Slowly, or all at once. Culture shifts slowly. “People like us do things like this.” Seismic events may make newspaper headlines, but they don’t rapidly change the way human beings in community behave. Instead, the status quo erodes, redefining itself as it goes. If you’re the
It will be a long time before I spell “handkerchief” incorrectly. That’s because in third grade, I lost the entry round of the spelling bee to my friend Elisa because I got it wrong. Who knew that there was a “d”? And now I know where I keep the thermos in my house. I spent […]
It’s priceless. When we’re used to it, when it comes along as a result of nothing we did to earn it, we take it for granted. But when you don’t have it, it makes everything more difficult. The benefit of the doubt is what happens when instead of being skeptical, we’re inclined
Deadlines are valuable, and deadlines are expensive. Organized systems and societies need deadlines. It would be impossible to efficiently build a house if the subcontractors could deliver their goods or services whenever it were convenient for them. Movie studios and book
“Ignore sunk costs” is the critical lesson of useful decision making. The thing you earned, that you depend on, that was hard to do–it’s a gift from your former self. Just because you have a law degree, a travel agency or the ability to do calligraphy in Cyrillic doesn’t mean
Look at that banana, just look at it. Bananas are a modern miracle. They’re cheap, nutritious, and readily available. And just about every banana you’ve ever eaten (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) came from the same tree. Not just a similar tree, the way oak trees are
Eventually, the culture figures out how much time we’re supposed to spend on something. They call it the “right” amount. How long an education should take, or an RFP. How fast to deliver on an order. How long to shop around for a new car. How much time to spend with a patient.