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08: Flexible Thinking

Biggest takeaway this week was try to be flexible in your thinking.


Thinking in Bets

Finished Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke.

This book teaches us that life is poker not chess. We have to take satisfaction in assessing the probabilities of different outcomes given the decisions under consideration and in executing the bet we think is bet.

Don’t be an outcome junkie. You’re going to lose a lot, and win a lot. You can always, however, try to make a good bet.

Learn how to navigate the uncertain future because you’ll never be sure of the future. Try to calibrate your beliefs to a more accurate and objective representation of the world.

More notes:

CUDOS: principles for a good trust group

Communism: be a data sharer, more data you share leads to better assessment

Universalism: don’t shoot the message, imagine if same info came from person you didn’t like

Both of these are bad: - negative opinion about person delivering message, we close our mind - positive opinion about person delivering message, we accept without vetting it

Disinterestedness: telling someone how a story ends encourages them to be resulters

Organized skepticism: discussion among the group to encourage engagement and dissent

How to communicate with group

Express uncertainty: listen for things you agree with, state those and be specific, follow with and instead of but

Focus on the future: we can identify the goals, our problem is the execution

Example: child with bad test scores - it must be hard to have a teacher like that, do you think there is anything you can do to improve your grade in the future?

Consequences take awhile to show: what does the intern possibly know? It could take years for that intern to become a successful competitor before that mistake becomes obvious

Temporal discounting - favor our present self at the expense of our future self

Move regret in front of our decisions: have a loss agreement, regret decision of losing lots of chips before you bought more

This does two things:

1 - influences us to make a better decision 2 - helps us treat ourselves more compassionately

What is tilt?: if you blow some recent event out of proportion and react in a drastic way, you’re on tilt

Ulysses contract: past-us preventing present-us from doing something stupid

Examples: take a ride share when going to a bar, automatic allocation into retirement fund

Benefits of scouting the future

Expected value: probability gets you to prioritize

Example when applying for Grants:

This shows that the $50,000 grant is more valuable than the $100,000 and $200,000 grants.

Backcasting: when we forecast the future, the present and the immediate future look large, anything beyond that loses focus

Premortem: imagine a negative outcome


Because it helps us anticipate potential obstacles and improve our likelihood of succeeding.

Tree metaphor

Hindsight bias is the enemy of probabilistic thinking.

Tao Jones of Averages

After searching Charlie Munger quotes, came across this book by Bennett Goodspeed and got it via Kindle. Read it in one day, it was that good.

Book teaches you about whole-brain investing, the differences between your left and right brain. Left brain is analytical and right brain is more gut instinct. More highlights via ReadWise.

Anecdotes or excerpts:

How we often think



How to govern or manage

Left Brain

Right Brain

Qualitative info

Bad Education System

How to improve education system

Model of creativity


Comedy and Tragedy

Thinking and dealing with uncertainty



Reading is important for inference

Quotes I liked this week


Explored Tableau and put together a Tweet thread on Kenny Williams. Re-purposed help docs for college basketball stats using Gitbook.

Still exploring a new project about sports, writing or thinking about things that are hard to measure.

Read all notes