I actually found this on boingboing.net. I shouldn't even post their name since they're one of the few big aggregating sites that has never run one of my articles. But hey, when they've got a good article, they've got a good article.
They posted This MP3 about how to always do the right thing. It's brilliant. I've actually been wanting to write a post to that effect, but the speaker, Dan Gilbert, did a much better job than I would have.
The essence of the speech is that EV is king. EV is expected value, a term used commonly in the gambling world. I would explain what it is, but if you listen to the lecture you will have a better understanding and then I won't have to type as much.
I always try to live my life by maximizing EV. Most people live their lives trying to minimize risk, which is a truly awful strategy. I'd say that roughly 90% of my favorite experiences in life have been the result of taking risk, but maximizing EV. The story of How I became a pickup artist is a great example. Moving to LA was risky - I was leaving my friends, moving in with people I didn't know, and was paying a ton of money for the privilege. However, it was clear that the upside was huge, so I did it. I'm glad I did.
Listen to the lecture think about how it applies to your life, and post your thoughts here.
thanks for the alternate link...been looking for this mp3 from Dan Gilbert and I got the 404 on 3 different websites before finding this post.
Expected value is a term from probability theory and statistics... you should have not dropped out of school!
The "time" question is interesting because the ODDS part of the equation doesn't come into play. Both choices are 100% odds.
So the thing that differntiates them is the dollar amount and the time. I think "time" would fall under value and can be subjective, just as the value of chosing a watermelon or an orange could come down to an individuals taste preference. But, like the speaker said, the context is everything. If you're literally starving, you'd put taste considerations aside and surely take the larger watermelon for the higher calorie count. Or if you were offered the choice while walking on the street, you may like watermelon slightly better but have no interest in lugging it around so you chose the orange.
The first thing that occured to me is that the "Happiness Expected" from a given situation is nearly useless because it does not take one really important thing into consideration: time.
For example: would I rather have $5 right now or $100 in one-hundred years? According to the equation from the lecture, (HapExpt = OdInFavr * Value$) it is suggested that $100 over 100 years is a better deal. But obviously, it is not, because I probably won't be around to collect the money in a hundred years.
So I suggest we amend the equation to: HapExpt = [(OdInFavr * Value$) / Time (days)]; the total projected happiness being the total profit derived from a given situation divided by how long it took us to accomplish.
Henceforth, this new unit to measure happiness (odds * $)/(time) shall be called the "Mazer", in honor of me, because I invented it. I expect it to be added to school curriculums nationwide by 2021.
The mp3 is 49 minutes long, but it's like sitting in one of those rare classes that are so fascinating you're sad to see it end.
The happiness equation is interesting, but it may incomplete as presented. You are told to compare the "probability of winning" against "how much enjoyment you will receive". But where exactly does the "consequences of failure" come into play? Something may be very easy to obtain, and be extremely enjoyable, but the consequences of failure could be extremely UNenjoyable. Take speeding in a car for example. Easy to do, you most likely won't crash the first 100 times you do it, and extremely thrilling and satisfying, but the consequences of failure is serious injury or death. How do you decide? Discuss.
. The happiness equation takes into account the probability of
Ty speaks briefly about risk, but really, risk is part of the equation too.
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. The other ones are weird religious inventions or consumerized hijackings of religious inventions. And sure, the origins of thanksgiving are a bit murky, but it's hard to argue with such a simple holiday: spend some time with your family and/or friends, and be thankful.
I especially like that it's about appreciating what we already have, taking a break from the distraction of every day life, and thinking about all of the good things that make it up.
Today, as I spend time with some of them, I've been thinking about how thankful I am for my family. I've always gotten along really well with my family, but since most of them were around by the time I was born, I'm sure I have a tendency to take them for granted. As a kid I always just assumed that everyone had a great family and that their family was behind them supporting them all the time. Then, as I grew up, I saw situations where that wasn't the case, and I realized how good I have it.
I have three fantastic siblings, any or all of whom I enjoy spending unlimited time with. We each live in different cities now, but when we're together it's like we're best friends. Besides a scuffle over a plastic ninja sword as a kid, I can't think of a single fight I've had with any of them.
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system." -John Gall
I built a pretty good daily tracking template, and I evolved it over time. It's serving me pretty well now. I'd like to show you the evolution.
Version 0 - I realized that tracking my time would be a good thing. I started writing down just one or two things per day.
Here's what my first day of tracking looked like:
26 May - Success