Some notes after reading 2 books

Written on 26 December 2019, 05:45pm

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The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

In essence this is a book about focusing on the the things that really matter. But there are a few subtleties, as detailed by Mark here:

  1. Not giving a f*ck is not the same thing as being indifferent.
  2. Not giving a f*ck about something means that you do give a f*ck about something else, more important.
  3. We all have a limited number of f*cks to give. Prioritise!

On top of that, there are other gems that you can find in this book:

  • “it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and created”
  • “happiness comes from solving problems. The keyword here is ‘solving’ (…) happiness is a constant work-in-progress”
  • “healthy values are achieved internally. Bad values are generally reliant on external events”
  • “fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense”
  • “Many people might be to blame for your unhappiness, but nobody is ever responsible for your unhappiness but you”
  • “When we learn something we don’t go from ‘wrong’ to ‘right’. Rather, we go from ‘wrong’ to ‘slightly less wrong'”
  • “Certainty is the enemy of growth”
  • “Our brains are meaning machines”
  • “Work expands so as to fill up the time available for its completion” (the Parkinson law)

“If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something – anything, really – and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself”

Mark Manson – The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Thinking in bets: making smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts

Poker is a game of decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. The primary goal in the game is to reduce uncertainty in order to make decisions easier for yourself. The secondary goal is to make the opponents’ decisions harder.

Poker players have to make multiple decisions with significant financial consequences in a compressed time frame. This makes the poker table a unique laboratory for studying decision-making.

Annie Duke – Thinking in bets

A few interesting concepts:

  • Resulting = equating the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome
  • Hindsight bias = the tendency, after an outcome is known, to see the outcome as having been inevitable.
  • Gambler’s fallacy = mistaken belief that if something happens more frequently than normal during a given period, it will happen less frequently in the future (or vice versa).

A few more notes:

  • All that matters is the quality of your decisions, not the outcome of your decisions.
  • Going first in any negotiation is bad. Even kids know that 🙂
  • “Chess is not a game. Chess is a well-defined form a computation”. Real life is not like that. Real life consists of bluffing, of little tactics of deception, of asking yourself what is the other man going to think I mean to do”
  • The quality of our lives is the sum of decision quality plus luck.
  • Getting comfortable with “I’m not sure” is a vital step to being a better decision-maker.

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