Decisions

What is the purpose of thinking? Is the purpose of our thinking to guide our decision making in this world?

Sometimes we have difficult decisions to make. Why is it so? Why does the mind linger on and procrastinate important life altering decisions? There is always an uncertainty related to decision making. We cannot know what the future holds. So we need to make decisions based on other things. I believe a common way to make decisions is to listen to our gut feeling. But when we have to make a decision that if made changes our life, while if not made maintains the status quo of our life, are we biased towards not making the decision?

If you want to break free from something you believe is bad for you. But it’s not too bad. And it has its pros also. And you don’t know what lies beyond this decision. Will it feel safer to stay put? And wait this thing out? This thing that will not change unless you decide it should change. Are you afraid of the immediate anticipated negative consequences? But how do they stack up over time against the positive consequences?

What if we were biased in the other direction? Towards making life altering decisions. Our lives would be more unstable. But we would also get rid of anything we believed were in the slightest bad for us immediately. We would take more conflicts and resolve them. And if any life changing decision was a mistake, we could sometimes recover from them and in a few cases revert them.

On a macro level, what would a society look like if people were, let’s call it “status quo biased”, vs “change biased”. A status quo biased society would be stagnant. People would make few changes in their lives and they would not break with norms. Progress in this society would not happen except in local pockets that didn’t spread before they died out.

In a change biased society things would be more unstable. At least initially. People would change relationships, parents would be divorced and have kids with more than one person. People would change jobs more regularly and move around. They would try new things more often and switch hobbies and friends. However, if the reason for the change is that they are unhappy and they want to fix that, eventually over enough individual changes to improve the situation they are likely to end up better off. Then they will stabilize that aspect of their life until they don’t feel good about it again.

In the change biased society we are more likely to come across true progress as a society. There will be more generations of ideas flowing through people’s minds that also get tested in reality.

Even though it can be difficult on an individual level to be change biased, I believe it might be for the better not just for you as an individual but also for society as a whole.

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