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Having fun, writing about the stuff I like


Oscar Foulkes January 15, 2014 Uncategorized No comments
One of the recurring themes in Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow is that we have asymmetric responses to losses and gains, especially when there are miniscule probabilities involved.

We are so keen to avert losses that we’ll overpay for insurance, and dread events that are possible – but barely probable – loom larger than they should.

He uses the fabulous example of how a bowl of gorgeous cherries is made completely undesirable by the presence of one cockroach in the bowl. Correspondingly, a bowl of cockroaches isn’t made any less repugnant by the presence of one cherry.

We expend a lot more energy on the things that cause anxiety or fear, than we do on feelings of pleasure.

I ask you: what symbolises pleasure and deliciousness better than a ripe cherry, plump with sweet juice?

I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions, but please do not be surprised if I spontaneously shout “Cherries!” or drop the word into a social media update. It’s my little way of remembering to put gains (and happiness) first.

Try it (preferably with a big grin) … Cherries!


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