There was a time when psychology was all about helping people get from bad to normal.
Necessity is the mother of invention. In 1991, a group of researchers in the computer laboratory at the University of Cambridge shared a single coffee pot. The problem is that the coffee didn’t last long once brewed, and there was no way to know if there was coffee to be had before making the trek to the machine. A simple solution was to point a camera at the pot and broadcast the frame grabber to all the researchers’ desktop computers through their internal network. Information asymmetry solved.
Let me tell you about the only time in history a new technology has been adopted by almost everyone virtually overnight.
An irony of studying history is that we often know exactly how a story ends, but have no idea where it began.
No company or investment strategy is proven until it’s survived a calamity. Things that can thrive while the wind is at their back outnumber those that can endure the complete wrath of the real world 100 to 1, at least. Something that’s only viable when everything’s moving in the right direction can – for a while – look the most impressive, because growth during boom times is often amplified by leverage, luck, and obliviousness that can be mistaken for optimism and vision. But markets survive on a steady diet of fragile ignorance, chewing it up and spitting it out whenever it’s exposed. Save your biggest applause for stuff that’s made it through at least one feast.
Having more than you need can be a liability masquerading as an advantage, and no sense of “enough” can look like ambition but often leads you over the edge.
There are a few things that are so obviously true, and true for everyone, that no one argues about them. But most stuff isn’t black or white. Most of the stuff we argue about usually have many truths – several “right” answers depending on the person and situation – and we’re actually arguing over the other person not having the same goals, needs, risks, and wants as you do. It’s a mess. And the only thing worse than thinking everyone who disagrees with you is wrong is the opposite: being persuaded by the advice of those who need or want something you don’t.
There seems to be a consensus that older people aren’t tech users: they’re resistant to change and uninterested in learning new technologies.
Expecting crazy > expecting average, because the important part of “reversion to the mean” is the reversion, not the mean.
Something stupid you can stick with will probably outperform something smart that you’ll burn out on.