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Same As It Ever Was · Collaborative Fund

Pain Is Short-Term

Pain is a short-term loss, but may have some long-term gain.

Exercising can be painful or tedious for some and has great benefits if done regularly. Telling the truth can be painful, but is often the right thing to do.

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Same As It Ever Was · Collaborative Fund

Same As It Ever Was · Collaborative Fund

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/same-as-it-ever-was/

collaborativefund.com

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Key Ideas

The Lessons Of History

History is a treasure-house of learning, and as many books teaching us lessons from history point out, what was true in the medieval ages is often true even now, though the circumstances, technology and society have gone through a sea of changes.

The things that are worth knowing are those which hold steady and true then and now.

Voltaire

Voltaire

“History never repeats itself, but man always does.”

1920 and 2020

1920 is a hundred years apart from 2020, yet how people think is largely unchanged. Human behaviour is still hinged on greed, fear, opportunity, scarcity, and basic instincts.

We have no idea what will happen in the future, but we do have a good idea about how human beings might behave in certain situations.

Big Risks Vs Small Risks

Small risks can sometimes combine, compound and mutate into something big. Yet the attention is always on the big stuff, and the small stuff happening around is largely ignored by all.

Example: A huge nuclear bomb that destroys entire countries is unlikely to be used preemptively, but small, precise weapons with limited range are much more likely to be used in war and in turn, can result in the big ones to be used too, eventually.

Having A Positive Outlook

Optimism helps us dumb down and decrease the pain and difficulties that the future likely holds, and provides us with hope with regards to our options.

Even now, with the state of income mobility, and the disparity in wealth, few should have reason to be optimistic, but many are, and it doesn’t feel bad to have a positive outlook no matter what the circumstances.

Pain Is Short-Term

Pain is a short-term loss, but may have some long-term gain.

Exercising can be painful or tedious for some and has great benefits if done regularly. Telling the truth can be painful, but is often the right thing to do.

Avoidance Of Pain

History shows us that people avoid pain and exertion, would lie to avoid a painful situation and would create hacks or shortcuts to skip through pain, often leading to worse problems at a later stage.

Example: A simple toothache would make people eat a painkiller tablet, which leads to many serious complications of body organs like the liver.

Life-altering Experience

A person’s behaviour, once formed, largely remains unchanged. However, a major, life-changing event, that causes hardcore stress, can undo behavioural patterns.

It’s the basis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it makes people change or alter their behaviour, creating new, lifelong habits, scarred by the major event.

The No. 1 Constant: Disagreement

When we are ‘hit’ by something huge, and unpredictable, we tend to explain it with great force and start forecasting with greater conviction, as if we know a lot about life. Someone who hasn’t experienced the earth-shattering event will not be on the same page.

Apart from selfishness, self-centeredness and stupidly, a majority of people do not agree with each other due to them having different experiences.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Three different sides of risk
  • The odds you will get hit.
  • The average consequences of getting hit.
  • The tail-end consequences of getting hit.

The first two are...

The tail-end consequences

The tail-end consequences of an action or event (those with low-probability, high-impact) are all that matter.

In investing, the average consequences of risk make up most of the daily news headlines. But the tail-end consequences of risk (for example, pandemics and depressions) are what make the pages of history books.

Knowledge And Wisdom

  • Knowledge is the factual information, the awareness, and understanding of a subject. It is basically information about something that comes from learning facts.
The Time Factor

More time means that a person can attain more knowledge, but as knowledge is a passive acquisition of facts and data, having more knowledge does not mean having wisdom.

Wisdom tends to be less affected by time, as it requires additional steps of applying judgement, drawing conclusions and adapting one’s behaviour accordingly.

Application of Knowledge and Wisdom
  • Wisdom is related to knowledge, just as practice is related to theory. Wisdom is intrinsic whereas knowledge comes from external sources.
  • Application of wisdom requires more than facts and data, like speculations, feelings, moral and ethical values. Applying knowledge is a much simpler and more linear process.

Example: Development of nuclear weapons requires knowledge, but during wartime, using nuclear weapons on a country requires wisdom.

A Child's Mental Health
A Child's Mental Health

Various studies conducted in the U.S. population indicate growing anxiety towards a possibly grim future. Political turmoil, gun violence, global plagues, changing power structure and a widening ri...

Antidepressants And Opioid Epidemic

Pharmaceuticals are playing a major role in the deterioration of mental health among young people. There is a link between teen suicidal thinking and antidepressant use, along with a link being seen in actual suicides among the young and the use of opioids in their families.

Smartphones and Social Media

Across age groups, social media is potentially hazardous, with its tendency to amplify the social divide.

There is a strong relationship between anxiety/depression and the use of smartphones, particularly social media usage among kids, though the data also seem to show the positive effects of staying connected with their peers. Online distractions also make youngsters give up their offline life, leading to isolation and further depression.

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Overconfidence bias
Overconfidence bias

Most people think they know more than they really do.

Researchers showed that people believe they understand familiar manufactured objects much better than they really do. ...

The details that form our reality

When we don't understand the details, it can cause much trouble. If a nation is overconfident that they will win a war, they will fight more wars. An investor that is to sure of their estimate of an asset's value will trade too much.

The world is too big to process and understand everything. We have to oversimplify the world to be able to function in it. The difficulty is that we don't think our models of how the world works are oversimplified. We believe they are correct. This creates a hidden risk.

The hidden risk of not understanding the details of our reality

Focusing on specific details in a complex system while ignoring the amount of detail contained within the system may at first show a benefit. However, it can create a massive collapse in the long-run.

In the late 18th century, the German government wanted to grow "scientific forests" to track and harvest timber. Underbrush was cleared, and tree species reduced. The first planting did well because of nutrients that were still left in the soil. But the clearing of underbrush reduced insect, mammal, and bird populations essential to soil building. Pests had few enemies left and infected the entire forest, resulting in massive forest death across the country.

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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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Making A Crisis Out Of Everything
Making A Crisis Out Of Everything

Our diminishing resilience and decreasing psychological threshold of handling pain and struggle is, in turn, making everything look like a crisis.

We are making a catastrophe out of eve...

Psychological Resilience

Psychological resilience is not about fake positivity and takes its power from our negative feelings. It makes our anger, sadness, failure and self-loathing into something useful and productive.

When we become sufficiently resilient, we are unstoppable and limitless.

Care For Someone Else

Our focus on the self has made us fearful and overwhelmed, especially in times of crisis. Part of our anxiety is the constant focus on oneself. Even if we do focus on others, it is only to judge them about how they feel about us, and what they think about us.

If instead of our inner selfishness, we find a greater cause to endure the crisis or risk, some deeper purpose or mission that eclipses our ego, then the crisis is taken care of.

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Living in the age o doubt
Living in the age o doubt

We live in a time when all scientific knowledge (the safety of fluoride, vaccines, climate change, moon landing, etc.) faces coordinated and vehement resistance.

The acces...

We now face risks we can’t easily analyze

Our existence is invaded by science and technology as never before. For many of us, this brings comfort and rewards, but this existence is also more complicated and sometimes agitated.

Our lives are full of real and imaginary risks, and distinguishing between them isn’t easy. We have to be able to decide what to believe and how to act on that.

Marcia McNutt  - Geophysicist
Marcia McNutt - Geophysicist

“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”

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Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off
Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gai...

Good and Bad Decisions

Decisions are a cost-benefit analysis of risking something small for the opportunity to gain something big.

  • Good decisions can be: Exercising, meditating for 10 minutes daily, finding the courage and striking up a conversation with someone, applying for jobs that you may or may not get.
  • Bad decisions can be: lying or pretending to someone, driving unsafely, sending angry text messages, or staying up late drinking before an important meeting or exam in the morning.
Trade-offs and Life Values

Trade-offs are not something as simple as flipping a coin. Our values guide us towards what we want in life, and it is not the same for all. Example: Buying a house has a trade-off of mortgage for the next ten or more years. This is subjective and depends on what we value in life.

Indecisive people suffer because they don’t know their inner values and what they care about.

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The Hard Problem of Consciousness
The Hard Problem of Consciousness

Consciousness could be described as the feeling of being inside your head, looking out, or of having a soul.

How we learn, store memories, or perceive things, are easy prob...

Between Science And Philosophy

The problems of consciousness straddle the border between science and philosophy.

  • Some argue that conscious sensations, such as pain, don't really exist, others, that plants and trees must also be conscious.
  • A handful of neuroscientists have come to believe that the problem is about to be solved if we are willing to accept the conclusion that computers or the internet might soon become conscious too.
Ignoring The Problem

Science has been trying to ignore the problem of consciousness for a long time.

  • In the 1600s, René Descartes declared that nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that we are conscious. Your consciousness can't be a fantasy. At the same time, your consciousness does not obey any of the usual rules of science. It doesn't seem to be physical. It can't be observed or really described. Descartes concluded that it had been bequeathed to us by God.
  • This Cartesian dualism remained the assumption into the 18th century. But it was unacceptable to the secular scientist that took the position that only physical things exist.
  • As late as 1989, the British psychologist Stuart Sutherland declared that it is impossible to specify what consciousness is, what it does, or why it evolved.
  • In 1990 Francis Crick and Christof Kock mentioned in a paper that most of the work in both cognitive and neurosciences makes no reference to consciousness because most don't know of a useful way of approaching the problem.

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Seven universal plots
Seven universal plots

There are only seven plots that are so fundamental to the way we tell stories that every storyteller uses one of them: Overcoming Monsters, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return Rebirth,...

Economic history

Looking for a few universal plot patterns reveals things fundamental to how all people think, which are likely to be repeated in the future and relevant to your own situation. This idea also applies to how the economy works.

Economic history can seem complicated because it's part of politics, psychology, sociology, criminology, biology, military, technology, education, finance, etc. But within all that complexity is a lot of similarities.

The lens to look through
  • People seem to want the same economic things – security, power, admiration, fulfillment.
  • They tend to use the same tactics to acquire those things - work, risk, incentives, persuasion, theft, control.
  • They tend to fall for the same flaws pursuing those things - overconfidence, pessimism, underestimating how fast things can change, etc.

Although economic history may seem complicated, there are only a small number of broad story plots throughout the world and throughout time.

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