Chrys Krycho, on the business world’s uncritical stance towards revealed preference.
Unfortunately, though, many people operating from that economic frame go beyond simply observing the difference in stated preference and actual behavior. They make our “revealed preferences” normative. This is dangerous nonsense. It leads companies to ignore what users say they want in favor of what they “reveal” they want even if the latter is simply bad. And why? Because our revealed preferences are often maximally consumptive, maximally corruptible — and therefore maximally easy to abuse in the pursuit of power, wealth, or both.
“People click on these ads, therefore they must like them.” 🖕🏻
Much of the work we describe as “growing up” is learning to exercise self-control, that is: to reject what our revealed preferences show our natural inclinations to be.
George Saunders, in Story Club:
The whole idea – and this is true of crazy, experimental stories as well – is that, on the other end of the creative process is a human being not entirely unlike yourself, who has chosen to spend some number of her precious hours on this earth shaping and sculpting the story you’re reading. Therefore, it must mean something, something important.
In A World Without Email, Cal Newport draws a connection between asynchronous electronic communication between people and distributed systems research. That connection is helping me understand that organizations will inevitably turn asynchronous media like Slack synchronous, unless they can design processes that prevent it.
Robin Rendle points out that he can’t leave his website as a legacy when he dies, because the web is inherently ephemeral. Without continued payment for the domain name, a DNS provider, and hosting, websites are lost to time. Only active stewardship allows pages on the web to outlast their creators.
It’s hard to predict which rituals will stick and which will fizzle out. Two years ago, I started keeping a reading log in a large-size Baron Fig Confidant notebook. It’s a timeline, with each row representing a book and each column representing one day.