Some Days Are Diamonds

… and as the poet tells us, some days are stones.

Today, in the case of yours truly, is one of the latter ones. The daughter has been sniffling, coughing and battling a fever for the last three days, and while she is now much better (thank god), she has now passed the fever on to me.

But that’s not the reason today is a stone. The reason today is a stone is because I didn’t schedule a post for 10 am today. I’ve been on a bit of a good run – best as I can tell, the last time I missed posting was on the 30th of October last year, and while that isn’t great if the aim is to post daily, it certainly is better relative to the recent past.

And naturally, this is not a streak I would like to give up on. The sensible thing to do is to have some buffer posts ready, that can be deployed on days such as these. If I’m not up to sitting in front of a computer, filtering stuff I’ve read and deciding what to write about – and I’m really not up to it today – then I should be able to dip into my pitaara and schedule something that I’ve written in the past.

The good news is that I have 12 drafts waiting that will turn into good posts whenever I get around to finishing them. The bad news is that not one of them is complete. I teach economics for a living, but my real calling is procrastination.

Today’s post was going to be my notes from having read an article that I both enjoyed reading closely, and discussing with my students in class at the Gokhale Institute. I’m teaching behavioral economics this semester, and the essay in question has a lot of great points to think about in the context of biases and irrationality. I may come back to it in a later blog post, but for now, I’ll link to it, and leave as a snippet this lovely excerpt:

I’ve been tweeting about irrationality since 2017, and in that time I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern. Whenever I post of a cognitive bias or logical fallacy, my replies are soon invaded by leftists claiming it explains rightist beliefs, and by rightists claiming it explains leftist beliefs. In no cases will someone claim it explains their own beliefs. I’m likely guilty of this too; it feels effortless to diagnose others with biases and fallacies, but excruciatingly hard to diagnose oneself. As the famed decision theorist Daniel Kahneman quipped, “I’ve studied cognitive biases my whole life and I’m no better at avoiding them.”

And may I just say that the universe is rather good at trolling? I followed the author of this essay that I’m talking about on Twitter, and here’s a tweet that he recently retweeted:

Yes, yes, ok, fine.