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Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World

https://fs.blog/2015/07/simple-rules/#

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Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World
"Simple rules are shortcut strategies that save time and effort by focusing our attention and simplifying the way we process information. The rules aren't universal- they're tailored to the particular situation and the person using them." *** We use simple rules to guide decision making every day.

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Simple rules

They are shortcut strategies that save time and effort by focusing our attention and simplifying the way we process information. The rules aren’t universal- they’re tailored to the particular situation and the person using them.

We use simple rules to guide decision making every day.

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Boundary rules for better decisions

Boundary rules for better decisions

They guide the choice of what to do (and not do) without requiring a lot of time, analysis, or information. 

They work well for categorical choices, like a judge’s yes-or-no decision on a defendant’s bail, and decisions requiring many potential opportunities to be screened quickly. 

These rules also come in handy when time, convenience, and cost matter.

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Prioritizing rules for better decisions

Prioritizing rules for better decisions

They rank options to help decide which of multiple paths to pursue.

They are especially powerful when applied to bottleneck activities - pinch-points in companies, where the number of opportunities swamps available resources, and prioritizing rules can ensure that these resources are deployed where they can have the greatest impact.

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Stopping rules for better decisions

Stopping rules for better decisions

They help you learn when to reverse a decision.

Stopping rules are particularly critical in situations when people tend to double down on a losing hand.

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It is not really the rules that are the problem, but the unjustifi...

A life without rules

Imagine living in a world without rules. 

  • Language follows rules. Breaking away from the rules of language makes us incoherent.
  • Consider the rules of sport or games, the rules of chess or football. Without the rules, chess wouldn't be chess. A game without rules is no game at all.
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Anarchy

Some people would prefer a society without government, where individual freedom comes first.

However, a world that promotes anarchy is inherently unstable. Humans continually make new rules to govern and do so as quickly as old rules are overturned.

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Make all important & difficult decisions on paper

It relieves pressure from the situation and allows your mind to focus on the task at hand, rather than spiraling into self-doubt and second-guessing.

When making decisions, get clear about your reasons

You’ve got to get absolutely crystal clear about your outcome and your purpose. If you forget the reasons behind your decision, you won’t follow through. 

Don't let fear motivate your decision making

And don’t wait for absolute certainty because you’ll almost never get it. One of the ways to overcome this is to have a consistent process for making decisions. 

Littlewood's law

John Littlewood's law of miracles states that we can expect "miracles" to happen often.
If we see and hear things happening at a rate of one per second, the total number of eve...

Gibson’s law

“For every PhD, there is an equal and opposite PhD.” 

In law and public policy, for every qualified expert witness, there is an expert witness that will come to the opposite conclusion.

Brandolini's law

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullsh*t is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

Albert Brandolini's law acknowledges four truths:

  • People don't like to admit when they don't understand something. When they are confronted with nonsense, they will rather agree than admit they don't understand.
  • In law, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution (You often can't prove something didn't happen).
  • Bad commentary gives readers a cover to hide their own biases and prejudices.
  • Publishing an opinion has become very easy in the last two decades.