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DAVIDSON: Making Smarter Decisions

Stop thinking in certainties and recognize probabilities; things lie along continuums.

Jeff Davidson

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Annie Duke, a professional gambler, has written an intriguing book, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All The Facts. The text is great; I took a lot of notes and saved many excerpts:

Life choices we make are bets on a specific path, as distinct from a range of potential alternative futures. Job and relocation decisions are bets. Sales negotiations and contracts are bets. Buying a house is a bet. Ordering the chicken instead of the steak is a bet. Everything is a bet.

Ask someone, “Want to bet?” when they claim something to be true. It puts them in a different place than when they simply state what they believed to be true. Thinking in Bets can help us reshape our approach to the world, and improve all aspects of decision-making in our lives.

Overview

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We humans are disastrously biased in our decision making. We fool ourselves into believing our beliefs whether they are worthy of our trust of not. Our biases systematically impede our decision-making.

Most people don’t actually think through their beliefs. They hear something from a source they hold in high esteem and then maintain that belief. Recognize when you’re in an “echo-chamber” where only viewpoints you’re currently comfortable with are expressed.

We are quick to form beliefs, tend towards absolutes (this is right, that is wrong), and indulge in “motivated reasoning,” seeking out confirmation while ignoring contradictory evidence. Believing is easy; we are wired to believe

Our beliefs impact how we view the world, then how we act, and how we plan for the future. We are loath to update our beliefs, especially when a change would be a challenge to our self-narrative. Our decision-making is only as good as the accuracy of our beliefs, which are hopelessly biased and often wrong.

Because our beliefs are based on past experiences and inputs, it is wise to be purposeful about the inputs and experiences that we have going forward as that will guide our future selves.

“Resulting”

We judge decisions based on how they turn out, known as “resulting,” in which we believe results indicate the quality of our decision: If we succeeded it was a good decision, but if we failed, it was a bad decision.

We guard our self-image via “self-serving bias,” which distorts our view of the world: We take credit for all good outcomes and blame bad luck for all bad outcomes, even when the truth is often shaded in grey.

Resulting ignores the role of luck. When a desired outcome doesn’t occur, it does not always mean it was a poor choice. It could have been bad luck. This insight moves us away from right-wrong thinking, and towards a probabilistic approach to interpreting outcomes, like betting in poker.

So, assess decisions on the basis of how they were made, not how they turned out You can win with a poor decision and lose with a good one. In the long run, it’s the decision-making process that counts.

Stop thinking in certainties and recognize probabilities, and avoid imagining situations as either-or. Most things lie along continuums.

Taking Action

Embrace uncertainty, by thinking in bets. Calibrate your confidence on a more granular level. Rather than say, “I know X with 100% certainty,” express a lesser confidence of, say, 65%. Calibrating preserves our self-narrative if we happen to be wrong, and it also makes us more credible.

Assess outcomes after the fact, through “outcome fielding.” Was an outcome driven by luck or skill, and in what combination? After winning a high profile tournament, for example, a poker player was focused not on basking in glory, but on de-constructing his play, and what he could have done better.

Practice tough love in the service of “truth-seeking.” No whining about how bad luck hurt us. No patting ourselves on the backs. Truth-seeking requires a special kind of contract with yourself.

Listen to arguments from all sides to get a clearer picture of the truth. Observe the world around you and learn from the choices that other people make by observing.

Create a group of individuals who can provide us with feedback on our weaknesses and blind spots. Focus on accuracy, accountability, and openness to diverse views. Court dissent and differing points of view, and take responsibility even when doing so is painful.

Strength in the Moment

We tend to act based on how we are affected right now, rather than how we will feel later. When we reach for that doughnut, rather than for a healthy apple, we’re doing so at the expense of our future self. Employ the 10-10-10 process: what are the consequences of each of my options in 10 minutes? 10 months? 10 years?

Finally, exercise caution after a streak of positive or negative outcomes to avoid becoming emotionally charged in a way that prevents us from thinking clearly.

Opinion

The Globalist’s Fanatical Quest for a One-world Government 

Every activity of the Left is designed to diminish the strength, status, and sovereignty of the U.S.

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What has happened in the United States in the last 14 months? It doesn’t even seem like our own nation any more. People who riot in the streets are described by the lamestream media as ‘peaceful protesters.’ District Attorneys let hardened criminals out of jail. Grammar schools indoctrinate in our children, teaching them to hate America. 

Who Is Running the Asylum?

Governors mandate restrictions of their citizens, while flagrantly breaking their own rules. The Biden administration, run by who knows who, actively undermines the “1776 Project” — which was designed to offer a balanced perspective on American history.  Instead Biden and company support the misdirected “1619 Project,” launched by New York Times, which claims that the real founding of the U.S. started when slaves were first shipped across the Atlantic.

We have witnessed thousands of strange assertions, end runs around the law, and media flights of complete fantasy. The creepy, illegal, unpatriotic, absurd positions of the Left are unfolding at an increasing pace. Whether it’s defacing property, ruining women’s sport by allowing biological males to compete, desecrating church symbols, renaming schools, defaming Dr. Seuss, or re-assigning the sex of a plastic toy potato, the Left know no bounds. 

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Those in a position to call them out, our elected representatives, as well as opinion makers, too often say little or nothing. 

Marching to Madness

Is there a common denominator to all of the heartless and heart-sickening behaviors that we’ve witnessed for months on end now, and realistically, on a lesser level, for years? Actually, the answer is yes

Every activity of the Left, from tiny to gargantuan, in one form or another, is designed to diminish the strength, status, and sovereignty of the U.S. Whether it’s seeking to overrun the country with illegal immigrants, pack the Supreme Court, smear Supreme Court nominees, besmirch local officials, cancel the careers of people who’ve made one errant statement even if it was 30 years ago, and so on, all such activities have a common denominator. 

The common denominator is to vanquish the opposition thoroughly, vanquish the U.S. Constitution, ignore due process, overturn the right of habeas corpus, obliterate ‘one person one vote,’ and much more, so that as a nation we are left in tatters. 

“We Know Best”

If the U.S. declines in stature and power, the global elite believe that they move closer and closer to their goal of having a ‘one world government.’ Headed by global elites – Leftist multi-million dollar career politicians and Leftist billionaires, who pull the strings around the world – such a government supposedly will produce the utopian society that Left fervently desires. 

Utopias don’t exist, however, could not work if they did, and would end up enslaving their citizens. Read Utopia by Sir Thomas More, Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, The Republic by Plato, or any other treatise on supposedly ideal societies. You will quickly understand that the elite invariably will regard the citizenry with disdain, nothing more than serfs – worker drones – who are to act according to how they are manipulated and who will do exactly what they are told.

By any measure, the global elite’s decades-long quest for a one-world government is exceedingly far from Americans ideals. Indeed, it so distant from what our Constitution guarantees, and so far from the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, that it is beyond chilling.

A Sordid Vision

If America falls, the whole world falls, except for the Chinese Communists. They will control at least half of the globe, and their form of government is going to be worse than what the global elites have in mind. The Chinese are already experimenting with creating biologically enhanced ‘super soldiers’, more powerful than the average soldier. 

They already have imprisoned thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people in slave labor camps. They already have surveillance cameras in their larger cities to a degree that you cannot imagine. In time, it might be shown that they intentionally released the Wuhan virus on the world. Who can say right now?

The global elites, as well as the Chinese Communists, must be contained and, in time, stopped. It will be a monumental task, but we stopped Hitler and Mussolini, we overcame the monolithic Soviet Union, and we can prevail now as well. It will require Gen Xers and Millennials to break away from the Left’s cultural stranglehold. And as they do, they will find that least 75 million Trump voters will be on their side.

What has happened in the United States in the last 14 months? It doesn’t even seem like our own nation any more. People who riot in the streets are described by the lamestream media as ‘peaceful protesters.’ District Attorneys let hardened criminals out of jail. Grammar schools indoctrinate in our children, teaching them to hate America.  Who Is Running the Asylum? Governors mandate restrictions of their citizens, while flagrantly breaking their own rules. The Biden administration, run by who knows who, actively undermines the “1776 Project” — which was designed to offer a balanced perspective on American history.  Instead Biden and company support the misdirected “1619 Project,” launched by New York Times, which claims that the real founding of the U.S. started when slaves were first shipped across the Atlantic. We have witnessed thousands of strange assertions, end runs around the law, and media flights of complete fantasy. The creepy, illegal, unpatriotic, absurd positions of the Left are unfolding at an increasing pace. Whether it’s defacing property, ruining women’s sport by allowing biological males to compete, desecrating church symbols, renaming schools, defaming Dr. Seuss, or re-assigning the sex of a plastic toy potato, the Left know no bounds.  Those in a position to call them out, our elected representatives, as well as opinion makers, too often say little or nothing.  Marching to Madness Is there a common denominator to all of the heartless and heart-sickening behaviors that we’ve witnessed for months on end now, and realistically, on a lesser level, for years? Actually, the answer is yes Every activity of the Left, from tiny to gargantuan, in one form or another, is designed to diminish the strength, status, and sovereignty of the U.S. Whether it’s seeking to overrun the country with illegal immigrants, pack the Supreme Court, smear Supreme Court…

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Opinion

Trump Privately Pummels Possible 2024 GOP Challenger

OUCH!

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It is hard to see any other outcome in 2024 than Donald Trump easily winning the Republican Party’s nomination for presidential candidacy, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t folks out there who are looking to temp fate.

Of those who could give Trump a run for his money, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis likely has the best shot at sneaking away with the nomination, thanks in no small part to his recent efforts to raise his national presence via aggressive COVID policies.

But Trump isn’t worried about DeSantis.  In fact, he thinks he’s rather dull.

As polls continue to put Ron DeSantis in the top spot for the 2024 nomination without Donald Trump on the ballot, sources confirmed to Axios that the former president has been privately trashing the popular Florida governor.

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“In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” an anonymous source told Axios.

The source noted that Trump does not consider the Florida governor a serious threat in 2024, asserting he “has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.”

There may be another issue at play.

Another source argued that the former president’s dissatisfaction with DeSantis stems from the fact that the governor “won’t say he won’t run [in 2024].”

“The others have stated pretty clearly they won’t challenge him,” the source said.

Trump reportedly said, “What’s the big deal? Why won’t he just say he’s not going to run against me?”

Trump has not yet officially announced any plans for 2024, with many believing that such a declaration will not come until after the 2022 midterms are over.

It is hard to see any other outcome in 2024 than Donald Trump easily winning the Republican Party’s nomination for presidential candidacy, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t folks out there who are looking to temp fate. Of those who could give Trump a run for his money, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis likely has the best shot at sneaking away with the nomination, thanks in no small part to his recent efforts to raise his national presence via aggressive COVID policies. But Trump isn’t worried about DeSantis.  In fact, he thinks he’s rather dull. As polls continue to put Ron DeSantis in the top spot for the 2024 nomination without Donald Trump on the ballot, sources confirmed to Axios that the former president has been privately trashing the popular Florida governor. “In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” an anonymous source told Axios. The source noted that Trump does not consider the Florida governor a serious threat in 2024, asserting he “has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.” There may be another issue at play. Another source argued that the former president’s dissatisfaction with DeSantis stems from the fact that the governor “won’t say he won’t run [in 2024].” “The others have stated pretty clearly they won’t challenge him,” the source said. Trump reportedly said, “What’s the big deal? Why won’t he just say he’s not going to run against me?” Trump has not yet officially announced any plans for 2024, with many believing that such a declaration will not come until after the 2022 midterms are over.

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