173 results back to index
Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber
addicted to oil, AltaVista, American ideology, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, Celebration, Florida, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, G4S, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, McJob, microcredit, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, presumed consent, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, spice trade, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, X Prize
In his study positing the vanishing of childhood, social critic Neil Postman observed that it was the idea of childhood that permitted a portrait of the modern idea of adulthood, distinguished by “the characteristics…of a fully literate culture: the capacity for self-restraint, a tolerance for delayed gratification, a sophisticated ability to think conceptually and sequentially, a preoccupation with both historical continuity and the future, a high valuation of reason and hierarchical order.”3 Postman is typical of modern psychological and sociological views of child development, which to some degree track the Protestant ethos (self-restraint, delayed gratification, rationality, and order). Playing on child/ adult dualisms, this perspective suggests that childishness, in contrast to adulthood, privileges: IMPULSE over DELIBERATION; FEELING over REASON; CERTAINTY over UNCERTAINTY; DOGMATISM over DOUBT; PLAY over WORK; PICTURES over WORDS; IMAGES over IDEAS; PLEASURE over HAPPINESS; INSTANT GRATIFICATION over LONG-TERM SATISFACTION; EGOISM over ALTRUISM; PRIVATE over PUBLIC; NARCISSISM over SOCIABILITY; ENTITLEMENT (RIGHT) over OBLIGATION (RESPONSIBILITY); THE TIMELESS PRESENT OVER TEMPORALITY (NOW OVER PAST and FUTURE); THE NEAR over THE REMOTE (INSTANTANEOUS OVER ENDURING); PHYSICAL SEXUALITY over EROTIC LOVE; INDIVIDUALISM OVER COMMUNITY; IGNORANCE over KNOWLEDGE.
As the domestic market for films shifted to television, rentals, and video-on-demand, the foreign big-screen market became ever more important. Around 1993, foreign box-office revenue overtook domestic revenue for Hollywood films, and today more than 60 percent of exhibition revenue is from overseas markets. Hollywood thus needs exportable blockbusters whose primary target “is people with an underdeveloped capacity for deferred gratification; that is, kids.”66 Since increasingly Hollywood has come to depend on customers who see films three or four times or more, these kids—the “tell me the story again” kids referenced above—are ideal customers, along with the new class of re-juveniled adults. Much the same can be said of the Mexican-made soap operas aimed at the American Latino market, “Bollywood” musicals from India’s prospering film market looking for an export market (Indian action-adventure tough-guy Salman Kahn has been introduced into the United States along with a couple of Bollywood leading ladies), or Madrid’s new appetite for global musicals, all of which suggest that the trends in Hollywood and New York have their global counterparts.
When at the beginning of the seventeenth century the Puritans sailed for America, they took with them this powerful cultural ideology manifesting the new ethos—this fresh and vibrant ethic capable of assuaging the yearning soul even as it succored the striving body. Planted on a bounteous new continent and combining the burgeoning new free economy’s core values of work, investment, and saving with an energetic and enlightened selfishness on behalf of the common good, the ethos was fortified by a spiritual catechism celebrating altruistic toil, ascetic self-denial, deferred gratification, and a devotion to good works and to charity—all laced with an egalitarianism in which work and faith, virtues available to all, generated both worldly and otherworldly rewards. This new miracle of Protestant theology found a road to the eternal soul’s redemption that passed through self-denial yet nonetheless yielded prosperity for the mortal body. It was as perfect a model of dialectical synergy as can be conceived: ascetic renunciation yielded material bounty, while worldly prosperity became a sign of certain spiritual salvation.
The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business cycle, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy
In modern economic terms, we “discount” the future—so steeply, in fact, that a reward that requires some waiting must be quite large before we’ll voluntarily choose it over something available right now. In studies, subjects who are offered even comparatively large delayed rewards (say, an Amazon gift certificate to be delivered several weeks later) will consistently reject those rewards in favor of a much smaller immediate reward. In the Princeton brain scan study, most subjects wouldn’t defer gratification even when doing so would have netted them a “return” equivalent to 5 percent a week, or 250 percent a year. “It was ridiculous,” Sam McClure, the Princeton study’s lead author, told me. “If you were making even one percent a week on your bank account, you’d be rich.” Yet this “ridiculous” discount is, in effect, built into our heads, and this helps explain why we constantly make extraordinary intertemporal errors.
“You don’t come with your [extended] family. You don’t know your neighbors. You don’t have the strong sense of community . . . of someone overseeing what it is you’re doing and saying, ‘Hey, don’t be such a chump.’ ”24 Sigmund Freud, when he was describing the process of emotional development nearly a century ago, coined the term reality principle to describe how the healthy individual must learn to defer gratification. To fail to submit to reality—to remain guided instead by the “pleasure principle”—Freud argued, was to lock oneself in an infantile, stunted stage, forever unfulfilled and unsociable. For Freud, the forces of reality were mainly social, such as family and institutional authority. But he could just as well have been talking about market forces, since, generally speaking, a person or organization unable to defer economic gratification is soon ostracized by the efficient market.
In such a venture, writes Yale University’s Allen Wood, individual success came not through “cultivating or indulging arbitrariness, personal peculiarity and idiosyncrasy, but in developing a character which values itself for what it has in common with other people.”22 Today, by contrast, it is precisely arbitrariness, personal peculiarity, and idiosyncrasy that we cultivate, in part because these “qualities” are seen as the only way to get ahead. There are depressingly few contemporary examples of celebrated, socially productive men and women working quietly toward the greater good. The very concept of work itself has been degraded. Not so long ago, we told our children that personal success required sustained effort, a willingness to delay gratification, and the capacity to control impulses. But today our children look around, and that’s not what they see. They see their parents and grandparents working hard and being patient and keeping their passions in check and still being tossed aside like an old couch—while investment bankers and reality TV stars appear to make huge, easy dollars. Little wonder cheating is now endemic in high school and college.
The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, Robert M. Pressman
It is not very scary; after all, we all lack skills in some areas. One of the authors of this book is an abominable speller but, fortunately, has a word processor that can check spelling. The other cannot understand how electricity works ("You mean, it isn't magic?") but can hire an electrician. There are some skills, however, that we need to learn to have a productive life. Task completion (and the ability it implies to defer gratification) is one of them. To the patient, we say, "You didn't learn it then, but you can now. Now you are a grownup, and you have choices and options." We emphasize that good decision making involves looking at every possible alternate to any situation, and then making the decision based on what will be the best option for oneself. One needs to have goals (where I want to be) and then be able to measure options against those goals (will this help me get closer to where I want to be?).
In an age of thirty-second television solutions, unrealistic body images, real-life random violence (even at elementary schools), no meaningful gun control, media and entertainment industry preoccupations with sex and violence, nuclear accidents, institutionalized discrimination, police forces out of control, and the decline of both organized religion and the nuclear family, the quick fix is not only encouraged-it looks pretty good. This is especially true for adults from narcissistic homes; those individuals we have treated all have problems with delaying gratification, and all have problems with at least one of the "big three": alcohol and drugs, food, and overspending. After all, in a chaotic and frightening universe, one counts on what one can most easily control. Even in the early 1900s, Jung was writing about his concerns with the direction in which society was moving: away from spiritual grounding and toward self-destructive behaviors. All ages before us have believed in gods in some form or other.
Bill was it. My God! If I'd ever thought ... to be able to get a job and an apartment, I'd have jumped at the chance! I was so stupid ... no, I wasn't stupid. You're right. I never thought of it, because it wasn't an option. Not in my family. My God, I wasn't so stupid. It just wasn't an option." Conclusion Patients respond well to the premise that decision making or longrange planning, delaying gratification, project completion-whatever you want to call it-is a learned skill. In this context we use a nonjudgmental, nonblaming approach. It is not that their parents were necessarily bad, but they were unable to teach important skills in this area; we are not talking about a moral failure but about an educational deficit. Most patients can relate to this. It is not very scary; after all, we all lack skills in some areas.
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper
Albert Einstein, business cycle, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, Menlo Park, natural language processing, new economy, pets.com, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, urban planning
The saving grace with respect to abuse is that the computer also has the power to audit all of the user's actions easily, recording them in detail for any outside observer. The principle is a simple one: Let the user do whatever he wants, but keep very detailed records of those actions so that full accountability is easy. Polite Software Gives Instant Gratification Computer programming is all about deferred gratification. Computers do nothing until you've put enormous effort into first writing a program. Software engineers slowly internalize this principle of deferred gratification, and they tend to write programs that behave in the same way. Programs make users enter all possible information before they do even the tiniest bit of work. If another human behaved that way, you'd actively dislike him. We can make our software significantly more polite by ensuring that it works for, and provides information to, the user without demanding a lot of up-front effort.
This makes it attractive because it seems so inexpensive, but real programming gives you a reliable program, and prototyping gives you a shaky foundation. Prototypes are experiments made to be thrown out, but few of them ever are. Managers look at the running prototype and ask, "Why can't we just use this?" The answer is too technically complex and too fraught with uncertainty to have sufficient force to dissuade the manager who sees what looks like a way to avoid months of expensive effort. The essence of good programming is deferred gratification. You put in all of the work up front, and then you reap the rewards later. There are very few tasks that aren't cheaper to do manually. Once written, however, programs can be run a million times with no extra cost. The most expensive program is one that runs once. The cheapest program is the one that runs ten billion times. However, any inappropriate behavior will also be magnified ten billion times.
As long as his games weren't hidden away somewhere, he'd be happy. Throughout the entire design project, Clevis was our touchstone. His image became our battle standard. We knew that to make Clevis happy would mean that we would make any and every airplane customer happy. He was our primary persona, and we designed the system for him and him alone. Designing for Clevis Clevis had no experience with computers and no patience for the typical attitude of delayed gratification that most programs have. The solution to Clevis's navigation problem was simple: He could not and would not "navigate," so there could be only one screen. The solution to Clevis's reluctance to explore the interface meant that the product had to be very generous with information. We were parsimonious with choices but copious with information. We turned the screen into a horizontally scrolling panoply of movie posters and album covers.
The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous
Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, conceptual framework, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, delayed gratification, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, global reserve currency, high net worth, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, iterative process, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Stanford marshmallow experiment, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game
Had he had the temperament to study capital theory, he would have understood that the decreased consumption was a natural reaction to the business cycle, which was in turn caused by the expansion of the money supply, as will be discussed in Chapter 6. He would also have understood that the only cause of economic growth in the first place is delayed gratification, saving, and investment, which extend the length of the production cycle and increase the productivity of the methods of production, leading to better standards of living. He would have realized the only reason he was born into a rich family in a rich society was that his ancestors had spent centuries accumulating capital, deferring gratification and investing in the future. But, like the Roman emperors during the decay of the empire, he could never understand the work and sacrifice needed to build his affluence and believed instead that high consumption is the cause of prosperity rather than its consequence.
But the only way to build the fishing rod is to dedicate an initial amount of time to work that does not produce edible fish, but instead produces a fishing rod. This is an uncertain process, for the fishing rod might not work and the fisherman will have wasted his time to no avail. Not only does investment require delaying gratification, it also always carries with it a risk of failure, which means the investment will only be undertaken with an expectation of a reward. The lower an individual's time preference, the more likely he is to engage in investment, to delay gratification, and to accumulate capital. The more capital is accumulated, the higher the productivity of labor, and the longer the time horizon of production. To understand the difference more vividly, contrast two hypothetical individuals who start off with nothing but their bare hands, and differing time preferences: Harry has a higher time preference than Linda.
Psychologist Walter Mischel would leave children in a room with a piece of marshmallow or a cookie, and tell the kids they were free to have it if they wanted, but that he will come back in 15 minutes, and if the children had not eaten the candy, he would offer them a second piece as a reward. In other words, the children had the choice between the immediate gratification of a piece of candy, or delaying gratification and receiving two pieces of candy. This is a simple way of testing children's time preference: students with a lower time preference were the ones who could wait for the second piece of candy, whereas the students with the higher time preference could not. Mischel followed up with the children decades later and found significant correlation between having a low time preference as measured with the marshmallow test and good academic achievement, high SAT score, low body mass index, and lack of addiction to drugs.
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, facts on the ground, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, out of africa, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus
And indeed, they found that some emotionally involved brain structures were highly activated by the choice of immediate or near-term rewards. These areas were associated with impulsive behavior, including drug addiction. In contrast, when participants opted for longer-term rewards with higher return, lateral areas of the cortex involved in higher cognition and deliberation were more active.18 And the higher the activity in these lateral areas, the more the participant was willing to defer gratification. Sometime between 2005 and 2006, the United States housing bubble burst. The problem was that 80 percent of recently issued mortgages were adjustable-rate. The subprime borrowers who had signed up for these loans suddenly found themselves stuck with higher payment rates and no way to refinance. Delinquencies soared. Between late 2007 and 2008, almost one million U.S. homes were foreclosed on.
Here people tended to switch their preference, choosing to wait the fifty-three weeks. Note that the two scenarios are identical in that waiting one extra week earns you an extra $10. So why is there a preference reversal between the two?17 It’s because people “discount” the future, an economic term meaning that rewards closer to now are valued more highly than rewards in the distant future. Delaying gratification is difficult. And there is something very special about right now—which always holds the highest value. Kahneman and Tversky’s preference reversal comes about because the discounting has a particular shape: it drops off very quickly into the near future, and then flattens out a bit, as though more distant times are all about the same. That shape happens to look like the shape you would get if you combined two simpler processes: one that cares about short-term reward and one that holds concerns more distantly into the future.
Indeed, the Soviet attempts to squelch religion were only partially successful, and no sooner had the government collapsed than the religious ceremonies sprang richly back to life. The observation that people are made of conflicting short- and long-term desires is not a new one. Ancient Jewish writings proposed that the body is composed of two interacting parts: a body (guf), which always wants things now, and a soul (nefesh), which maintains a longer-term view. Similarly, Germans use a fanciful expression for a person trying to delay gratification: he must overcome his innerer schweinehund—which translates, sometimes to the puzzlement of English speakers, as “inner pigdog.” Your behavior—what you do in the world—is simply the end result of the battles. But the story gets better, because the different parties in the brain can learn about their interactions with one another. As a result, the situation quickly surpasses simple arm wrestling between short- and long-term desires and enters the realm of a surprisingly sophisticated process of negotiation.
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott
3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, women in the workforce, young professional
Perhaps ‘self-sharing’ is a better way of thinking about this challenge. There is evidence that people differ in their capacity to exercise self-control and these differences manifest themselves from an early age. For example, studies of young children show that even by the age of three, some are more able to exercise self-control and defer gratification than others – in this case, to hold back eating a marshmallow now with the promise of two marshmallows in 30 minutes.6 Being able to defer gratification can be important in mastery, since acquiring a skill often entails deferring short-term pleasure (watching the next episode of a mini-series) for long-term gain (being able to speak Italian). However, there is also evidence that this self-control is a learned behaviour and that people can be taught to defer immediate gratification in order to achieve personal mastery.
., Old Age is Another Country (Crossing Press, 1995). Agenda for Change 1Parfit, D., Reasons and Persons (Clarendon Press, 1984). 2Archer, M., The Reflexive Imperative (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 3Kahneman, D., Thinking Fast and Slow (Penguin, 2011). 4Heffernan, M., Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril (Simon & Schuster, 2011). 5Eliot, T. S., Four Quartets (Harcourt, 1943). 6The original experiments on delayed gratification took place at Stanford in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mischel, W., The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (Bantam Press, 2014). 7Dweck, C., Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Random House, 2006). 8Zhenghao, C., Alcorn, B., Christensen, C., Eriksson, N., Koller, D. and Emanuel, E. J., ‘Who’s Benefiting from MOOCs, and Why’, Harvard Business Review (September 2015). 9Sebastian Thun, a former Stanford University professor, vice president of Google and founder of online educational company Udacity, puts it well: ‘The education system is based on a framework from the 17th and 18th century that says we should play for the first five years of life, then learn, then work, then rest and then die.
Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain by Fintan O'Toole
Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, full employment, Khartoum Gordon, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment
It is a (slightly) grown-up version of a Just William story, where instead of stealing a cake at the vicar’s tea party, Boris is wolfing his wife’s toast. It is disarmingly childish. It functions as an English version of the famous Stanford marshmallow test in which children’s capacity for delayed gratification was assessed by offering them a choice between one treat now or two treats a little later. Boris fails the toast test – even his wife’s suffering in childbirth is not enough to make him prioritize her needs over his own. Yet even while confessing his sin, he is also evoking the thrills of rebelling against constraint. The none too subliminal message is: screw deferred gratification. Secondly, the story contains a parable of British politics over the previous half-century. The ‘person who is i/c [in charge of] toast’ is a parody of the officiousness of a wartime economy and of nationalized industry.
The Politics of Pain by Fintan O'Toole
banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, full employment, Khartoum Gordon, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment
It is a (slightly) grown-up version of a Just William story, where instead of stealing a cake at the vicar’s tea party, Boris is wolfing his wife’s toast. It is disarmingly childish. It functions as an English version of the famous Stanford marshmallow test in which children’s capacity for delayed gratification was assessed by offering them a choice between one treat now or two treats a little later. Boris fails the toast test – even his wife’s suffering in childbirth is not enough to make him prioritize her needs over his own. Yet even while confessing his sin, he is also evoking the thrills of rebelling against constraint. The none too subliminal message is: screw deferred gratification. Secondly, the story contains a parable of British politics over the previous half-century. The ‘person who is i/c [in charge of] toast’ is a parody of the officiousness of a wartime economy and of nationalized industry.
Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku
agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize
Then one asks the question: What is the one quality that predicted their success in marriage, careers, wealth, etc.? When one compensates for socioeconomic factors, one finds that one characteristic sometimes stands out from all the others: the ability to delay gratification. According to the long-term studies of Walter Mischel of Columbia University, and many others, children who were able to refrain from immediate gratification (e.g., eating a marshmallow given to them) and held out for greater long-term rewards (getting two marshmallows instead of one) consistently scored higher on almost every measure of future success, in SATs, life, love, and career. But being able to defer gratification also refers to a higher level of awareness and consciousness. These children were able to simulate the future and realize that future rewards were greater. So being able to see the future consequences of our actions requires a higher level of awareness.
Clausewitz, Carl von Cloning, 3.1, 3.2 Cloud computing, 1.1, 7.1 Cochlear implants Code breaking Collins, Francis Comets Common sense, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 7.1, 7.2 Computers animations created by augmented reality bioinformatics brain simulations carbon nanotubes and cloud computing, 1.1, 7.1 digital divide DNA computers driverless cars exponential growth of computer power (Moore’s law), 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 4.1 fairy tale life and far future (2070) four stages of technology and Internet glasses and contact lenses, 1.1, 1.2 medicine and midcentury (2030) mind control of molecular and atomic transistors nanotechnology and near future (present to 2030) optical computers parallel processing physics of computer revolution quantum computers quantum dot computers quantum theory and, 1.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 scrap computers self-assembly and silicon chips, limitations of, 1.1, 1.2, 4.1 telekinesis with 3-D technology universal translators virtual reality wall screens See also Mind reading; Robotics/AI Condorcet, Marquis de Conscious robots, 2.1, 2.2 Constellation Program COROT satellite, 6.1, 8.1 Crick, Francis Criminology Crutzen, Paul Culture in Type I civilization Customization of products Cybertourism, itr.1, itr.2 CYC project Damasio, Antonio Dating in 2100, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4 Davies, Stephen Da Vinci robotic system Dawkins, Richard, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 Dawn computer Dean, Thomas Decoherence problem Deep Blue computer, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 Delayed gratification DEMO fusion reactor Depression treatments Designer children, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 Developing nations, 7.1, 7.2 Diamandis, Peter Dictatorships Digital divide Dinosaur resurrection Disease, elimination of, 3.1, 8.1 DNA chips DNA computers Dog breeds Donoghue, John, 1.1, 1.2 Dreams, photographing of Drexler, Eric Driverless cars Duell, Charles H. Dyson, Freeman, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1 Dyson sphere Ebola virus Economics bubbles and crashes entertainment industry, 7.1, 7.2 far future (2070) four stages of technology and fundamental forces of the universe and job market, 7.1, 7.2 midcentury (2030) near future (present to 2030) science and technology as engines of prosperity Type I civilization and See also Intellectual capitalism Edison, Thomas, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Education, itr.1, itr.2, 1.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1 EEG (electroencephalogram), 1.1, 1.2 Einstein, Albert, itr.1, itr.2, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 8.1 Eisenhower, Dwight Ekenstam, Robin Elbon, John Electric cars Electricity as utility Electromagnetic force, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2 Emergent phenomena Emotional robots Energy carbon nanotubes and electric cars far future (2070) life’s origins and magnetic energy, 5.1, 9.1 midcentury (2030) for molecular machines near future (present to 2030) nuclear fission nuclear weapons, dangers of oil Planck energy solar/hydrogen economy solar power space solar power volcano vents as source of wind power See also Global warming; Nuclear fusion English as lingua franca Entertainment, human need for, itr.1, itr.2, itr.3 Entertainment industry, 7.1, 7.2 Entropy civilizations and longevity and Environmental threats, 8.1.
Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible by William N. Goetzmann
Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, delayed gratification, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invention of the steam engine, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, stochastic process, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, wage slave
Throughout history, people have come up with various forms of contracts that allow for broader participation in productive enterprise. We will explore some of these in detail in this book. INVESTMENT Consumption and production use current capital; investment provides that capital. It is the basic technology for saving for the future. That is why pension funds hold stocks and bonds and other financial assets. Investing money rather than spending it requires delaying gratification. No one likes to delay gratification without a good reason. For investors, a key incentive is the expectation of higher future consumption. In the simplest form of a financial contract—a loan—the lender expects to get back the money lent plus some extra amount: interest. The longer the loan is made for, the longer the investor delays personal consumption and thus, typically, the more interest is promised in compensation.
In fact, it was precisely the inequality of the distribution of wealth which made possible those vast accumulations of fixed wealth and of capital improvements which distinguished that age from all others. Herein lay, in fact, the main justification of the Capitalist System.1 To Keynes, the “double bluff” of the capitalist system was inherently unstable. His biggest complaint was the stinginess of the ruling class—their psychological fixation on saving up money. Keynes’s antagonism toward deferred gratification—toward moving economic value from the present into the future—is what made him acutely critical of the peace treaty. He saw the war as a turning point toward a new financial order. It showed the working classes just what they were missing, and it made the capitalist class realize their savings were worthless when facing an extremely uncertain future. He argued that the psychology of both classes would turn toward consumption and quality of life in the here and now.
See also hyperinflation infrastructure projects: corporations for, after American Revolution, 393–94; limited partnerships for, in eighteenth century, 380–81; of nineteenth- and twentieth-century China, 423, 428, 430, 431; Russian stock market and, 445 Inikori, Joseph, 336 insurance: derivatives and, 276, 285; Scholastic thinker on justification of, 236 insurance companies: bubbles of 1720 in shares of, 370–72; launched in Chinese treaty ports, 429; launched in Hamburg in 1720, 375; in London, 363, 366, 368–69; in Rotterdam, 363, 365–68, 370, 374; socially useful corporate model for, 375. See also maritime insurance intellectual property rights, 197; in seventeenth-century England, 328. See also patents interest: in ancient Chinese mathematical treatise, 164; based on 360-day year, 29; charged by seventh-century Chinese pawnshop, 179; compound, 16, 35–37; Fibonacci’s calculation of, 240, 242–43; for the lender’s delayed gratification, 6; on loans in Roman grain trade, 117; paid in labor, 42; as return on investment, 6–7; Roman law and, 235; on some census contracts, 216; Sumerian idea of, 44; Templars’ compensation instead of, 213–14; urbanism giving rise to, 40–41; on Venetian public debt, 230–31. See also investment; loans; usury interest rates: capped in Rome of third century CE, 132; in China, 164, 200; in Code of Hammurabi, 46; Keynes on, 461, 462, 466; in Law’s financial plan, 353–54, 355; in second-millennium Ur, 51 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 457–58, 459.
Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (And How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone
availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equal pay for equal work, experimental economics, experimental subject, feminist movement, game design, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, index card, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, market bubble, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Potemkin village, price anchoring, price discrimination, psychological pricing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, social intelligence, starchitect, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, working poor
There is no agreed-upon economic theory that would answer these questions.” The chart on the previous page shows the history of the price-to-earnings ratio of the stocks in the S&P Index. The S&P is a broad index computed from 500 companies presently accounting for about three-quarters of American’s total investment in domestic stocks. Like the price for a black box, the P/E ratio represents a capacity to defer gratification. You might think that this capacity would be a constant of human nature or else a slowly changing variable of American consumer culture. The chart tells a different story. The jittery line is the P/E ratio (using average earnings of the previous ten years, a measure Shiller uses). For reference, the thick gray line shows the historical average P/E ratio of about 16. In the past century, the S&P’s P/E ratio has varied from less than 5 (in 1920) to over 44 (in 1999).
You’ll recoup that the first year, and then afterward it will all be gravy. You might also reason that the box is worth less than your current life expectancy in dollars, since that limits how many dollar bills you can collect. (For the record, the box keeps working after the original owner’s death, and you’re allowed to bequeath it to anyone you like.) Your price for the box should have something to do with your capacity for delayed gratification. That is, you’re giving up some of your hard-earned money now, in the form of the purchase price, to enjoy a stream of earnings later. Someone who is focused on the present moment—the guy who’s always maxing out his credit cards—might not be interested in the box at all. Someone who looks at the long term might be willing to pay a relatively high price. One thing is clear. There is no indisputable right price.
The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy
"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel
A world of instantaneous messaging and simultaneous multi-viewing, of data on demand but without analysis, can, if we are not careful, lead to a shallow and self-centred take on the world, a Twittering world where no one has the concentration or time to take in more than a paragraph. Living in the present is all very well, but if we fail the Marshmallow Test we will short-change our future. Walter Mischel, a leading expert on self-control, devised the Marshmallow Test almost 50 years ago. In an empty room he presented young children with a choice: take one marshmallow now or wait a while and have two. It was a test of deferred gratification. After observing the later lives of the children he was convinced that deferred gratification was crucial to a successful life, to better social functioning and to a greater sense of self-worth. If he is right then the world of instant constant communication is endangering the successful futures of our young. I discuss some further implications in Essay 15, ‘The Necessity of Others’. We, and they, need to be careful. We need to be careful too of the darker side of the infosphere.
‘We have to learn by eavesdropping on our savvier colleagues, by playing around on the machines when we have any free time, or by asking when we get stuck.’ Just as my small grandchildren do, I thought. The front-loading theory of education assumes that young people are prepared to take on board the proposition that what they are asked to learn will be useful one day and that it can all be safely warehoused until they need it. Deferred gratification of this sort is a tough ask of young people and, unsurprisingly, not usually successful. Learning without context is hard, and learning without use soon evaporates, as we discover when learning a new language. So much of what we spend our time on in schools must surely be wasted. Instead, if we do learn most from living, we would do well to remember that the living starts early. The Jesuits are right to emphasise that the first seven years set the pattern for life.
The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demand response, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, obamacare, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, stem cell, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Walter Mischel
Both political parties talk a good game around fiscal discipline at the same time they are making the problem worse with unfunded tax cuts, new spending, or both. The growing debt is unfair to future generations and dangerously destabilizing to the financial system (which is not particularly stable to begin with). More broadly, the American public has developed a remarkable inability to defer gratification. We seem unable or unwilling to make the short-term sacrifices necessary to build a more prosperous society; the political system panders to that shortsighted view. This is a country that was built on huge public and private investments that paid dividends, decade after decade, generation after generation: the land grant universities, the interstate highway system, the transcontinental railroad.
There is a set of famous research studies from the 1960s and 1970s in which young children were placed in a room alone. On a table in front of them was a desirable treat or toy, such as a marshmallow. Each child could eat the treat or take the toy at any point; however, the children were also told that if they avoided eating the tantalizing treat for a short period, then they would get two treats once the time elapsed. In other words, there was a big payoff for deferring gratification. Some kids could do it; others could not. What’s remarkable is how predictive that behavior turned out to be of success later in life. The kids who did not rush to eat the marshmallow turned out to have higher SAT scores, better grades, less criminal activity, and many other positive life outcomes, even decades later.9 The United States is currently a country that not only gobbles down its marshmallows but also borrows extra marshmallows from China and eats them too.
That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum
addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks
Kennedy in New York for this distinction. LAX’s dingy, cramped United Airlines domestic terminal feels like a faded 1970s movie star who once was considered hip but has had one too many face-lifts and simply can’t hide the wrinkles anymore. But in many ways, LAX, JFK, and Penn Station are us. We are the United States of Deferred Maintenance. (China, by contrast, is the People’s Republic of Deferred Gratification.) In the Terrible Twos, our roads got more crowded, our bridges got creakier, our water systems got leakier, and the lines in our airports got longer. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, and gave America an overall grade of D. The report also gave individual grades to fifteen infrastructure categories. None got higher than C+.
A well-functioning political system must be rooted in something deeper than itself: a culture, which is most vividly expressed through certain values. We believe that as the boomer generation has assumed a dominant place in American society, the country has strayed from three of the core values on which American greatness depended in the past. The first of these changes involves a shift from long-term investment and delayed gratification, which were characteristic of the Greatest Generation, to short-term gratification and get-it-now-while-you-can thinking, which alas is typical of the baby boom generation. The second change is the loss of confidence in our institutions and in the authority of their leaders across the society. Related to this is a shift in how this society sees people in authority, whether politicians or scientific experts—a shift from healthy skepticism to cynical suspicion of everything and everyone.
A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne
"Mediated focusing"- Ability to focus attention and see objects in detail. Opposite of blurred and sweeping perceptions. 2. "Mediated scheduling"- Based on routine. Ability to schedule and plan ahead. Ability to represent the future abstractly and therefore set goals. 3. "Mediation of positive anticipation"-Ability to control the present for a happy representation of the future. 4. "Mediation of inhibition and control"- Ability to defer gratification, think before acting, control impulsiveness. 5. "Mediated representation of the future"-Ability to construe imaginatively a future scenario based on facts. 6. "Mediation of verbal stimulation"-Use of precise language for defining and categorizing the environment. 7. "Mediated precision "-Ability to precisely define situations, things, people, etc., and use that precise thinking for problem-solving.
"Some of the social and psychological characteristics include living in crowded quarters, a lack of privacy, gregariousness, a high incidence of alcoholism, frequent resort to violence in the settlement of quarrels, frequent use of physical violence in the training of children, wife beating, early initiation into sex, free unions or consensual marriages, a relatively high incidence of the abandonment of mothers and children, a trend toward mother-centered families and a much greater knowledge of maternal relatives, the predominance of the nuclear family, a strong predisposition to authoritarianism, and a great emphasis upon family solidarity-an ideal only rarely achieved. Other traits include a strong present time orientation with relatively little ability to defer gratification and plan for the future, a sense of resignation and fatalism based upon the realities of their difficult life situation, a belief in male superiority which reaches its crystallization in machismo or the cult of masculinity, a corresponding martyr complex among women, and finally, a high tolerance for psychological pathology of all sorts." Family structure of the poor: "more homes without a father, there is less marriage, more early pregnancy and, if Kinsey's statistical finding can be used, markedly different attitudes toward sex.
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Doto Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal
banking crisis, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, delayed gratification, game design, impulse control, lifelogging, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, Richard Thaler, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel
Most of the four-year-olds took what you and I would now recognize as the least effective strategy for delaying gratification: staring at the reward and imagining how it would taste. These kids folded in a matter of seconds. The four-year-olds who waited successfully tended to get their eyeballs off the promise of reward. There is delightful video footage of the kids struggling to wait, and watching it is a surprisingly good lesson in self-control. One girl covers her face with her hair so she can’t see the treats; one boy keeps an eye on the treats but moves the bell far away so he can’t reach it; another boy decides to compromise by licking the treats without actually eating them, portending an excellent future in politics. Although the study taught the researchers a lot about how four-year-olds delay gratification, it also provided a shockingly good way to predict a child’s future.
When you think about a larger, future reward first and consider trading it in for a smaller, immediate reward, it registers as a loss. But when you start with the immediate reward (the $50 check in your hand) and consider the benefits of delaying gratification for a larger reward, it also feels like a loss. Economists have found that you will come up with more reasons to justify choosing whichever reward you think about first. People who start by asking themselves, “Why should I take the check for $50?” will think of more reasons to support immediate gratification (“I can really use the money,” “Who knows if the $100 check will even be good in ninety days?”). People who start by asking themselves, “Why should I take the check for $100?” will think of more reasons to support delaying gratification (“That will buy twice as many groceries,” “I’m going to need money just as much in ninety days as I do now”). Future-reward discounting drops dramatically when people think about the future reward first.
WILLPOWER EXPERIMENT: MEET YOUR FUTURE SELF You can help yourself make wiser choices by sending yourself to the future (DeLorean not required 27). Below are three ideas for making the future feel real, and for getting to know your future self. Pick one that appeals to you and try it out this week. 1. Create a Future Memory. Neuroscientists at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany have shown that imagining the future helps people delay gratification. You don’t even need to think about the future rewards of delaying gratification—just thinking about the future seems to work. For example, if you’re trying to decide between starting a project now or putting it off, imagine yourself grocery shopping next week, or at a meeting you have scheduled. When you picture the future, the brain begins to think more concretely and immediately about the consequences of your present choices.
The Meritocracy Myth by Stephen J. McNamee
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, collective bargaining, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, failed state, fixed income, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, joint-stock company, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, occupational segregation, old-boy network, pink-collar, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, school choice, Scientific racism, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, white flight, young professional
Having the Right Attitude Beyond cognitive skills such as intelligence, various attitudes and behavioral traits are often presumed to be associated with economic success. In more familiar terms, these attitudes and traits are summarized by the phrase “having the right attitude.” Having the right attitude is associated with qualities like ambition, energy, motivation, and trustworthiness. It may also involve subtler traits like good judgment, sense of personal responsibility, willingness to defer gratification, persistence in the face of adversity, willingness to take risks, getting along with others, assertiveness, independence, and the like. Conversely, a lack of proper attitudes, as evidenced by laziness, shiftlessness, indolence, deficient self-discipline, unreliability, disruptiveness, and so on, is associated with the failure to achieve. It would seem that these represent two sides of the same coin.
It is one thing, for instance, to say that the poor have a “present time orientation” because they are hedonistic thrill seekers who live for the moment. However, it is another thing altogether to say that, regardless of one’s personal value system, one is forced to focus on the present if one is not sure where one’s next meal might come from. The middle and upper classes have the luxury of being able to plan ahead and defer gratification (for instance, going to college instead of accepting a low-paid service job) precisely because their present is secure. Similarly, the poor may have modest ambitions not because they are unmotivated but because they make a realistic assessment of limited life chances. In this formulation, exhibited behaviors and perceptions associated with a “culture of poverty” reflect the effects of poverty, not the causes.
., 1 , 2 Matthew effect, 1 , 2 matrix of domination, 1.1-1.2 Medicare, 1 , 2.1-2.2 mentors, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 meritocracy affirmative action and, 1 American promotion of merit, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 , 5 , 6 coping strategies, 1 , 2 credentials, lack of as a barrier, 1.1-1.2 as a desired outcome, 1 discrimination as the antithesis of merit, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7.1-7.2 , 8 , 9.1-9.2 , 10 , 11 education as a merit filter, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 employment opportunities, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 entrepreneurial success, 1 fairness of the system, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5 folklore of, 1 government spending and, 1.1-1.2 , 2 in the hiring process, 1.1-1.2 , 2 human capital factors, 1 , 2 , 3 income based on merit, 1 inheritance as a nonmerit factor, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 , 6 , 7.1-7.2 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13.1-13.2 intergenerational wealth transfers, 1.1-1.2 legacy preferences as nonmerit based, 1.1-1.2 , 2 luck as a nonmerit factor, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 market trends, 1.1-1.2 meritocratic aristocracy, 1.1-1.2 nepotism as nonmeritorious, 1.1-1.2 the new elite as extra-meritorious, 1 noblesse oblige increasing potential for, 1 nonmerit factors suppressing merit, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 Barack Obama as example of, 1.1-1.2 , 2 the past, reverence for, 1 physical attractiveness as a nonmerit factor, 1 , 2 pure merit system, 1.1-1.2 reform movements and, 1 , 2 self-employment as an expression of, 1 social and cultural capital as nonmerit factors, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 , 5.1-5.2 , 6 , 7 , 8.1-8.2 , 9 , 10 , 11 structural mobility and, 1.1-1.2 talents and abilities of the merit formula, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 taxes and nonmerit advantages, 1.1-1.2 Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 Microsoft, 1.1-1.2 middle class America as not middle class, 1 asset building, 1 cultural capital, 1.1-1.2 deferment of gratification, 1 education and, 1 , 2 , 3 Great Recession affecting, 1 home ownership, 1 inner cities, flight from, 1 , 2 Barack Obama, background of, 1.1-1.2 old class vs. new, 1.1-1.2 precarious status of, 1.1-1.2 sports choices of, 1 upper-middle class, 1 , 2 T The Millionaire Mind (Stanley), 1 M millionaires, 1 , 2 , 3 minority groups affirmative action, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 asset accumulation, 1.1-1.2 core employment, underrepresentation in, 1 disadvantages of, 1 discrimination experiences, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 , 5 , 6.1-6.2 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 education issues, 1.1-1.2 as inner city dwellers, 1 opportunities expanding, 1 , 2 , 3 self-employment and, 1 social capital, lack of, 1 , 2 , 3 moral character, 1.1-1.2 , 2 Mormons, 1 Murray, Charles, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 Muslims, 1.1-1.2 N National College Athletic Association (NCAA), 1 nepotism, 1.1-1.2 , 2 net worth affirmative action and, 1 defined, 1 by income group, 1 of minority groups, 1 of Barack Obama family, 1 of one percenters, 1 , 2 , 3 of Walton heirs, 1.1-1.2 wealth scale, 1.1-1.2 new elite, 1 , 2.1-2.2 noblesse oblige, 1.1-1.2 O Obama, Barack, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 Obama, Michelle, 1.1-1.2 occupations attitude as a factor, 1 , 2 blue-collar jobs, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 CEO salaries, 1.1-1.2 , 2 changes in opportunities, 1.1-1.2 , 2 cultural capital and, 1.1-1.2 , 2 the disabled and employment difficulties, 1 discrimination, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 downsizing, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 education linked to, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4.1-4.2 , 5 , 6.1-6.2 , 7.1-7.2 , 8 , 9.1-9.2 , 10.1-10.2 , 11 , 12.1-12.2 , 13 , 14.1-14.2 fastest growing jobs, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 health hazards, 1 nepotism and, 1 , 2 occupational mobility, 1.1-1.2 , 2 occupational segregation, 1 , 2.1-2.2 outsourcing, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 physical attraction and occupational success, 1 self-employment and, 1 self-made men, 1.1-1.2 social capital and occupational opportunities, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 wages, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 , 6.1-6.2 , 7.1-7.2 , 8 white-collar jobs, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 Occupy Wall Street (OWS), 1 old boy networks, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 old money, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 Outliers: The Story of Success (Gladwell), 1 , 2 outsourcing, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ownership class, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 P Paterson, Tim, 1 Peale, Norman Vincent, 1.1-1.2 pensions, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 pink-collar ghetto, 1.1-1.2 poverty children affected by, 1 , 2 culture-of-poverty theory, 1.1-1.2 , 2 full-time work below poverty level, 1 as a matter of attitude, 1 meritocracy and, 1 , 2 minority rates of, 1 , 2 poverty threshold, 1 regional variations in poverty rates, 1.1-1.2 , 2 senior citizens and poverty rates, 1 U.S. poverty rates, 1 T The Power of Positive Thinking (Peale), 1.1-1.2 P Protestants and the Protestant ethic, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 Puritan values, 1.1-1.2 R racism and racial issues affirmative action, 1.1-1.2 athletes and, 1 crime and the legal system, 1.1-1.2 disabilities, disproportionate experience of, 1 discrimination and, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 , 6 , 7 , 8 in education, 1.1-1.2 employment, affecting, 1 Great Recession worsening racial equality, 1 home ownership, 1 ideologies of inequality, as part of, 1 income gaps, 1 language skills and, 1 Obama, election of, 1 , 2 scientific racism, 1.1-1.2 segregation, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 social capital and, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 white flight, 1 , 2 random-walk hypothesis, 1 recession See Great Recession references, 1 , 2 , 3 retirement as part of the American Dream, 1 , 2 delayment as a coping strategy, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 home ownership and funding of, 1 as jeopardized, 1 , 2.1-2.2 proposed supplementation, 1 self-employment and, 1 , 2 , 3 right attitude, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 T The Rise of Meritocracy, 1870–2033:An Essay on Education and Equality (Young), 1 , 2 R Rivera, Lauren, 1 Rosenau, Pauline Vaillancourt, 1.1-1.2 S Schmitt, John, 1.1-1.2 schools See education segregation educational, 1 , 2 , 3 occupational, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 racial, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5 residential, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 of the wealthy, 1.1-1.2 white flight, 1 See also discrimination self-employment American Dream, as exemplifying, 1 franchises, 1 freelancing, 1 , 2 income, 1.1-1.2 irregular economy and, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 petty bourgeoisie and, 1 psychological characteristics, 1 rates of, diminished, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 , 5 , 6 , 7.1-7.2 , 8 risk, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 subcontractors, 1 taxes, 1.1-1.2 , 2 women and minorities, 1.1-1.2 self-help books, 1 , 2 self-made individuals, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 , 5 , 6 sexual harassment, 1.1-1.2 Shapiro, Thomas, 1 , 2.1-2.2 slaves and slavery, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 small businesses, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 , 6 , 7.1-7.2 , 8 , 9 Smith, Adam, 1 social capital benefits of, 1.1-1.2 , 2 defined, 1 , 2 , 3 discrimination and, 1 , 2 economic opportunities, having access to, 1 , 2 , 3 education and, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 mentorship as a form of, 1 nepotism and, 1.1-1.2 , 2 racism and lack of, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 restricted access, effects of, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 social climbing, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 of U.S. presidents, 1.1-1.2 weak ties, 1.1-1.2 social climbing, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 social clubs, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 social mobility athletic and artistic abilities, associated with, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 cultural capital as a factor in, 1 education link, 1 , 2 , 3 hard work as a factor, 1 individual merit, 1 integrity hindering, 1.1-1.2 marrying for money, 1 reduction of opportunities, 1 , 2 during Republican administrations, 1 role of government, 1 , 2 social climbing, 1.1-1.2 , 2 status attainment, 1 through self-employment, 1 social reform movements, 1.1-1.2 Social Register, 1 social reproduction theory, 1.1-1.2 , 2 Social Security, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 Something for Nothing: Luck in America (Lears), 1.1-1.2 T the South, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 , 5 S Stanley, Thomas, 1 status-attainment theory, 1.1-1.2 Stevens, Mitchell, 1 stock market, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 student loans, 1 , 2.1-2.2 success athletic success, 1 , 2.1-2.2 attitudes associated with, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 birth timing and, 1.1-1.2 , 2 cultural capital, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 discrimination, achieving success through, 1 education, as a factor in, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 entrepreneurial success, 1 , 2 , 3 God’s grace, success as sign of, 1 , 2 hard work and, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 , 5 human capital factors, 1 individualism as key to, 1 intelligence as a determinant, 1 luck as important, 1 meritocracy myth and, 1 mind-power ethic as success formula, 1.1-1.2 moral character and, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 parental involvement, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 the right stuff, being made of as key, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 small businesses and, 1 social capital increasing likelihood of, 1 , 2 , 3 suburban living as marker of, 1 10,000 hour rule, 1 women and, 1 , 2 supply side, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6.1-6.2 Survival of the Prettiest (Etcoff), 1.1-1.2 Swift, Adam, 1.1-1.2 T talent and abilities American aristocracy, 1 American Dream, leading to, 1 of athletes and celebrities, 1 education enhancing, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 functional theory of inequality, 1 jobs matched to talent, 1 success achieved through, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 talent-use gap, 1 upward mobility and, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3.1-3.2 taxes capital gains, 1.1-1.2 estate taxes, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 government policies linked with, 1 , 2 incentives and credits, 1.1-1.2 income taxes, lowered by Republicans, 1 irregular economy, avoiding, 1.1-1.2 progressive taxation, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 property taxes and school funding, 1.1-1.2 self-employment and, 1.1-1.2 , 2 Social Security affected by, 1 , 2 the South and lower taxes, 1 tax breaks for the wealthy, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 of urban areas, 1 , 2 Thurow, Lester, 1 , 2.1-2.2 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 1.1-1.2 , 2 tracking, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 , 4 Turner, Frederick Jackson, 1.1-1.2 U Unequal Childhoods (Lareau), 1 upper class charitable giving and, 1 cultural capital, holders of, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4.1-4.2 , 5 deferred gratification, capability of, 1 distinctive lifestyle, 1.1-1.2 , 2 education, 1 , 2 endogamy, tendency towards, 1.1-1.2 as exclusive, 1.1-1.2 , 2 as isolated, 1.1-1.2 one percenters as members, 1 Plymouth Puritans as wellspring, 1 political power, 1.1-1.2 social clubs, frequenting, 1.1-1.2 virtues found in, 1 WASP background of, 1 women of, 1 , 2 , 3 upward mobility attitudes as affecting, 1 barriers to, 1 through college education, 1 credentialism and, 1 downward mobility, vs., 1 through entrepreneurialism, 1 glass ceiling as limiting, 1 integrity as suppressing, 1.1-1.2 irregular economy, as avenue, 1 marriage as a means of, 1.1-1.2 Michelle Obama as example, 1 slowing rates of, 1 See also social climbing See also social mobility V Vedder, Richard, 1 , 2 virtue, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 W Walmart, 1 Walton, Sam, 1 , 2 , 3 wealth accumulation gaps, 1 , 2 , 3 advantages of wealth inheritance, 1 , 2.1-2.2 capital investments, 1 charitable giving and the wealthy, 1 , 2.1-2.2 culture of, 1 , 2 discrimination and, 1 , 2 distribution as skewed, 1.1-1.2 Forbes magazine listings, 1.1-1.2 gambling, attainment through, 1 government intervention, 1.1-1.2 , 2 Great Recession affecting, 1 guilt feelings, 1.1-1.2 hard work as negligible, 1 inequalities of, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 lottery, wealth attainment through, 1 luck as a factor, 1 , 2.1-2.2 , 3 marriage rates, affecting, 1 nepotism aiding in transference of, 1 old money, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 one percenters, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ostentatious displays of, 1 political power, 1.1-1.2 property ownership producing, 1 , 2 pursuit of as a moral issue, 1.1-1.2 , 2 race affecting, 1 social and cultural capital, converted to, 1 , 2 the superwealthy, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4.1-4.2 tax breaks for the wealthy, 1 taxes on, 1.1-1.2 transfers of, 1.1-1.2 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 women and, 1 See also inheritance See also self-employment Weber, Max, 1.1-1.2 welfare, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs), 1.1-1.2 , 2 white-collar crime, 1.1-1.2 , 2 Wilson, William Julius, 1 , 2 Winfrey, Oprah, 1.1-1.2 Wisconsin school, 1.1-1.2 women attractiveness as a success factor, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 discrimination against, 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5.1-5.2 , 6.1-6.2 , 7.1-7.2 , 8.1-8.2 , 9.1-9.2 , 10 economic disparities, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 educational attainment, 1.1-1.2 , 2 family concerns, 1.1-1.2 , 2.1-2.2 , 3.1-3.2 glass ceiling, experiencing, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4 inferiority, feelings of, 1.1-1.2 labor force participation, increasing, 1.1-1.2 , 2 mentorships, access to, 1 , 2.1-2.2 occupational disparities, 1 , 2 , 3.1-3.2 , 4.1-4.2 , 5.1-5.2 political underrepresentation, 1.1-1.2 self-employment and, 1.1-1.2 as trailing partners, 1 of the upper class, 1 , 2 , 3 working class American Dream and, 1 cultural capital, lack of, 1.1-1.2 , 2 economic instability, 1.1-1.2 education issues, 1 , 2 , 3 hard work and, 1 health risks, 1 home ownership, 1 lower class value stretch, 1 nepotism, effect of, 1 the new lower class, 1 women and incomes, 1 work See hard work See occupations Y Young, Michael, 1 , 2 About the Authors Stephen J.
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy
algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel
Blogs such as Raising CEO Kids and Growing Rich Kids advise how to teach children about the pecuniary blessings of delayed gratification. Some parents have taken to rewarding good behavior not with immediate praise or presents but with tickets that are redeemable only at a later date. Yet concluding that children are better off delaying gratification doesn’t tell us why waiting is so much easier for some than others. The marshmallow tests might be widely known, but their results are not well understood. Although we have some understanding of the brain regions that are triggered by these kinds of tests, we don’t really know whether some four-year-olds are naturally able to wait fifteen minutes to get a second marshmallow and therefore do better in life, or whether we can save impatient children by training them to delay gratification for a few extra minutes. This is a new version of the old debate about nature versus nurture.
And finally, thanks to my family: my wife, Laura Adams, for trying to keep me in line; our kids, Natasha and Zachary, for inspiring me, helping me explain some difficult passages, and repeatedly asking how many pages I had written; and Fletch, for lying patiently at my feet throughout the writing of this book. NOTES Introduction 1. Rebecca J. Leonardi, Sarah-Jane Vick, and Valérie Dufour, “Waiting for More: The Performance of Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris) on Exchange Tasks,” Animal Cognition 15(1, 2012): 107–120. If you are interested in a literature survey of experiments on delayed gratification in animals, Leonardi, Vick, and Dufour’s article is a go-to source. 2. Some other animals, especially primates, are also very good at delaying gratification. Chimpanzees will wait up to eighteen minutes for their favorite food. Theodore A. Evans and Michael J. Beran, “Chimpanzees Use Self-Distraction to Cope with Impulsivity,” Biology Letters 3(2007): 599–602. 3. The recent popular books I have in mind when I refer to what many psychologists call systems 1 (automatic/intuitive) and 2 (deliberative/analytical) and to behavioral economists’ claims that our biases are predictable are Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), and Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Harper Perennial, 2010).
Zentall, “Mental Time Travel in Animals: A Challenging Question,” Behavioral Process 72(2, 2006): 173–183. 8. Sterck and Dufour, “First Test,” p. 334. 9. In 2011 scientists published a study of bonobos that replicated experiments with young children from the 1950s: both groups learned to delay gratification for similar periods of time when the source of the reward was more reliable. Jeffrey R. Stevens, Alexandra G. Rosati, Sarah R. Heilbronner, and Nelly Mühlhoff, “Waiting for Grapes: Expectancy and Delayed Gratification in Bonobos,” International Journal of Comparative Psychology 24(2011): 99–111. The bonobos that delayed longer probably wouldn’t later score well on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, though. 10. Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness (Knopf, 2006), p. 16. 11. Robert Browning, “A Grammarian’s Funeral” (1896), available at: http://www.online-literature.com/robert-browning/2768. 12.
The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler
Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize
He taught at both Yale and Stanford and was at the latter institution when Walter Mischel performed his famed marshmallow experiment. The results caught Zimbardo’s attention, but not because he was interested in delayed gratification. Rather, because they seemed to confirm his childhood suspicions about time. Zimbardo noticed two competing “time perspectives” at work in Mischel’s experiment. A time perspective is the technical name for the “permanent filter” Zimbardo described. It’s essentially our attitude toward time. For example, in Mischel’s experiment, the kids who ate the marshmallow immediately were present hedonists. They lived for the now and not the later. It wasn’t that they were unable to delay gratification, it’s that not delaying gratification—the downstream result of being a present hedonist—was their strategy for living. And this strategy has an upside. As individuals, Presents are creative, spontaneous, open-minded, high-energy risk takers who play sports, have hobbies, make friends easily, and find lovers often.
This may not sound like that much, but, as fellow Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains: “[That] is as large as the average difference recorded between the abilities of economically advantaged and disadvantaged children. It is larger than the difference between the abilities of children from families who parents have graduate degrees and children whose parents did not finish high school. The ability to delay gratification at four is twice as good a predictor of later SAT scores as IQ. Poor impulse control is also a better predictor of juvenile delinquency than IQ.” But there’s another issue. According to psychologists, by definition, action and adventure athletes are “sensation seekers.” They’re impulsive pleasure junkies. Delayed gratification is not their game. Hell, in a 2009 Outside magazine profile of Shane McConkey, journalist Tim Sohn wrote: “Riding in a backpack as his mother skied, a three-year-old McConkey would shake the pack’s support bars while making known what he wanted: ‘Pow, Mommy, pow,’ or ‘Bump, Mommy, bump.”
In broader terms, deliberate practice is also how we train genius these days. It’s factory athletics. It’s Kumon math tutoring, Baby Einstein, Suzuki violin, et al. But it’s also the world McConkey walked away from that naked day at Vail. He turned his back on the factory, yet somehow still went on to become Superman. Finally, the trouble with marshmallows. In 1972, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel performed a fairly straightforward study in delayed gratification: he offered four-year-old children a marshmallow. Either the kids could eat it immediately or, if they waited for him to return from running a short errand, they would get two marshmallows as a reward. Most kids couldn’t wait. They ate the marshmallow the moment Mischel left the room. Yet a small percentage could resist temptation and, over time, this turned out to a big deal. When interviewed fourteen years later, the kids who could wait were more self-confident, hard-working, and self-reliant.
The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love With the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker
Sure, there are countless benefits you and I experience every day with the ease and availability of apps, smartphones, and the digital ecosphere. However, because this has become the status quo, we run from delayed gratification in nearly every life circumstance. The easiest place to see this is our waistlines. As of print, 40% of adults and 19% of children in the United States are classified as obese. This is not an issue of know-how, access, or information. It’s simple human behavior: We’re unwilling to delay gratification of our most basic human desires. While I do have empathy and compassion for people who struggle with their weight, if you’re unable to delay gratification with food, that’s on you. Everyone knows what to eat, and access to healthy food is more affordable than ever. We can create a laundry list of excuses and circumstances to justify the choice of eating unhealthily, but the key word there is choice.
Contents INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1: THE MYTHS THE EXPECTATION MYTH THE BE-ALL, END-ALL MYTH THE PERFECT TIMING MYTH THE CHALLENGE MYTH DITCH THE HIGHLIGHT REEL CHAPTER 2: THE 1% RULE WHY IT WORKS THE MATH HOW TO USE IT KNOWING, DOING, BEING THE CODE CHAPTER 3: THE POSSIBILITY UNSHAKEABLE FOUNDATION DO IT DAILY LOVE WHO YOU’RE BECOMING FAITH IS A MUSCLE CHAPTER 4: THE CODE INDECISION, THE DREAM KILLER 1: FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS 2: DO IT EVERY SINGLE DAY 3: CELEBRATE YOUR COMMITMENT 4: TRACK YOUR METRICS & DATA 5: MASTER YOUR CRAFT CHAPTER 5: THE POWER OF FOCUS DEEP WORK SHIFT THE ADDICTION SEASONS OF LIFE Rule #1: Create Ruthless Boundaries Rule #2: Double Your Rate of Saying “No” Rule #3: Commit to a Practice TOOLS TO MASTER POMODORO PAVING THE SUPERHIGHWAY CHAPTER 6: PERSISTENCE PERSISTENCE, DEFINED. CULTIVATING PERSISTENCE HAVE A CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER DO YOU WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH? COMPLACENCY KILLS PERSISTENCE HOW YOU DO ONE THING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING CHAPTER 7: ENDURANCE ENDURANCE IS MESSY A DECADE OF OVERNIGHT SUCCESS YOUR MOUNTAIN IS YOURS FALL IN LOVE WITH DELAYED GRATIFICATION ALWAYS MOVING FORWARD TAKE NOTE ALONG THE JOURNEY CULTIVATING ENDURANCE CHAPTER 8: THE 1% BLUEPRINT THE 1% QUESTION PARKINSON’S LAW ANSWERING THE QUESTION E-MAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA CAN WAIT AUDIT DELETION RESISTANCE DAILY GAME CHAPTER 9: CRAFT YOUR VISION LET GO PAINT YOUR MASTERPIECE NORTH STAR TEST DRIVING ARIZONA THE TIGHT ROPE SURRENDER CRAFTING YOUR VISION BELIEF IS THE SECRET SAUCE CHAPTER 10: REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR SUCCESS SCREW THE HOW WHAT WOULD HAVE TO HAPPEN?
You’ll be inspired by how far they’ve come—and how they once were in the same position you are in now, or even worse. Gary Vaynerchuk’s first YouTube video is a prime example—crappy graphics, a raw Gary, a bad haircut, and no keynote speech clips from thousands in the crowd. In your industry, you too can identify one person and go back to their start or early evolutions and, instead of letting yourself off the hook, become inspired by what’s possible for you. FALL IN LOVE WITH DELAYED GRATIFICATION Instant gratification is an endurance killer. As a culture, it has become the expectation that you and I can have anything we want right here, right now, with very little work. Want to go on a hot date tonight? No, you don’t have to stir up the confidence to talk to her and risk rejection. You can swipe right. Want to get in killer shape? No, you don’t have to show up at the gym and risk looking awkward.
Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work by Steven Pressfield
Never train your horse to exhaustion. Leave him wanting more. THE PROFESSIONAL LIVES IN THE PRESENT The amateur spends his time in the past and the future. He permits himself to fear and to hope. The professional has taught himself to banish these distractions. When Stephen Sondheim makes a hat, he is thinking of nothing else. He is immersed. He loses himself in the work and in the moment. THE PROFESSIONAL DEFERS GRATIFICATION I’m guilty of checking my e-mail. Are you? We’re crazy. What do we imagine we’re going to find in our Inbox? The children who were able to sit for three minutes with a marshmallow on the table in front of them without eating it were rewarded with two marshmallows when the experimenter returned. But that’s as crazy as inbox-watching. Krishna said we have the right to our labor, but not to the fruits of our labor.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel
What is immediately punished is avoided. Our preference for instant gratification reveals an important truth about success: because of how we are wired, most people will spend all day chasing quick hits of satisfaction. The road less traveled is the road of delayed gratification. If you’re willing to wait for the rewards, you’ll face less competition and often get a bigger payoff. As the saying goes, the last mile is always the least crowded. This is precisely what research has shown. People who are better at delaying gratification have higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better responses to stress, and superior social skills. We’ve all seen this play out in our own lives. If you delay watching television and get your homework done, you’ll generally learn more and get better grades.
If you delay watching television and get your homework done, you’ll generally learn more and get better grades. If you don’t buy desserts and chips at the store, you’ll often eat healthier food when you get home. At some point, success in nearly every field requires you to ignore an immediate reward in favor of a delayed reward. Here’s the problem: most people know that delaying gratification is the wise approach. They want the benefits of good habits: to be healthy, productive, at peace. But these outcomes are seldom top-of-mind at the decisive moment. Thankfully, it’s possible to train yourself to delay gratification—but you need to work with the grain of human nature, not against it. The best way to do this is to add a little bit of immediate pleasure to the habits that pay off in the long-run and a little bit of immediate pain to ones that don’t. HOW TO TURN INSTANT GRATIFICATION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE The vital thing in getting a habit to stick is to feel successful—even if it’s in a small way.
It’s weak. It doesn’t even have a lawyer present. There’s nobody to stick up for the future self. And so the present self can trounce all over its dreams.” For more, see Daniel Goldstein, “The Battle between Your Present and Future Self,” TEDSalon NY2011, November 2011, video, https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_goldstein_the_battle_between_your_present_and_future_self. People who are better at delaying gratification have higher SAT scores: Walter Mischel, Ebbe B. Ebbesen, and Antonette Raskoff Zeiss, “Cognitive and Attentional Mechanisms in Delay of Gratification,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 21, no. 2 (1972), doi:10.1037/h0032198; W. Mischel, Y. Shoda, and M. Rodriguez, “Delay of Gratification in Children,” Science 244, no. 4907 (1989), doi:10.1126/science.2658056; Walter Mischel, Yuichi Shoda, and Philip K.
Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dr. Dan Ariely, Jeff Kreisler
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bitcoin, Burning Man, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, experimental economics, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, mobile money, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy
One interesting survey even found that 46 percent of financial planners don’t have retirement plans themselves.4 That’s correct: Those whose job it is to help us save are not saving. Good luck, world. WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? Rob’s story—and that of retirement saving in general—highlights our problems with delayed gratification and self-control. We have a hard time resisting temptation, even when we know all too well what is good for us. Raise your hand if you promised yourself last night that you’d wake up early and work out today. Keep your hand up if raising your hand is all the exercise you’ve gotten today. Delayed gratification and self-control are not strictly about the psychology of money, of course, but our ability to delay gratification and to control ourselves influence how we manage (or really, how we mismanage) our money, for better or worse. We’re confronted by self-control issues all the time, from the mundane—we procrastinate, waste hours on social media, have a third helping of dessert—to the dangerous and destructive—we don’t take our medications, we have unprotected sex, we text and drive.
In fact, I am going to start texting more from now on.” No! Everyone recognizes that the moment we open a phone while driving increases the probability that we will die in a dramatic way. Everyone also recognizes that doing so is a really stupid way to risk our own lives and the lives of others. Nobody thinks it’s a wise choice. Nevertheless, we keep on doing it. Why are we so foolish? Because of these emotional factors—our inability to delay gratification, the uncertainty of dying from texting while driving, and our overconfidence in our ability to avoid death. Together these factors distort the value equation. We continue to be “perfect people” in the future, but that text is now. Now tempts us. We spend more money than we know we should, eat more than we know we should, and, depending upon our divine affinity, sin more than we know we should.
., 11 emotional accounting, 50–51 emotions. See feelings and emotions endless soup bowl research, 27–28, 192–93 end-of-life healthcare decisions, 121 endowment effect, 114–15, 120–23, 158 energy usage, 79–80, 248–49 Enron, 51 evaluability/comparisons, 33, 37–39, 202–4 executive pay in America, 101–2 expectations, 167–81 overview, 180–81, 214–16, 220–21 anticipation period, 170, 171–72 and branding, 174–76 and delayed gratification, 178–79 distortion of value judgments, 167–70 experience and effect of, 170–71, 172–74 influence of rituals and language, 179–80 past experiences’ influence on, 176–78 and pricing apps, 102–3 suave victor vs. likely loser, 6 experience and effect of expectations, 170–71, 172–74 external vs. internal anchors, 106 EZ-Pass technology, 85 fairness aspect of value, 131–48 overview, 134–35, 137–38, 148, 219–20 cost of knowledge and acquired skills, 139–42 fair effort, 139–43 fixed costs vs. marginal costs, 143 language and, 159–60 responses to perceived unfairness, 131–34, 135–39 ultimatum game, 135–36 See also effort and perception of fairness or value feelings and emotions about money, 49–51 and decisions made in the present vs. the future, 185–89, 190 manipulating ourselves with, 233 pricing experiences and, 104–6 valuing possessions based on, 115 See also human nature financial crisis of 2008, 52 financial decision-making, 237–51 overview, 255–56 choices based on descriptions vs. items, 153–56 complexity of, 8–9, 33 conscious vs. unconscious decisions, 109 fudging made up rules, 54 improving our financial environments, 251, 253–58 and outside forces, 237–40 and pain avoidance techniques, 68–71 psychological mistakes, 5–6 questions to consider, x–xi simplifying the process, 48–49 subscription offers illustrating relativity problem, 34–35 sunk costs and decision to continue, 126–30 understanding forces at play, xi–xii See also money mistakes; opportunity costs financial literacy, xi–xii, 13, 43 fixed costs vs. marginal costs, 143 Frederick, Shane, 12–13 free advice, 225 “free” items.
No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea by James Livingston
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, business cycle, collective bargaining, delayed gratification, full employment, future of work, Internet of things, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, obamacare, post-work, Project for a New American Century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, union organizing, working poor
Once upon a time, this ethic empowered commoners, enabled peasants, enfranchised workers. Now it’s a fetter on the development of the forces of production. It chains us to a past we don’t have to relive: it’s a repetition compulsion. So how, then, can the symptom, the compulsion to work, function as an attempted cure? Only by releasing us, finally, from the drive to produce a surplus, to defer gratification, to save for a rainy day. Only by allowing us to comprehend that by now most of our labor has become socially unnecessary—that is, work with little, diminishing, or no value in the labor market. Only by showing us that hard work is hard time, nothing more, nothing less. When we understand that simple fact, the criterion of need—from each according to his or her abilities, to each according to his or her needs—can modulate, and perhaps replace, the principle of productivity.
Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames
"side hustle", Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, buy and hold, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, financial independence, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, index fund, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, McMansion, mortgage debt, passive income, payday loans, risk tolerance, Stanford marshmallow experiment, universal basic income, working poor
You get to win at your own life. In the unfurling of this personal frugality boot camp, Nate and I made the discovery that we were both second-marshmallow kids. Not literally, as we weren’t lucky enough to be actual subjects in this research experiment, but we fall into a category of people wired from an early age for delayed gratification. You’ve probably heard of what’s often referred to as the Stanford marshmallow study of the ’60s and ’70s, in which preschoolers underwent a now-classic test in delayed gratification. In this experiment, researchers sat a preschooler at a desk alone in a room, with two marshmallows atop the desk and the following instructions: the researcher needed to leave the room for a moment and the child could either eat one marshmallow while the researcher was absent or, if the child could wait until the researcher returned, the child could eat both marshmallows.
Every time I collected a coupon, for not eating glue and for remembering my permission slip, I stole a glance at Tenderheart Bear, planning, plotting, waiting. In May 1992, which was the final month of my second-grade career, I had one hundred coupons at last. I got to take Tenderheart Bear home with me. She was covered in dust because, as my teacher explained to my mom, those big stuffed animals had been sitting up on that top shelf for years. I don’t know why Nate and I are both so attuned to the merits of delayed gratification, but it’s an attribute we’ve brought out and enhanced in each other. Sacrificing short-term desires like lattes and scones on Saturday afternoons for the long-term gains of living life on our own terms makes rational sense to both of us. It also appeals to our ingrained desire for efficiency. We both recognized that the pleasure we’d derive from those weekly dopamine (not to mention sugar) hits of our latte treats couldn’t compete with the promise of not having to slump in grayscale cubicles every Monday through every Friday for nearly every year of our adult lives.
If we think we’ll never save up enough for a down payment on a house, we might be more liable to rent a ritzy apartment and fritter away our would-be down payment savings. I’m astounded at how many ways there are to waste money, and at how many of them I’ve personally fallen victim to. Marketers diligently create needs we never knew we had and many products advertised to us fill false needs. This type of spending skirts the question of what we really want out of life. It’s the classic conundrum of forgoing delayed gratification played out day after day, purchase after purchase. The more we buy, and buy into this culture of more, the more we think we need. It’s a vicious, endless cycle. While I’m pretty sure the phrase “extreme frugality” sounds like a penance, it’s actually the exact opposite. It’s a deliverance. Nate and I consider our lives to be luxurious: we live where we want, as we want, on our own terms, and we’re not beholden to anyone else.
The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager
I’ve heard a lot of cheapskate slogans that would make great bumper stickers for my Cheap Pride Movement, but that one from Miser Adviser Lucy Feller is the undisputed winner, combining the two major pillars of cheapskate life: delayed gratification and Crock-Pot cooking. Lucy was speaking specifically about teaching children the importance of being patient, particularly when it comes to wanting things like the latest designer fashions or newest techno-gadget. Not only does she have three kids of her own, but she’s been an elementary school teacher ever since her own children started attending school, so Lucy’s had plenty of discussions about the virtues of delayed gratification. The oxygen mask approach to raising children is, in large part, an exercise in saying “no” to your kids. No, we can’t afford it. No, you can’t have it. No, you don’t need it.
While the cheapskate next door is all in favor of rooting out true bargains, the thought process they put into it—what I call “premeditated shopping”—and the fact that they don’t really enjoy shopping, overrides the impulse to buy stuff they don’t need just because it’s being sold at a good price. When we cheapskates shop, we shop deliberately. Premeditated shopping has two tenets: prior planning and delayed gratification. Whether we’re shopping for groceries, clothing, or just about anything else, we always make a shopping list before we leave home. And that shopping list isn’t just dictated off the top of our head as we head for the store. It’s usually been composed on an ongoing basis and takes into account things we already have on hand, to avoid buying things unnecessarily. Many cheapskates talk about the importance of doing a “pre-inventory” before they shop.
About nine out of ten of cheapskates polled say that they routinely research and comparison shop for items that cost $20 or more, most often relying on the Internet and Consumer Reports to facilitate that process. But even once the cheapskate has researched and targeted an item to be purchased, he’s usually in no hurry to rush out and buy it, unless it’s on sale or it’s a true necessity. The cheapskate next door thrives on delayed gratification, or “spending procrastination,” as I call it: Put off buying today what you can always buy tomorrow. Many cheapskates practice what I called in my first book a “mandatory waiting period”: waiting at least a week or two between the time you see a (discretionary) item in the store, and when you go back to buy it. Very often you’ll never go back to buy it, and that’s a big reason why the cheapskate next door rarely suffers from buyer’s remorse. 9.
You Are What You Read by Jodie Jackson
However, we could perhaps benefit from tuning into the news less frequently and reading it in more depth when we do. This could involve reading long-form articles and reading from news organisations that practise slow journalism. Slow journalism is a growing movement developed in response to this fast-paced media environment; it takes a longer-term view on issues to include depth, analysis and reflection rather than simply breaking news. This could include news magazines like The Correspondent, Delayed Gratification or The Week. Headlines are not the only pitfall to avoid when arming yourself against being misinformed by the news. A common informational hazard is that the news tends to report more on the extraordinary rather than the ordinary. The psychological paradox of this is that the more we hear about the odd and the extraordinary, the more it starts to seem normal and ordinary. As a result, we lose perspective on issues we should be concerned about and focus more on those issues that pose an unlikely threat.
Long-form articles can ‘allow consumers to engage with complex subjects in more detail and allow journalists to bring in more sources, consider more points of view, add historical context and cover events too complex to tell in limited words.’8 This is not to say that all long-form news accomplishes the above or that short-form does not have its own value. ‘In our pursuit of quality, it is important for us to analyse all the information in order to gain a balanced perspective. With this in mind, I would recommend reading, in addition to other news sources, slower journalism, from news organisations such as Delayed Gratification, The Correspondent, The Economist, Time and The Week. The conflict between good-quality journalism and profitability is not just a problem for the industry; it is our problem to solve too. We rely so heavily on the news to help us understand as well as help shape our society, and poor-quality information will lead to poor-quality decisions. We cannot abdicate from this responsibility by believing that our actions don’t matter.
., Beware online ‘filter bubbles’, Ted.com, 2018, available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles 11 Vinderslev, A., BuzzFeed: The top 10 examples of BuzzFeed doing native advertising, Native Advertising Institute, 2018, assssssvailable at: https://nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/blog/10-examples-buzzfeed-native-advertising/ RESOURCES News organisations: ‘BBC World Hacks’ BRIGHT Magazine The Correspondent Delayed Gratification INKLINE Monocle News Deeply The Optimist Daily Positive News Solutions Journalism Network Sparknews ‘The Upside’ (by the Guardian) The Week ‘What’s Working’ (by the Huffington Post) YES! Media Books: The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity by Steven Pinker Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change by Michelle Gielan Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress by Steven Pinker Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund A Force for Good: How the American News Media Have Propelled Positive Change by Rodger Streitmatter The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A.
Paper Promises by Philip Coggan
accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
And a lender who is willing to break the law may be unscrupulous in other ways; borrowers could find that, however much they paid in terms of interest, the debt was never discharged. As with illegal drugs today, or Prohibition in the 1920s, criminals are the main beneficiaries when governments ban things that people desperately want. However, the moralists would not have worried that usury laws restricted the options of borrowers, as well as lenders. They argued that an avoidance of debt was good for the soul. Having to defer gratification was a way of instilling self-discipline. Debt was the road to ruin: ‘He who goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing,’ as Benjamin Franklin wrote. The distinction between productive and unproductive loans is hard to make absolute. Many people might make a loan to a friend or family member without being paid back; they might also make loans to strangers as an act of charity. But if the loan is made for business, not charity, the rate is surely a matter of negotiation between borrower and lender.
IGNORING POLONIUS 1 James Macdonald, A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy, Princeton, 2003. 2 Sidney Homer and Richard Sylla, A History of Interest Rates, 4th edn, New York, 2005. 3 Macdonald, A Free Nation. 4 Charles Kindleberger, A Financial History of Western Europe, London, 1984. 5 Virginia Cowles, The Great Swindle: The Story of the South Sea Bubble, London, 1960. 6 Hilaire Belloc, Usury, London, 1931. 7 Homer and Sylla, Interest Rates. 8 Ibid. 9 Plutarch, Life of Lucullus. 10 Homer and Sylla, Interest Rates. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid. 13 Ian Mortimer, The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, the Father of the English Nation, London, 2006. 14 Macdonald, A Free Nation. 15 Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different, Princeton, 2009. 16 All quotes from Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, London, 2004. 17 From ibid. 18 Homer and Sylla, Interest Rates. 19 One might raise the objection that the debtor is making no such rational calculation, that he or she is unable to wait to get his or her hands on the desired goods. This is a problem of deferred gratification. But the creditor has to be sure that the debtor will be able to repay, so the system still depends on the prospect of growth. 20 Lendol Calder, Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit, Princeton, 1999. 21 Ibid. 22 Some economists think that Keynes was wrong about this, on the grounds that saving must always equal investment. So businesses would be able to go on an investment spree, if savings boom.
Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis by David Boyle
anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, mortgage debt, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, precariat, quantitative easing, school choice, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor
Reports of their demise are premature and, although the blow may not have been fatal yet, we still need to search for the weapon used to fell them. They cling on also in a variety of forms and versions, highly eclectic and quite impossible to define. The middle classes are like elephants: you know one when you see one. The key question is whether there is anything any more which holds these disparate identities together. Patrick Hutber’s thrift may have disappeared. Even the sense of deferred gratification which used to define the middle classes is not quite as secure as it was. The famous experiment by Walter Mischel in the 1960s offered four-year-olds one marshmallow now or two in twenty minutes and found that those who waited went on to enormously outperform the others in the US scholastic aptitude tests. For a moment this seemed to be a justification for all those middle-class efforts at saving for education, a way to glimpse the essence of middle-class life actually there under the microscope.
I no longer go into my friends’ houses and find that their fridge or stove is older than I am, and sometimes older than their parents. But the Crunchies give a bit of a clue. The middle classes, whoever they are, are absolutely committed to health, independence and education and whatever will promote it, even if they interpret the path to that ideal — working harder or working less — in very different ways. It still requires sacrifice, saving and planning ahead. It still means deferred gratification. It still means the middle classes turn out independent-minded, intelligent children quite capable of understanding the world, even if sometimes they don’t. But it also explains that embattled sense that goes beyond economics. This is a cultural struggle for survival as well as an economic one. As Paul Ray said about the American ‘cultural creatives’: they demand authenticity, but they tend to believe their tastes and beliefs are shared by themselves and a few friends — and beyond that, the wasteland. The terrible truth is that the key to this health and independence is education, that the opportunities and advantages it can give are more and more scarce and competitive, and that they require investment in bricks and mortar.
Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
air freight, Al Roth, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, endowment effect, financial innovation, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, IKEA effect, invisible hand, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Murray Gell-Mann, payday loans, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair
It seems that the best course might be to give people an opportunity to commit up front to their preferred path of action. This approach might not be as effective as the dictatorial treatment, but it can help push us in the right direction (perhaps even more so if we train people to do it, and give them experience in setting their own deadlines). What’s the bottom line? We have problems with self-control, related to immediate and delayed gratification—no doubt there. But each of the problems we face has potential self-control mechanisms, as well. If we can’t save from our paycheck, we can take advantage of our employer’s automatic deduction option; if we don’t have the will to exercise regularly alone, we can make an appointment to exercise in the company of our friends. These are the tools that we can commit to in advance, and they may help us be the kind of people we want to be.
Then I would lie down in the big hammock—the only interesting piece of furniture in my loft-like student apartment—from which I had a perfect view of the television. I kept a bucket within reach to catch the vomit that would inevitably come up, after which the fever, shivering, and headache would begin. At some point I would fall asleep and wake up aching with flulike symptoms. By noon I would be more or less OK and would go back to work. The difficulty that I, and the rest of the patients, had with the interferon was the basic problem of delayed gratification and self-control. On every injection day I was faced with a trade-off between giving myself an injection and feeling sick for the next 16 hours (a negative immediate effect), and the hope that the treatment would cure me in the long term (a positive long-term effect). At the end of the six-month trial the doctors told me that I was the only patient in the protocol who had followed the regimen in the way they designed it.
Not only had I been offered a job, but the combination treatment had eliminated the hepatitis from my liver. I’ve been hepatitis-free ever since. THE LESSON I took away from my interferon treatment is a general one: if a particular desired behavior results in an immediate negative outcome (punishment), this behavior will be very difficult to promote, even if the ultimate outcome (in my case, improved health) is highly desirable. After all, that’s what the problem of delayed gratification is all about. Certainly, we know that exercising regularly and eating more vegetables will help us be healthier, even if we don’t live to be as old as the Delany sisters; but because it is very hard to hold a vivid image of our future health in our mind’s eye, we can’t keep from reaching for the doughnuts. In order to overcome many types of human fallibility, I believe it’s useful to look for tricks that match immediate, powerful, and positive reinforcements with the not-so-pleasant steps we have to take toward our long-term objectives.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight
And the single most important aspect of personality—the “north and south of temperament,” as one scientist puts it—is where we fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Our place on this continuum influences our choice of friends and mates, and how we make conversation, resolve differences, and show love. It affects the careers we choose and whether or not we succeed at them. It governs how likely we are to exercise, commit adultery, function well without sleep, learn from our mistakes, place big bets in the stock market, delay gratification, be a good leader, and ask “what if.”* It’s reflected in our brain pathways, neurotransmitters, and remote corners of our nervous systems. Today introversion and extroversion are two of the most exhaustively researched subjects in personality psychology, arousing the curiosity of hundreds of scientists. These researchers have made exciting discoveries aided by the latest technology, but they’re part of a long and storied tradition.
I can vouch personally for the life-transforming effects of this outlook. Remember that first client I told you about, the one I called Laura in order to protect her identity? That was a story about me. I was my own first client. * Answer key: exercise: extroverts; commit adultery: extroverts; function well without sleep: introverts; learn from our mistakes: introverts; place big bets: extroverts; delay gratification: introverts; be a good leader: in some cases introverts, in other cases extroverts, depending on the type of leadership called for; ask “what if”: introverts. * Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, W. B. Yeats, Frédéric Chopin, Marcel Proust, J. M. Barrie, George Orwell, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Charles Schulz, Steven Spielberg, Larry Page, J. K. Rowling. * This is an informal quiz, not a scientifically validated personality test.
“The time and effort they invest will actually make a difference. Instead of seeing these kids as vulnerable to adversity, parents should see them as malleable—for worse, but also for better.” He describes eloquently a high-reactive child’s ideal parent: someone who “can read your cues and respect your individuality; is warm and firm in placing demands on you without being harsh or hostile; promotes curiosity, academic achievement, delayed gratification, and self-control; and is not harsh, neglectful, or inconsistent.” This advice is terrific for all parents, of course, but it’s crucial for raising a high-reactive child. (If you think your child might be high-reactive, you’re probably already asking yourself what else you can do to cultivate your son or daughter. Chapter 11 has some answers.) But even orchid children can withstand some adversity, Belsky says.
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Marketing departments did. Drug companies did. Depression and anxiety may be real. But they can also be Resistance. When we drug ourselves to blot out our soul’s call, we are being good Americans and exemplary consumers. We’re doing exactly what TV commercials and pop materialist culture have been brainwashing us to do from birth. Instead of applying self-knowledge, self-discipline, delayed gratification and hard work, we simply consume a product. Many pedestrians have been maimed or killed at the intersection of Resistance and Commerce. RESISTANCE AND VICTIMHOOD * * * Doctors estimate that seventy to eighty percent of their business is non-health-related. People aren’t sick, they’re self-dramatizing. Sometimes the hardest part of a medical job is keeping a straight face.
A PROFESSIONAL IS PATIENT * * * Resistance outwits the amateur with the oldest trick in the book: It uses his own enthusiasm against him. Resistance gets us to plunge into a project with an overambitious and unrealistic timetable for its completion. It knows we can’t sustain that level of intensity. We will hit the wall. We will crash. The professional, on the other hand, understands delayed gratification. He is the ant, not the grasshopper; the tortoise, not the hare. Have you heard the legend of Sylvester Stallone staying up three nights straight to churn out the screenplay for Rocky? I don’t know, it may even be true. But it’s the most pernicious species of myth to set before the awakening writer, because it seduces him into believing he can pull off the big score without pain and without persistence.
The Case for Universal Basic Income by Louise Haagh
back-to-the-land, basic income, battle of ideas, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, full employment, future of work, housing crisis, income inequality, job-hopping, land reform, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mini-job, moral hazard, new economy, offshore financial centre, precariat, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, trickle-down economics, universal basic income
Sandberg describes Sweden in the nineteenth century as the ‘impoverished sophisticate’.56 Widely distributed educational, money and property infrastructure was the backbone behind Sweden’s rise from dogged poverty.57 In the postwar period, a developmental structure of money became more ubiquitous across the developed world. In turn, this structure was inherent in many of the arrangements we think of as civilized economic institutions, including impersonal contracting, diversification of social risk, the ability to receive stable rewards and time schedules for leisure and care through regulated formal employment, and giving women independent resources. Saving, conserving and deferring gratification can be considered the pillars of stable lives and societies. Yet, we should not forget what makes such virtues possible. The assurance of balanced risk – security and the opportunity for regular rewards from different sources – are conditions individuals are increasingly unable to attain today. Basic Income and Other Benefits An intention to effectively incorporate society should eventually lead to a form of basic income combined with needs-based welfare, because this combination delivers cost and human development effective social security.
The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen
"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise
Throughout the period 1540–1640, preindustrial Britain exhibited a fair bit6 of both upward and downward mobility, largely due to primogeniture, which obliged a prosperous landowner to leave his land to only one of his sons—and the typical landowner had up to eight. Since all but one of those sons would have to find his own niche in the economy, “craftsman’s sons became laborers,7 merchant’s sons petty laborers, large landowner’s sons smallholders” carrying with them the habits of hard work, deferred gratification, literacy, and a disposition to settle disputes peacefully, all of which showed a decided increase during the eighteenth century. As upper-class habits trickled throughout society, so did economic growth. This theory explains fairly well why the son of a country squire might find himself learning the craft of a carpenter, and it may explain some critical aspects of historical growth in national wealth, particularly in Britain.
Aficionados of dramatic coincidences could, however, take some comfort in the name of the man who paid for Richard Trevithick’s ticket home. He was Robert Stephenson, of Newcastle, and along with his father, George, is Trevithick’s only serious competitor for the title of “father of railways.” THE DEPICTION OF GEORGE STEPHENSON by Samuel Smiles, the prolific biographer and self-help author* who did more than anyone else to establish the heroic archetype for British inventors, is a textbook example of self-discipline and deferred gratification. His first job was as a picker: a laborer whose entire job was separating coal from the stones that accompanied it from mineshaft to colliery. Soon enough he was working as an assistant fireman, then as the “plugman” operating a set of valves on the steam-driven pump at another collier’s. When he turned twenty, he was appointed as the brakeman, responsible for maintaining the winding mechanism that pulled the coal-filled buckets from the work area of the mine.
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax
Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog
Magazines love Stack because it guarantees sales and brings in new readers, and readers love Stack because it introduces them to the best new magazines, at a discount from the cover price. Watson is eagerly expanding Stack into North America, and launching new distribution services that include the ability for magazines to sell readers single issues and annual subscriptions through Stack’s website. “Steve Watson is an absolute legend,” said Rob Orchard, the cofounder and editor of Delayed Gratification, a magazine that was Stack’s pick for January 2014. Delayed Gratification tackles the news with a retrospective, analytical take they call slow journalism, sort of an antithesis to the insta-punditry of digital publishers. “We launched around the same time, and we’ve always supported one another. Stack has been absolutely fantastic in generating interest in magazines. It is a very practical use, because you can have a small print run and he’ll give you a guaranteed audience, and paid at that.
He’s looking at all problems facing small magazines.” One of the unifying things I found while speaking with people in the United Kingdom’s independent magazine industry is their sheer bullishness on print and its advantages over digital publishing. This was not a romantic notion but a firm economic argument. “The key one is that people will pay for print,” Orchard said. Print, he continued, is a tried-and-true business model. Delayed Gratification takes no advertising revenue, sells roughly five thousand copies of each issue, publishes four times a year, and grosses more than £200,000 in annual revenue. He does this by selling the magazine for more than it costs to produce. That may not seem like much money, but it is more economically viable over the long term than a publication that is shedding millions while figuring out its business model.
See software computers analog as the future of, 225 in defining digital, xiv design and, 32, 222, 223 in education, 181, 182, 183–185, 187, 196, 199 film manufacturing and, 65 in gaming, 81 and the Great Recession, 156, 157 job creation and, 161–162 music and, ix–x, 7–8, 23, 26 security of, safeguards for, 224 at summer camp, 234 years living with, 237 See also laptops Compuware, 171 Condé Nast, 105, 107 Contributoria (newspaper), 116, 117 Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities (Kelly), 228–229 Cool Tools (blog), 228 correspondence courses, 178, 201, 202 counterculture, 12–13, 206, 225, 229 Coursera, 201 Cowen, Tyler, 166 Craigslist, 107, 124, 126, 146 Cramped, The (blog), 37 Cranium, 76 Creative Cloud, 47 creative destruction, 153, 154, 162, 168 creative-thinking skills, developing, 192, 195, 199, 218 creativity defining jobs by, 154, 155, 158 friction and, 219 limiting, 132, 181, 188 potential for, 35, 36, 39, 63 Criminal Records, 14 critical-thinking skills, developing, 199 Crosley, 17–18, 22 crowdfunding, xvii, 43, 73, 91–92, 94, 95–96, 98, 105, 116, 191 Crupnick, Russ, 18, 19 Cuban, Larry, 179–180, 183 curated content, 223, 224 custom newspapers, 116, 117–120 customer acquisition, 133, 137 cybersecurity, 224 Daily Telegraph, The (newspaper), 114 D’Angelo, 27 Danzig, Richard, 224 Dark Side of the Moon (album), 26 data centers, 161 Dauch, Colby, 84 Daviau, Rob, 84 Davies, Russell, 117 Davis, Miles, 25 Days of Wonder, 91 De Koven, Bernie, 81 Dead Fish Museum, The (D’Ambrosio), 130 Dead Weather, 21 Deal: American Dream, 95–96 Dean, Paul, 90 Delayed Gratification (magazine), 106, 107 Demby, Eric, 145 Department of Record Stores, 13–14 Descalzo, Marco, 57 design business, 32–33, 36 design thinking, 193, 197, 198–199, 199–201, 225 Design Week, 29–30, 32, 47–48 deskilling, 158–159 desktop publishing software, 105 Detroit, economy of, 152, 155–156, 157 Detroit Future City, 171 digital ads, 108, 109, 110, 133 digital age, 9, 31, 182 digital books.
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich
Berlin Wall, business cycle, declining real wages, delayed gratification, Doha Development Round, endowment effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, job automation, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, sovereign wealth fund, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, World Values Survey
The harder we worked to buy these things, the less time and energy we had to enjoy what we bought. American culture sent an increasingly mixed message: Work like mad but enjoy life to the fullest. Doing both proved impossible. Sociologist Daniel Bell identified this cultural contradiction years ago, but it became more pronounced in the years preceding the Great Recession. The Protestant virtues of hard work and deferred gratification were at increasing odds with a market that instructed us to fulfill our dreams instantly and indulge our every want. As those wants continuously ratcheted upward—fueled by our anxieties over aging, relative status, and personal attractiveness—we worked even harder. The argument on behalf of hard work has always been premised on something of a lie. People are led to believe that one day they will find satisfaction, if not in the work itself, when they finally have worked hard enough to afford and accumulate what they desire.
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by Mj Demarco
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, bounce rate, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, cloud computing, commoditize, dark matter, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Lao Tzu, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, passive investing, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, white picket fence, World Values Survey, zero day
If you live with your parents and you finance $45,000 over 72 months for a new Mustang based on a$31,000-a-year bartender's wage, you let instant gratification win, and Lifestyle Servitude ensues. Wealth, like health, isn't easy and is cut from the same fabric. Their processes are identical. They require discipline, sacrifice, persistence, commitment, and yes, delayed gratification. If you can't immunize yourself from the temptations of instant gratification, you'll be hard pressed to find success in either health or wealth. Both demand a lifestyle shift from short-term thinking (instant gratification) to long-term thinking (delayed gratification). This is the only defense to Lifestyle Servitude. Look for the Hook! Instant gratification is the bait and Lifestyle Servitude is the hook. The advertising industry is on a great fishing expedition, and their goal is to hook you. Their juicy bait?
While the Sidewalk is a chronic lifestyle that mortgages the future for a pleasurable today, the Slowlane is the antithesis: a sacrifice of today in the hopes of a brighter and freer tomorrow. As a Slowlane traveler, you're deluged with a series of doctrines that plead discipline to the trade-off. Get a job and waste five days a week toiling at the office. Bag a lunch and stop drinking $10 coffee. Faithfully entrust 10% of your paycheck to the stock market and your 401(k). Quit dreaming about that sports car in the window because you can't buy it! Delay gratification until you're 65 years old. Save, save, save because compound interest is powerful: $10,000 invested today will be with 10 gazillion in 50 years! Surprisingly, the Slowlane is the first convenient exit off the Sidewalk and evolves with maturity and increased adult responsibilities. Most college graduates begin their post-schooling life on the Sidewalk. I certainly did. Graduation pardoned a license to buy stuff that yielded instant pleasure: trips to Cancun, a flashy car with a booming stereo, nightly drinking binges, a massive CD collection.
When the torque of you're financial plan resides with others, you're likely to lose control. 5) The Danger of Your Lifestyle The Slowlane begs you to settle and become a miser. Want to own an exotic car? Forget it. Want to live on a beach? Wishful thinking. If you cannot control your temptations of lifestyle improvement (a nicer home, a nicer car, a nicer meal out), the Slowlane becomes slower and reverses course. The Slowlane HOPES your “delayed gratification” moves to “no gratification.” 6) The Danger of the Economy The Slowlane HOPES that your investments will yield a predictable 8% return year after year. You must believe the theory that “buy and hold” works. It doesn't, because economic busts, recessions, and depressions happen. For example, in 2008–2009, the equity markets lost nearly 60%. If you saved for 15 years and amassed $100,000, it would now be worth $40,000.
The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin
airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game
In fact, most of the prefrontal cortex’s connections to other brain regions are not excitatory; they’re the opposite: inhibitory. That’s because one of the great achievements of the human prefrontal cortex is that it provides us with impulse control and, consequently, the ability to delay gratification, something that most animals lack. Try dangling a string in front of a cat or throwing a ball in front of a retriever and see if they can sit still. Because the prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully develop in humans until after age twenty, impulse control isn’t fully developed in adolescents (as many parents of teenagers have observed). It’s also why children and adolescents are not especially good at planning or delaying gratification. When the prefrontal cortex becomes damaged (such as from disease, injury, or a tumor), it leads to a specific medical condition called dysexecutive syndrome. The condition is recognized by the kinds of planning and time coordination deficits that Ruth the homemaker, Ernie the accountant, and Peter the architect suffered from.
Some of us procrastinate in order to pursue restful activities—spending time in bed, watching TV—while others of us procrastinate certain difficult or unpleasant tasks in favor of those that are more fun or that yield an immediate reward. In this respect, the two types differ in activity level: The rest-seeking procrastinators would generally rather not be exerting themselves at all, while the fun-task procrastinators enjoy being busy and active all the time but just have a hard time starting things that are not so fun. An additional factor has to do with delayed gratification, and individual differences in how people tolerate that. Many people work on projects that have a long event horizon—for example, academics, businesspeople, engineers, writers, housing contractors, and artists. That is, the thing they’re working on can take weeks or months (or even years) to complete, and after completion, there can be a very long period of time before they get any reward, praise, or gratification.
Our limbic system and the parts of the brain that are seeking immediate rewards come into conflict with our prefrontal cortex, which all too well understands the consequences of falling behind. Both regions run on dopamine, but the dopamine has different actions in each. Dopamine in the prefrontal cortex causes us to focus and stay on task; dopamine in the limbic system, along with the brain’s own endogenous opioids, causes us to feel pleasure. We put things off whenever the desire for immediate pleasure wins out over our ability to delay gratification, depending on which dopamine system is in control. Steel identifies what he calls two faulty beliefs: first, that life should be easy, and second, that our self-worth is dependent on our success. He goes further, to build an equation that quantifies the likelihood that we’ll procrastinate. If our self-confidence and the value of completing the task are both high, we’re less likely to procrastinate.
Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bonfire of the Vanities, charter city, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ghettoisation, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, megacity, new economy, obamacare, open borders, race to the bottom, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, two tier labour market, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor
Social Security, for example, was designed to address poverty among the aged, as older Americans outlived their meager savings and adult children either could not or would not take on the responsibility of providing care. Medicaid aimed to provide medical care to the poor, a responsibility that had traditionally been met by a patchwork of local charities and governments. Yet even as families have seen some of these burdens eased, their ability to meet other responsibilities, like instilling the value of discipline and deferred gratification in young children, appears to have eroded. The goal of universal early education, for example, has gained momentum because of the perception that many children are raised in chaotic environments and thus lack the non-cognitive skills that are necessary to persevere through high school and meet professional obligations. The hope is that immersing poor children in a structured learning environment will help build these skills, and isolate them from the chaos of home.
Money, Real Quick: The Story of M-PESA by Tonny K. Omwansa, Nicholas P. Sullivan, The Guardian
BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, income per capita, Kibera, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, software as a service, transaction costs
Until the “cash-lite” scenario is realized, financial providers need every incentive to acquire cash-handling agents, agents need incentives to handle cash and customers must have good reasons to use their local agents.”- Stephen Mwuara Nduati, Head of National Payments Systems, Central Bank of Kenya People like cash. They can touch it, feel it and see it. Cash equals stature. The bigger the wad, the better. There’s nothing like the immediate transfer of ******ebook converter DEMO Watermarks******* paper and coin from hand to hand. No deferred gratification, no signature needed, no question of trust. Cash used to be teeth and shells, then metal and paper. In whatever form, it is tactile and elemental, almost a part of our earth and certainly a glue to our social structure. In the West, where plastic has taken reign, cash is dying off. In Africa, it’s impossible to get by without it. Even the rich rarely use plastic; and most merchants don’t accept it.
The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
However, if the child waited for the researcher to return without sounding the bell, the child would be given a second treat along with permission to eat both.2 What Mischel was bent on measuring was how capable any individual child was of stifling his or her impulse to indulge immediately—and the results spanned the gamut. Some kids rang the bell the moment the researcher left the room. Others held out. The strategies the strong-willed kids employed to resist temptation were remarkable. Some covered the marshmallow up with a napkin, while others sang songs. What was on display, Mischel concluded, were the various strategies that humans of all ages use to delay gratification—strategies that, among adults, tend to be masked by other behaviors.3 Even more illuminating was what happened next. Curious about how early childhood self-control corresponded to an individual’s behavior in adolescence, Mischel contacted the same kids who had taken the first marshmallow tests roughly a decade later. What he found was that those who had been able to withstand the impulse to eat the first marshmallow were, by most measures, more successful than those who had gobbled it down.4 Those who had given in to temptation had “lower S.A.T. scores, higher body mass indexes, problems with drugs and trouble paying attention.”5 As Mischel and his fellow researchers later argued, “The seconds of time preschool children were willing to delay for a preferred outcome predicted their cognitive and social competence and coping as adolescents.”6 That result suggested something else: the attribute measured by the marshmallow test is, as psychologist Joachim de Posada once told a TED conference, “the most important factor for success.”7 Reams of subsequent studies, often ignored in the midst of our polarized debate over education policy, have supported that supposition.
This is not a situation where, as in Field of Dreams, “if you build it, [they] will come.”18 Figuring out a way to augment American grit will not magically reconstitute the middle-ring-rich communities of generations past. Nevertheless a grittier America would, at least, make it more likely that we’d each connect with a wider range of neighbors. We’d have greater wherewithal to maintain the dynamism of previous eras. And so we have to ask: What can be done to imbue future generations with the propensity to delay gratification? What might we do to compel our children not to forsake the sort of relationships that, for decades, fueled American ingenuity, collaboration, and mutual concern? Late in the fall of 1993, my high school biology teacher presented a lesson on the complicated molecular process by which cells generate energy. It’s not that I remember the Krebs cycle because it was riveting—my eyes had glazed over well before our forty-five-minute period had come to an end.
There’s real value in the educational techniques gleaned over the decades. But we have to wonder whether there are things that could be included more proactively in our school curricula to prompt a grittier America. And fortunately, we’re in the midst of an educational revolution that sheds light on that very challenge. Galvanized by the research derived from the marshmallow test, a field of research has emerged more recently on the causes and effects of delayed gratification. Some scholars have come to wonder whether impulse control might offer insights into why certain individuals are able to escape dysfunction while others are mired in counterproductive patterns. At the vanguard of the campaign to instill more grit in students are widely acclaimed efforts like Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), and charter-school organizations led by the likes of the “Knowledge Is Power Program” (KIPP) in cities throughout the United States.
The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Chelsea Manning, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deskilling, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, performance metric, price mechanism, RAND corporation, school choice, Second Machine Age, selection bias, Steven Levy, total factor productivity, transaction costs, WikiLeaks
Banfield, The Unheavenly City Revisited (New York, 1974), pp. 273–74. 28. Among economists, the significance of these qualities has been emphasized by James Heckman, “Schools, Skills, and Synapses,” Economic Inquiry 46, no. 3 (July 2008), pp. 289–324. Of course, their importance has long been taken for granted by those not wedded to metric fixation. Character qualities of self-control and the ability to defer gratification, however, are themselves linked to cognitive ability, see Richard E. Nisbett et al., “Intelligence: New Findings and Theoretical Developments,” American Psychologist 67, no. 2 (2012), pp. 130–59, esp. p. 151. 29. Alexandria Neason, “Welcome to Kindergarten. Take This Test. And This One.” Slate, March 4, 2015. 30. Nisbett et al., “Intelligence,” p. 138. 31. Angela Duckworth, “Don’t Grade Schools on Grit,” New York Times, March 27, 2016. 32.
Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo
"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game
And while similar structures do exist in other mammals, Homo sapiens has the largest and most highly interconnected version.24 The capacity to create complex hypothetical narratives, pure figments of our substantial imaginations, is one of the most important advantages we’ve developed as a species, and as far as we can tell, it seems to be unique to us. Neuroscientists have shown that many of the uniquely human traits such as language, mathematical reasoning, complex planning, self-control, and delayed gratification also originate in the prefrontal cortex. For this reason, this region is sometimes referred to as the “executive brain.” Like the CEO of a well-run company, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for developing a vision for the organization, monitoring the performance of the various divisions and subordinates, and making resource allocation decisions that weigh the costs and benefits of each competing division’s goals.
As the years passed, Mischel informally noticed a pattern between the children who immediately took their marshmallows and poor academic performance, and the children who waited longer, delaying their gratification, and good academic performance. Follow-up studies showed that the more impulsive children did more poorly on their SAT scores, while the delayers tended to do better. Surprisingly, these same people showed the same relative ability or inability to delay gratification well into their adulthood, forty years later.27 By this time, modern brain imaging techniques had been invented, showing that the prefrontal cortex was more active in those people who were able to resist the call of the marshmallow forty years before. Among the more impulsive people, on the other hand, a different, more primitive region of the brain was activated: the ventral striatum, where the nucleus accumbens is located, strongly associated with addictive behavior.
The author and political activist Upton Sinclair once remarked, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” But how much more difficult it is to convince skeptics when they make their money directly from the market. The collective rush to the market’s nucleus accumbens overwhelmed the fear response generated by its amygdala, and induced its left hemispheres to come up with a justification. Apparently, the entire market wanted its marshmallows immediately rather than delaying gratification. This was risk on an economywide scale: systemic risk. But why didn’t we fear enough? Let’s return to the Jackson Hole meeting in late August of 2005. Larry Summers, in his response to Raghuram Rajan, compared the financial system to the transportation system: Over time, people became almost entirely complacent about the safety of the transportation arrangements on which they relied. Large sectors of the economy came to be organized in reliance on the capacity of planes to fly and trains to move.
Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer
In the famous “Marshmallow Test” conducted by Walter Mischel and Ebbe B. Ebbesen at Stanford University in 1970, researchers studied how children responded when offered a treat. The children were set in a room with a treat of some kind, often a marshmallow, and told if they waited to eat it, they could have a second treat. Out of the over six hundred children who took the test, one-third delayed gratification long enough to get a second treat. The promise of a second marshmallow wasn’t enough to deter the other two-thirds from immediately enjoying the single treat. Researchers then followed up with these children through the years, and the results were consistent. The children with higher willpower in the first test continued to show greater self-control through the years, resulting in higher educational achievements and better overall health.
Creating a Mental Image Another tool to strengthen your willpower is to create an unpleasant association with what you want to avoid. Walter Mischel, the founder of the original marshmallow test, continued to study the idea of willpower and those who seemed to have more of it. As Mischel interviewed the test’s children throughout the years, he learned that a consistent and crucial factor in delaying gratification involves changing your perception of the object you want to resist. By creating a mental image that distances us from what we want, we are learning to mentally “cool” what Mischel calls the “hot” aspects of our environment, or those things that pull us away from our goals. Mischel himself struggled with smoking and tried for years to stop. It wasn’t until he saw a very ill lung cancer patient in the hospital that he was able to stop.
Affluenza: When Too Much Is Never Enough by Clive Hamilton, Richard Denniss
call centre, delayed gratification, experimental subject, full employment, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, mega-rich, Naomi Klein, Own Your Own Home, post-materialism, post-work, purchasing power parity, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, wage slave
Households in the lowest income group (less than $20 000 a year) have the fewest debts and are much more likely than higher income households to have no debts at all.7 Households with incomes of $40 000 to $60 000 are most likely to run up credit card debts,8 which have been growing at an astonishing 20 per cent annually in recent years.9 In the 1950s and 1960s it was sometimes said that middleclass people saved because they embodied the values of thrift and prudence, while the working class was unable to delay gratification and spent as if there was no tomorrow. Whether that was true or not, the middle class today is no longer delaying gratification. They seem to want it all now and are willing to go into debt to get it. Lowincome households, on the other hand, are less likely to carry large credit card debts. In part, this is because banks are less willing to extend them credit, but it is also because low-income earners tend to be more aware of the consequences of poor budgeting.
Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen
American ideology, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, post-work, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stocks for the long run, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise
An “average” ball. Eventually over the course of the sixteen-minute segment, the beloved Muppet earns and saves up enough money to purchase the “fantastic” ball. Other segments in For Me, For You feature personal finance guru Beth Kobliner, talking to Elmo about setting up jars with money divided into saving, spending, and charity categories. The segments are all about the benefits of planning and delayed gratification. This is one of the other newest ideas in the world of financial literacy and it is based, at least in part, on the infamous marshmallow experiment. Way back in the 1970s, a researcher at Stanford University decided to test the willpower of a bunch of preschoolers. He recruited several hundred four- to six-year-olds (or, more likely, their parents) and, one by one, put them in a room with a marshmallow, cookie, or pretzel.
See financial therapy Coates, John, 169 commission fees on annuities, 111, 114, 115 fee-only advisers, 104–5 fiduciary standard, 105, 107, 110–11 fixed fees, 104 on 401(k) plans, 85–87, 91–92, 234 on options trading, 131 recommended products and, 105–6 Community Reinvestment Act (1977), 203 compounded interest, 96–97 Courage to Be Rich, The (Orman), 30, 35, 53 Covey, Stephen, 34 Cramer, Jim, 143–44, 145–47 credit, access to, 22, 175, 231–32 credit score, 41, 42 Critser, Greg, 231 Cronqvist, Henrik, 212 Cruz, Humberto, 119 Curtis, Kelly, 38 Danko, William D., 54, 69 Dave Ramsey Show, 61, 71. See also Ramsey, Dave Davidson, Liz, 168–69 day trading, 130–32 Deal, Nathan, 56 delayed gratification, 211–12 Delott, Steve, 125–26 De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel, 212 Dent, Harry, Jr., 140–42 Descano, Linda, 156, 157–58 DeWall, C. Nathan, 228 Difference, The (Chatzky), 54–55 dinner seminars, 102–3, 118–26 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 110, 198, 218 Dominus, Susan, 27 Donoghue, Bill, 21 doomsday scenarios, 138–43 Drew, Ina, 170 Drucker, Peter, 225 Duckworth, Angela, 212 education.
See commission fees Ferguson, Karen, 82, 234 Fidelity Investments on average 401(k) balance, 78 investor incentives, 131 political influence, 87 target-date funds, 89, 90, 91 fiduciary standard, 105, 107, 110–11 finance. See personal finance; specific issues Finance Park theme park, 203–4 financial education. See also seminars as academic field, 198 banks’ education requirement, 203 Capital One programs, 196–97, 198, 199, 203–4 consumer lack of interest in, 210 creation of brand loyalty, 204–7 criticism of, 215–18 delayed gratification, 211–12 by financial services sector, 196–97, 198, 199, 202–7, 214, 217–18 government initiatives, 197–98 ineffectiveness of, 199, 207–9 Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, 200–202, 206–7 literacy versus capability, 209 Money Island game, 205–6 origin of financial education movement, 196, 200–202 Sesame Workshop, 211–15 Spent role-playing game, 229 timing of sessions, 209–10 for wealthy consumers, 203 financial services industry.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum
delayed gratification, demographic transition, Donald Trump, financial independence, happiness index / gross national happiness, index card, Joan Didion, Mason jar, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Skype, women in the workforce
But she scoffed when I reminded her. She also knew what Hugh Laurie’s character had said in nearly every episode of House: “Everybody lies.” And addicts lie the most. Some people are energized by risk. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. But in a relationship, the risk tolerance of partners should match. To draw upon the wisdom of Aesop, ants should not marry grasshoppers. I am an unglamorous ant—deferring gratification, socking away money religiously and investing it prudently. My partner was a grasshopper—seeking what she wants when she wants it, unconcerned by the threat of a rainy day. I suspect that when she flew from Los Angeles to meet the pregnant woman, she was fueled as much by risk as by her urge to be a mother. Back home in my loft, I felt unheard and abandoned—because I was. I did not even log on to read e-mail.
Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier
3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
Watch a child playing games on a tablet and then watch someone keeping up with social media, or trading stocks online. We become obsessively engaged in interactions with approximately, but not fully predictable, results. The intrinsic challenge of computation—and of economics in the information age—is finding a way to not be overly drawn into dazzlingly designed forms of cognitive waste. The naïve experience of simulation is the opposite of delayed gratification. Competence depends on delayed gratification. This book has proposed an approach to an information economy based more on the craft of usability than on the thrill of gaming, though it doesn’t reject that thrill. Know Your Poison To paraphrase what Einstein might or might not have said, user interface should be made as easy as possible, but not easier. Dealing with our personal contribution of data to the cloud will sometimes be difficult or annoying in any advanced information economy, but it is the price we will have to pay.
In all cases, there has to be some way for a particular Siren Server to gain enough initial momentum to become the beneficiary of network effects. Therefore, the primary enemy of a fresh server is not competing wannabe servers, but rather “friction.” Friction is what it feels like to be on the bad side of a network effect. Even the slightest expense or risk might slow the initial growth spurt, so every possible effort is made to pretend there are no costs, risks, or even delayed gratifications. This can never really be true. Yet it feels true as you sign up for a social network or an app store for the first time. Since You Asked Here’s typical advice I’d give to someone who wants to try the Silicon Valley startup game: Obviously you have to get someone else to do something on your server. This can start out as a petty activity. eBay started out as a trading site for people who collected Pez candy dispensers.
Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K
I don’t blame David for his poor showing in geometry, or even for his lackluster heart, mind, and will. Nor should anyone else. His birth family might have been cursed with drug abuse, alcoholism, homelessness, illiteracy, insolvency, emotional turmoil, or just garden-variety bad luck or bad judgment. You can’t blame a child for not developing good study habits under constant distress. Yet Walter Mischel’s famous “marshmallow study” showed that the capacity to delay gratification – a kind of self-control – expressed at ages four to six is among the strongest predictors of achievement and social adjustment in young adults.2 It doesn’t make much sense to hold six-year-olds accountable for their personalities – it’s obviously not up to them. But what Mischel’s research further implies is that the responsibility for an adult’s degree of self-control isn’t black or white, either.3 A person’s intrinsic growth is never wholly of his own making.
“Practical wisdom” as defined by Schwartz and Sharpe (2010) is very close to the concept of discernment that I am defining in this chapter. 15.With regard to individuals, there is a rich line of research in the psychology of self-control (explored under various names, such as executive function, self-discipline, self-regulation, delay of gratification, and willpower), as well as in its pathological absence (such as akrasia, the breakdown of will, self-defeating behavior, and, in an extreme form, addiction). Academic experts sometimes make fine distinctions between these terms, but the concepts are closely related. Among those who champion the primacy of willpower are Walter Mischel, George Ainslie, and Roy Baumeister. Mischel is best known for his “marshmallow experiment” which demonstrated that young children who were able to delay gratification by giving up an immediate reward for a larger reward later grew up to be more successful in school and life than their peers who were not. See Shoda et al. (1990) and Mischel and Shoda (1995). Baumeister and his colleagues confirm that self-control is a predictor for better health, education, and employment, and further find that greater amounts of it as a character trait appear to confer a consistent advantage in life.
See also Group intrinsic growth Socioeconomic status Ashesi student success, 127 compassionate class, 188–191 creative class, 186–187 digital divide, ix, 47–49, 234(n24) Maslovian growth, 270(n43) microcredit beneficiaries, 61 obesity and, 235(n32) Shanti Bhavan student success, 141 two-tiered education system, 94 See also Economics; Education and training; Inequality; Social change Soronko, 151–152, 154, 157 South Africa: microcredit programs, 59–60 Space programs, 177–178, 266(n9) Spandana organization, 236–237(n14) Spinoza, Baruch, 96 Sreenivasa, Tara, 139–141, 147–149, 254(n32) Standardized tests, 13, 94–95, 117, 229(n29), 240(n8), 248(n23) Star Trek, 21, 22, 24, 33 Stereotype threat, 264–265(n1), 271(n7) Stiglitz, Joseph, 98 Stree Jagruti Samiti (Society for Women’s Empowerment), 17–18 Student achievement delayed gratification and, 173 digital technology enhancing, 15–16 digital technology failing to improve, 8–13 Hole-in-the-Wall project, 228(n24) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 13, 117, 229(n29), 248(n23) randomized controlled trials, 8, 12, 31, 77–82 parents’ education and, 251(n13) teachers’ commitment to education, 78–80 video games, 228(n20) See also Children; Education and training Subprime home mortgages, 61 Suicide bombings, 50–51 Surveillance, digital, 52 Sustainability education, 146–149 environmental, 134, 207, 215–216 health care, 137–138 intrinsic growth and, 214 nonprofits, 86–87 public sector programs, 86–87 social enterprise, 82–87 See also Scale Swaminathan, M.W., 104 Syria: Arab Spring, 33–34 Systematic corruption, 266(n10).
Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes by Mark Skousen
"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, experimental economics, financial independence, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, liberation theology, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, pushing on a string, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game
Smith favored self-restraint. Indeed, he firmly asserted that a free commercial society functioning within the legal restraints he outlined would moderate the passions and prevent a descent into a Hobbesian jungle, a theme he inherits from Montesquieu (see pages 40-41) and later Senior Nassau.10 He taught that commerce encourages people to become educated, industrious, and self-disciplined, and to defer gratification. It is the fe^r of losing customers "which restrains his [the seller's] frauds and corrects his negligence" (1965 , 129). All legitimate exchanges must benefit both the buyer and the seller, not one at the expense of the other. Smith's invisible hand only works if businessmen have an enlightened long-term view of competition, where they recognize the value of reputation and repeat business.
Respectable: The Experience of Class by Lynsey Hanley
Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Etonian, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent
Richard responded by poking me in the ribs and singing the chorus to ‘Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown’ while eating a bag of crisps, which luckily for him I found quite funny. I realized that to make friends properly you have to tell them significant things about yourself, something I feel grateful to have realized at seventeen and no later. But what did the experience of sixth-form college itself teach me? Mainly, that middle-class ideals of self-denial, deferred gratification and restraint work only in a context of existential comfort and security. If you know your place in the world is reasonably secure and can be relied upon as a source of internal comfort, external or material comforts take on less importance. One of my favourite scenes of class-bound horror at the practices of other social groups comes in Zadie Smith’s novel White Teeth, in which the upper-working- going on lower-middle-class protagonist, Irie Jones, starts to visit an upper-middle-class household on a regular basis.9 She can’t get over the amount of cheese they have in their house.
The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst
Her children were accustomed to eating when they were hungry—so much so that her son would scream throughout the preparation of instant oatmeal. This became much worse when she stopped buying instant oatmeal and started preparing it on the stove top. The screaming worsened while she cooked and tried to explain that we don’t always get what we want when we want it. Eventually April wore him down, and she taught her son the value of delayed gratification. Now he plays with his toys while she prepares meals, and she’s proud of the lesson he’s learned. The First “R”: Reduce Prior to the Green Garbage Project, Adam and I considered ourselves conscientious consumers, but we were consumers nonetheless. Our shopping habits never centered around reduction of purchasing, but rather around an attempt to purchase products claiming to be environmentally friendly.
Although it would be nearly impossible to shield children from all forms of advertising—not to mention it would be naïve to expect to be able to—it is fair to say that the more advertising kids take in, the more they desire to participate in our consumer culture, regardless of family values like thrift, conservation, and contentment with what we already have. Instead, try to limit the amount of advertising children are exposed to. When your kids do see something on TV they “have to have,” this becomes a teachable moment. I find that one trait high schoolers totally lack is the ability to delay gratification. Our kids are truly a “gotta have it now” generation. Although there’s arguably nothing wrong with getting your children the latest, greatest toy on the market, there’s also nothing wrong with talking to them about the environmental impact of the toy they want. Finally, when acquiring new items, help children anticipate the eventual disposal of that product. Teach them to ask, “How do I responsibly dispose of this toy when it breaks?”
A Life Less Throwaway: The Lost Art of Buying for Life by Tara Button
clean water, collaborative consumption, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, Downton Abbey, hedonic treadmill, Internet of things, Kickstarter, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, meta analysis, meta-analysis, period drama, Rana Plaza, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, thinkpad
Purchase with patience Of everything I’ve found hard to conquer on my mindful curation journey, impatience has been the hardest. Once I’ve decided that I want something, I find it very hard not to get it immediately. This can lead to buying ‘not quite the right thing’, just because it’s available right away. Impatience is a virtue from the point of view of people trying to sell us stuff. But learning to delay gratification is necessary if we want to practise mindful curation. Set yourself a rule that for any purchase over a certain amount, you have to wait twenty-four hours to ‘authorise it’ to yourself. Put it on your wish list, but don’t buy it until the next day. This should leave you enough time to raise any objections in your mind, and it helps break the addictive cycle of impulse shopping. Of course if you’re in a physical store, it may not be practical to come back the next day.
HOW TO AVOID IMPULSE BUYING Remember that Haribo advert with the children who had to resist the sweets laid out in front of them? What’s interesting (and slightly ironic) is that this ad was based on a real Sixties experiment about willpower. It is now commonly known as the ‘Marshmallow Test’. It found that the kids who resisted the marshmallow in order to win another ended up with better SAT scores, were slimmer and had more self-worth in the future.2 Being able to delay gratification for a bigger prize in the future seems to be the key to many of the things we want – so all those Haribo kids failed! I don’t believe we are born with a certain amount of willpower. The kids who did well in the original test all had strategies to make the temptation easier to bear. Some turned the chair around and sat with their back to the sweet, some sang songs to themselves and some pushed the sweet away.
The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt
active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize
The present came a year late, but Wiles gave the corrected manuscript to his wife on her birthday. The bet of his life had paid off: undaunted by his mistakes, Wiles had crossed the finish line. So far as we can tell, this kind of endeavor would not be possible anywhere else in the animal kingdom: sharks, egrets, and armadillos don’t launch themselves into long, risky projects. The character of Wiles’ enterprise is only seen among humans. It requires delayed gratification on a scale of decades: an abstract, imagined reward that drives behavior forward. CODA: EXERCISING THE CREATIVE MENTALITY The software of creativity comes preinstalled on the human hard drive, ready to bend, break and blend the world around us. The brain spits out a stream of new possibilities, most of which won’t work, but some of which do. No other species throws themselves at reimagining the world with such vitality and persistence.
<http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/fact-of-fiction-the-legend-of-the-qwerty-keyboard-49863249> Stanley, Matthew. “An Expedition to Heal the Wounds of War.” Isis 94, no. 1 (2003): 57–89. Steinitz, Richard. György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2003. Stevens, Jeffrey R., Alaxandra G. Rosati, Sarah R. Heilbronner, and Nelly Mühlhoff. “Waiting for Grapes: Expectancy and Delayed Gratification in Bonobos.” International Journal of Comparative Psychology 24 (2011): 99–111. Strom, Stephanie. “TV Dinners in a Netflix World.” New York Times. November 5, 2015. Stross, Randall E. The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World. New York: Crown Publishers, 2007. “Study: A Rich Club in the Human Brain.” IU News Room. October 31, 2011. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths
4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game
This has a number of important implications. Our judgments betray our expectations, and our expectations betray our experience. What we project about the future reveals a lot—about the world we live in, and about our own past. What Our Predictions Tell Us About Ourselves When Walter Mischel ran his famous “marshmallow test” in the early 1970s, he was trying to understand how the ability to delay gratification develops with age. At a nursery school on the Stanford campus, a series of three-, four-, and five-year-olds had their willpower tested. Each child would be shown a delicious treat, such as a marshmallow, and told that the adult running the experiment was about to leave the room for a while. If they wanted to, they could eat the treat right away. But if they waited until the experimenter came back, they would get two treats.
., “Bayes and Blickets”; Xu and Tenenbaum, “Word Learning as Bayesian Inference.” famous “marshmallow test”: Mischel, Ebbesen, and Raskoff Zeiss, “Cognitive and Attentional Mechanisms in Delay of Gratification.” all depends on what kind of situation: McGuire and Kable, “Decision Makers Calibrate Behavioral Persistence on the Basis of Time-Interval Experience,” and McGuire and Kable, “Rational Temporal Predictions Can Underlie Apparent Failures to Delay Gratification.” grew into young adults who were more successful: Mischel, Shoda, and Rodriguez, “Delay of Gratification in Children.” how prior experiences might affect behavior: Kidd, Palmeri, and Aslin, “Rational Snacking.” Carnegie Hall even half full: According to figures from the Aviation Safety Network (personal correspondence), the number of fatalities “on board US-owned aircraft that are capable of carrying 12+ passengers, also including corporate jets and military transport planes” during the period 2000–2014 was 1,369, and adding the 2014 figure again to estimate deaths in 2015 yields a total estimate of 1,393 through the end of 2015.
The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, & Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011. McGuire, Joseph T., and Joseph W. Kable. “Decision Makers Calibrate Behavioral Persistence on the Basis of Time-Interval Experience.” Cognition 124, no. 2 (2012): 216–226. ______. “Rational Temporal Predictions Can Underlie Apparent Failures to Delay Gratification.” Psychological Review 120, no. 2 (2013): 395. Megiddo, Nimrod, and Dharmendra S. Modha. “Outperforming LRU with an Adaptive Replacement Cache Algorithm.” Computer 37, no. 4 (2004): 58–65. Mellen, Andrew. Unstuff Your Life! Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good. New York: Avery, 2010. Menezes, Alfred J., Paul C. Van Oorschot, and Scott A Vanstone. Handbook of Applied Cryptography.
Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy by Howard Karger
big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, delayed gratification, financial deregulation, fixed income, illegal immigration, labor-force participation, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, microcredit, mortgage debt, negative equity, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, predatory finance, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, underbanked, working poor
Second, credit card companies and other financial institutions have helped redefine the concept of acceptable debt. As such, zero balances on credit cards are becoming increasingly rare as consumers rack up credit card purchases and play a shell game of shifting balances from one card to another. Although stagnant wages coupled with increases in the cost of necessities drives the fringe economy, it is also driven by overconsumption, conspicuous consumption, status consumption, the inability to defer gratification, and impulse buying. Hence, it’s not surprising that in surveys of children age 10 to 13, Juliet Schor found that their overriding goal was to get rich. In response to the statement, “I want to make a lot of money when I grow up,” 63% agreed, and only 7% disagreed.29 But even if most don’t get rich, the fringe economy still allows them to live as if they were, albeit temporarily. The driving vision of fringe economy entrepreneurs is to develop a fully formed subeconomy capable of meeting the financial needs of the poor, people with lower and moderate incomes, and the functionally poor middle class.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, mass incarceration, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, RAND corporation, school choice, Silicon Valley
He was ten years old. By the age of eleven, he had six hundred dollars in the bank, all earned by himself. This was in the 1950s. That would be the equivalent today of five thousand dollars. “I didn’t have money for where I wanted to go,” he said with a shrug, as if it was obvious that an eleven-year-old would have a sense of where he wanted to go. “Any fool can spend money. But to earn it and save it and defer gratification—then you learn to value it differently.” His family lived in what people euphemistically called a “mixed neighborhood.” He went to public schools and wore hand-me-downs. His father was a product of the Depression, and talked plainly about money. The man from Hollywood said that if he wanted something—a new pair of running shoes, say, or a bicycle—his father would tell him he had to pay half.
Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain by Lisa McKenzie
British Empire, call centre, credit crunch, delayed gratification, falling living standards, financial exclusion, full employment, income inequality, low skilled workers, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, unpaid internship, urban renewal, working poor
(Lewis, 1961, pp 26-7) Lewis understood the actual living conditions of the poor, along with their everyday practices, as a ‘culture of poverty’. He also noted that violence and abandonment of women and children were common and, as a result, mother-centred families and communities that had greater knowledge and ties to maternal relatives became the ‘norm’. Lewis also argued that, within the ‘culture of poverty’, other traits developed: … a strong present time orientation with relatively little ability to defer gratification and plan for the future, a sense of resignation and fatalism based upon the realities of their difficult life situation, a belief in male superiority which reaches its crystallization in machismo or the cult of masculinity, a corresponding martyr complex among women, and finally, a high tolerance for psychological pathology of all sorts. (Lewis, 1961, pp 27-9) These traits then become the everyday practices of the community, and therefore the ‘norm’, passed on to each generation.
The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms
Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population
To be scientific, economics needed to reduce itself to hard measures, to WHY DID AN APPARENTLY POOR PACIFIC ISLAND HIT THE TOP? 35 reduce itself in turn to econometrics, to formulae and graphs. The difficulty was that, actually, this undermined its ability to describe the world, and the behaviour of human beings, very accurately. It assumed that people always maximize their broad wealth in any given situation – which is, almost by definition, true (though there is some room for argument about deferred gratification). But economics then defined wealth so narrowly, as little more than money, when everyone knows – at least outside the economics lecture room – that this is nonsense. Human beings constantly accept something that is both less and more than money, from quiet or calmness or good relationships, to any other aspect of life that brings them fulfilment and excitement. Any economics that fails to recognize this blinds itself to the way the world is, so that it finds it hard to understand decisions to downshift or to pay more for an ethical choice, and is – only now – struggling to come to terms with the obvious.
Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil
4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog
What was she doing? What did this audience get out of it? Terri Senft, in her book Camgirls: Celebrity & Community in the Age of Social Networks, details how she got hooked on watching something that to anyone else must have sounded dull: I typed the URL and watched a webcammed image of a living room refreshing every few minutes. Jennifer wasn’t even home. The whole thing came across as an exercise in deferred gratification, with an endless expectation that something might happen. Waiting for the webcam to display something besides her empty couch, I browsed the JenniCam’s archived photos and online journals. The moment I figured out that I could match the date and time stamps on the photos to the journal entries, I was hooked. In viewing the images as a narrative, I was getting an inkling of who Jennifer was, and why she might find it useful to share her life with the world.
Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker
8-hour work day, active transport: walking or cycling, barriers to entry, buy and hold, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, diversification, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, dumpster diving, financial independence, game design, index fund, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, lateral thinking, loose coupling, market bubble, McMansion, passive income, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, psychological pricing, the scientific method, time value of money, transaction costs, wage slave, working poor
Communities like the Shakers and the Quakers have thought about this and decided on some ground rules of what complexities to avoid. In general, the avoided complexities are the tightly coupled complexities.42 They will gladly borrow those, but they won't own them. To wit, they use a modularity strategy with loose couplings to avoid many problems. Slowness can be achieved through delayed gratification. In a world of scarcity, instant gratification is the optimal strategy. In a world of abundance, delayed gratification is the optimal strategy. Genetically, there's a preference for the former, which means that a mature person with a measure of self-control has an advantage, being able to wait for bargains. It also means if you have patience and don't depend on speed, there are fewer costs to be paid for the additional power that speed otherwise requires.
Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland
3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, butterfly effect, California gold rush, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double helix, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Firefox, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Chrome, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Hyperloop, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, IKEA effect, information asymmetry, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mason jar, Murray Gell-Mann, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Veblen good
Another company using a big data approach discovered a variable that was vastly more predictive of a good employee than any other: it wasn’t their level of educational attainment or a variable on a personality test – no, it turned out that the best employees had overwhelmingly made their online application using either Google Chrome or Firefox as their browser, rather than the standard one supplied on their computers. While I can see that replacing a browser on a laptop may be indicative of certain qualities – conscientiousness, technological competence and the willingness to defer gratification, to name just three – is it acceptable to use this information to discriminate between employees? The company decided that it wasn’t, in part because it would have been unfair to less privileged applicants, who may have had to use a library computer to apply. Illustration by Greg Stevenson The confounding variable here, missing from the data, is the weather, which explains the spurious correlation.
Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World by Bethany McLean
addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, buy and hold, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, family office, hydraulic fracturing, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Upton Sinclair, Yom Kippur War
–China relations conference. “Every barrel that you use up that comes from somebody else is a barrel of your precious oil which you’re going to need to feed your people and maintain your civilization. You want to produce just enough so that you keep up on all of the technology. And you shouldn’t mind at all paying prices that look high for foreign oil.” He adds, “You will be better off because you delayed gratification, instead of grabbing for it like a child.” Another way to think about this is that America is the only country in the world to have made the switch to unconventional oil and gas—America is the only country to have exhausted its supplies of conventional oil and gas. And other countries have shale, too. Thus far, high profile projects in Poland and China have met with a total lack of success, for a wide range of reasons, from the different quality of the rock to a lack of transportation infrastructure needed to move the supply.
This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman
23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
He invited the kids into a tiny room containing a desk and a chair and asked them to pick a treat from a tray of marshmallows, cookies, and pretzel sticks. Mischel then made the four-year-olds an offer: They could either eat one treat right away or, if they were willing to wait while he stepped out for a few minutes, they could have two treats when he returned. Not surprisingly, nearly every kid chose to wait. At the time, psychologists assumed that the ability to delay gratification in order to get that second marshmallow or cookie depended on willpower. Some people simply had more willpower than others, which allowed them to resist tempting sweets and save money for retirement. However, after watching hundreds of kids participate in the marshmallow experiment, Mischel concluded that this standard model was wrong. He came to realize that willpower was inherently weak and that children who tried to postpone the treat—gritting their teeth in the face of temptation—soon lost the battle, often within thirty seconds.
., 61 climate change, 51, 53, 99, 178, 201–2, 204, 268, 309, 315, 335, 386, 390 CO2 levels and, 202, 207, 217, 262 cultural differences in view of, 387–88 global economy and, 238–39 procrastination in dealing with, 209, 210 clinical trials, 26, 44, 56 cloning, 56, 165 coastlines, xxvi, 246 Cochran, Gregory, 360–62 coffee, 140, 152, 351 cognition, 172 perception and, 133–34 cognitive humility, 39–40 cognitive load, 116–17 cognitive toolkit, 333 Cohen, Daniel, 254 Cohen, Joel, 65 Cohen, Steven, 307–8 cold fusion, 243, 244 Coleman, Ornette, 254, 255 collective intelligence, 257–58 Colombia, 345 color, 150–51 color-blindness, 144 Coltrane, John, 254–55 communication, 250, 358, 372 depth in, 227 temperament and, 231 companionship, 328–29 comparative advantage, law of, 100 comparison, 201 competition, 98 complexity, 184–85, 226–27, 326, 327 emergent, 275 computation, 227, 372 computers, 74, 103–4, 146–47, 172 cloud and, 74 graphical desktops on, 135 memory in, 39–40 open standards and, 86–87 computer software, 80, 246 concept formation, 276 conduction, 297 confabulation, 349–52 confirmation bias, 40, 134 Conner, Alana, 367–70 Conrad, Klaus, 394 conscientiousness, 232 consciousness, 217 conservatism, 347, 351 consistency, 128 conspicuous consumption, 228, 308 constraint satisfaction, 167–69 consumers, keystone, 174–76 context, sensitivity to, 40 continental drift, 244–45 conversation, 268 Conway, John Horton, 275, 277 cooperation, 98–99 Copernicanism, 3 Copernican Principle, 11–12, 25 Copernicus, Nicolaus, 11, 294 correlation, and causation, 215–17, 219 creationism, 268–69 creativity, 152, 395 constraint satisfaction and, 167–69 failure and, 79, 225 negative capability and, 225 serendipity and, 101–2 Crick, Francis, 165, 244 criminal justice, 26, 274 Croak, James, 271–72 crude look at the whole (CLAW), 388 Crutzen, Paul, 208 CT scans, 259–60 cultural anthropologists, 361 cultural attractors, 180–83 culture, 154, 156, 395 change and, 373 globalization and, see globalization culture cycle, 367–70 cumulative error, 177–79 curating, 118–19 currency, central, 41 Cushman, Fiery, 349–52 cycles, 170–73 Dalrymple, David, 218–20 DALYs (disability-adjusted life years), 206 danger, proving, 281 Darwin, Charles, 2, 44, 89, 98, 109, 156, 165, 258, 294, 359 Das, Satyajit, 307–9 data, 303, 394 personal, 303–4, 305–6 security of, 76 signal detection theory and, 389–93 Dawkins, Richard, 17–18, 180, 183 daydreaming, 235–36 DDT, 125 De Bono, Edward, 240 dece(i)bo effect, 381–85 deception, 321–23 decision making, 52, 305, 393 constraint satisfaction and, 167–69 controlled experiments and, 25–27 risk and, 56–57, 68–71 skeptical empiricism and, 85 deduction, 113 defeasibility, 336–37 De Grey, Aubrey, 55–57 delaying gratification, 46 democracy, 157–58, 237 Democritus, 9 Demon-Haunted World, The (Sagan), 273 Dennett, Daniel C., 170–73, 212, 275 depth, 226–28 Derman, Emanuel, 115 Descent of Man, The (Darwin), 156 design: mind and, 250–53 recursive structures in, 246–49 determinism, 103 Devlin, Keith, 264–65 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), 233–34 “Dial F for Frankenstein” (Clarke), 61 Diesel, Rudolf, 170 diseases, 93, 128, 174 causes of, 59, 303–4 distributed systems, 74–77 DNA, 89, 165, 223, 244, 260, 292, 303, 306 Huntington’s disease and, 59 sequencing of, 15 see also genes dopamine, 230 doughnuts, 68–69, 70 drug trade, 345 dualities, 296–98, 299–300 wave-particle, 28, 296–98 dual view of ourselves, 32 dynamics, 276 Eagleman, David, 143–45 Earth, 294, 360 climate change on, see climate change distance between sun and, 53–54 life on, 3–5, 10, 15 earthquakes, 387 ecology, 294–95 economics, 100, 186, 208, 339 economy(ies), 157, 158, 159 global, 163–64, 238–39 Pareto distributions in, 198, 199, 200 and thinking outside of time, 223 ecosystems, 312–14 Edge, xxv, xxvi, xxix–xxx education, 50, 274 applying to real-world situations, 40 as income determinant, 49 policies on, controlled experiments in, 26 scientific lifestyle and, 20–21 efficiency, 182 ego: ARISE and, 235–36 see also self 80/20 rule, 198, 199 Einstein, Albert, 28, 55, 169, 301, 335, 342 on entanglement, 330 general relativity theory of, 25, 64, 72, 234, 297 memory law of, 252 on simplicity, 326–27 Einstellung effect, 343–44 electrons, 296–97 Elliott, Andrew, 150 Eliot, T.
The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch
cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, feminist movement, full employment, George Santayana, impulse control, Induced demand, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Norman Mailer, road to serfdom, Scientific racism, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, yellow journalism
In 1960, David Riesman complained that young people no longer had much social " " presence, their education having provided them a polished personality but [with] an affable, casual, adaptable one, suitable to the loose-jointed articulation and heavy job turnover in the expanding organizations of an affluent soci- not with " It is true that "a present-oriented hedonism," as Riesman went on to argue, has replaced the work ethic among the very classes which in the earlier stages of industrialization were oriented toward the future, toward distant goals and delayed gratification. But this hedonism is a fraud; the pursuit of pleasure disguises a struggle for power. Americans have not really become more sociable and cooperative, as the theorists of otherdirection and conformity would like us to believe; they have merely become more adept at exploiting the conventions of interpersonal relations for their own benefit. Activities ostensibly un- ety. " " . ing what you want instead of waiting for what is rightfully j to receive.
In 1960, David Riesman complained that young people no longer had their education having provided them a polished personality but [with] an affable, casual, much social not with " " presence, " adaptable one, suitable to the loose-jointed articulation and heavy job turnover in the expanding organizations of an affluent society. It is true that "a present-oriented hedonism," as Riesman " " went on to argue, has replaced the work ethic among the very classes which in the earlier stages of industrialization were oriented toward the future, toward distant goals and delayed gratification. But this hedonism is a fraud; the pursuit of pleasure disguises a struggle for power. Americans have not really become more sociable and cooperative, as the theorists of otherdirection and conformity would like us to believe; they have merely become more adept at exploiting the conventions of interpersonal relations for their own benefit. Activities ostensibly un- . ing what you want instead of waiting for what is rightfully yours to receive.
The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations by Jacob Soll
accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, delayed gratification, demand response, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, High speed trading, Honoré de Balzac, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route
Indeed, such techniques seemed to have worked, for all evidence points to Datini’s fortune being made not in a single giant deal, but in small increments. The details mattered.11 To see all of Datini’s books together is to see the birth of modern finance and the information age. Datini’s books make him familiar: a businessman of numbers, data, and paperwork. Max Weber is famous for claiming that capitalism grew out of the Protestant work ethic, based on self-discipline and what Sigmund Freud called delayed gratification, the control of the pleasure principle. But Datini shows that, in spite of his taste for slave girls, partridges, and fine clothes, the original capitalist work ethic of Western Europe grew from this disciplined, fearful, saint-loving, Catholic, Italian world of trade, with its connections to Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. The Italians invented complex multipartner firms, banking, and double-entry bookkeeping, which required an iron work ethic.
Thus all post offices in early America had double-entry manuals posted on their walls, with instructions on how to use them. Franklin was not only making the post office work in the colonies but also spreading his vision of how to order and manage the world.12 For all Franklin’s espoused work ethic (early to bed, early to rise, etc.), he may have had ulterior motives in some of his accounting projects. His enthusiasm for teaching women accounting had an outcome not necessarily in line with the ethic of delayed gratification. In the early years, his wife, Deborah Read Franklin, kept books at the counter of their Philadelphia shop, recording sales transactions. Franklin took Deborah’s shop book and his own transaction journal and transferred the entries into his main ledger in classic form. He kept debit and credit columns, numbered pages, and, as he noted later, before leaving on a political mission to England in 1757, “I have drawn a red Line over all such Accounts in this book, as are either Settled or not likely to be recovered.”
The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge by Gay Talese, Bruce Davidson
Margaret and Gerard had been classmates in parochial school and had dated during and after their years in high school, although "dating" in those days in that neighborhood hardly connoted sexual permissiveness. Had Gerard not fallen off the bridge, Margaret would have been his virgin bride, perhaps among the last women of her generation in Red Hook to be so determinedly inclined regarding premarital chastity; and yet along with her firmly held opinions on delayed gratification and the sanctity of marriage, and her feelings of appreciation and tenderness toward Gerard for supporting and respecting her views, she doubted that she would have been very happy as Gerard's wife. She told me this during an interview in her home seven weeks after Gerard's funeral, which had been attended by hundreds of fellow bridge workers. These men were the only individuals that Gerard looked up to, she said; they mattered more to him than any girlfriend or wife ever would.
The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom
As Schiff notes, “The Alexandrian War gave Cleopatra everything she wanted. It cost her little.” In winning the civil war Caesar got rid of all major opposition to Cleopatra and firmly aligned himself with her reign. Being aware of second-order consequences and using them to guide your decision-making may mean the short term is less spectacular, but the payoffs for the long term can be enormous. By delaying gratification now, you will save time in the future. You won’t have to clean up the mess you made on account of not thinking through the effects of your short-term desires. — Sidebar: Developing Trust for Future Success Constructing an effective argument: Second-order thinking can help you avert problems and anticipate challenges that you can then address in advance. For example, most of us have to construct arguments every day.
Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons
On the other hand, many actual lottery winners regret taking the lump-sum payment because they end up spending too much initially. In personal situations, most people discount the future implicitly at relatively high discount rates. And they do so in a manner that is not actually fixed over time, which is called hyperbolic discounting. In other words, people really, really value instant gratification over delayed gratification, and this preference plays a central role in procrastination, along with other areas of life where people struggle with self-control, such as dieting, addiction, etc. When you’re on a diet, it’s hard to avoid the pull of that donut in the office. That’s because you get the short-term donut payoff right now, whereas the long-term dieting payoff, being so far in the future, is discounted in your mind close to zero (like company earnings fifty years in the future).
., 253 critical mass, viii–x, 114–15, 117, 119, 120, 129, 194, 308 critical thinking, 201 crossing the chasm, 311–12 crossing the Rubicon, 244 crowdsourcing, 203–6, 286 culture, 113, 273 organizational, 107–8, 113, 273–80, 293 customers, 300 development of, 294 personas for, 300 types of, 298–300 winner-take-most markets and, 308 Cutco, 217 Danziger, Shai, 63 dark patterns, 226–29 Potemkin villages, 228–29 Darley, John, 259 Darwin, Charles, 100, 101, 291 data, 130–31, 143, 146, 301 binary, 152 dredging of, 169–70 in graphs, see graphs mean in, 146, 149, 151 meta-analysis of, 172–73 outliers in, 148 streaks and clusters in, 144 variance in, 149 see also experiments; statistics dating, 8–10, 95 daycare center, 222–23 deadlines, 89 death, causes of, 17 death by a thousand cuts, 38 debate, 225 decisions, 1–2, 11, 31, 127, 129, 131–33, 175, 209 business case and, 207 choices and, 62–63 cost-benefit analysis in, 177–86, 189, 194 decision fatigue and, 63–64 decision tree in, 186–90, 194, 215 Eisenhower Decision Matrix, 72–74, 89, 124, 125 irreversible, 61–62, 223–24 opportunity cost and, 76–77, 80, 83, 179, 182, 188, 305 past, analyzing, 201, 271–72 pro-con list in, 175–78, 185, 189 reversible, 61–62 sequences of, 144 small, tyranny of, 38, 55 utilitarianism and, 189–90 Declaration of Independence, 222 deep work, 72, 76, 88, 278 default effect, 87–88 Defense, U.S. Department of, 267–68 delayed gratification, 87 deleveraging, 78–79 deliberate practice, 260–62, 264, 266 Democratic National Committee, 97 de-risking, 6–7, 10, 294 design debt, 56–57 design patterns, 92–93, 97, 226, 317 Detecting Lies and Deceit (Vrij), 13–14 deterrence, 231–32, 237, 238 Detroit, Mich., 41 Devil’s advocate position, 28–30, 202 diagrams, 192–93 dice, 170 Dick, Philip K., 201 diet, 1, 87, 102, 103, 130 Difficult Conversations (Stone, Patton, and Heen), 19 Diffusion of Innovation (Rogers), 116 diffusion of responsibility, 259 digital photography, 308–10 Dilbert, 140 diminishing returns, 81–83 diminishing utility, 81–82 dinosaurs, 103 diplomacy, 231 directly responsible individual (DRI), 258–59 disclosure law, 45 disconfirmation bias, 27 discounted cash flow, 85 discounting, hyperbolic, 87 discounting the future, 85–87 discount rate, 85–87, 180–82, 184, 185 discoveries, multiple, 291–92 Disney World, 96–97 dispersion, 147 disruptive innovations, 308, 310–11 distribution, see probability distributions distributive justice versus procedural justice, 224–25 divergent thinking, 203 diversity debt, 57 diversity of opinion, 205, 206, 255 divide and conquer, 96 divorce, 231, 305 Dollar Shave Club, 240 domino effect, 234–35, 237 done, calling something, 89–90 Donne, John, 209 don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, 241 drinking, 217, 218 drunk drivers, 157–58 drugs, 236 DuckDuckGo, 18, 32, 68, 258, 278 Dubner, Stephen, 44–45 Dunbar, Robin, 278 Dunbar’s number, 278 Dunning, David, 269 Dunning-Kruger effect, 268–70, 317 Dweck, Carol, 266, 267 early adopters, 116–17, 289, 290, 311–12 early majority, 116–17, 312 Eastman Kodak Company, 302–3, 308–10, 312 eBay, 119, 281, 282, 290 echo chambers, 18, 120 Ecker, Ullrich, 13 economies of scale, 95 Economist, 14–15 economy, 122, 125 inflation in, 179–80, 182–83 financial crisis of 2007/2008, 79, 120, 192, 271, 288 recessions in, 121–22 Edison, Thomas, 289, 292 education and schools, 224–25, 241, 296 expectations and, 267–68 mindsets and, 267 school ranking, 137 school start times, 110, 111, 130 selection bias and, 140 textbooks in, 262 see also college effective altruism, 80 egalitarian versus hierarchical, in organizational culture, 274 80/20 arrangements, 80–81, 83 Einstein, Albert, 8, 11 Eisenhower, Dwight, 72 Eisenhower Decision Matrix, 72–74, 89, 124, 125 elections, 206, 218, 233, 241, 271, 293, 299 Ellsberg, Michael, 220 email spam, 161, 192–93, 234 Emanuel, Rahm, 291 emotion, appeal to, 225, 226 emotional quotient (EQ), 250–52 empathy, 19, 21, 23 ruinous, 264 employee engagement survey, 140, 142 endgame, 242, 244 endorsements, 112, 220, 229 endpoints, 137 ends justify the means, 229 energy: activation, 112–13 potential, 111–12 engineering, 247 Enron, 228 entrepreneurs, 301 cargo cult, 316 entropy, 122–24 entry, barriers to, 305 environmental issues, 38 climate change, 42, 55, 56, 104, 105, 183, 192 EpiPen, 283 EQ (emotional quotient), 250–52 equilibrium, 193 Ericsson, K.
The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize
How to avoid being eaten by a tiger—today. How to find enough food to feed my family—today. If there was any long-term thinking, it was of the how do I find someplace warm to winter variety. In other words, evolution shaped our time horizons to see about six months into the future. Of course, we evolved ways to extend this perspective. Delayed gratification is the psychological term, and one distinguishing characteristic of our species is the ability to delay gratification beyond the limits of lifespan. Religions that shape behavior today by promising an afterlife tomorrow rely on this mechanism. No other animal can do this. But we seem to be losing this talent. “Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span,” writes Stewart Brand in an essay for the Long Now Foundation.
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra
And you solve the next one. And then the next. If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.” If you solve enough problems, you get to land your rovers on Mars. If you solve enough problems, you get to build the Roman Empire. If you solve enough problems, you get to land on the Moon. That’s how you change the world. One problem at a time. Changing the world one problem at a time requires delaying gratification. Most things in life are “first-order positive, second-order negative,” as Shane Parrish writes on his website Farnam Street.37 They give us pleasure in the short term but pain in the long. Spending money now instead of saving for retirement, using fossil fuels instead of renewable energy, guzzling sugar-laden beverages instead of water are all in that category. When we’re focused on first-order outcomes, we look for the instant success, the instant best seller, the instant fill-in-the-blank.
When we’re trying to maximize our profits and comfort tomorrow, we discount the value that failure brings in the long term. As a result, failure hits us hard. To boost our short-term pleasure, we avoid doing things that might fail. Those who get ahead in life flip this perspective. “A real advantage is conferred on people who can do things that are first-order negative, second-order positive,” Parrish writes.39 These people delay gratification in a world that has become obsessed with it. They don’t quit simply because their rocket blew up on the launch pad, they had a bad quarter, or their audition fell flat. They reorient their calibration for the long term, not for the short. When it comes to creating long-lasting change, there are no hacks or silver bullets, as venture capitalist Ben Horowitz says. You’ll need to use a lot of lead bullets instead.40 Inputs over Outputs Think back on the failures you’ve had in your life.
Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo
Alfred Russel Wallace, biofilm, butterfly effect, Celebration, Florida, corporate governance, delayed gratification, experimental subject, impulse control, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, Rodney Brooks, Ted Kaczynski, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Walter Mischel
Combined with ever more sophisticated mental capacities—the ability to maintain the image of a prey animal when it is no longer in sight, the ability to continue to focus persistently on a certain goal for days or even years—running allowed us to move from scavenging on the savannahs to becoming competent hunters.2 With the expansion of our brain and our field of vision came an even wider expansion—not just of our range of habitation, but of our range in terms of the global and temporal nature of our concerns. It is this expansion that lies at the heart of the Third Adaptation. We became creatures not just of the moment, but of the future and the past. We could internalize lessons from experience, learn from our mistakes, and also plan ahead. We could defer gratification and we could keep mental accounts of treachery and of kindness extending back for generations, even centuries. With highly sophisticated and fully functional executive control, we could much more precisely sort out what served our own interests, while also taking into consideration our membership in various wider communities of interest, extending all over the world and into the future our great-grandchildren will inhabit.
Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, delayed gratification, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, medical malpractice, moral hazard, obamacare, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, source of truth, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Yogi Berra
Burnout is associated with excessive workload, difficulty balancing one’s personal and professional lives, and loss of work control, autonomy, and meaning. It has been described as “an erosion of the soul caused by a deterioration of one’s values, dignity, spirit and will.” The practice of medicine today almost seems to promote burnout. Doctors are working harder and harder, and many continue to demand perfection of themselves. We defer gratification, sometimes for many years. We no longer feel in charge of our professional destiny. A physician recently wrote online: “The reason we are feeling ‘burnout’ is that there does not seem to be any hope for things to get better.” Another said, speaking for many in private practice who stand to lose the most from policy proposals to restrict fee-for-service and encourage greater use of nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to do what was formerly doctors’ work, “We look forward to a future of a fully implemented Obamacare where physicians are but meaningless pawns in the hands of those who are pushing this absurd social experiment.”
The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford
airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy
And reciprocally, the ability to control oneself in the face of some temptation is greatly enhanced by, indeed seems simply to be, the ability to direct one’s attention toward something else. In a classic psychology experiment, Walter Mischel and E. B. Ebbesen gave children the option of having one marshmallow immediately or, if they were able to wait fifteen minutes, two marshmallows.10 Left alone with the marshmallow at hand, some broke down and gobbled it immediately, others after a brief struggle. But about a third of the children succeeded in deferring gratification and getting the bigger payoff. Those who did so were those who distracted themselves from the marshmallow by playing games under the table, singing songs, or imagining the marshmallow as a cloud, for example. In a follow-up study of the same children a dozen years later, their initial performance on the self-regulation task was more predictive of life success than any other measure, including IQ and socioeconomic status.
Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement by Robert Clyatt
asset allocation, backtesting, buy and hold, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, fixed income, future of work, index arbitrage, index fund, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, merger arbitrage, money market fund, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, rising living standards, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, working poor, zero-sum game
The arrangement will work best if the children earn money from outside sources, or if you have your own profitable sole proprietorship and can verify that your child is doing work for the company—perhaps running products to customers, cleaning the office, maintaining a website and computers, or performing clerical work and mailings; allowances and payments for normal household chores won’t count. To make the most of the benefit, aim to have the child earn at least $4,000 a year. Those earnings will be shielded from income tax, due to the child’s standard deduction. These earnings, essentially all after-tax earned income, can then be used for an annual contribution to a Roth IRA. Not only does this arrangement allow you to teach your children the values of hard work and deferred gratification, it can help you plant the seeds for their retirement. And if they feel the need for some spending money after all that work and forced saving, you can always give them a little extra allowance to make up for it. 254 | Work Less, Live More Comparing Taxes: Salary Earners and Semi-Retirees This section looks at the taxes for a traditional salary-earning couple and a semi-retired couple.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
In short, there had been errors, false directions taken, but they were getting very close to a solution. Needless to say, Crake continued, the thing would become a huge money-spinner. It would be the must-have pill, in every country, in every society in the world. Of course the crank religions wouldn’t like it, in view of the fact that their raison d’être was based on misery, indefinitely deferred gratification, and sexual frustration, but they wouldn’t be able to hold out long. The tide of human desire, the desire for more and better, would overwhelm them. It would take control and drive events, as it had in every large change throughout history. Jimmy said the thing sounded very interesting. Provided its shortcomings could be remedied, that is. Good name, too – BlyssPluss. A whispering, seductive sound.
The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us by Robert H. Frank, Philip J. Cook
accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Alvin Roth, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business cycle, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, global village, haute couture, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, positional goods, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Shoshana Zuboff, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy
The brain of a child who watches cartoons four hours a day develops very differently from the brains of children who spend those same hours reading and play ing with friends. And, as in the case of the experimental cats, deficits with which children emerge from childhood often cannot be over come by training later in life. In addition to social and problem-solving skills, one of the most im portant capacities for a child to develop on the way to adulthood is pa tience-the ability to defer gratification. This is important because the alternatives that look most attractive in the short run are often dis tinctly inferior in the long run. A job flipping hamburgers after school, for example, holds the immediate attraction of providing money to buy a car, but it also entails having less time to qualify for admission to a good university, and hence a lifetime of diminished opportunity. The inability to set one's sights on larger, more distant rewards is associated with, among other difficulties, criminal behavior, 16 alcohol and other substance abuse,l1 marriage dissolution,18 and pathological ly low savings rates. 1 9 Our cultural offerings-which increasingly cele brate the simple over the complex, the formulaic over the innovative, sensationalism over nuance, the present over the future--could hardly be less well chosen to help foster patience in young people.
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt
coherent worldview, crack epidemic, delayed gratification, feminist movement, hedonic treadmill, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Singer: altruism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, stem cell, telemarketer, the scientific method, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game
T h e n you ring the bell. Now let's j u m p ahead to 1985. Mischel has mailed your parents a questionnaire asking them to report on your personality, your ability to delay gratification and deal with frustration, and your performance on your college entrance exams (the Scholastic Aptitude Test). Your parents return the questionnaire. Mischel discovers that the number of s e c o n d s you waited to ring the bell in 1970 predicts not only what your parents say about you as a teenager but also the likelihood that you were admitted to a top university. Children who were able to overcome stimulus control and delay gratification for a few extra minutes in 1970 were better able to resist temptation as teenagers, to focus on their studies, and to control themselves when things didn't go the way they wanted.27 What was their secret?
Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, game design, industrial cluster, Jean Tirole, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, school choice, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game
Adaptive competitiveness is characterized by perseverance and determination to rise to the challenge, but it’s bounded by an abiding respect for the rules. It’s the ability to feel genuine satisfaction at having put in a worthy effort, even if you lose. People with adaptive competitiveness don’t have to be the best at everything—they only strive to be the best in the domain they train for. They might be perfectionists at work, but they don’t care if they’re the worst at tennis and shuffleboard. They are able to defer gratification, meaning they accept that it can take a long time to improve. Healthy competitiveness is marked by constant striving for excellence, but not desperate concerns over rank. It’s adaptive competitiveness that leads to the great, heroic performances that inspire us all. The maladaptive variety is what gives competitiveness its bad name. Maladaptive competitiveness is characterized by psychological insecurity and displaced urges.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese
These days, time feels less like the ticking clock and more like a state of being. Languor settles in. There’s a feeling of openness. As a surgeon, focused on a patient in the OR, I might have found the position of the clock’s hands arbitrary, but I never thought them meaningless. Now the time of day means nothing, the day of the week scarcely more. Medical training is relentlessly future-oriented, all about delayed gratification; you’re always thinking about what you’ll be doing five years down the line. But now I don’t know what I’ll be doing five years down the line. I may be dead. I may not be. I may be healthy. I may be writing. I don’t know. And so it’s not all that useful to spend time thinking about the future—that is, beyond lunch. Verb conjugation has become muddled, as well. Which is correct: “I am a neurosurgeon,” “I was a neurosurgeon,” or “I had been a neurosurgeon before and will be again”?
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein
Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail
We have many needs that we prefer to fulfill now rather than in the future. If we are starving, we would rather have one meal today than a hundred a year from now. The Austrian School of economics especially, but more generally neoclassical economics as well, extrapolates from such examples to claim that it is human nature to want to consume as much as possible right now. In their view, interest is a kind of compensation for deferring consumption, a reward for delayed gratification. In other words, you, dear reader, would love to maximize your utility by spending all your money right now, but are induced not to because you know that you’ll be able to have even more later, thanks to interest. This is known in economics as the time preference postulate. Time preference—our supposed preference for immediate consumption—is crucial to the discounted utility model developed by Paul Samuelson in the 1930s that lies at the foundation of most mainstream economic theory today.
We would not have ascended into a separate and better human realm, removed from nature. Karl Marx put it thus: The cult of money has its asceticism, its self-denial, its self-sacrifice—economy and frugality, contempt for mundane, temporal, and fleeting pleasures; the chase after the eternal treasure. Hence the connection between English Puritanism, or also Dutch Protestantism, and money-making.39 This mentality pervades our culture. You must delay gratification. You must restrain your desires with the thought of future rewards. Pain now is gain later. Do your homework for the grade. Go to work for the salary. Do the workout to be healthy. Go on a diet to be thin. Devote your life to something that pays well, even if it isn’t your passion, so that you can have an enjoyable retirement. In all of these things we apply a regime of threat and incentive designed to overcome our laziness, our selfishness.
Remix by John Courtenay Grimwood
“You really are a poisonous little shit...” He clicked his fingers at Laughing Boy. “You, hold the bitch still.” LizAlec felt vice-like fingers tighten on her shoulders and pull her upright. It hurt, but LizAlec reckoned it was still an improvement on the tall man’s method. For a second, it looked as if the suit was going to punch her again, but he didn’t, which was interesting in itself. LizAlec knew all about deferred gratification. Instead the man dipped his fingers into the side pocket of his immaculate jacket and pulled out a smallish silver ball. “Do you know what this is?” LizAlec didn’t, but she had a nasty feeling she was about to find out. “Should I?” she said coldly. Fingers brushed her cheek making her shiver, and the man smiled. “You know what?” he said softly. The girl shook her head. “Maybe we’ve all got it wrong,” said the man, sounding amused.
Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart
active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional
The American intelligence researcher Christopher Chabris argues that “there are neural systems which evolved for relating to other people which are distinct from the neural systems for more abstract reasoning.”7 Then there are also the personality traits that contribute both to intelligence and to the broader notion of being an effective or successful person: energy, drive, conscientiousness, leadership qualities, the wisdom to draw the right lessons from one’s experiences, and the ability to defer gratification. People who might excel in some of these latter qualities could have average IQs. One American psychologist, Angela Duckworth, who has written extensively about the concept of “grit,” even claims that it is often a better predictor of success than IQ. Most such challenges to the standard psychometric analysis of intelligence—James Flynn’s observations about rising IQ scores around the world; Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences; Daniel Goleman’s notion of emotional intelligence; Robert Sternberg’s concepts of practical, analytical, and creative intelligence; and Carol Dweck’s ideas about mindsets—focus on widening the meaning of intelligence rather than on assaulting the idea of IQ.
Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair
When it is difficult to tell a real producer from an adept self-promoter, of course some people will roll the dice and manage to play the confidence game. Make it so you don’t have to fake it—that’s they key. Can you imagine a doctor trying to get by with anything less? Or a quarterback, or a bull rider? More to the point, would you want them to? So why would you try otherwise? Every time you sit down to work, remind yourself: I am delaying gratification by doing this. I am passing the marshmallow test. I am earning what my ambition burns for. I am making an investment in myself instead of in my ego. Give yourself a little credit for this choice, but not so much, because you’ve got to get back to the task at hand: practicing, working, improving. Work is finding yourself alone at the track when the weather kept everyone else indoors.
Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom Demarco
In a sad footnote to the above, President Bush later observed that the United States “has the will but not the wallet” for education reform. The truth is exactly the opposite: The country had the wallet (in spades) but not the will. Creating the will was his job. What Is Leadership Anyway? Leadership is the ability to enroll other people in your agenda. Meaningful acts of leadership usually cause people to accept some short-term pain (extra cost or effort, delayed gratification) in order to increase the long-term benefit. We need leadership for this, because we all tend to be short-term thinkers. There is no easy formula for real leadership (if there were, we’d see a lot more of it), but it seems clear that the following elements always need to be present: Clear articulation of a direction Frank admission of the short-term pain Follow-up Follow-up Follow-up When we’re presented with the first of these and none of the others, it’s not leadership at all.
Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns by Michael W. Covel
Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business cycle, buy and hold, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, family office, full employment, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market microstructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, Sharpe ratio, systematic trading, the scientific method, transaction costs, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, Y2K, zero-sum game
Biological impulses are drivers of our emotions. There is no way to escape that fact, but you can learn to self-regulate your feelings and, in so doing, manage situations where emotions can interfere with sound decision-making—like in the markets. Self-regulation is the ongoing inner conversation that emotionally intelligent people engage in to not be a prisoner to their feelings.6 The ability to delay gratification, stifle impulsiveness, and shake off the inevitable setbacks and upsets is critical. Without emotional intelligence, you can have superior trend following training and systems, using an incisive and analytical mind with infinite creativity, and still fail.7 How can you start down that right path? The path to accepting the emotional part of your consciousness means focusing on improving your happiness: • Do not equate happiness with money.
Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education by Mike Rose
blue-collar work, centre right, creative destruction, delayed gratification, George Santayana, income inequality, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, new economy, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, urban renewal, War on Poverty
If a student quits a program before complet52 A D U LT E D U C AT I O N A N D T H E L A N D S C A P E O F O P P O RT U N I T Y ing a certificate or degree, he or she is tallied up as a negative for the program. Yet what I’ve seen with some frequency is that people will leave once they develop sufficient skill to get a job. This has a positive economic impact, but in many analyses would register as a program failure. One more thing: This behavior— going for the short-term payoff—is often cited as an illustration of poor people’s inability to delay gratification and form long-term goals. That’s possible—people in all income brackets have problems with long-term goals—but in my experience, most of the people taking those immediate jobs do so because the rent is due, children need to be fed, members of the family are sick. They are quite aware of the trade-off and say they want to return to finish the program, for they could improve their long-term job prospects with more education.
The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle Laporte
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, Frank Gehry, index card, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak
The same goes for creating satisfying relationships. What’s already going well that you can lean in to? What do you adore about the other person that you can focus on? The easy stuff is right in front of you and totally doable: simple kindnesses freely given day to day. Start there and you can approach the big hairy issues with some lightness. Instant gratification has gotten a bad rap. I’m all for it. Why would you want to delay gratification? Within the constraints of morality and maturity, you should do whatever you need to do to feel gratified in the moment. It may be as subtle as choosing a more positive thought or reminding yourself to smile. Maybe it’s taking two minutes in your car or at your desk to do nothing but just feel into the day. Maybe instant gratification is fifty sit-ups for an adrenaline rush, ordering dessert first, giving an unexpected hug, signing the lease, or telling your boss to shove it.
Willful: How We Choose What We Do by Richard Robb
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, effective altruism, endowment effect, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, family office, George Akerlof, index fund, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, money market fund, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, survivorship bias, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, ultimatum game
This type of choice can’t be described as purposeful because we lack true preferences. It must not be the case, then, that each moment is tied to an optimal plan that we select and then execute. Neoclassical economic theory cannot account for planning through time; moreover, our sense of choosing in a purposeful way is often illusory. Whether you’re a hippie or Zen master professing to live in “the now” or a wealthy miser who takes pride in delaying gratification, each moment necessarily stands for itself. Choosing across Time Involves a Contradiction Is planning for the future, deciding when to do what, similar to selecting a consumer good? That is, do we mentally line up all available options and pick the one that’s best? In the case of a consumption plan—this much for today, this much for next week, next month, next year—that would mean picking the pattern that provides the best combination of current well-being and anticipated future well-being.
The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely
accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, Shai Danziger, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional
It seems that the best course might be to give people an opportunity to commit up front to their preferred path of action. This approach might not be as effective as the dictatorial treatment, but it can help push us in the right direction (perhaps even more so if we train people to do it, and give them experience in setting their own deadlines). What’s the bottom line? We have problems with self-control, related to immediate and delayed gratification—no doubt there. But each of the problems we face has potential self-control mechanisms, as well. If we can’t save from our paycheck, we can take advantage of our employer’s automatic deduction option; if we don’t have the will to exercise regularly alone, we can make an appointment to exercise in the company of our friends. These are the tools that we can commit to in advance, and they may help us be the kind of people we want to be.
Then I would lie down in the big hammock—the only interesting piece of furniture in my loftlike student apartment—from which I had a perfect view of the television. I kept a bucket within reach to catch the vomit that would inevitably come up, after which the fever, shivering, and headache would begin. At some point I would fall asleep and wake up aching with flulike symptoms. By noon I would be more or less OK and would go back to work. The difficulty that I, and the rest of the patients, had with the interferon was the basic problem of delayed gratification and self-control. On every injection day I was faced with a trade-off between giving myself an injection and feeling sick for the next 16 hours (a negative immediate effect), and the hope that the treatment would cure me in the long term (a positive long-term effect). At the end of the six-month trial the doctors told me that I was the only patient in the protocol who had followed the regimen in the way they designed it.
Not only had I been offered a job, but the combination treatment had eliminated the hepatitis from my liver. I’ve been hepatitis-free ever since. THE LESSON I took away from my interferon treatment is a general one: if a particular desired behavior results in an immediate negative outcome (punishment), this behavior will be very difficult to promote, even if the ultimate outcome (in my case, improved health) is highly desirable. After all, that’s what the problem of delayed gratification is all about. Certainly, we know that exercising regularly and eating more vegetables will help us be healthier, even if we don’t live to be as old as the Delany sisters; but because it is very hard to hold a vivid image of our future health in our mind’s eye, we can’t keep from reaching for the doughnuts. In order to overcome many types of human fallibility, I believe it’s useful to look for tricks that match immediate, powerful, and positive reinforcements with the not-so-pleasant steps we have to take toward our long-term objectives.
Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Popular Culture Is Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson
Columbine, complexity theory, corporate governance, delayed gratification, edge city, Flynn Effect, game design, Marshall McLuhan, pattern recognition, profit motive, race to the bottom, sexual politics, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the market place
If you practically have to lock kids in their room to get them to do their math homework, and threaten to ground them to get them to take out the trash, then why are they willing to spend six months smithing i n Ultima ? You ' l l often hear video games included on the list of the debased instant gratifications that abound in our culture, right up there with raunchy music videos and fast food. But compa red to most forms of popular e ntertai nment, games turn out to be all about delayed gratification-sometimes so long delayed that you wo nder if the gratification is ever going to show. The clearest measure of the cognitive challenges posed by modern games is the sheer size of the cottage industry de voted to publishing game guides, sometimes called walk throughs, that give you detailed , step-by-step explanations of how to complete the game that is currently torturing you. During my twenties , I 'd wager that I spent somewhere shockingly close to a thousand dollars buying assorted cheat sheets, maps, help books, and phone support to assist my usually futile attempt to complete a video game.
Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood
carbon footprint, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, financial independence, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, trickle-down economics, wage slave
Is it simply that we’re programmed to snatch the low-hanging fruit and gobble down as much of it as we can, without thinking ahead to the fruitless days that may then lie ahead of us? Well, partly: seventy-two hours without fluids or two weeks without food and you’re most likely dead, so if you don’t eat some of that lowhanging fruit right now you aren’t going to be around six months later to congratulate yourself on your capacity for self-restraint and delayed gratification. In that respect, credit cards are almost guaranteed to make money for the lender, since “grab it now” may be a variant of a behaviour selected for in hunter-gatherer days, long before anyone ever thought about saving up for their retirement. A bird in the hand really was worth two in the bush then, and a bird crammed into your mouth was worth even more. But is it just a case of short-term gain followed by long-term pain?
The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra
Here’s what happened: some kids would gobble up the marshmallow seconds after the researcher left. Others made heroic efforts to distract themselves from temptation, forcing themselves to pay attention to something other than the marshmallow in an agonizing attempt to hold out long enough to get the bigger reward. Dr. Mischel found a correlation between Willpower and success: kids with a greater ability to “defer gratification” were more successful in school, as well as later on in life. Overriding our instincts can often make it possible to collect larger rewards later—spending is easy, but saving is not, even if the latter is more beneficial over time. Willpower can be thought of as instinctual override—it’s a way to interrupt our automatic processing in order to do something else. Whenever we experience a situation in which it’s useful to inhibit our natural inclinations, Willpower is required to keep us from responding.
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler
addicted to oil, anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning
And so here we are today, in a human world dominated by money, news, sports, entertainment, employment, and investment — a world in which nature appears as something peripheral and mostly unnecessary. Nature is merely a pile of resources, a segment of the economy, at best something to be preserved for aesthetic or sentimental reasons. But in domesticating plants and animals we also domesticated ourselves. Certain personalities were selected for, others discouraged. The abilities to conform and to delay gratification were selected for (at least among the producing and middle classes); the insistence on autonomy and freedom was discouraged. Meanwhile we domesticated other animals with similar objectives in mind: we wanted docile pets or willing field workers. Again: we are like caged birds — except that our captors are others like ourselves. In effect, we have built our own cages. When Bittner occasionally comes across a parrot that he knows was hand-raised, he notices the difference between it and its wild cousins.
Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, David Graeber, delayed gratification, Dominic Cummings, double helix, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, family office, financial deregulation, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, land value tax, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, mega-rich, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, TaskRabbit, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor
The free market will continue but any respect for the idea of free money is all over.95 It takes a little time for everyone to get the message, but after the crash of 2008 it began to shine clearer than ever, at least to many of the 99 per cent. Some even began to pity the rich for how stupid they often appear, bereft of a plausible rationale for their riches. 4 Wealth The idea that capital income is ‘unearned’ is beneath contempt. You earn the returns on an investment by working, delaying gratification and saving. The argument that an inheritance is ‘unearned’ (so that we can take what we like in Inheritance Tax) is just as weak: someone earned the money. Mathew Sinclair, TaxPayers’ Alliance, 20131 Between 1 and 2 per cent of people are not naturally empathic.2 This small group find it enormously difficult to understand how other people feel or to appreciate a different point of view.
The Other Side of Happiness: Embracing a More Fearless Approach to Living by Brock Bastian
cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce
In a second study, the researchers had 102 university students either drink five cups of water (the high bladder-pressure condition) or just sip small amounts of water (the low bladder-pressure condition). Approximately 45 minutes later, the volunteers were asked to choose between receiving €16 tomorrow or €30 in 35 days’ time. Those who had drunk more water and needed to urinate more urgently were more likely to choose the delayed gratification option. This demonstrated that the inhibition of the need to urinate had spilled over to the inhibition of the desire for a more immediate but smaller reward over a longer-term but larger reward. Encouraged by these results, another group of researchers sought to extend these findings.19 In this study the researchers again asked half their volunteers to drink a large amount of water, and the other half a small amount.
Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Robert A. Sirico
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, corporate governance, creative destruction, delayed gratification, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, Internet Archive, liberation theology, means of production, moral hazard, obamacare, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, profit motive, road to serfdom, zero-sum game
Rather than the Cartesian formulation, “cogito ergo sum” (“I think therefore I am”), some have come to believe that shopping is the proof of existence: “consumo ergo sum.” Consumerism is wrong not because material things are wrong. Consumerism is wrong because it worships what is beneath us. Far from a synonym for capitalism, consumerism makes capitalism impossible over the long term, since it makes capital formation all but impossible. A consumer culture isn’t a saving culture, isn’t a thrift culture. It’s too fixated on buying the next toy to ever delay gratification, to ever save and invest for the future. The point is elementary: you can’t have sustainable capitalism without capital; you can’t have capital without savings; and you can’t save if you’re running around spending everything you’ve just earned. But the confusion has grown so deep that many people today do not have the ears to hear it. Indeed, the policies of our nation’s central bank seem to reinforce this habit by driving down interest rates to near zero and thereby denying people a material reward—in the form of interest on their banked savings—for foregoing consumption.
A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr
"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern
At the same time, it has become abundantly clear that scientists learned a great deal from craftsmen and practitioners and clearly realized it, as Hooke’s proposed catalog of all artisanal practices illustrates. In addition to cultural beliefs about cooperation and relations with the physical environment, what matters to economic growth are personal preferences. Individuals are not hard-wired with a particular rate of time preference, that is to say, a degree of patience and willingness-to-delay-gratification, or other attitudes toward time, and it is easy to document that these differ a great deal across societies.33 Such preferences are important, because they help determine not only the rate of savings and thus physical capital accumulation, but also of investment in human capital and skills. Doepke and Zilibotti (2008) argue that such preferences are learned behavior and term it “patience capital.”
But the education also often included a set of specific skills that allowed individuals to produce goods and services more efficiently and encouraged them to look constantly for more productive ways of doing so by applying useful knowledge. By way of comparison, an upper class that believes in human capital but teaches its youngsters fencing, poetry, hunting, and classical languages will create a different (if not necessarily “smaller”) stock of human capital than one that teaches accounting, chemistry, woodworking, and mechanics as well as a high valuation of patience capital, that is, the willingness to delay gratification and invest in one’s future (Doepke and Zilibotti, 2008). How much of the subsequent economic development in England may be attributed to the kind of phenomena that the Merton thesis is concerned with? Did it prompt a program of research in natural philosophy that led to important technological advances? The evidence, as many of Merton’s critics noted, is at times ambiguous and in some ways biased.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky
autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game
These studies involved scenarios of a short burst of work soon followed by reward.101 What about when the work required is prolonged, and reward is substantially delayed? In that scenario there is a secondary rise of dopamine, a gradual increase that fuels the sustained work; the extent of the dopamine ramp-up is a function of the length of the delay and the anticipated size of the reward: Visit bit.ly/2ngTC7V for a larger version of this graph. This reveals how dopamine fuels delayed gratification. If waiting X amount of time for a reward has value Z; waiting 2X should logically have value ½Z; instead we “temporally discount”—the value is smaller, e.g., ¼Z. We don’t like waiting. Dopamine and the frontal cortex are in the thick of this phenomenon. Discounting curves—a value of ¼Z instead of ½Z—are coded in the accumbens, while dlPFC and vmPFC neurons code for time delay.102 This generates some complex interactions.
And a cool neuroimaging study of Knutson’s gives insight into impatient people with steep temporal discounting curves; their accumbens, in effect, underestimates the magnitude of the delayed reward, and their dlPFC overestimates the length of the delay.103 Collectively these studies show that our dopaminergic system, frontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and other members of the chorus code for differing aspects of reward magnitude, delay, and probability with varying degrees of accuracy, all influencing whether we manage to do the harder, more correct thing.104 Individual differences among people in the capacity for gratification postponement arise from variation in the volume of these individual neural voices.105 For example, there are abnormalities in dopamine response profiles during temporal discounting tasks in people with the maladaptive impulsiveness of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Similarly, addictive drugs bias the dopamine system toward impulsiveness. Phew. One more complication: These studies of temporal discounting typically involve delays on the order of seconds. Though the dopamine system is similar across numerous species, humans do something utterly novel: we delay gratification for insanely long times. No warthog restricts calories to look good in a bathing suit next summer. No gerbil works hard at school to get good SAT scores to get into a good college to get into a good grad school to get a good job to get into a good nursing home. We do something even beyond this unprecedented gratification delay: we use the dopaminergic power of the happiness of pursuit to motivate us to work for rewards that come after we are dead—depending on your culture, this can be knowing that your nation is closer to winning a war because you’ve sacrificed yourself in battle, that your kids will inherit money because of your financial sacrifices, or that you will spend eternity in paradise.
The problem, of course, is that this strategy is about two synapses away from thinking about the marshmallow in front of you. In contrast, older kids use strategies of distraction—thinking about toys, pets, their birthday. This progresses to reappraisal strategies (“This isn’t about marshmallows. This is about the kind of person I am”). To Mischel, maturation of willpower is more about distraction and reappraisal strategies than about stoicism. So kids improve at delayed gratification. Mischel’s next step made his studies iconic—he tracked the kids afterward, seeing if marshmallow wait time predicted anything about their adulthoods. Did it ever. Five-year-old champs at marshmallow patience averaged higher SAT scores in high school (compared with those who couldn’t wait), with more social success and resilience and less aggressive* and oppositional behavior. Forty years postmarshmallow, they excelled at frontal function, had more PFC activation during a frontal task, and had lower BMIs.21 A gazillion-dollar brain scanner doesn’t hold more predictive power than one marshmallow.
Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Build a better mousetrap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, fundamental attribution error, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, music of the spheres, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game
Temperance and its habits of modesty, prudence, and avoidance of excess are difficult to develop because they counter stubborn flaws in human nature. As Peterson says, “We’re temperate because we’re tempted not to be. Are you in control of yourself or are you out of control? It’s all about ‘self-regulation,’ which is a trendy subject in psychology these days. And you become self-regulating by being self-regulating, by forgoing or delaying gratification.” Because temperance is difficult to develop and requires your deliberate action, he says, “attention plays a particularly important role. We need to concentrate on acquiring a trait such as modesty, because we all want to brag about ourselves.” Most parents draw their kids’ attention to the importance of developing honesty, fairness, and other virtues, but fewer follow through on the principle that actions speak louder than words.
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare
• A biological theory that has been around for a long time is that, for reasons unknown, some of the psychopath’s brain structures mature at an abnormally slow rate.10 The basis for this theory is twofold: similarities between the EEGs (recorded brain waves) of adult psychopaths and those of normal adolescents; and similarities between some of the psychopath’s characteristics—including egocentricity, impulsivity, selfishness, and unwillingness to delay gratification—and those of children. To some investigators, this suggests that psychopathy reflects little more than a developmental delay. Harvard psychologist Robert Kegan, for example, has argued that behind Cleckley’s “mask of sanity” lies not insanity but a young child of nine or ten.11 These are interesting speculations, but the brain-wave characteristics in question are also associated with drowsiness or boredom in normal adults, and could as well result from the psychopath’s sleepy disinterest in the procedures used to measure them as from a delay in brain development.
Dangerous Personalities: An FBI Profiler Shows You How to Identify and Protect Yourself From Harmful People by Joe Navarro, Toni Sciarra Poynter
If the checklists aren’t handy and you need to assess someone quickly, ask yourself the following five questions: Do they affect me emotionally in a negative way? Do they do things that are illegal, erratic, unethical, or defy social norms? Do they do things that are exploitative or manipulative? Do they do things that are dangerous? Do they do things impulsively with little control or with unwillingness to delay gratification? The more yes answers you have, the more likely it is that you’re dealing with someone who combines traits of more than one type of dangerous personality. The checklists will then help you pinpoint more specifically the type of person you’re dealing with and where this individual falls on the spectrum of severity. Another tip: Turn to the “Words That Describe . . .” sections in Chapters 1 through 4 and circle the words that feel like the right match for this personality.
5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson
Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft
They have no goose that produces gold without their effort, and whatever gold they earn through personal effort is spent on depreciating liabilities, such as cars, furniture, and expensive vacations. Create a goose that lays golden eggs first and you’ll never run out of gold. Leveraging the 5 Day Weekend process to your advantage requires first and foremost the ability to manage and defer lifestyle. As Brian Tracy says, “The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” Avoid the trap of instant gratification and the desire to accumulate liabilities. The goal is to create a solid foundation of assets, and then the cash flow generated by your assets can be used to fund your lifestyle. The way to achieve your 5 Day Weekend lifestyle is to use your active income to fund basic living expenses, with the remaining going toward passive income–generating assets.
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch
Albert Einstein, always be closing, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, delayed gratification, fear of failure, income inequality, inventory management, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, profit maximization, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave
We can change the way that we think about external events, even where we cannot change them. And we can do something more. We can intelligently change our exposure to events that make us either happy or unhappy. MAKING OURSELVES HAPPY BY STRENGTHENING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Daniel Goleman and other writers have contrasted academic intelligence or IQ with emotional intelligence: “abilities such as being able to motivate oneself and delay gratification; to regulate one’s moods and to keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize and to hope.”5 Emotional intelligence is more crucial for happiness than intellectual intelligence, yet our society places little emphasis on the development of emotional intelligence. As Goleman aptly remarks: Even though a high IQ is no guarantee of prosperity, prestige, or happiness in life, our schools and our culture fixate on academic abilities, ignoring emotional intelligence, a set of traits—some might call it character—that also matters immensely for our personal destiny.6 The good news is that emotional intelligence can be cultivated and learned: certainly as a child, but also at any stage in life.
The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease by Marc Lewis Phd
It is characterized by changes in specific brain systems, especially those that process rewards (i.e., valued outcomes). Brain systems responsible for anticipating rewards, motivating us to go after them, and evaluating and reevaluating the worth of those rewards are reshaped by the repeated use of drugs, including alcohol. Researchers have found additional brain changes in systems underlying cognitive control, delayed gratification, and abstract skills like comparing and predicting outcomes and selecting best choices. According to the disease model, all these changes are caused by exposure to drugs of abuse, and they are difficult if not impossible to reverse. Of course the disease model builds on a biological framework, and it does a good job of explaining why some individuals are more vulnerable to addiction than others, based on genetic differences and other dispositional factors.
Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin Ph.d.
I will never forget the “playdate” where there was a single desirable toy—a brightly colored play oven with knobs and lights and buttons—surrounded by a few other, lesser toys. It was the center of a game of musical chairs rigged by admissions people who wanted to see how a bunch of tired toddlers would respond to the stress of confronting exactly what they were incapable of handling at that point in their development—the need to take turns and delay gratification and manage their own frustration under unusual circumstances. With no reward. After waiting and waiting, my son grew visibly upset. Other kids were shoving each other, and him. The “playdate” was devolving into chaos. I was disgusted and angry, and as my son burst into tears, I got up from my spot on the floor to comfort him (they never told you where to sit or how to be at these idiotic “playdates,” because watching you wonder and try to figure it out was part of their “assessment”).
What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri
By unspoken rules, these patients are considered fair game for jokes by medical personnel at all levels. Hospital slang for such patients reflects not just disgust but also anger and resentment. It’s not uncommon to hear an obese patient referred to as a beached whale, or a homeless alcoholic called a shpoz or dirtbag. Physicians are the products of an educational system that demands years of self-discipline and delayed gratification. Despite the knowledge that addiction and obesity have at least some biological components, many doctors still unconsciously—and often consciously—view these conditions as purely a result of sloth, self-indulgence, greed, malingering, and apathy. Respect and appreciation for the ravages of these illnesses—especially when the patients themselves often appear not to—is more than some physicians can muster.
Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson
Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey
God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost has been displaced by God the Analyst, the Agony Uncle and the Personal Trainer. With more than two-fifths of white Americans changing religion at some point in their lives, faith has become paradoxically fickle.48 The only problem with turning religion into just another leisure pursuit is that it means Americans have drifted a very long way from Max Weber’s version of the Protestant ethic, in which deferred gratification was the corollary of capital accumulation. In his words: Protestant asceticism works with all its force against the uninhibited enjoyment of possessions; it discourages consumption … And if that restraint on consumption is combined with the freedom to strive for profit, the result produced will inevitably be the creation of capital through the ascetic compulsion to save.49 By contrast, we have just lived through an experiment: capitalism without saving.
Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game
The supply of new shares is limited because companies are wary of triggering a fall in share prices. And ‘investors’ want to buy shares that are expected to rise in price, so the stock market is radically different from ordinary product markets. An early lesson: the Matthew principle When I was a boy I saved up most of my pocket money in the hope of being able to afford to buy a car when I got to 17. (Growing up in the 1950s and having parents from Yorkshire, thrift and deferred gratification were instilled into me.) By the time I reached my early teens, which was also the time when I learnt how to calculate interest in mathematics at school, I came to realise that I had no chance of achieving my goal. My Post Office savings account would never grow fast enough at the low rates of interest it offered, or even if I got more money by delivering newspapers before school. I started to wonder how some people became rich and how their wealth could exceed even what high salaries could provide on their own.
The-General-Theory-of-Employment-Interest-and-Money by John Maynard Keynes
bank run, business cycle, collective bargaining, declining real wages, delayed gratification, full employment, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, marginal employment, means of production, moral hazard, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, secular stagnation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, working-age population
That the world after several millennia of steady individual saving, is so poor as it is in accumulated capital-assets, is to be explained, in my opinion, neither by the improvident propensities of mankind, nor even by the destruction of war, but by the high liquidity-premiums formerly attaching to the ownership of land and now attaching to money. I differ in this from the older view as expressed by Marshall with an unusual dogmatic force in his Principles of Economics, p. 581: Everyone is aware that the accumulation of wealth is held in check, and the rate of interest so far sustained, by the preference which the great mass of humanity have for present over deferred gratifications, or, in other words, by their unwillingness to ‘wait’. VI In my Treatise on Money I defined what purported to be a unique rate of interest, which I called the natural rate of interest—namely, the rate of interest which, in the terminology of my Treatise, preserved equality between the rate of saving (as there defined) and the rate of investment. I believed this to be a development and clarification of Wicksell’s ‘natural rate of interest’, which was, according to him, the rate which would preserve the stability of some, not quite clearly specified, price-level.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
Fifteen years later, when she was a scholar, the experience led her to formulate a hypothesis: how we seek to spend our time may depend on how much time we perceive ourselves to have. When you are young and healthy, you believe you will live forever. You do not worry about losing any of your capabilities. People tell you “the world is your oyster,” “the sky is the limit,” and so on. And you are willing to delay gratification—to invest years, for example, in gaining skills and resources for a brighter future. You seek to plug into bigger streams of knowledge and information. You widen your networks of friends and connections, instead of hanging out with your mother. When horizons are measured in decades, which might as well be infinity to human beings, you most desire all that stuff at the top of Maslow’s pyramid—achievement, creativity, and other attributes of “self-actualization.”
The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton
Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Madoff, business climate, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, G4S, impulse control, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game
Moreover, with the exception of self-discipline (on which the unsuccessful psychopaths bombed and the successful ones excelled), conscientiousness profiles are also seen to converge, with both groups maxing on competence, order, and achievement-striving. All of which begs the question: Where does the crucial difference lie? Does the fulcrum of disparity between successful and unsuccessful psychopaths, between presidents and pedophiles, pivot solely around self-discipline? Everything else being equal, such a possibility might actually hold some water. The ability to delay gratification, to put on hold the desire to cut and run (and also, needless to say, to run and cut), might well tip the balance away from criminal activity toward a more structured, less impulsive, less antisocial lifestyle. Except that the question of criminal activity raises issues of its own. In both the revised psychopathy checklist—the PCL-R—and the criteria for antisocial personality disorder set out in DSM, “criminal versatility” and “repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest” constitute, respectively, core diagnostic determinants of psychopathy.
The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty
Ford was referring to System 2 when he said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.” System 2 can also act like a spin doctor, rationalising our preference for short-term rewards. After yielding to temptation and wolfing down that éclair, we convince ourselves that we deserved a treat, needed the energy boost or will burn off the extra calories in the gym. “The bottom line is that the primitive brain is wired for the quick fix; it always has been,” says Whybrow. “The delayed gratification that comes with taking the long view is hard work. The quick fix comes more naturally to us. That’s where we get our pleasure. We enjoy it and soon we want it quicker and quicker.” That is why our ancestors warned against quick fixes long before Toyota invented the Andon rope. In the Bible, Peter urges Christians to be patient: “The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Filter Bubble, hindsight bias, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, loss aversion, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, p-value, phenotype, prediction markets, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, urban planning, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game
They made faces, covered their eyes, turned their chairs around, cupped their hands around the marshmallow without touching it, covered their mouths, smelled the marshmallow, and carried on wordless conversations (from nearly imperceptible admonitions to animated arguments). Mischel and his colleagues saw struggles that “could bring tears to your eyes, have you applauding their creativeness and cheering them on, and give you fresh hope” for the potential of young children. Subsequent studies following up on the marshmallow kids have shown that the ability to delay gratification is correlated with markers of success throughout adolescence and into adulthood: higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning ratings, lower body mass index, lower likelihood of addiction, better sense of self-worth, and higher ability to pursue goals and adapt to frustration and stress. * For a good overview on the research in this area, see “The Future of Memory: Remembering, Imagining, and the Brain,” by Daniel Schacter and colleagues, cited in the Selected Bibliography and Recommendations for Further Reading
The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier
"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, bonus culture, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, centre right, Commodity Super-Cycle, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, negative equity, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, too big to fail, trade liberalization, urban planning, web of trust, zero-sum game
The private monopoly gains economic rents; so, less obviously, do the largest firms in those industries in which being the biggest implies being exceptionally productive. The future of taxation is to do a better job in capturing these rents. Unlike other taxation, by definition this does not discourage productive activity; instead, it is capturing something that has not been earned by the effort of work, the delayed gratification of saving, or the courage required for risk-taking. In those industries where to be the biggest has come to imply the most productive, there is a case for differentiating rates of corporate taxation by size. The same data that academics have used to show that in some sectors big is more profitable could be used to design differential tax rates. The purpose would not be to discourage economies of scale, but to capture some of the gains for society.
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
However, the dawning prospect of an intelligence explosion shines a new light on this ancient quest for wisdom. The outlook now suggests that philosophic progress can be maximized via an indirect path rather than by immediate philosophizing. One of the many tasks on which superintelligence (or even just moderately enhanced human intelligence) would outperform the current cast of thinkers is in answering fundamental questions in science and philosophy. This reflection suggests a strategy of deferred gratification. We could postpone work on some of the eternal questions for a little while, delegating that task to our hopefully more competent successors—in order to focus our own attention on a more pressing challenge: increasing the chance that we will actually have competent successors. This would be high-impact philosophy and high-impact mathematics.2 What is to be done? We thus want to focus on problems that are not only important but urgent in the sense that their solutions are needed prior to the intelligence explosion.
Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Cepheid variable, Commentariolus, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, delayed gratification, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Karl Jansky, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, planetary scale, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Solar eclipse in 1919, source of truth, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers
Consequently the idea slowly took hold that an adequate model of the universe not only should be internally consistent, like a song or a poem, but should also make accurate predictions that could be tested against the data of observation. The ascendency of this thesis marked the beginning of the end of our cosmological childhood. Like other rites of passage into adulthood, however, the effort to construct an accurate model of the universe was a bittersweet endeavor that called for hard work and uncertainty and deferred gratification, and its devotees initially were few. One was Eudoxus. He enters the pages of history on a summer day in about 385 B.C., when he got off the boat from his home town of Cnidus in Asia Minor, left his meager baggage in cheap lodgings near the docks, and walked five miles down the dusty road to Plato’s Academy in the northwestern suburbs of Athens. The Academy was a beautiful spot, set in a sacred stand of olive trees, the original “groves of academe,” near Colonus, blind Oedipus’ sanctuary, where the leaves of the white poplars turned shimmering silver in the wind and the nightingales sang day and night.
The Billionaire's Apprentice: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund by Anita Raghavan
airport security, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business intelligence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, delayed gratification, estate planning, Etonian, glass ceiling, high net worth, kremlinology, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, McMansion, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, old-boy network, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, technology bubble, too big to fail
Projects you expect to learn the most from, the partner explained, often turn out to be disappointing, and assignments that have seemingly little promise can often turn out to be invaluable, offering a consultant a new insight or expertise. The important thing is to have “a learning mind-set” so that you learn from anything you do and everything you do, the partner advised. The insight resonated with Gupta, a man who grew up in a land where deferring gratification was a way of life. While others jockeyed to get on teams that worked on what seemed like the most promising consulting projects, Gupta took a Zen-like approach to getting new assignments. Whenever he visited Miles, he would say, “Bud, I don’t want to know what’s available. Just tell me what I should do and that’s fine with me.” One of the first big clients he worked for was the phone giant AT&T Corp., a relationship McKinsey owned because of a formidable consultant, Frederick W.
Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game
The fact that the main likely beneficiaries have yet to be born makes it difficult not only to reckon the present value of actions taken in their behalf but also to assess the ultimate effectiveness of whatever actions might actually be taken, and it leads to the public-policy equivalent of playground arguments—“My father’s carbon footprint is smaller than your father’s”—and to politics-driven initiatives of questionable value. Actually, there’s a potentially productive way to think about carbon dioxide and climate change which doesn’t depend solely on civilization’s willingness to engage in global-scale delayed gratification, and doesn’t depend even on achieving a worldwide consensus about causes and effects. Almost all human activities with large carbon footprints are going to become increasingly expensive and untenable for reasons that have nothing to do with their likely impact on the earth’s climate fifty or a hundred years from now and can therefore be addressed with tools that don’t depend solely on hypothetical arguments about the future, or on moralizing by environmentalists.
Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto by Alan Stern, David Grinspoon
Since none of the observations with that instrument could then be conducted, the Hubble project looked around to fill the newly opened observing time. Hal remembers: “Suddenly, I got a call, and it was Christmas in summertime: we’d been awarded those three hours of observing time on Hubble after all. We’d get to make the search!” Naturally, though, that good news came with the usual New Horizons dose of delayed gratification—the Hubble observations would not be possible until May of 2005, due to scheduling constraints. While they waited, Hal led the detailed planning for the Pluto satellite search observations. Then, once they got the data, he and one of Alan’s postdocs, Andrew Steffl, began careful analysis to see if they could find anything faint orbiting Pluto. Hal Weaver is a soft-spoken, even-keeled guy.
The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger
Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, twin studies, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game
As an adult—even as a college student after my camp years had ended—I came to appreciate the genius of Colonel Plaine. He affected a muttering brusqueness most of the time, but if you spotted him in an unguarded moment, speaking only to other adults, he had a winning smile and an easy way about him. He maintained order in a Lord of the Flies group of 250 boys living in cabins far away from their parents, and even the drilling—the cursed drilling—taught us a thing or two about teamwork, self-control, delayed gratification and the simple business of sucking it up and tolerating a little discomfort. And on two occasions—and only two occasions—I learned to love the otherwise pointless business. First, of course, were those rare days on which the girls would come by. On the same mountain as our all-boys camp—though separated by a lake and a ravine—was an all-girls camp of roughly the same size. I didn’t give much thought to the girls during my first few summers, when I was nine and ten and eleven.
Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough by Sendhil Mullainathan
American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Cass Sunstein, clean water, computer vision, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, fault tolerance, happiness index / gross national happiness, impulse control, indoor plumbing, inventory management, knowledge worker, late fees, linear programming, mental accounting, microcredit, p-value, payday loans, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra
maize farmers in Kenya: E. Duflo, M. Kremer, and J. Robinson, Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya (No. w15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2009). researchers created a simple and clever intervention: Ibid. cash and bandwidth rich: The researchers interpret this in the context of a hyperbolic discounting model, as a solution to our generic challenge of delaying gratification. Our data on bandwidth increasing around harvest suggest that more might be going on here, that the very act of making the decisions at the time when farmers have greatest bandwidth could also improve the quality of decisions. low-income high school graduates: K. Haycock, “Promise Abandoned: How Policy Choices and Institutional Practices Restrict College Opportunities” (Washington, D.C.: Education Trust, 2006).
The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game
As Pietra Rivoli, professor of international business at Georgetown University, told the New York Times, “the value goes to where the knowledge is.” America’s Best Industry “Ah yes,” say those who are more worried, “but you’re looking at a snapshot of today. America’s advantages are rapidly eroding as the country loses its scientific and technological base.” For some, the decline of science is symptomatic of a larger cultural decay. A country that once adhered to a Puritan ethic of delayed gratification has become one that revels in instant pleasures. We’re losing interest in the basics—math, manufacturing, hard work, savings—and becoming a postindustrial society that specializes in consumption and leisure. “More people will graduate in the United States in 2006 with sports-exercise degrees than electrical-engineering degrees,” the CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, said a few years ago.
Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal
3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning
(And if you’re interested in helping further this research, visit: www.stealingfreebook.com/research/). Selflessness Despite all the recent talk about supercomputers and artificial intelligence, the human brain remains the most complex machine on the planet. At the center of this complexity lies the prefrontal cortex, our most sophisticated piece of neuronal hardware. With this relatively recent evolutionary adaptation came a heightened degree of self-awareness, an ability to delay gratification, plan for the long term, reason through complex logic, and think about our thinking. This hopped-up cogitation promoted us from slow, weak, hairless apes into tool-wielding apex predators, turning a life that was once nasty, brutish, and short into something decidedly more civilized. But all of this ingenuity came at a cost. No one built an off switch for the potent self-awareness that made it all possible.
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
affirmative action, Columbine, delayed gratification, desegregation, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, index card, job satisfaction, lake wobegon effect, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, theory of mind
I suppose my hesitation was that the mindset Dweck wants students to have—a firm belief that the way to bounce back from failure is to work harder—sounds awfully clichéd: try, try again. But it turns out that the ability to repeatedly respond to failure by exerting more effort—instead of simply giving up—is a trait well studied in psychology. People with this trait, persistence, rebound well and can sustain their motivation through long periods of delayed gratification. Delving into this research, I learned that persistence turns out to be more than a conscious act of will; it’s also an unconscious response, governed by a circuit in the brain. Dr. Robert Cloninger at Washington University in St. Louis located this neural network running through the prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum. This circuit monitors the reward center of the brain, and like a switch, it intervenes when there’s a lack of immediate reward.
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, availability heuristic, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, fear of failure, feminist movement, functional fixedness, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Walter Mischel
In essence, psychological distance accomplishes one major thing: it engages System Holmes. It forces quiet reflection. Distancing has been shown to improve cognitive performance, from actual problem solving to the ability to exercise self-control. Children who use psychological distancing techniques (for example, visualizing marshmallows as puffy clouds, a technique we’ll discuss more in the next section) are better able to delay gratification and hold out for a larger later reward. Adults who are told to take a step back and imagine a situation from a more general perspective make better judgments and evaluations, and have better self-assessments and lower emotional reactivity. Individuals who employ distancing in typical problem-solving scenarios emerge ahead of their more immersed counterparts. And those who take a distanced view of political questions tend to emerge with evaluations that are better able to stand the test of time.
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin
affirmative action, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, edge city, facts on the ground, financial independence, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, post-work, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, white picket fence, women in the workforce, young professional
And these days the temptations that can siphon off effort are much greater. Boys and girls both fritter away time on technology, but studies show that boys tend to do it in much longer blocks, spending hours after school playing video games. In fact, a consensus is forming that the qualities most predictive of academic success are the ones that have always made up the good girl stereotype: self-discipline and the ability to delay gratification. In other words, the ability to spend two hours doing your homework before you take out the PlayStation. Of course, it’s possible that girls have always had the raw material to make better students, that they’ve always been more studious, organized, self-disciplined, and eager to please, but, because of limited opportunities, what did it matter? In George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, published in 1860, it’s clear that Maggie is much better suited to higher education than her brother Tom.
Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers
So I refocused on staying stopped, which, paradoxically, meant doing something instead of doing nothing. Hmm … this made sense to me. Anything of value (even drugs) that I had ever achieved required action and discipline. Double hmm … I remembered one of my teacher’s words at the end of a lesson: “The only thing to remember is this simple definition of the word ‘discipline’: the ability to delay gratification. It’s an easy way to visualize the training required to adopt a behavioral pattern.” Suddenly so much was clear to me. The embarrassing guitar performance, the contract on my life, the message on my answering machine, the voices—they were all mental mirages, and all egotistical ones at that. I was just like my dad, lying in the gutter, or naked on the Hotel Greenwich fire escape, babbling about how his uniquely gifted life had been short-circuited because of my mother’s betrayal.
Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story by Greg Smith
always be closing, asset allocation, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, East Village, fixed income, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, information asymmetry, London Interbank Offered Rate, mega-rich, money market fund, new economy, Nick Leeson, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, technology bubble, too big to fail
At Pine Street, thought leaders such as Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic turned Harvard Business School professor, the author of Authentic Leadership, and a Goldman Sachs Board member, talked about how leaders are meant to behave. A scientist talked to us about the Stanford marshmallow experiment—the one where children were left alone in a room with a marshmallow. Some gobbled up the marshmallow; others waited and then ate it; still others waited until the tester returned to the room. The subjects were tracked over the next forty years, and the researchers found that the ones who had delayed gratification the longest ended up growing into leaders; the little piggies, not so much. It occurred to me that back on the trading floor I was seeing more little piggies and instant gratification than I was seeing under the old Goldman model of “long-term greedy.” ——— Right about this time, I was experiencing some volatility in my personal life. On March 15, 2009, the equity market hit rock bottom, its lowest point in the crisis.
The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich
agricultural Revolution, capital asset pricing model, Climategate, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demographic transition, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, impulse control, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nash equilibrium, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, side project, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, ultimatum game
And all these psychological differences are in some way biological differences.15 Thus, to explain much of human psychology, and certainly much of the content of current textbooks of psychology, one needs to establish the causal interconnections between the various products of cultural evolution, like institutions (e.g., monogamous marriage) and technologies (e.g., reading), and features of our brains, biology, genes, and psychology. For example, as I mentioned above, getting married in a monogamous society lowers a man’s testosterone, reduces his probability of committing a crime, increases his aversion to risk, and may strengthen his ability to defer gratification. In polygamous societies, many poor men cannot get married, because the high-status men attract most of the women as first, second, and third wives, so the crime rates for these unmarried poor men go up, not down. Meanwhile, married men in polygamous societies probably don’t have the drop in testosterone because, unlike married men in monogamous societies, they are still openly and actively on the marriage market and testosterone is linked to the pursuit of female romantic partners.
Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell
barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management, zero-sum game
The nucleus accumbens plays a central role in the brain’s reward pathways by regulating the ebb and flow of two well-known neurotransmitters: dopamine, which promotes desire, and serotonin, which promotes satiety and inhibition. The thrill of most pleasurable human experiences—getting high on psychoactive drugs or luxuriating in a great cigar—has at its core the nucleus accumbens. Within that nucleus the dopamine system motivates us to eat, drink, and have sex while we can. Evolution created the dopamine system for a very good reason: Given the short, brutish lives of our early human ancestors, delaying gratification raised the probability that there would be no gratification at all. When confronted with matters that were dangerous, edible, or sexual, primitive man knew instinctively that it was safer to act now and think later. Today, those of us more genetically inclined than others to react impulsively are likely to have particularly sensitive dopamine pathways: The more impulsive we are, the more we are driven to action by a danger or incentive—or perhaps more accurately, by the prospect of a danger or incentive.
The Devil's Derivatives: The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street . . . And Are Ready to Do It Again by Nicholas Dunbar
asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, break the buck, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, diversification, Edmond Halley, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, George Akerlof, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, statistical model, The Chicago School, Thomas Bayes, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-sum game
“You do a tailor-made portfolio for which the correlation is unobservable, and you are sitting on an enormous risk that no one can put a price on.” For the derivatives salespeople and traders who had already bought imaginary Porsches and Notting Hill houses with correlation booty wrapped up in a model-based PV number, EITF 02-03 was maddening. They didn’t want to be told that the synthetic CDO profit they were convinced was rightfully theirs would stay locked away for a decade or more. And this delayed gratification also grated on the nerves of the senior management of investment banks that had poured money into the expensive infrastructure needed to trade the new products. How would they explain to analysts that their growth projections needed to be revised downward, because accountants had locked away those revenues and virtually thrown away the key? Well, where there’s a $100 million or two to be made, there’s a way.
The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) by Terrence J. Sejnowski
AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Conway's Game of Life, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Norbert Wiener, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, PageRank, pattern recognition, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Socratic dialogue, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra
When γ = 0, the learning algorithm is greedy, and decisions are made based only on immediate rewards; but when γ = 1, all future rewards are weighted equally. In a classic experiment, young children were given a choice between either eating a marshmallow immediately or waiting for fifteen minutes to get an additional marshmallow.14 Age was a strong predictor, with younger children unable to delay gratification. Expecting a large reward in the distant future can lead us to make choices with negative rewards in the short term if we deem them necessary to achieve that expected reward. Dopamine neurons receive inputs from a part of the brain called the “basal ganglia” (figure 10.4), which were known to be important for sequence learning and the formation of habitual behaviors. Neurons in the striatum of the basal ganglia receive input from the entire cerebral cortex.
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President by Bandy X. Lee
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, declining real wages, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, facts on the ground, fear of failure, illegal immigration, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, national security letter, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School
I never sensed from Trump any guilt or contrition about anything he’d done, and he certainly never shared any misgivings publicly. From his perspective, he operated in a jungle full of predators who were forever out to get him, and he did what he must to survive. Trump was equally clear with me that he didn’t value—nor even necessarily recognize—the qualities that tend to emerge as people grow more secure, such as empathy, generosity, reflectiveness, the capacity to delay gratification, or, above all, a conscience, an inner sense of right and wrong. Trump simply didn’t traffic in emotions or interest in others. The life he lived was all transactional, all the time. Having never expanded his emotional, intellectual, or moral universe, he has his story down, and he’s sticking to it. A key part of that story is that facts are whatever Trump deems them to be on any given day.
50 Psychology Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon
1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, delayed gratification, fear of failure, feminist movement, global village, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lateral thinking, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Necker cube, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
Today, McLelland’s concept is almost conventional wisdom, but at the time it was groundbreaking. Goleman took McLelland’s ideas further, presenting 25 emotional competencies based around the following core five: Self-awareness Awareness of our own feelings and the ability to use them as a guide to better decision making. Knowledge of our own abilities and shortcomings. The sense that we can tackle most things. Self-regulation Being conscientious and delaying gratification in order to achieve our goals. Ability to recover from emotional distress and manage our emotions. Motivation Developing an achievement or goal orientation, so frustrations and setbacks are put into perspective and qualities such as initiative and perseverance are refined. Empathy Awareness of what others are feeling and thinking, and in turn the ability to influence a wide range of people.
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford
23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, bioinformatics, British Empire, colonial rule, dark matter, delayed gratification, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, sceptred isle, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, twin studies
A Troublesome Inheritance posed some ideas that race is not only very clearly defined genetically, but that these distinctions in DNA account for not just the physical characteristics of certain populations, but also some of the social and cultural behaviours. The book frequently misrepresents much of the work that is used to defend his assertion that recent evolution within so-called races explains why certain people appear to be better or worse at certain things. According to Wade, the English display a ‘willingness to save and delay gratification’ and this is absent from certain tribal cultures. Jewish genes are ‘adapted for success in capitalism’. The Chinese are predisposed to obey authority (how similar this sentiment is to that of Galton expressed in the letter to The Times in the nineteenth century). These statements are unsupportable in any form based on our knowledge of history, genetics and cognitive ability. They are also clumsy and gross stereotypes and, in my opinion, straightforward racism.
Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell
3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Alfred Russel Wallace, Andrew Wiles, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, blockchain, brain emulation, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer vision, connected car, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Gerolamo Cardano, ImageNet competition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the wheel, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, positional goods, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, Thales of Miletus, The Future of Employment, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, transport as a service, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, zero-sum game
It causes us to seek out positive stimuli, such as sweet-tasting foods, that increase dopamine levels; it makes us avoid negative stimuli, such as hunger and pain, that decrease dopamine levels. In a sense it’s quite similar to E. coli’s glucose-seeking mechanism, but much more complex. It comes with built-in methods for learning, so that our behavior becomes more effective at obtaining reward over time. It also allows for delayed gratification, so that we learn to desire things such as money that provide eventual reward rather than immediate reward. One reason we understand the brain’s reward system is that it resembles the method of reinforcement learning developed in AI, for which we have a very solid theory.4 From an evolutionary point of view, we can think of the brain’s reward system, just like E. coli’s glucose-seeking mechanism, as a way of improving evolutionary fitness.
Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland
3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, bitcoin, Burning Man, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, index card, jimmy wales, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, McJob, Menlo Park, nuclear paranoia, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Ted Kaczynski, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, young professional
However, placing my carry-on bag onto the conveyor belt, I ripped my thumbnail backwards, breaking off a wide swath of the top, and I was suddenly in that magical state of being where I could either (a) chew off the broken part of the thumbnail, most likely ripping out a chunk of the nail in the corner and so causing immense bleeding, stinging and disfigurement that could possibly continue for weeks, or (b) be an adult, wait just a little bit longer and perhaps locate some form of device for safely removing the offending piece of thumbnail. This was a very tough call—sort of like a marshmallow test of delayed gratification. As we all know, nature has programmed human beings to always choose option A, even though it’s by far the stupider choice. So what did I do? I tried to be an adult, and then…I had a brainwave. After my bag had gone through the scanner, and I was standing shoeless on the floor’s rubber padding (a place the security staff dub “the mushroom patch”), I said to the gentleman on the other side of the conveyor belt: “This is a weird request, but here’s the thing: I just ripped off a chunk of my thumbnail but it’s still attached to the thumb, and I know if I remove it with my teeth, it will turn into an unholy bloody painful mess.
The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub
Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Lindbergh, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, jitney, light touch regulation, megastructure, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal
Each table came equipped with wooden mallets, and patrons were encouraged to bang the mallets and rattle their silverware in a merry din; revelers could use telephones to call one another. The tables also included dolls and funny hats and other toys. It is safe to assume that many of the patrons got merrily plastered. Here was a setting in which not just conventional morality, but adulthood itself, had been temporarily suspended. The Times Square of 1915 would have been practically unrecognizable to the denizen of 1905. The rules of self-restraint and delayed gratification—that is to say, the Protestant ethic—that had been drilled into generations of Americans had been lifted, if not quite obliterated. Barriers that had governed relations between men and women, the rich and their “inferiors,” high and low culture, tottered and often toppled. A new subculture of cosmopolites had appeared; Julian Street called them the Hectics. These were the terribly fashionable, giddy young men and women who raced from restaurant to theater to cabaret to roof garden.
The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky
23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, DevOps, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, young professional
This guaranteed dopamine rush and the self-confidence it provides makes short-term rewards addicting. Alternatively, “Each time we fail, the brain is drained of dopamine, making it not only hard to concentrate but also difficult to learn from what went wrong.” Thus, physiologically, we’re hardwired to have a strong preference for actions, decisions, and projects likely to yield quick wins, because delayed gratification causes anxiety and discomfort. If you consider how short life expectancy was in the dawn of humanity, it’s no surprise that we’re naturally biased toward short-term rewards. Even as late as the seventeenth century, average life expectancy in New England was twenty-five years of age, and 40 percent of people died before reaching adulthood. For early humanity, the prospect of spending five or ten years working toward an eventual outcome, however great it might be, was just not rational.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel
Scientists, who were watching everything from behind a two-way mirror, kept careful track of which kids had enough self-control to earn the second marshmallow. Years later, they tracked down many of the study’s participants. By now, they were in high school. The researchers asked about their grades and SAT scores, ability to maintain friendships, and their capacity to “cope with important problems.” They discovered that the four-year-olds who could delay gratification the longest ended up with the best grades and with SAT scores 210 points higher, on average, than everyone else. They were more popular and did fewer drugs. If you knew how to avoid the temptation of a marshmallow as a preschooler, it seemed, you also knew how to get yourself to class on time and finish your homework once you got older, as well as how to make friends and resist peer pressure.
Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately
barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, corporate raider, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Norman Mailer, Peace of Westphalia, post-work, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, working poor
Good Muslims were encouraged to expect an afterlife of sensual excess, spent in a fertile Arcadia: “As for the righteous . . . theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and high-bosomed virgins for companions, a truly overflowing cup.” Anyone thirsty after a mortal life of abstinence could chose between “rivers of wine, delicious to drinkers,” and a packaged variety (“pure wine, securely sealed, whose very dregs are musk”), upon arrival in paradise. This was deferred gratification on a grand scale, far beyond the Christian version, which left the delights of heaven unspecified, beyond one’s being in the presence of God. Even the most visionary of Christian saints had lacked the confidence to depict their paradise as wet. With such clear limitations to work with, Islam set about conquering the drinking world. Under the command of the caliphs, the lineal descendants of Muhammad or his generals, Muslim victories were numerous, rapid, and convincing.
Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
Airbnb, asset allocation, bank run, buy and hold, buy low sell high, car-free, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, Firefox, fixed income, full employment, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, index card, index fund, late fees, mortgage tax deduction, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, Paul Graham, random walk, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, speech recognition, stocks for the long run, traveling salesman, Vanguard fund, web application, Zipcar
Post this note someplace obvious: on a calendar, the fridge, or a bulletin board. For the next 30 days, think about the item and whether you really want it, but don't buy it—not yet. If, at the end of a month, you still have the urge, then consider purchasing it (but don't pay with credit). That's all there is to it. It's simple, but surprisingly effective. The 30-day rule works because you aren't actually denying yourself—you're simply delaying gratification. This process also teaches you to think through your purchases and breaks the cycle of instant gratification that can lead to compulsive spending. This rule has another advantage: It gives you a chance to research the item you want to purchase. You may find that there's a better product out there, or that you can get it for a better price at another store! If you feel like you've tried everything but you still need help, don't turn to the debt-settlement companies that advertise on TV and radio.
Autotools by John Calcote
Now all you have to do is remember to execute make distcheck before you post your tarballs for public distribution! Unit Testing, Anyone? Some people insist that unit testing is evil, but the only honest rationale they can come up with for not doing it is laziness. Proper unit testing is hard work, but it pays off in the end. Those who do it have learned a lesson (usually in childhood) about the value of delayed gratification. A good build system should incorporate proper unit testing. The most commonly used target for testing a build is the check target, so we'll go ahead and add it in the usual manner. The actual unit test should probably go in src/Makefile because that's where the jupiter executable is built, so we'll pass the check target down from the top-level makefile. But what commands do we put in the check rule?
A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare
"Robert Solow", affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hedonic treadmill, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration
If it was us, if it was our lonesome ass shuffling past the corner of Monroe and Fayette every day, we’d get out, wouldn’t we? We’d endure. Succeed. Thrive. No matter what, no matter how, we’d find the fucking exit. If it was our fathers firing dope and our mothers smoking coke, we’d pull ourselves past it. We’d raise ourselves, discipline ourselves, teach ourselves the essentials of self-denial and delayed gratification that no one in our universe ever demonstrated. And if home was the rear room of some rancid, three-story shooting gallery, we’d rise above that, too. We’d shuffle up the stairs past nodding fiends and sullen dealers, shut the bedroom door, turn off the television, and do our schoolwork. Algebra amid the stench of burning rock; American history between police raids. And if there was no food on the table, we’re certain we could deal with that.
The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker
assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra
In 2011, two researchers from the University of Virginia randomly assigned four-year-olds to one of three activities: a fast-paced TV show for preschoolers (SpongeBob SquarePants, with frenetic pacing and a scene change approximately every eleven seconds); a slower, educational program (Caillou, with scene changes on average every thirty-four seconds); or a control group (they drew pictures for the duration of the shows). Afterward, the kids were given memory games, spatial and fine motor puzzles, and delayed gratification tests (they were offered a choice between two marshmallows that they could eat right away or ten marshmallows if they waited). The results? Though the kids in all three groups were equally attentive before the experiment began, those who had just watched SpongeBob fared significantly worse on the tests of planning and self-control than those in the drawing group, and somewhat worse than those in the educational TV group.42 These are immediate, not long-term effects.
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski Ph.d.
cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, delayed gratification, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, Skype, Snapchat, spaced repetition, the scientific method, twin studies
This was the lightbulb moment. Camilla recognized that what she really needed was time for her enjoying to grow and expand until finally it activated her eagerness. They had been working with the hypothesis that it was feeling pursued that made her feel desire, but it turned out the real trick was not the experience of being chased but the amount of accelerator activation that comes with going slowly, delaying gratification. For her, the process of getting from enjoying to eagerness is a bit like the ticking pilot light on a gas stove—not quite enough gas, not quite enough, not quite, until phoof! she crosses from enjoying into eagerness. Or—going back to the shower analogy—her accelerator was like a hot-water heater that took a lot of time to heat the whole tank. It worked great, it just needed more patience, but it was so worth the wait.
The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells
"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game
The material consequences of this apparently abstract digression on time and capital are increasingly felt in economies and daily lives around the world: recurrent monetary crises, ushering in an era of structural economic instability and actually jeopardizing European integration; the inability of capital investment to anticipate the future, thus undermining incentives for productive investment; the wrecking of companies, and of their jobs, regardless of performance because of sudden, unforeseen changes in the financial environment in which they operate; the increasing gap between profits in the production of goods and services and rents generated in the sphere of circulation, thus shifting an increasing share of world savings to financial gambling; the growing risks for pension funds and private insurance liabilities, thus introducing a question mark over the hard-bought security of working people around the world; the dependence of entire economies, and particularly those of developing countries, on movements of capital largely determined by subjective perception and speculative turbulence; the destruction in the collective experience of societies of the deferred-gratification pattern of behavior, in favour of the “quick buck” common ideology, emphasizing individual gambling with life and the economy; and the fundamental damage to the social perception of the correspondence between production and reward, work and meaning, ethics and wealth. Puritanism seems to have been buried in Singapore in 1995 along with the venerable Barings Bank.26 And Confucianism will last in the new economy only as long as “blood is thicker than water;”27 that is, while family ties still provide social cohesion beyond pure speculation in the brave new world of gambling finance.
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler
"Robert Solow", 3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, impulse control, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, late fees, law of one price, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market clearing, Mason jar, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, More Guns, Less Crime, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, New Journalism, nudge unit, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, presumed consent, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game
., 330–33 constrained optimization, 5–6, 8, 27, 43, 161, 207, 365 “Consumer Choice: A Theory of Economists’ Behavior” (Thaler), 35 consumers, optimization problem faced by, 5–6, 8, 27, 43, 161, 207, 365 consumer sovereignty, 268–69 consumer surplus, 59 consumption function, 94–98, 106, 309 “Contrarian Investment, Extrapolation, and Risk” (Lakonishok, Shleifer and Vishny), 228 cooperation, 143–47 conditional, 146, 182, 335n Prisoner’s Dilemma and, 143–44, 145, 301–5, 302 Copernican revolution, 169 Cornell University, 42, 43, 115, 140–43, 153–55, 157 Costco, 63, 71–72 Council of Economic Advisors, 352 coupons, 62, 63, 67–68, 120 credit cards, 18, 74, 76–77 late fees for, 360 crime, 265 Daily Mail, 135 Daily Show, The, 352 Dallas Cowboys, 281 data: financial, 208 collection and recording of, 355–56 Dawes, Robyn, 146 Deal or No Deal, 296–301, 297, 303 path dependence on, 298–300 deals, 61–62 De Bondt, Werner, 216–18, 221, 222–24, 226n, 233, 278 debt, 78 default investment portfolio, 316 default option, 313–16, 327 default saving rate, 312, 316, 319, 357 delayed gratification, 100–102 De Long, Brad, 240 Demos, 330 Denmark, 320, 357–58 descriptive, 25, 30, 45, 89 Design of Everyday Things, The (Norman), 326 Diamond, Doug, 273, 276 Diamond, Peter, 323 Dictator Game, 140–41, 142, 160, 182, 301 diets, 342 diminishing marginal utility, 106 of wealth, 28, 30 diminishing sensitivity, 30–34 discount, surcharge vs., 18 discounts, returns and, 242–43 discounted utility model, 89–94, 99, 110, 362 discretion, 106 Ditka, Mike, 279, 280 dividends, 164–67, 365 present value of, 231–33, 231, 237 Dodd, David, 219 doers, planners vs., 104–9 Donoghue, John, 265n “Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?”
Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards by Yu-Kai Chou
Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Firefox, functional fixedness, game design, IKEA effect, Internet of things, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, loss aversion, Maui Hawaii, Minecraft, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs
In fact, eBay is at the mercy of the amateur sellers, who may not even ship the product out in a week. Even when the seller has shipped the item, they sometimes don’t record it as shipped, let alone include a tracking number. During this time of waiting, the buyer has no idea whether the product was shipped or not, and when it will arrive. This definitely does not induce feelings of competency. Luckily, when that dream item finally arrives, joy is reinstalled, and that delayed gratification fuels the drive to buy again on eBay. Unfortunately, when the item doesn’t come in the form you dreamt it to be, therein lies the limitations of eBay. Especially as a used-item market, you may receive items that are in different conditions than described, damaged during shipment, or just plain out not what you paid for. And in the case of eBay, they can’t just give you a return-refund. The seller who shadily sold you the product in the first place has to.
Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants by Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi
affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Chrome, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, mortgage debt, Network effects, out of africa, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price anchoring, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, winner-take-all economy
Why offer the better bargain (33 percent off) when many would choose the inferior option (33 percent more coffee)? Why offer a steep discount, when you can entice more consumers by discounting the items twice? Here’s another example—in this case one that doesn’t turn on our math abilities but our basic psychological makeup. Suppose you are offered $100 today or $120 next week. Which would you choose? Many choose the $100, despite the fact that the better choice is, of course, to delay gratification in order to net an additional $20.2 Now suppose you are offered $100 in fifty-two weeks from now or $120 in fifty-three weeks from now. Many now choose the $120. Neurological research has examined why this is the case. The discrepancy between our short-run and long-run preferences could reflect which part of our brain’s neural system is activated.3 The research suggests that choices that involve an immediate reward (such as $100 today versus $120 next week) can disproportionately activate the impulsive part of our brain (the limbic system), which goes for the short-term benefit.
The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick
Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator
“Well, there are different levels of jeopardy,” he replied. “Is it sustainable? Will it go out of business? I don’t spend any time worrying about that. It’s fine. Can it be a $10-billion company or something like that? Okay, I think we have a really good chance of getting there.” Some colleagues say Zuckerberg’s desire to prioritize openness and fairness over profit shows he is good at delaying gratification. Or maybe he’s just so driven that gratification is irrelevant. “He’s always striving to do the next thing,” says an executive who has worked closely with him. “For most people there are plateaus and milestones you hit and it allows you to sit back and celebrate and feel a sense of accomplishment. That doesn’t really exist for Mark.” Zuckerberg’s pursuit of growth over money does not seem to have diminished Facebook’s financial prospects.
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional
It’s not how Academy students conduct themselves. These thousand little rules became second nature to Erica, as to almost all the students. She found her diction changing, especially when she addressed strangers. She found her posture evolving, so that she adopted an almost military bearing. These little routines were almost always about self-discipline in one way or another. They were about delaying gratification or exercising some small act of self-control. She didn’t really think about them this way. The rules were just the normal structure of life for a student such as herself. But they had a pervasive effect on how she lived at school, eventually at home, and even on the tennis court. By junior year, Erica wasn’t quite so obsessed with tennis, but she had developed a way of mentally preparing for each match.
Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets by Michael W. Covel
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, backtesting, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, fiat currency, fixed income, game design, hindsight bias, housing crisis, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, survivorship bias, systematic trading, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, William of Occam, zero-sum game
Self-regulation is the ongoing inner conversation that emotionally intelligent engage in to be free from being prisoners of Chapter 6 • Human Behavior their feelings. If we are able to engage in such a conversation, we still feel bad moods and emotional impulses just as everyone else does, but we can learn to control them and even to channel them in useful ways.18 A trend follower’s ability to delay gratification, stifle impulsiveness, and shake off the market’s inevitable setbacks and upsets, makes him not only a successful trader, but also a leader. Goleman found that effective leaders all had a high degree of emotional intelligence along with the relevant IQ and technical skills. While other “threshold capabilities” were entry-level requirements for executive positions, emotional intelligence was the “sine qua non” of leadership.
1939: A People's History by Frederick Taylor
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, collective bargaining, delayed gratification, facts on the ground, full employment, mass immigration, rising living standards, the market place, women in the workforce
Especially for the women, the usual pose was attractive, sporty, but not overtly or provocatively sexy, in line with the Nazi regime’s public preference for modesty and subtle indication of female fitness and therefore fecundity. The presentation of how Germany and Germans should be – built on ‘joy’ but not self-indulgence, ‘strength’ not hedonism – expressed itself almost perfectly in KdF’s visions. For the most part, it worked extremely well as a tool to counteract the people’s resentment at constantly delayed gratification in other spheres of life and to promote obedience, consent and contentment. * As the behaviour of Karl Brandt and his companions on that notorious KdF cruise showed, the Reich’s elite was a law to itself. No classlessness for them. Its members might be photographed en famille eating austere Sunday ‘one-pot’ (Eintopf) meals for the Winter Aid – usually some variation of pea or lentil soup, with ham or sausage – but otherwise – as the majority of ordinary Germans knew – most of the Party’s leadership lived a life of luxury and indulgence.
The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity by Toby Ord
3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, availability heuristic, Columbian Exchange, computer vision, cosmological constant, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ernest Rutherford, global pandemic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, p-value, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, survivorship bias, the scientific method, uranium enrichment
Not relinquishing areas of technology, but accepting that in some cases we aren’t ready for them until we meet a given standard. For example, no nuclear technologies until we’ve had a hundred years without a major war. Unfortunately, there is a major challenge. Unlike the case with our own children, there are no wise adults to decide these rules. Humanity would have to lay down the rules to govern itself. And those who lack wisdom usually lack the ability to see this; those who lack patience are unlikely to delay gratification until they acquire it. So while I think a more mature world would indeed restrain its growth in destructive capability to a level where it was adequately managed, I don’t see much value in advocating for this at the moment. Major efforts to slow things down would require international agreements between all the major players, for otherwise work would just continue in the least scrupulous countries.
Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, Celebration, Florida, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, large denomination, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, young professional
Waiting to get what you want is a definition of maturity; demanding satisfaction this instant, on the other hand, is a defining behavior of seven-year-olds. The powerful appeal of the Internet is its instantaneity as much as the “community” it enables—you can send a message now, get any question answered now, buy anything you want now, meet a stranger for sex right now. Telecommunications satisfy one kind of inner child, the impulsive one with zero tolerance for waiting. As a result, over the last couple of decades, delayed gratification itself came to seem quaint. What do the brattiest children do? They shout and name-call and exaggerate, like the new generation of political commentators, like Internet trolls, like Trump. They cover their ears and refuse to listen to unpleasant facts and tell ridiculous lies. They’re selfish, and anytime they’re thwarted or someone else gets something they want, no matter how justly or reasonably, they scream That’s not fair!
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
The three-dozen-odd rules are not independent of one another but exemplify a few themes. It’s unlikely that each of us today had to be instructed in every rule individually, so that if some mother had been remiss in teaching one of them, her adult son would still be blowing his nose into the tablecloth. The rules in the list (and many more that are not) are deducible from a few principles: Control your appetites; Delay gratification; Consider the sensibilities of others; Don’t act like a peasant; Distance yourself from your animal nature. And the penalty for these infractions was assumed to be internal: a sense of shame. Elias notes that the etiquette books rarely mention health and hygiene. Today we recognize that the emotion of disgust evolved as an unconscious defense against biological contamination.24 But an understanding of microbes and infection did not arrive until well into the 19th century.
As we have seen, an interest rate is just such an index, because it reveals how much compensation people demand for deferring consumption from the present to the future. To be sure, an interest rate is partly determined by objective factors like inflation, expected income growth, and the risk that the investment will never be returned. But it partly reflects the purely psychological preference for instant over delayed gratification. According to one economist, a six-year-old who prefers to eat one marshmallow now rather than two marshmallows a few minutes from now is in effect demanding an interest rate of 3 percent a day, or 150 percent a month.125 Gregory Clark, the economic historian we met in chapter 4, has estimated the interest rates that Englishmen demanded (in the form of rents on land and houses) from 1170 to 2000, the millennium over which the Civilizing Process took place.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, cognitive bias, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demand response, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, framing effect, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, index card, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Shai Danziger, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, union organizing, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War
She was in a state of flow.” “His ego was depleted after a long day of meetings. So he just turned to standard operating procedures instead of thinking through the problem.” “He didn’t bother to check whether what he said made sense. Does he usually have a lazy System 2 or was he unusually tired?” “Unfortunately, she tends to say the first thing that comes into her mind. She probably also has trouble delaying gratification. Weak System 2.” The Associative Machine To begin your exploration of the surprising workings of System 1, look at the following words: Bananas Vomit A lot happened to you during the last second or two. You experienced some unpleasant images and memories. Your face twisted slightly in an expression of disgust, and you may have pushed this book imperceptibly farther away.
The Practice of Cloud System Administration: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services, Volume 2 by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Strata R. Chalup, Christina J. Hogan
active measures, Amazon Web Services, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business process, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, correlation coefficient, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, delayed gratification, DevOps, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, load shedding, longitudinal study, loose coupling, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, place-making, platform as a service, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sorting algorithm, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Toyota Production System, web application, Yogi Berra
The goal was to encourage high uptime without stifling innovation, and to encourage innovation without encouraging undue risk. 19.4.1 Conflicting Goals There is a historic conflict between developers and operations teams. Developers want to launch new features; operations teams want stability. Developers are in the business of making change. They are rewarded for new features, especially ones that are highly visible to the end customers. They would prefer to have each feature they create pushed into production as fast as possible so as not to delay gratification. The question they get the most from management is likely to be, “When will it ship?” Operations people are in the business of stability. They want nothing to break so they don’t get paged or otherwise have a bad day. This makes them risk averse. If they could, they would reject a developer’s request to push new releases into production. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The question they get the most from management is likely to be, “Why was the system down?”
The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall by Mark W. Moffett
affirmative action, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, California gold rush, delayed gratification, demographic transition, eurozone crisis, George Santayana, glass ceiling, Howard Rheingold, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, Kevin Kelly, labour mobility, land tenure, long peace, Milgram experiment, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, World Values Survey
The delicacy was so relished that if the Ache had found a way to safely raise enough of them at one spot, my guess is they would have taken up residence right then and there as beetle farmers.10 To drop the itinerant mode of life required bounty on an ongoing basis. That included any excess that could be stored to tide people over times of dearth. Among the insect societies operating this way are harvester ants that jointly build well-protected underground pantries, where they keep seeds fresh for months. However, most vertebrate societies fail to show delayed gratification by means of a group effort. For instance, each pinyon jay caches its own seeds and attacks any member of its flock who steals from it. Describing the gathering practices of a Bushman society, the anthropologist Richard Lee explained, “The !Kung do not amass a surplus, because they conceive of the environment itself as their storehouse.”11 Nevertheless, cultural practices that yielded a lasting food supply could support long-term home bases.
Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber
Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, David Graeber, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, double entry bookkeeping, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, informal economy, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, oil shock, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit motive, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, sexual politics, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor, zero-sum game
Cooper’s essay is a brilliant exploration of the relation between debt imperialism—a phrase she seems to have coined, inspired by Hudson—and evangelical Christianity, and it is heartily recommended. See also Naylor 1985. 29. Robertson 1992:153. In Cooper again: op cit. 30. Atwood 2008:42. 31. This is, incidentally, also the best response to conventional critiques of the poor as falling into debt because they are unable to delay gratification—another way in which economic logic, with all its human blind spots, skews any possible understanding of “consumers’ ” actual motivations. Rationally, since CDs yield around 4 percent annually, and credit cards charge 20 percent, consumers should save as a cushion and only go into debt when they absolutely have to, postponing unnecessary purchases until there’s a surplus. Very few act this way, but this is rarely because of improvidence (can’t wait to get that flashy new dress) but because human relations can’t actually be put off in the same way as imaginary “consumer purchases”: one’s daughter will only be five once, and one’s grandfather has only so many years left. 32.
Empire of Guns by Priya Satia
banking crisis, British Empire, business intelligence, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, hiring and firing, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent-seeking, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game
I want to thank Socorro Reyes for her constant care and tolerance for my at times insane moods while writing (or, worse, not writing). It has been years since I acquired the debt, but I am glad to at last be able to thank Vivek Ramachandran and Karen Loh for their hospitality in London, and my dear friend Adrienne Copithorne for hers in Cambridge. I also want to record here my deep gratitude to all my friends, who share their lives with me out of choice. I have loved laughing with you while awaiting the horrendously delayed gratification of this completed book. Sunil Khanna was a vital companion in parts of the journey. All my family, in the U.S. and in India, have been a great support. My brother, Rishi Satia, especially, shared references and cheered me on. I thank my parents, Jagat and Indira Satia, as always, for making it possible for me to make a career of reading, writing, and thinking, and for the gentle understanding with which they have always related our own family stories.
The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease by Lanius, Ruth A.; Vermetten, Eric; Pain, Clare
conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, epigenetics, false memory syndrome, impulse control, intermodal, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, p-value, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, theory of mind, twin studies, yellow journalism
Cut adrift from the internal regulating capabilities of the cortex, subcortical structures promote behavior that reacts reflexively, impulsively and aggressively to any perceived threat. Alarm states interfere with contemplation of the consequences of one’s behavior. Because the brain areas responsible for executive functioning go off-line under threat, frightened people lose touch with the flow of time and get stuck in a terrifying, seemingly never-ending present. As a result, their responses are directed toward their desperate need for immediate relief, and delayed gratification is difficult, if not impossible. The documentation of these abnormalities explains why traumatized individuals usually have little understanding of what upsets them and little control over their reactions. Traumatized individuals have more selective development of non-verbal cognitive capacities. People raised by unresponsive, abusive or chaotic careÂ�givers have learned that non-verbal information is more critical for survival than words.
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism
Rockefeller, who was, said one office worker, “known to be the most valued adviser.”45 Endowed with considerable verbal skill, Flagler had such a gift for drawing up legal documents or sniffing out hidden pitfalls in contracts that Rockefeller insisted he could have taught the fine points of contract law to lawyers—no small edge for a firm that would be engaged in running legal battles. In his later years, Flagler developed into a grandee of such rich tastes that it is instructive to note his austere early style. Not only did he labor six days a week, but he shunned bars and theaters as the devil’s playgrounds and became superintendent of the First Presybterian Church. Like Rockefeller, he advocated self-discipline and deferred gratification. As he said of his first threadbare days in Cleveland: “I wore a thin overcoat and thought how comfortable I should be when I could afford a long, thick Ulster. I carried a lunch in my pocket until I was a rich man. I trained myself in the school of self-control and self-denial. It was hard on [me], but I would rather be my own tyrant than have some one else tyrannize me.” 46 After his wife, Mary, gave birth to a son, Henry Harkness Flagler, in 1870, she never regained her health and turned into an invalid.
The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hedonic treadmill, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, scientific worldview, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social intelligence, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey
Recall that Freud believed that every newborn seeks to satisfy his or her libidinal drive—the pleasure principle. It is only later—at around the age of eighteen months to two years—that parents introduce their children to the reality principle. For Freud, reality is imposing restraints and constraints, first in the form of toilet training and scheduled feedings. The baby, says Freud, needs to be taught to delay gratification, to repress his or her instinctual drives in order to conform with the norms that make social life possible. Socialization for Freud meant repression of basic drives, which he viewed as ultimately self-destructive and antisocial. Many of the renegade psychologists of the 1930s and 1940s thought differently. They argued that children are born with a reality principle, and that principle is to seek affection, companionship, intimacy, and a sense of belonging.
The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins
agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, complexity theory, delayed gratification, double helix, Drosophila, Haight Ashbury, invention of writing, lateral thinking, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, nuclear winter, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steven Pinker, the High Line, urban sprawl
They have lost some of the normal aphid defensive responses and, according to one intriguing suggestion, some have modified their rear end to resemble the face of an ant. Ants are in the habit of passing liquid food to one another, mouth to mouth, and the suggestion is that individual aphids that evolved this rear-end face-mimicry facilitated being 'milked' and therefore gained protection by ants from predators. The Leaf Cutter's Tale is a tale of delayed gratification as the basis of agriculture. Hunter-gatherers eat what they gather and eat what they hunt. Farmers don't eat their seed corn; they bury it in the ground and wait months for a return. They don't eat the compost with which they fertilise the soil and don't drink the water with which they irrigate it. Again, it is all done for a delayed reward. And the leaf cutter ant got there first. Consider her ways and be wise.
The River Cottage Fish Book: The Definitive Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Fish and Shellfish by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Simply rinse your winkles in clean seawater and boil in same for 5 or 6 minutes. Then start ransacking your beach bag for a safety pin—or go snorkeling for sea urchins. For a more formal session at home, you can boost the flavor of the winkles by cooking them in a simple court bouillon. Drain them when they are done and then consider the only decision you have to make: do I want to eat these one by one from the shell, or delay gratification by shelling them all first and then gorging on several at a time? There’s only one right answer, of course. You can (and most do) eat them au naturel. Or you can dip them in a sweet, mustardy vinaigrette or good old garlic butter. Or there is always the end of the pier thing—dip them in malt vinegar and sprinkle with white pepper. There are not many “recipes” for winkles, but if you’ve had a really good haul and want to make something special out of them, you can cook and shell a good pile and use them instead of chopped whelk meat in the recipe for Whelk fritters.
How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, lateral thinking, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra
At every moment we choose, consciously or unconsciously, between good things now and better things later. Sometimes the rational decision is “now,” particularly when, as the sayings go, life is short or there is no tomorrow. The logic is laid bare in firing-squad jokes. The condemned man is offered the ceremonial last cigarette and responds, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.” We laugh because we know it is pointless for him to delay gratification. Another old joke makes it clear why playing it safe is not always called for. Murray and Esther, a middle-aged Jewish couple, are touring South America. One day Murray inadvertently photographs a secret military installation, and soldiers hustle the couple off to prison. For three weeks they are tortured in an effort to get them to name their contacts in the liberation movement. Finally they are hauled in front of a military court, charged with espionage, and sentenced to death by firing squad.
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein
affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, American ideology, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Joan Didion, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog
“And the young people themselves began to develop a sense of their own identity and with it a radically critical attitude about the society that their elders had created. They dissented, they dropped out, they said ‘No’—and the reverberations of that No are still being heard.” The new generation’s ethos had something to do with JFK, all agreed, and the Bomb, and a celebration of the immediate against their parents’ cult of deferred gratification. Their favorite politician, Bobby Kennedy, was like them addicted, Andrew Kopkind of the New Republic wrote, to “sudden, spontaneous, half-understood acts of calculated risk.” They reviled a society lost “among the motorized toothbrushes, tranquilizers, and television commercials” (wrote Kennedy brother-in-law Sargent Shriver, in an article on their signature government program, the Peace Corps).
Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom, Molyn Leszcz
cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, deskilling, epigenetics, experimental subject, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, the scientific method, traveling salesman, unbiased observer
The NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI) and its shorter version, the NEO-FFI, are self-report inventories that are easy to administer, reliable, and well validated across cultures. Five personality variables are evaluated: Neuroticism (distress, vulnerability to stress and propensity for shame); Extraversion (verbal, eager to engage, and enthusiastic); Conscientiousness (hard working, committed, able to delay gratification); Openness (embraces the novel and unfamiliar with creativity and imagination); and Agreeableness (trusting, cooperative, altruistic). 30 W. Piper, A. Joyce, J. Rosie, and H. Azim, “Psychological Mindedness, Work and Outcome in Day Treatment,” International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 44 (1994): 291–311. M. McCallum, W. Piper, and J. Kelly, “Predicting Patient Benefit from a Group-Oriented Evening Treatment Program,” International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 47 (1997): 291–314.
Melody Beattie 4 Title Bundle: Codependent No More and 3 Other Best Sellers by Melody Beattie: A Collection of Four Melody Beattie Best Sellers by Melody Beattie
Some of our greatest mistakes may become crucially beneficial parts of our lives. Some of our codependent character traits may become the basis for some of our finest characteristics. We may find that our ability to be responsible will qualify us for positions of leadership. We may discover that our ability to put up with deprivation enables us to accomplish something extraordinary that couldn’t be accomplished without the ability to delay gratification. We may find that healing from our pain helps others heal from theirs. Let me close this chapter with a quote from Ellen Goodman, my favorite columnist. Goodman shared the following story with a college graduation class. Eighty percent of life is showing up. Day by day, year by year we were presented with choices and made them. We showed up. And up. And up. Some are paralyzed by choices.