Those who underthink things would probably benefit from overthinking them a little bit, and those who overthink things would probably benefit from underthinking things a little bit. See, in my family (and probably in yours as well) I see this polarity constantly. People who should have made large and obvious life decisions ages ago, and people who make huge mistakes on whims.
Donald Knuth articulated “We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%” Humans would greatly benefit (especially in the context of life) at getting that ratio correct: don’t make big decisions on a whim, don’t lag on them either.
But how could you apply that in your own life? What is a big decision and what isn’t? What deserves to be thought about and what doesn’t? Let’s construct a framework for that.
It seems better to overthink a startup and underthink moving to a new location. Why? Because you can always move back. You can’t just undo a startup. It’s not the likelihood of failure or even the cost. It’s the irreversibility which implies whether you should think or not think.
|Decision||Reversibility||Under or over think?|
|Reading a book||High (you can stop reading it)||Underthink|
|Starting a blog||Low (internet is written in ink)||Overthink|
|Startup||Low (can’t unstart a startup)||Overthink|
|Learning a new programming language||High (stop learning it)||Underthink|
|Hanging a painting on the wall||High (take it down)||Underthink|
|Creating an account on a new social media site||Low (it’s hard to erase digital presence||Overthink|
|Getting a dog||Low||Overthink|
|Moving to a new country||High||Underthink|
I just overthought overthinking. This is thinking about overthinking overthinking. Meta-overmeta-overthinking.
2021/07/30 by Ishaan Koratkar
I’ve been watching the
20212020 Olympic Games. They’re competitive and fun. Only to a point. Machined athletes, trained from the second they could stand on two feet (who would be genetically engineered if that was allowed) compete for their genetic dominance on a global field. Han Chinese VS European Caucasian. It’s boring. The game is no longer fun.
Instead of watching swimmers evolve into fish people in 4 year epochs, let’s do something about this.
The Y-lympics: an improved Olympic Games rule set
- No Bronze and Silver medals. There’s only going to be one winner. And they don’t get a shiny piece of fake gold. They get an olive wreath like back in the day (it’s impermanence is representative of the actual impermanence of winning: just a fleeting moment in a longer life).
- Doping is allowed (but there’s going to be a non-doping version of each game too). This is to make it so that we can see how far humans can go on their own versus with some pills. This will push medicine further to elevate an average human’s life.
- No country teams. Just individuals working hard on their own or in a team.
- Sports have to be more fun. Watching 6 nearly identical women run the exact same lap 12 times is boring. Each sport has to have an element of dynamics and a little bit of chance (the trails will have obscenely deep puddles in them for running, athletes have to build their own bows and arrows on competition day for archery, gymnasts will get shot at with soft foam bullets for gymnastics).
- Sports have to be mostly physical activities with at least one professional athlete that make more than 1 million a year.
- Everything has to be absurdist and weird and new. We’ve been given the same old thing for thousands of years. Make it different each time. All the real records get broken Eliud Kipchoge sub 2-hour marathon style: a heavily controlled and monitored experiment.
2021/07/28 by Ishaan Koratkar
In the movie Kate and Leopold, the (now defunct) product Palm Pilot is unashamedly advertised to the viewer. At a crucial scene later in the movie, the protagonist, who has become a spokesperson for a product realizes he actually hates the product. He follows his moral code and says he will not endorse the product further. If only the movie could do the same.
Product placement and advertising do their best to program children’s brains so that they nag their parents to buy something. Children have no way to defend themselves from this attack on their still-forming brains. Adults have no way to defend themselves from a child’s nagging and obsessions. Obsessions are a great thing for kids to build skills that help them later in life. Skills such as language, math, science, and many more things.
Advertising isn’t all bad as it lets things like individual producers make their content largely free to the world. People need to learn how to defend themselves against shifting from a consumer to a product. Social media sites do this at an alarming rate. Endless scrolling makes (especially young) people turn into anxiety fueled advertising revenue. In the future, people will feel their alarms sound when they are exposed to this kind of scheme. The same alarms that sound when you meet someone who comes off as creepy or with bad intentions. Until then, you can build defense against shifty advertising schemes by just being on guard and paying attention to the content you consume. Humans are smarter than the marketing lizards in Silicon Valley like to think.
I’m not saying that everyone in SV is a lizard, but some people are. Like Mark Zuckerberg just seems like a guy that’s clueless as to how Facebook is hurting people, or not paying attention. He doesn’t seem to want people to be these endlessly-scrolling advertising units that they are becoming, but can’t stop it either. ↩︎
2021/07/18 by Ishaan Koratkar
For more, view the archives.