Underestimating the odds of change

A fair evaluation of how uncertain the future is would make most people refuse to get out of bed every morning. Nothing would get done in the world if people were only driven by the accurate probability of their future success.

A little blindness, a little over-optimism, and a little denial is one of the economy’s most potent fuels.

@michelleyaa45

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Some downsides are unavoidable

Life is a little easier if you expect a certain chunk of it to go wrong no matter how hard you try.

Smart people screw up. Good people have bad days. Nice people lose their temper.

It’s impossible to think about risk and opportunity without a reference point. And ours is at most incomplete (if not totally wrong).

Everything we think about risk and opportunity is shaped by our own specific situation and personal experience. So everybody has a view of risk shaped by narrow experiences but applied to the broad world.

Long-term thinking is difficult to put in action because the long run is a collection of short runs that have to be handled, displayed, and used as information to gauge whether a long-term reward still exists.

Short-term thinking can be the only way you’ll survive long enough to experience long-term results.

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RELATED IDEAS

Probability gets sidelined because:


  • People want certainty, not accuracy. It’s more appealing to make them feel better(with lies, if required) than to give them cold, hard data.
  • There are not many chances to measure our prediction skills, with sufficient sample sizes taking long to play out.
  • People don’t really understand what odds mean, as their beliefs and preferences of what should happen, takes precedence over probability.

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IDEAS

Too much optimism prevents us from accurately predicting and understanding the pain and struggle that is inevitable in the future.

What it does is it reduces our stress and anxiety and provides a ‘playground’ where we can imagine alternative realities which we need to believe in.

History is studied wrongly, while we focus on the unprecedented events (The Blips) and use that knowledge as a map of the future.

Instead of studying war and invasions, history needs to be studied upside down, with an emphasis on peace and prosperity.

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