t take the risk: make sure you can keep playing “the game”.
  • In your relationship, avoid contempt, it is the opposite of respect. (“EconTalk — Paul Bloom“)
  • When balancing work and family, don’t overweight the importance of work just because it provides immediate feedback and gratification. (“How Will You Measure Your Life“)
    • How you allocate your resources (time, money, talent) determines which “businesses” you allow to grow (work, family).
    • Feedback and gratification from family takes much longer to materialize.
  • Don’t deal with assholes. (“Making Sense — Shane Parrish“)
    • Only win/win relationships compound. and optimize for the long term.
    • Compounding and consistency build trust and accumulate knowledge.
  • Don’t compete when you don’t have to. (“Conversations with Tyler — Reid Hoffman”)
    • Cooperate: seek out non-zero sum games where possible.
    • Compete: recognize when it is zero sum and you need to compete.
  • Don’t look to your peers for answers. (“Peter Thiel’s Religion“)
    • Find somebody in a different stage of life who you admire and respect.
  • Don’t follow the golden rule (treat others like you want to be treated).
    • Presumes you know what others like: they like what you like.
    • Safer to follow the silver rule: what you don’t like, don’t do to others (“The User Illusion”).
  • When things go wrong, don’t try to fix things by adding stuff.
    • To reduce harm, it’s easier to remove something than to add something (via negativa) (“Anaerobics“).
  • When you have unproductive urges, don’t try to stop them from emerging.
    • It is difficult to stop the rise of unproductive urges.
    • It may be easier to stop yourself from acting on them (free won’t) (“The Master and His Emissary“).

Increasing the probability of better choices:

  • Figure out what you’re good at. (“The Happiness Hypothesis”)
  • Find habits that develop coherent, rewarding skills (“The Happiness Hypothesis”)
    • Habits that align with your strengths and interests.
    • Habits that provide clear feedback (immediate rewards for progress): they are easier to maintain. (“EconTalk — Jordan Peterson“)
    • Habits that build long-term value: for you, your family, your community. 
  • Figure out your (family) values and stick with them. (“How Will You Measure Your Life“)
    • Family values emerge as you find solutions together.
    • Consistent behavior.
      • Decide what you stand for and stand for it all the time.
      • 100% of the time is easier than 98% of the time.
    • Look for positive feedback loops to reinforce values.
      • When raising kids.
  • Be a producer. (“EconTalk — Venkatesh Rao“)
  • Balance, invest, sacrifice.
  • Make learning hard, not easy (“Range“) 
    • Spacing, testing, interleaving, etc.
  • Meander. (“Range“) 
    • Experiment (early in life) in areas that provide rapid feedback.
    • Apply your existing knowledge in new domains.

With some luck, this will contribute to  increased (perhaps this is somewhat “pushing on a string”):

Not for everyone:

Leave a Reply