Here is what I learned from “thinking, fast and slow”

Almost everyone agrees that you should read good books. Few people do. And even less are able to recall important lessons of the book after some time.

How to remember the content from good books? The usual approach is to summarize a book and extract its key lessons. Blinkist and many other summary websites splendidly do this.

In my opinion, this approach hinders us from learning from a book. Learning from books is mainly enabled by the exercise of written ideas. We can directly transfer the prescribed methods to our reality, like recipes from a cookbook.

This approach is limited when applied to more abstract topics such as management or thinking. Insights about thinking are difficult to understand and even more cumbersome to use.

In my opinion, the book is only a teacher. It can show you the general rules. But to digest the book, you must apply the rules to your own life. And the quickest way to do that is to write about such occasions. Writing is much more condensed than waiting for the next experience when you can apply the rules. By writing, you tell your own stories and create your own simulator.

The topics that interest me are software development, storytelling, self-improvement, and money.

So let’s talk about Thinking, Fast and Slow. I read the book in 2021, and spend most of the year of 2022 to come up with article ideas. I think it is a fantastic book, which anybody ought to have read, as it deepens your understanding of the human mind. Kahneman, who died this year, got the Nobel prize for his work and this book contains much of his knowledge.

Software development


As a programmer, it is easy to be dragged into your code. You spent hours in front of it, only to resurface and see that you were solving the wrong issue. Why that is so can be learned in: Experienced engineers stay away from the flow zone.

At some point in your career, you have to decide. Do you want to be an expert or remain a generalist? As a decision help, Look at your industry’s state and then decide if you want to become an expert.

Most engineers dislike PowerPoint and the management presentations that go along with it. There is a reason for it. As engineers, we are fond of small details. Later we wonder why our reporting is not well received. What you should do instead can be learned in Why engineers do not understand stories.


Planning is everybody’s favorite activity in software development. Plannings are always off.
Want to try something new? Try to establish your next planning predictions on well-defined reference points.

Still, uncertainty is inherent to all software development. If too much complexity exists, tasks can not be well planned. Use risk policies and avoid common planning fallacies in software development

At one point in the planning cycle, we always refer to the experts to provide estimates. The issue is not whether you have good experts at hand, but if you should trust your real experts, Trust me; I am an expert.

Once a plan is done, we vote on it. High uniform confidence reveals a lack of trust. The SAFe confidence vote reveals the state of emotional security in your project.

Failures settle the history of software engineers like skeletons on the trail through a desert.
Thorough planning should come before the pitching. It is never done so but would avoid failures. The perfect way that projects will never be planned.

One important aspect of planning is to control the success of the plan. Control with regard to efficiency of operation: are you doing all plan tasks. As well as control of effectivity: are the plan tasks doing the right thing. The last aspect is certainly the most challenging in planning and management. Many business books are successfully selling recipes how to deal with both challenges. Most of the time such recipes are biased by survivorship biased and overconfidence. Taylorism in complex environments deals with the second aspect. Personal confidence does not replace a statistical analysis. Yet we often use KPIs to give our opinions a statistical backing.


Many articles are trying to create a fissure between software developers and management. Some aspects might be accurate, but what also remains true? No software industry without leadership.
I have three articles, one for the managers:

Good managers are immune to survivorship bias. I wrote these articles in the post covid phase in 2022. At this time the back to office debate started.

You should go back to the office, to help your boss understand you

My last article is details why we will not all return to the office. The story of Covid and Plato’s cave allegory


I started my journey to learn about storytelling and how understanding the mind helps us be better storytellers.
First, start your story from the listener’s memory The good storyteller is a travel guide through the listener’s memories.

If you need to give an engineering or science presentation and have bad news, learn Providing fake reliability with statistics.
In addition, do not focus on the 100 % correct picture: Why engineers do not understand stories. This is certainly I, as an engineer struggle the most with.

Last but not least, try to keep a happy face, because “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do”.

Self Improvement

The topic of rhetoric and storytelling is a reoccurring theme in the big cluster of self-improvement.
I read my fair share of articles.

To keep yourself energized, Avoid spending mental energy, as if would be limitless. If you find yourself in a tricky situation, try to Use mental anchors to determine the start position of high-stakes discussions.

Do you sometimes wonder why we remember certain things and others do not? That is because Regression to the mean reshapes our memories.

And why is your holiday always more memorable than your breakfast. If there are no extremes, bad/good, we can not make lasting memories: Sticking in a shitty job, deprives you of rich experiences.


Money is undoubtedly the hottest topic out there in the blogosphere, web. 2.0, and web 3.0. We all want to be millionaires, but Investors are living from the greatest of all treasures, which is Hope. Inspired by an opening of Terry Pratchetts books.

If you are not raffling millions on the stock market, you might try to get into your own business and learn, There are no losses; just costs for profits.

On the other hand, it is always good to be frugal. And one aspect of being frugal is not buying everything special deal, including insurance.
Not all insurance costs are transparent; if you are too careful, you forgo good opportunities, You are most likely overinsured.

Inflation was the topic of 2022, therefore last but not least, you maybe wonder why, Everybody wants more money and thinks inflation is unfair.

Taylorism in complex environments

Studies show that over 70% of businesses rely heavily on KPIs for decision-making. Yet, there’s a story that illustrates how this reliance can sometimes lead to unexpected and counterintuitive outcomes.

Complicated vs Complex

The tale of two factories

Imagine a traditional toy factory. It is only producing your favorite teddy bear. Nestled among rolling hills next to blubbering torrent, the factory’s quaint brick facade belies the flurry of activity within. Inside, every craftsman is intensely focused on his specialized work. They are surrounded by mountains of soft fabric and baskets brimming with buttons and thread, each according to the needs of their station. The rhythmic hum of sewing machines fills the air, harmonizing with the occasional steam whistle that punctuates the factory’s industrious atmosphere.

One morning the factory management realized that the output has dropped in the last week. The cause is immediately identified: the assembly station isn’t performing up to standard, as indicated by a decline in the relevant Key Performance Indicator (KPI). The bright manager of the factory quickly hires additional sewers to stitch the various parts of stuffed animals together. quickly restoring output to normal. The output quickly rebounds to its previous levels

Now, picture a similar factory in a more modern setting. This factory produces a wide variety of toys to satisfy customers’ increasingly diverse desires.The manufacturing of toys takes place in semi-automated craftshop. Every craftsman makes the complete toy on its own. Each toy is sold with a unique label from the craftsman who made it.

Unexpectedly, production slows down. Despite intensive investigation, no clear reason emerges.
Eventually, someone suggests that he is feeling cold and the cold winter weather might be to blame.
The management of the factory, equal bright than the previous one, feels ashamed. Poor workers can’t operate as efficiently with cold hands.
With much fanfare heaters are installed. And then the toy manufacturing goes on smoothly.

However, one summer day, output declines once again.
Once again after thorough research, it’s discovered that there had been an unusually large volume of orders a few months prior in both occasions. Many of the craftsmen felt overworked and exhausted. However, the holidays were still months to go. The workers began working at a slower pace and took time for necessary tasks like tool maintenance. This reduced eagerness decreased their toy production time back to the previous level.

The crux of management best practice

What lessons can we glean from this story? The first time, the toy factory just got lucky. Often a new management initiative is celebrated inside a company. For some time this can lead to an increased motivation, until novelty wears off. After some months this forced motivation was wearing of and people start to think more towards a sustainable long term production.

The story from the cold craftsman was very convincing as it appeared coherent. Had the problem not recurred within six months, we might have concluded that keeping toy factories warm in winter is essential. Seasonal effects often can lead to wrong business decisions.

But the effect is even larger. Think about the other toy factories in the country. If our toy factory would have been successful, every toy factory would have adapted the process and installed much more heating power. The benefits would have been very low because toy factories are already warm in the first place.

This adaption of the wrong tool is a classic example of survivorship bias. The logic often follows that because successful companies adopt certain strategies, these strategies must be the key to their success. This is the statistical phenomenon where, if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on its next measurement. Essentially, every factory experiences phases where worker morale dips below average.

Check the reliability of your KPIs

Talyorism, more commonly recognized for its more benevolent name, scientific management, revolutionized the 20th Century. It is a management method, which uses resources and transforms them into outputs.

At the heart of scientific management is the meticulous control of processes through key performance indicators (KPIs) and the subsequent adjustments as needed.

Such a KPI can consist of anything that can be measured.

Now what is the issue with applying KPIs to anything?
Much criticism has been done in the past. Authors such as Jerry Muller in “The Tyranny of Metric” or Kaplan and Norton with “The Balanced Scorecard” have provided in-depth analysis on this subject.

Taylorism’s Application has significant limitations in complex environments. Its reliance on quantifiable data and rigid systems often classes with the need for adaptability and creative problem-solving. In fact, it is in these areas that human elements and modern management theories flourish. For instance, the issue with the low motivation could have been easily identified in a all-hands inspect-and-adapt session of agile management.

If you decide to go for KPIs, i want to shed some light on two hard factors: causality and statistical relevance. Firstly, a drop in a KPI should not be hastily attributed to mere coincidence. KPIs are usually designed on a whiteboard with a top down breakdown. So while a vertical hierarchy might be established, there is usually no link between lower level KPIs.

Merely identifying a KPI and attempting to rectify it may prove insufficient. The causal story that can be constructed with a KPI is sometimes not enough.

Secondly, the importance of statistical significance cannot be overstated. Just measuring the output results to a single data point.
While it may reflect reality, it represents a singular instance. It could be part of the normal variance.

So, how many data points suffice? Rule of thumb: aim for more than 10. For a waterproof analysis: ask your statistician for a error margin analysis.

From Victim to Victor: unsticking negative workplace stories

Photo from Unsplash

As a reporter, I’ve had the privilege of meeting countless individuals from diverse backgrounds, each with their own fascinating ideas and stories to share. Not too long ago, I attended a workshop on promoting ideas and had the pleasure of crossing paths with an intriguing software developer named William. William captivated me with his story, which demonstrated a unique and inspiring application of the concept of stickiness. What unfolded was a tale of resilience, personal growth, and the power of turning the tables on negativity in the workplace. He gave me explicit permission to share his story here, so that others suffering the same fate could learn from it. Stick with me, while I retell his story:

William worked at a bustling tech startup. He was ambitious and talented young software developer. William was dedicated to his work and passionately committed to helping the company succeed. However, he struggled with social anxiety, which made it difficult for him to navigate office politics and build relationships with his colleagues.

One fateful day, during a high-stakes customer presentation, William’s anxiety got the best of him. He stumbled over his words and his presentation slides malfunctioned, leading to a disastrous outcome. The client was unimpressed and decided to take their business elsewhere. Word spread quickly about the incident, and whispers and gossip about William’s capabilities began to circulate throughout the office.

To make matters worse, William was going through a challenging time in his personal life. He had recently been diagnosed with a chronic health condition that required ongoing treatment, and the stress of the situation had taken a toll on his mental and emotional wellbeing.

As the gossip spread, a particularly malicious coworker named Carl started to bully William. Carl took every opportunity to demean and humiliate William, both in private and in front of their peers. William’s reputation suffered, and he felt utterly defeated, with his career and personal life hanging by a thread.

One day, William stumbled upon the book called “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath. He was particularly intrigued by the concept of “unsticking an idea.” The book inspired him to take control of the narrative and turn the tables on his tormentor.

William started by identifying the core message he wanted to convey: that he was a valuable and capable member of the team.
One day, he noticed a coworker, Sarah, struggling with a complex coding problem. Seizing the opportunity, he approached her and offered assistance. They spent hours working together. Sarah was impressed and grateful for his help, and she began to see him in a new light. This interaction helped him building a genuine connection with her, and they became friends. Sarah started to advocate for him and shared her positive experiences with other colleagues, which contributed to improving his reputation.

His coworkers began to see him in a new light and to appreciate his skills and dedication.

In another instance, the office bully, Carl, started a malicious rumor that targeted William’s personal life. He spread the story that William’s health condition, which required ongoing treatment, was the result of his own negligence and lack of self-care. This false narrative painted William as an irresponsible and weak individual, further damaging his reputation at work. Carl had a knack for making snide remarks and perpetuating stereotypes about William’s health condition. Some of the negative phrases he used included:

“Oh, look, it’s William, the walking medical disaster. How many doctors’ appointments do you have this week?”

Recognizing that he needed to take control of the narrative, William decided to overdo Carl’s derogatory comments and turn them into positive, self-deprecating humor. He responded with remarks like:

“You’re right, Carl, I do have a few appointments this week. In fact, I’m considering starting a loyalty program for my doctor’s office – maybe I can earn a free check-up after ten visits!”

By embracing the stereotypes and exaggerating them in a light-hearted and humorous way, William effectively defused Carl’s negative comments. His witty responses demonstrated his resilience and ability to rise above the bullying, ultimately winning the respect and admiration of his coworkers.

As William’s reputation improved, Carl’s attempts to bully him became less and less effective. Eventually, Carl’s own behavior was seen as the problem, and he was marginalized by the team. William, on the other hand, had not only managed to “unstick” the negative ideas surrounding him, but he also became a respected and valued member of the work family.

So next time you phase a negative situation, think about how you can turn the narrative to something positive!

Unlock the Power of Metaphors at Work to Captivate Your Listeners!

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or confused when someone talks about metaphors, fear not! I’ve been in your shoes.

As a schoolboy, I often found myself grappling with the concept of metaphors. While trying to decipher their meanings in literary texts, the idea of crafting my own metaphors seemed like a daunting task. Like many others, I struggled to understand how to make meaningful comparisons that would bring life to my writing.

I’ll be sharing a simple yet effective approach to finding and creating your very own metaphors, turning those abstract ideas into vibrant and evocative comparisons. At the end, I will provide the secret to apply metaphors more frequently. So, let’s dive right in and unlock the world of metaphors together!

The metaphor crafting table

Metaphors can be a door to an unknown land. They open up new ways of thinking.

I’ve created this handy metaphor crafting table. There are six categories. Each category comes with a rule that you should follow. To get a general understanding there are two examples.

TipRuleExample 1Example 2
1. Look for connectionsConsider qualities/characteristics of the subject and find similarities in other objects, people, or concepts.She is a rubber band, always bouncing back from adversity.His life is like a speeding train, always rushing forward.
2. Use your sensesRelate the subject to your senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) for unique and vivid comparisons.Her voice was like velvet, soothing and comforting.The city was a symphony, with each neighborhood playing its own unique tune.
3. Explore idioms and proverbsLook up idioms and proverbs related to the theme or subject and use them to inspire a metaphor.He found himself between a rock and a hard place, unable to choose between his career and his family.As a new employee, she was still green behind the ears, learning the ropes of the job.
4. Tap into emotionsThink about the emotions evoked by the subject and find other things that elicit the same emotions for an emotional connection.Her absence was like an empty chair, a constant reminder of the love that was missing.Reaching his goal felt like standing on the summit, breathing in the crisp air of accomplishment.
5. Get inspired by natureRelate the subject to natural phenomena found in nature, such as life cycles, seasons, and natural events.His personal growth was like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, emerging stronger and more beautiful than before.Her beauty was like cherry blossoms, delicate and ephemeral.
6. Observe the world around youPay attention to the environment, people, and situations around you for inspiration from everyday life.The office was like a busy marketplace, with people shouting and scurrying in all directions.He was like a Swiss Army knife, always having the right tool for any situation.
The Metaphor Crafting Table

The secret to applying metaphors

Everybody knows that practice makes permanent. That’s the secret. Use them. And what better place than using them at work.

Here is your Mission, should you choose to accept it.
Read through the tables. Pick one category per week. Try to apply metaphors when those situations arise.

Challenges or Difficult Situations:

Navigating a minefieldFacing a difficult or sensitive situation
Swimming with sharksDealing with ruthless or cunning colleagues
Hitting a glass ceilingFacing barriers to career progression
Walking on eggshellsBeing cautious to avoid offending others
Stepping on toesInadvertently offending or upsetting others

Teamwork, Collaboration, and Management:

The office is a beehiveBusy and bustling with activity
Climbing the corporate ladderAdvancing in one’s career
Running a tight shipManaging a team or project efficiently
Herding catsManaging a group with diverse personalities
Breaking down silosEncouraging collaboration between departments
A well-oiled machineA team or department working smoothly and efficiently
Leveling the playing fieldEnsuring equal opportunities or fairness for all

Motivation, Change, and Growth:

Lighting a fire under someoneMotivating a coworker to take action
Planting the seeds of changeInitiating new ideas or strategies
Going the extra milePutting in extra effort or going above and beyond
Turning over a new leafMaking positive changes or improvements
Planting the seeds of successLaying the groundwork for future achievements
A breath of fresh airA new employee or idea that brings positive change

Problem-solving, Multitasking, and Prioritization:

Spinning platesJuggling multiple tasks or projects
Putting out firesAddressing urgent problems or crises
Thinking outside the boxComing up with creative solutions
Nipping a problem in the budAddressing an issue before it escalates
Wearing multiple hatsHandling various roles or responsibilities
Juggling prioritiesBalancing multiple important tasks

Communication, Relationships, and Conflicts:

The rumor mill is churningGossip circulating in the workplace
Throwing someone under the busBlaming a coworker to protect oneself
Weathering the stormPersevering through tough times
Clearing the airResolving misunderstandings or conflicts
Picking low-hanging fruitFocusing on easy tasks or quick wins
The calm before the stormA period of quiet before a busy or chaotic time

Unleashing the Power of Storytelling: How Our Team Overcame Remote Work Challenges and You Can Too!

Discovering the Spark, the Art of Story Spotting

Workplace stories can be found everywhere, and spotting these stories can be a transformative experience. It’s all about actively observing your surroundings, taking note of emotions, and discovering patterns in everyday life. Connecting personal experiences to broader concepts allows us to create compelling content that resonates with others. Let me share with you a story I told at our last Christmas party that illustrates this point.

The spark was lid. Photo by Unsplash

Our Journey: The Challenges of Remote Work

As we gathered around, enjoying the festive atmosphere, I began to recount our team’s journey at FuturTech Solutions.

When our software development team at FuturTech Solutions first transitioned to remote work, we were initially organized in two locations – Austin, Texas, and Seattle, Washington. But as we continued to expand our team, we started hiring talented developers from various parts of the country. As the team leader, I had the responsibility to ensure that our growing team could communicate and collaborate effectively, despite being scattered across different time zones.

Initially, our team consisted of myself, Tom, and Maria. As we hired new remote members, such as Ravi from San Francisco and Lisa from Miami, we started experiencing challenges in maintaining clear and effective communication. We attempted to organize video conferences at a fixed time, which proved to be inconvenient for some members, especially those in different time zones. As a result, crucial updates and information were not consistently shared with everyone, causing confusion and misunderstandings.

Finding the Right Solution

To remedy this, I proposed a rotating meeting schedule to accommodate everyone’s availability. However, this plan led to inconsistencies in communication and left some team members, like Lisa, feeling out of the loop. The team also experienced difficulties in tracking project progress and collaborating on tasks, which led to missed deadlines and increased frustration among team members like Ravi.

It was clear that a solution was needed urgently, and I felt the weight of responsibility to turn things around for our team. After seeking feedback from my team and researching best practices for remote communication, I decided to introduce Microsoft Teams as our primary collaboration tool. This platform allowed us to have a centralized space for sharing updates, asking questions, and discussing project-related issues without the need for real-time communication.

The Transformation: Unlocking the Potential of Our Team

The transformation was dramatic. With the new asynchronous communication model and the powerful features of Microsoft Teams, our team’s collaboration reached new heights. Not only were we able to keep track of project progress more effectively, but we also found ourselves having more meaningful and focused discussions. The weekly sync-up meetings became a valuable opportunity for everyone to connect, share their insights, and learn from each other’s experiences.

In the end, our team at FuturTech Solutions emerged stronger and more cohesive than ever. The experience taught us the importance of adapting to change and finding the right tools to support our work. The once-chaotic world of remote communication had been conquered, and our team was poised to tackle even greater challenges together.

The Power of Shared Memories

As I concluded the story, I saw the pride and camaraderie in my colleagues’ faces, reminded of their small yet vital roles in our collective success.
The Christmas party served as a testament to our resilience and adaptability, becoming a cherished memory that brought us even closer together throughout the following year.

Story Spotting Tips

Now how do you best spot stories?
Focus on,

  1. Actively observing your surroundings and seeking relatable themes,
  2. Embracing the ordinary to find inspiration in mundane moments, and
  3. Practicing mindfulness, active listening, and fostering a creative environment.

By staying curious and attentive, we can transform everyday experiences into engaging, relatable, and inspiring content.

Happy story spotting!

How Playing Zelda Teaches Us the Importance of Audience Engagement in Interactive Storytelling

It’s been countless hours since I first embarked on my journey in the magical land of Hyrule, and I can’t help but ask myself, “Why is this game so addicting?” Zelda, at first glance, may not seem to possess the qualities that make a game truly engaging. However, as I delved deeper into the enchanting world, I discovered a myriad of elements that keep players like me coming back for more.

by Unsplash

Unraveling the Mystery of Zelda’s Addictive Nature

It’s important to acknowledge that Zelda may not have the most groundbreaking story or the most advanced gear system. The core narrative of saving a princess is a familiar trope, and the limited item sets may seem underwhelming to some. Despite these perceived shortcomings, Zelda manages to captivate players with its unique blend of surprises, varied gameplay, and artful graphics.

The game’s map system is unlike any other, requiring players to explore and conquer new territories to unveil the world. The graphics may not be hyper-realistic, but they possess a charm and allure that pulls players in. Moreover, the open-world aspect encourages players to forge their own path, allowing for a sense of freedom and personal investment in the game.

A Seamless Fusion of Gameplay and Storytelling

Zelda’s addictive nature can also be attributed to the way it masterfully intertwines gameplay with storytelling. Initially, the game demands little from the player, gradually introducing new challenges and quests as they progress. This mirrors the structure of a compelling story, capturing the player’s attention early on and offering a steady stream of engaging details.

One key element is the initial confinement of the player to a small, seemingly expansive area. This “cradle” gives players a taste of the diverse gameplay and sparks curiosity about the wider world. As players progress and level up, the game reveals its true scope and objectives, leaving much to the imagination.

The player’s active participation in advancing the story is crucial to the Zelda experience. Much like real-life endeavors, players are encouraged to explore and engage with their surroundings, fostering a deeper connection to the game.

In conclusion, Zelda teaches us the importance of audience engagement in interactive storytelling by blending surprise, varied gameplay, and artful graphics with a strong player-driven narrative. This delicate balance keeps players captivated and coming back for more in the enchanting world of Hyrule.

Practical Insights from Zelda’s Success

So, what can we learn from Zelda’s success in terms of interactive storytelling? The key takeaway is the crucial need to listen and adapt to our audience. Stories must not progress faster than the audience can comprehend, and the storyteller must recognize when the audience is evolving during the narrative.

Failure to understand and cater to the audience’s needs can lead to disengagement and a lack of impact. Let’s consider an example: if a speaker aims to promote the principles of constellation networks, they must first understand that their listeners might be more accustomed to a heliocentric, pyramid-based mindset. To effectively convey their message, the speaker must start by addressing the factors that hold the pyramid together and gradually introduce the concept of a flexible, rotating pyramid.

As creators of interactive stories, it’s our responsibility to:

  1. Understand our audience: Know their interests, background, and expectations.
  2. Engage from the start: Capture their attention early and maintain it with a steady stream of compelling details.
  3. Encourage active participation: The audience can explore and interact with the story, fostering a deeper connection.
  4. Adapt to the audience’s transformation: Modify the narrative to cater to the audience’s evolving needs and understanding.

Following these principles, we can create captivating interactive stories that keep our audience engaged and invested in the narrative. The enchanting world of Zelda has taught us the importance of audience engagement in interactive storytelling – now it’s time for us to put these lessons into practice. Embrace the challenge, and create unforgettable experiences that resonate with our audience!

Intellectual Dishonesty: Recognizing and Combating Toxic meeting culture

Learn how to spot dishonest behavior in other people’s replies and your arguments.

Hippo in the room

As someone who works in software development, I have been in countless meetings where essential questions are dodged, and those in positions of power dominate the conversation. One particular instance stood out to me when my team raised a crucial question about a new feature we were developing. Still, the head of software development avoided the topic and began discussing something else entirely. The frustration and feeling of being unheard were palpable among the team.

At that moment, I realized the importance of maintaining intellectual honesty in discussions. Recognizing the various fallacies used in these discussions is crucial, but finding ways to combat them is equally important.

Knowledge is power: five techniques for dodging questions

Understanding the various methods to avoid intellectual honesty is the first defense against manipulation in any discussion. After reading the five most common approaches, you can spot similar behavior in any toxic conversation.

One of the most common techniques to avoid answering a question is “dodging the question.” This can be done by completely ignoring the question or redirecting the conversation to a topic that is easier to discuss. For example, in a debate about the Clinton Foundation, Hilary Clinton might avoid answering the question by saying, “I did everything in this position to help our country. I am happy to talk about the Clinton Foundation.” While this response may be helpful in front of an audience, it does not address the question. Whenever somebody uses this technique, I feel frustrated and confused, as the original question was not answered, and the conversation was redirected to a different topic.

A more offensive technique is attacking. This involves turning things around before the other person can ask the question. This can be done by accusing the other person of not asking the correct question or by making it appear as though the other person is being unfair or unreasonable. Doing this shifts the focus away from the actual topic and onto the other person’s behavior. In my experience, this often creates a hostile atmosphere and makes it difficult to continue a productive meeting.

A slightly more subtle dodge involves choosing a keyword in the question and repeating it several times. This shows that the question has been answered, even if it has not. Similarly, responding with a joke diverts attention away from the topic. Whenever somebody opens with a joke I am left with a feeling of belittlement and that my questions do not have any value.

If the other side could have valid points, you can always talk them down. This involves discussing so many topics that the other person becomes overwhelmed and forgets the original question. This can be a very effective way to avoid answering difficult questions.

…and one honest way

The honest way to answer questions is to say “I do not know” or “I do not want to answer the question.”

The world dies from good intentions.

Even if it is not your intention to do harm and be dishonest, there is another way that you can be less truthful, even by accident.
I am talking about logical fallacies.

Logical fallacies are errors in reasoning. This website provides a long list.

These are techniques used to manipulate the audience’s perception of the situation. For example, bandwagoning involves pretending that millions of people believe something to increase the importance of the argument.

Similarly, false cause involves simply pretending that there is an explanation for something by using the word” because.” These are techniques used to manipulate the audience’s perception of the situation.

Other fallacies include black-or-white thinking, where only extremes are considered; loaded questions, where the answer is included; and anecdotal evidence, where one’s own experience is used to prove a point.

How to stop bad behavior

I stole this from the original article that made me write this summary
It is so good there is nothing to add.

  1. (Stop them.) “Let me stop you for a second.”
  2. (Gently point out the fallacy. E.g:) “I’m genuinely interested in understanding your point of view. But just because an authority figure said something, doesn’t mean it’s true.”
  3. (Rewind.) “Is there another way you can back this viewpoint up so that I understand?”

So please be honest, and do not forget to clap!

Investors are living from the greatest of all treasures, which is Hope

Rising prices in the stock market show that the recession is coming.

three people climbing on rock mountain during daytime
Photo by Unsplash

The federal reserve bank started increasing interest rates almost a year ago. Now with the average rate at 3.8%, the Fed waits for the medicine to take effect.

From a factual point of view, the real interest rate is currently at roughly – 7 %.

Many companies, especially in highly leveraged industries like tech or housing, are reducing investment and are thinking about job cuts. Job cuts These two words alone mean the rates must fall. At least, that is what many hope for and why we currently see a rising stock market.

Classic economics: wages rise until the recession hits

From a traditional point of view, the analysis that we currently have high inflation and, in many regions, due to unfavorable demographics, a labor shortage should lead to an anticipation of rising wages and the onset of the dreaded wage-price spiral.

Wages will rise, which will lead to an average price increase and that to another wage rise.

This cycle can only be stopped by firing enough workers to cool down the market.

But why should a company fire its workers? There are two ways to cool down the job market, extreme events (corona and war) or via market control mechanisms.

The control mechanism means regulating the money supply. Setting it to infinite will lead to a labor shortage. Only allowing free cash flow to pay for work and drying up the funding will reduce labor in the short term.

In the long term, this is not necessarily the case, as is predicted by communism. We will all have work and high productivity without debt and free money. At least, that’s what I heard.

Enter politics.

Emotions drive politicians.

In this game, many people undoubtedly have to lose something. Workers will lose their job and the security of high wages. Investors will lose invested money. Bosses lose their companies.

Politicians know that all these events lead to unrest in the population and limit their ability to remain in power. In Europe, the ECB has been reluctant to raise rates. Potentially due to respect for politicians in many countries.

Investors are living from the greatest of all treasures, which is Hope

Emotions have another effect on investors.

As an investor, we will likely use the money when invested, or the company will be worthless. Or we lose money when we sell our shares for a lower price than we pay.

The rational approach will be to ask if there is a better investment that we could currently have. We should accept our loss and invest the remaining money in the other company.

However, many people are afraid to lose money. Both options are inadequate.

There also remains the third option. The stock can go up and people will become more prosperous. We should all buy some more, as it goes up.

This behavior is explained by prospect theory. When people face almost certain losses, they become risk-seeking. They favor small probabilities of potential gains.

That is what is currently happening.

Sticking in a shitty job, deprives you of rich experiences

If there are no extremes bad/good we can not make lasting memories.

white ceramic coffee cup lot
Photo by Unsplash

People stay in a job they actually dislike because of the low intensity of their work life.

Day in and day out, they perform the same actions. There is nothing they really can point the finger on that is just not right.

Another year has passed, and you can not remember what was special about your work year. What were your top 5 highlights?

No day is that bad that you would generally say that you have a shit job.

Your last holiday was memorable.

When we are on a holiday trip, there is usually something special. I do not mean that holiday with auntie Willis. You have visited new places, tried exotic food, and met interesting people.

Maybe something terrible happened. You got robbed, suffered food poisoning, or were bitten by an exotic animal. Despite the negativity of the events, you will remember them until the end of your life. There are stories that you can tell when you are old.

What is the difference?
How is remembering a bad event better than not remembering an average job experience?

The intensity matters

Imagine your lifeline is like a landscape. That means your job is like a flat desert. In contrast, your holiday is like a mountain range full of cliffs, valleys, and lakes.
The intensity of your experience is much greater. You could be blind and still get around much of your daily life.

The dire events do not matter in retrospect. The holiday feels longer and richer as the duration of the two periods is wholly neglected. Your brain lives on memorable events. If your job provides none, not even bad ones, there is nothing your remembering self can feast on.

A strong remembering self motivates for the future

Remembering significant events becomes addictive at some point. You are always on the search for something new. Before you engage in something new, your remembering self will assess the potential for remembering events to happen. Think camping vs. safari.

The dangers of giving in to the remembering self

Your mind is motivated by potential future happy moments and rich experiences, so you become influenced in your decisions.

Did you ever buy an expensive object because you thought it would lead to a richer experience? Once the object was in your possession, you were disappointed that it was just an object and nothing special happened afterward. Many buyers of luxury cars fall into this trap.

Many of those objects have something interesting for the first time we experience them. That is actually what is the motivation for the purchase. But then the intensity dwindles.

No long-term happiness is to be gained. Something that is called miswanting.
We are indeed terrible at knowing what we want and what will lead to long-term happiness.

Everybody wants more money and thinks inflation is unfair

Today inflation is rampant. The cost of living in many countries is close to or above 10 %.
Many people perceive this as a bad sign.

Photo by Unsplash

Why inflation is not unfair for poor people

Inflation leads to a devaluation of the borrows’ debt. At the same time, it reduces the value of the credit or real money in your possession.

This shift means wealthy people get poorer. People living in a lot of debt get richer.

Poor people usually live on their salary alone. In an ideal world, wages would be affected by inflation.
Everybody wants more money, and people would stop working if exploited there.

Currently, this adaptation happens in many areas of the economy, like the healthcare and the restaurant industry. The salaries are too low for the work. There are more attractive jobs elsewhere.

People working on sub-living wage is only possible in a feudalistic society relying on servitude and slavery. Many people will stop working, as basic social security is often a better option, even in the USA.

Thus, wages will catch up in the long run, or businesses will go out of business.

When price increases are unfair

Catastrophic events like war, corona, or natural disasters can increase prices due to supply shortages.

Today, many businesses have handed down these increases to their customers. For business to business, the cost increases are often handed further to the next customer.

Workers usually cannot increase their price, that is, their salary directly. Instead, collective negotiations or finding a new job takes place. Small businesses currently have the same issues. If they increased their prices, their customers would stop coming.

The ability to increase the price relies on its own market power, also known as pricing power. To determine if you have pricing power, ask yourself, “Can you increase the price of whatever you sell”?

People without pricing power see the exploitation of market power as unfair. They lose in the inflation game. Somebody else is making a huge gain, which is their loss.

If this did not happen, everybody would be in the same position after a complete cycle of increases. Only the rich and unproductive people would lose.