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Permanent Assumptions · Collaborative Fund

Human Behaviour

  • Stories are more engaging than statistics. A thousand people dead evokes different emotions than the death of that one person whose story we all know.
  • The only thing constant is change, and nothing good or bad stays that way, ever. However, one can never find out what or when the change would be.
  • Incentives can make people do good and bad things. While a group of people can be made smarter, they cannot be made more patient, less greedy during uncertain periods.

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Permanent Assumptions · Collaborative Fund

Permanent Assumptions · Collaborative Fund

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/permanent-assumptions/

collaborativefund.com

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Key Ideas

Permanent Assumptions

In this world of uncertainties, nothing but death and taxes are sureshot in our lives.

There are however some assumptions that withstand the test of time. These assumptions take into account basic human psychology and historical data.

The World We Live In

  • People generally want to solve problems than to create harm, but those who want to harm get a lot more attention.

  • While people can be taken advantage of, it can’t be done for an infinite period of time.

  • Every ten years or so, there has to be some economic, political, military or social breakdown, according to historical data.

Human Behaviour

  • Stories are more engaging than statistics. A thousand people dead evokes different emotions than the death of that one person whose story we all know.
  • The only thing constant is change, and nothing good or bad stays that way, ever. However, one can never find out what or when the change would be.
  • Incentives can make people do good and bad things. While a group of people can be made smarter, they cannot be made more patient, less greedy during uncertain periods.

History Studied Upside Down

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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5. Read For Immediate Rewards

Studies show that there’s correlation between human behavior change and immediate rewards. Receiving immediate rewards releases dopamine in our brains, which compels us to seek more of the a...

4. Use Triggers to Your Advantage

We often start habits and drop them a few days later. To combat this, you can use triggers to remind you to practice the habit. Examples of triggers:

  • Reading at the same time everyday will prime your brain to automatically trigger itself to begin reading.
  • Leaving your books in places you will easily see is another trigger. If you read books digitally you could pin your tab so it’s always in your visual perspective.
3. Stop Before You’re Finished

Studies indicate that the Zeigarnik Effect is real. It says you are more likely to recall uncompleted tasks than completed ones.

Knowing this pattern of our brains, we can trick it by forcing cliffhangers when we’re reading books. It’s hard to stop reading in the most interesting part but it will make you want to start reading again.

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The A Player
The A Player

Many stories have a lone person, who is unknown but eventually becomes a hero due to his years of toiling and getting success. We like to think of this ‘heroic’ feat as something done exclusive...

The Leader With A Team

The job of a leader is to get the right team, which according to an estimate provides three times more output than an average team.

The work of a leader isn’t as simple as hiring the best talent, and merely putting smart people together as a team is not an effective strategy.

Individual Intelligence Vs Group Intelligence

Any combination of individual intelligence does not make an intelligent group, no matter how logical it sounds on paper.

The ‘A’ Players, the cream of individual intelligence, bring in drive, integrity and the ability to mentor, but all of which is not possible without the collective effort of other players of the team, who are not A players.

You can’t figure out the future
You can’t figure out the future

Life doesn’t really go according to plan; yes, some people will do exactly what they set out to do, but you never know if you’re one of those.

So if you can’t control the future, focus o...

Getting comfortable with discomfort

The best things in life will most likely be hard, and if you spend your life avoiding discomfort, you’ll miss out.

One of the most important skills you can develop is being okay with a degree of discomfort. If you get good at this, you can do anything.

Thriving in uncertainty

If you can accept uncertainty, you’ll be open to many more opportunities.

If you’re afraid of uncertainty, you’ll skip starting a business, for example. You can’t really know for sure how things will turn out, and so if you have this need to control the outcome, you’ll avoid great opportunities.

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Jumping Into Conclusions
Jumping Into Conclusions

It is a form of cognitive distortion which generally gravitates towards the negative. This happens without any justifiable cause or reason and is not based on any fact.

It ...

Two Types Of Cognitive Distortion
  1. Fortune Telling: When one believes that the negative outcome is already a confirmed fact. The baseless assumptions are a reality inside the mind of a fortune teller. In most cases, things that seem to be a big worry have nothing to do with reality.
  2. Mind Reading: Instead of focusing on probable bad situations, a mind reader creates unverified negative assumptions about people. These can be about people not respecting you, or about not getting acceptance from someone.
Why People Visit Fortune Tellers

The basic psychology about visiting a fortune teller is that the mind is cognitively distorted and needs reassurance. When a fortune teller tells you that everything is going to be ok, the negative thoughts start to diminish.

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Choose your field of activity wisely

Nowadays people are mostly driven by the idea of making a lot of money in as short of time as possible.

However, one thing everybody should take into account is that unless you are really ...

The key to success

There is no such thing as the key to success.

However, being ambitious, lucky and persistent can really work. While nothing guarantees success, finding what you like and trying to become good at it are definitely important steps in that direction.

Focus on your own goals

There is a certain temptation we all feel when it comes to other people's success: check out exactly how they made it u to this level.

Nevertheless, this is not really the appropriate approach, as each individual has its own path in life: so better focus on your goal and how you plan to achieve it.

Couples living apart
Couples living apart

In 2000, a government survey showed that about 2.7 million married Americans lived apart from their spouse. The number rose to about 3.9 million in 2017.

Long-distance relationship...

The evolution of romantic communication
  • Before video-chat and long-distance phone calls, written correspondence was used to exchange meaningful information. The goal was to write about the most important things that had happened since the last letter.
  • Although the telephone was invented in the mid-19th century, it was only used for long-distance relationships in the 1970s, when the cost of phoning for pleasure instead of just business became affordable.
  • The next major development in romantic communication was the internet. Email, instant messaging, and video-chatting were affordable for couples to share even the smallest details.
  • Many couples today do "background Skype" where everyday living comes to the surface and add to a level of intimacy.
The pressure to live apart

In the past, couples were more likely to accommodate only one partner's job - mostly the man's. But today, couples have dual-incomes, are well educated, professionally minded, and pursuing careers in separate places. It is contributing to the rise in long-distance relationships.

The pressure to live apart for work is worse for younger couples who are still establishing careers.

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Using Decision Trees
  • Understand the different outcomes that could happen (both positive and negative)
  • Calculate the expected return or loss of each outcome
  • Attach a probability to each outcome
  • ...
Use Decision Trees 

Elon Musk uses decision trees to make big decisions (a tool that uses a tree-like graph or model of decisions and their possible consequences, outcomes, and resources). They are particularly useful for avoiding stupid risks and big bets that aren’t likely to succeed.

Most became a billionaire by making unlikely big bets, as their expected return statistically was much higher than safer bets.

Build Deep, Long-Term Relationships

One of the best ways to get information is not from just being better at searching Google, it’s from learning how to build a network and get the information you need through that network. 

This network should include people’s lessons learned and hacks, topics that are too sensitive to talk about because they make someone look bad, and tacit knowledge (knowledge that people have but aren’t able to articulate).

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Too Much Of A Good Thing
Too Much Of A Good Thing

Good and effective things are helpful at one level but when taken too far, can be destructive.

In 1946, Sir Alexander Fleming, a renowned microbiologist, stated that antibiotics (like p...

Taking The Opposite View
  • In the field of investing, Contrarians take the opposite view, akin to cynicism, and think of the collective mainstream view as a kind of mass delusion.
  • Occasionally, a contrary view is welcome, but if it is done every time, then the good times when one has to simply ride the wave are missed, leading to bitterness.
Balancing Optimism
  • A positive attitude has the power to change our thinking and facilitate good things in our lives. Optimism surely beats pessimism as a worldview, when one has to pick a side.
  • Too much optimism turns into a delusion and eventually complacency. One starts getting out of touch with reality and lives in the mode of denial.

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First Principle
First Principle

Is a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

"… it's important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it's like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. But with first principles, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths and then reason up from there."

Two of the biggest innovations
Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

Innovation is driven by incentives

There are three types of incentives:

  1. "If I don't figure this out, I might get fired." It will get you moving.
  2. "If I figure this out, I might help people and make a lot of money." It will produce creativity.
  3. "If we don't figure this out now, our very existence is threatened." Militaries deal with this, and it will fuel the most incredible problem-solving and innovation in a short time.

During World War II, there was a burst of scientific progress that took place. The government was in effect saying that if a discovery had any possible war value, then it had to be developed and put in use, regardless of the expense.

The conditions for big innovations to happen

The biggest innovations seldom happen when everyone's happy or safe. They happen when people are a little panicked and worried, and when they have to act quickly.

In 1932, the stock market fell by 89%. It was an economic disaster where almost a quarter of Americans were out of work. However, the 1930s was also the most productive and technologically progressive decade in history. Economist Alex Field writes that in 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with little increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input.

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