I spend a lot of time talking about all of reasons for the cognitive errors we make.
Why I emphasize the psychological wetware that make coincidences seem much more important than they really are: availability heuristic; survivorship bias (“found” stock certs); confirmation bias; tribalism, confirmation bias, self-created info bubbles, groupthink, etc. It seems to be always about perspective. Consider the simple Birthday Paradox — you only need 23 people in a room to have a 50–50 chance two of them will share the same birth date — that non-mathy folks find hard to believe.
But every now and again, something happens that is just plain weird. For me. the new Bladerunner film is just such a thing.
If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know I am a huge fan of the original. Punch “Blade Runner” (or “Bladerunner“) into the search bar at right, and dozens of posts, links, interviews, videos, etc. will pop up.
I was all excited to see the premiere — but then I found out I was going to be out of the country during the week it was set to open. I set a date with my friend Ralph, who is a huge film aficionado to see it as soon as I got back. That was supposed to be Tuesday, October 10. For whatever reason, that date didn’t work out for him, so we rolled it over to last night: Wednesday, October 11, 2017.
Then a random click led me to this post: Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Ziegfeld. The post was about Ralph and I going to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Ziegfeld Theater on October 11, 2007. That is — literally — 10 years ago to the day.
I understand intellectually why this is a random occurrence out of millions of other random occurrences, only this coincidence caught my eye.
One can easily see the surprisingly strong emotional appeal of this, the gee whiz, ain’t that strange for something as relatively trivial as entertainment. Emotions obviously distort our thinking process. Now imagine how strong it is for something that has a huge impact on your life: economic decision-making, investing, savings, and all of the things that really make a big difference to you, your family and your quality of life.
No wonder there are so many myths, bad decisions, and poor outcomes in finance (“More Human than Human”).
We can never achieve perfection, but we can at least make strides towards reducing all of the unforced errors that is inherent in our wetware. It requires eternal vigilance to guard against biased-decision making when it comes to something as big and important as your money. We can try, at the very least, to understand our own wiring. Then you at least have a fighting chance to obtains decent results, despite all of the all too human shortcomings that were programmed in over time.
Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for…