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Fortune as Cognitive Bias

Think about the most money you’ve received as a windfall - perhaps you deserved it, but its arrival was unexpected. You could have literally been gambling, or simply been in a situation that favored you in unanticipated ways.

Similarly, think about the most money you’ve ever lost unexpectedly. Again, you might have been gambling - or maybe you suffered a very real loss, and whatever form of insurance that should have mitigated the situation was inadequate.

For both of these, you should focus on situations with immediacy. Getting a raise or taking a loan both have substantive impacts on your finances, but neither have the psychological punch of a poker hand.

Our fortunes, good and bad, shape us in many ways. Their direct impact is most obvious, but they also become perceptual reference points.

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Typing is Thinking

You probably type a lot.

It’s a pretty strange thing, considered historically. Rather than interact directly, we serialize our thoughts and send or broadcast them (often lossily and asynchronously). In the past, written correspondence was an occasional luxury, used for special purposes and communiques. Now it is our default mode, how humans reach one another for work, family, friendship, and more.

The modern ubiquity of literacy is a societal boon and equalizer - but the accompanying commoditization of communication has had unexpected side effects. We produce and consume - materially and ideologically - yet despite the prodigious growth of production, consumption has become so automatic as to outpace it for most individuals.

But this post is not yet another consideration of “doomscrolling” (see my previous post if interested). This post is about the creative side of the equation, and will hopefully encourage you to consider and create a bit more yourself.

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