Tag Archives: utility theory

Newsflash: You Should Be Happy!!!

Matt Ridley has written an entertaining book: The Rational Optimist, detailing all the ways in which life is great for rich people. (By rich people I mean the fraction of humans who make ≥5 figure salaries in $.) For example Louis … Continue reading

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Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people (including myself) will approve of me? Is there a … Continue reading

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What I sensed was that while the laws of supply and demand governed everything on earth, the easy money was in demand—manufacturing it, manipulating it, sending it forth to multiply, etc. As a rule of thumb (and with some notable … Continue reading

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The Equation of Life s/rent/mortgage/ or s/rent/landowner’s share of tenant’s crops/ et cetera, et cetera, mutatis mutandi, et ceteraaaa, et ceteraaa

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I can afford to consume each of chocolate cheese tea/coffee fruit multiple times per week. I think that qualifies me as Pretty Goddam Lucky.

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Airplane passenger: It was the worst day of my life! First, we had to wait for twenty minutes! before they would let us board. And then, we had to sit on the runway for forty minutes! before they would let us take off!  Louis CK: Oh, really? … Continue reading

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lembarrasduchoix asked: thank you for the introduction to Newcomb’s paradox! Could you do a post on your favorite paradoxes?    The decision theory paradoxes I’m familiar with are: Ellsberg Paradox— Theorists encode both situations with unknown probabilities, such as the chance … Continue reading

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The Scenic Route

Years ago some friends and I took a roadtrip around the southeastern USA—Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The scenery was beautiful in the Great Smoky Mountains. But for some reason, the friend who had rented the car had … Continue reading

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Bob Kenny says [great wealth] isn’t always worthy of envy, and is certainly not worth sacrificing one’s life to attain. “If … people … know that getting the $20 million or $200 million won’t necessarily bring them all that they’d … Continue reading

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According to some rough estimates, world living standards grew less than 50 percent … from A.D. 1 until the Industrial Revolution. By contrast, they grew a whopping 1,000 to 2,000 percent in the 19th and 20th centuries. Joel Waldfogel

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