Pre-mortem and backcasting

March 19th, 2020

I recently finished Annie Dukes, Thinking in Bets.

Three takeaways from the book:

Place an actual bet
When people are at a disagreement, consider asking to put money down. And seeing how if that changes your position. It forces you to consider what weighting is going in to your POV and find the strengths and weaknesses of the position.

Noah in Why Is ThisInteresting – The Certainty Edition gave a succinct example:

I was recently accused of being obsessed with gambling. It wasn’t from driving to New Jersey to bet on sports (though I’ve considered it), but rather because I was trying to convince a friend to make a bet on a political prediction he was making. I wasn’t pushing him to bet because I was trying to take his money (though I feel confident I would have), but rather I was legitimately trying to understand how strongly he believed in what he was arguing. When he said he was sure this particular set of events was going to occur, I didn’t know if he was saying he was 90% or 10% certain. And there’s obviously a vast gap between those probabilities.

The other two are related, Pre-Mortems and Backcasting.

Backcasting is looking at an end result, then working backwards to go, what had to go right for that goal to happen. This is very astute. And forces a focus on making quality decisions, rather than just focusing on the next step.

Pre-mortems, are looking at a decision and figuring out what could go wrong for it to fall over. Then you can adjust.

All three practices, are to sharpen the quality of your decision making. Do read the book, there are other skills she shouts out which are invaluable.

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