- From Justin Warren’s Nov 14th newsletter: “You pretty much never have perfect information. You only have what you consider to be enough information to make a decision, and sometimes not even that. What matters, I think, is how you explain your decision to other people. And ‘other people’ includes future you. This is quite liberating, because it frees future you from the decisions made by past you. If it’s clear that past you made decisions based on certain information, and you then find out new information, you can make a new decision! You don’t have to be welded to old decisions made with less, perhaps bad, information.”
- Meanwhile: “The distinction between satisficing and maximizing not only differs in the decision-making process, but also in the post-decision evaluation. Maximizers tend to use a more exhaustive approach to their decision-making process: they seek and evaluate more options than satisficers do to achieve greater satisfaction. However, whereas satisficers tend to be relatively pleased with their decisions, maximizers tend to be less happy with their decision outcomes. This is thought to be due to limited cognitive resources people have when their options are vast, forcing maximizers to not make an optimal choice. Because maximization is unrealistic and usually impossible in everyday life, maximizers often feel regretful in their post-choice evaluation.”
- First: what is the behavioral (economic?) theory behind systems that have no goals? Can you be “rational” if there is no goal? A simple example is retirement planning. Please note that the rules of this game clearly state: “you cannot win this game by cleverly suggesting that there is always a goal. Don’t be cute.”
- Second: maximizers are the analysis paralysis fun-bunch. The grueling process of researching and discussing done over and over, 10’s if not 100’s of times in late night meetings with tedious spreadsheet and slide reworking make people’s lives suck. The irony is that in seeking to be “rational,” the maximized left an important part out of the equation: effort spent to figure out The Best answer.
- Third: at some point, you know too much (all of the options and the benefits/risks of each), and this is depressing like a kid being taken to a candy store and being told they can only pick one piece or candy.
- It makes me think about myself: I don’t optimize for my future self. No exercise, not learning Dutch a little each day, unhealthy eating. Obviously, you have to put habits in place so it doesn’t seem like work. But, I almost have a dissociative relationship with myself in the future: I don’t feel like it’s me. Or something. Am I, like, a really lazy hedonist? …maybe?
- And what does it mean to invest in your past self? You can: (1) understand it, (2) think better about it, (3) think worse about it, (4) forget it, (5) hide it (from others, and yourself as a variant of 4?). How much time should you spend investing/hacking your past self?
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