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07: How not what

Biggest takeaway this week was how > what. In order to reshape your thinking habits, try the following:


Thinking in Bets

Check out Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke and started to read this weekend.

Notes and excerpts:

Poker not chess. Life is more like poker, skill and luck. Chess is all skill.

Resulting - a good decision does not mean a good outcome and a bad decision does not mean bad a outcome. Run a red light and be fine. Go on green and get in accident.

Dr. Strangelove known for game theory. Game theory is making decision under conditions of uncertainty overtime.

The world doesn’t easily reveal the objective truth. Uncertainty can work a lot of mischief.

What makes a good decision is a good process, a process that accurately represents our current state of knowledge, which is always some variance of I don’t know.

More experience just means you can make a better guess.

We don’t perceive the world objectively, but our goal should be to try.

Get comfortable about not being sure and saying I don’t know.

A loss feels twice as bad as a win feels good.

All decisions are bets - buying a house, parenting, choose steak over chicken, going to the movies.

We can only make our best guess, given what we know and what we don’t know, at what the future will look like.

Instead of alternating our beliefs to fit new information, we do the opposite, altering our interpretation of that information to fit our beliefs.

Our preexisting beliefs influence the way we experience the world, and those beliefs are formed in not an orderly way, which means mischief is in our decision making.

The better you are with numbers, the better you are spinning those numbers to conform and support your beliefs.

We bet on our beliefs. We don’t vet those beliefs well before we form them. We stubbornly refuse to update our beliefs. And being smart doesn’t help, it makes it worse.

The more objective we are, the more accurate our beliefs become.

Almost nothing is black and white, 0 or 100, and that’s pretty good philosophy for living.

We would be better served as communicators and decision-makers if we thought less about whether we are confident in our beliefs and more about how confident we are in those beliefs.

This way our expression of confidence would capture all the shades of grey in-between. It’s a spectrum, 76% to 63% is much better than right or wrong.

Acknowledging uncertainty is the first step in measuring and narrowing it.

Any decision is a bet on what will likely create the most favorable future for us.

Sometimes things happen because of the other form of uncertainty - LUCK.

We can’t work backward from the quality of our outcome to determine the quality of our beliefs and decisions.

We always run into this problem: the way things turn out could be the result of our decisions, luck, or a combination of the two.

Quote: We must believe in luck, for how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like.

Golden rule of habit change - keep the old cue, deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.

Keep the reward of feeling like we are doing well compared to our peers, but change the features by which we compare ourselves:

And even, and especially, if that might cast you in a bad light or shine a good light on someone else.

It’s easy to win a bet against someone that takes extreme positions.

Not all situations are appropriate for truth seeking, nor are all people interested in that pursuit.

Our decision making can improve if we find our people to join us in our truthseeking.

A focus on accuracy over confirmation, which includes rewarding truthseeking, objectivity, and open mindedness with the group.

Accountability, for which members have advance notice. Openness to a diversity of ideas.

Ask the following:

A diverse group can help de-bias us.

Quotes I liked this week


Not much this week. A lot more thought than doing, chewing on a blog post comparing situational stats and then a new writing project for sports ideas like:


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