Choices Don’t Have to Be Decisions

Seth Godin says it perfectly:

This or that, one or the other, it doesn’t matter.

It’s actually possible that it just doesn’t matter. A choice, but not a decision.

We have to make choices like this every single day. What color, among three colors which are just fine. Which route, between two routes within a rounding error in time taken. Which flight, which table, which person…

Choices don’t have to be decisions.


We can save a lot of time and effort by making our meaningless choices effortless…

Merely have a rule and make the choice…

At the end of the day, you’ll have more resources remaining for the decisions that matter.


Decisions come with all sorts of overhead. We put a lot of weight on our ability to make good decisions. We switch frames, put in hard work and even involve emotional wishes about future outcomes. Decisions are fraught. That weight can pay off with a more serious approach, with more diligence, but mostly it weighs us down.

We can save a lot of time and effort by making our meaningless choices effortless. Pick the first one, or the one in alphabetical order or flip a coin. Merely have a rule and make the choice.

I’m serious. Considering ten colleges? Put your favorite five in a hat and randomly pick one. Done. Can’t decide among three candidates for a job and you can’t find a way to choose? Pick the one with the shortest first name. Why not? If you don’t have enough information to make a statistically defensible decision, merely choose.

At the end of the day, you’ll have more resources remaining for the decisions that matter.

Advertisements

Line of the Day

“People who live within their means are increasingly being forced to pay for people who didn’t live within their means — whether individual home buyers here or whole nations in Europe.”

Thomas Sowell

3.00 PM EST

That’s my prediction of when they will announce an extension of the deadline to sign up for an individual ACA plan.  The current deadline is midnight tonight, Dec 15, 2018.  I predict they will extend the deadline through December 31, 2018.  My wager?  Nothing.

Line of the Day

In 1820 some 94% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. By 1990 the figure was 35%, and in 2015 it was just 9.6%. Forty percent of those who remain impoverished live in just two countries, Nigeria and India, both of which are growing rapidly and will see their extreme poverty significantly decrease in the next 20 years.


The Industrial Age and free-market capitalism, for all of its bumps and warts, has lifted more people out of poverty and extended more lives than has any other single development. The collapse of communism has been a great boon to humanity.


There is research to show that, on a global basis, the poor are getting richer faster than any other group. However, if you look around the US or Europe, that is not the conclusion you come to. But Africa or Asia? Absolutely. Let’s be clear: The Industrial Age and free-market capitalism, for all of its bumps and warts, has lifted more people out of poverty and extended more lives than has any other single development. The collapse of communism has been a great boon to humanity (even if it is still talked about favorably in Western universities).

John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

Why We No Longer Have a Civilized Society

By Walter Williams:

Why We No Longer Have a Civilized Society

I’m approaching my 82nd birthday, and my daughter will occasionally suggest that modernity is perplexing to me because I’m from prehistoric times. As such, it points to one of the unavoidable problems of youth – namely, the temptation to think that today’s behavioral standards have always been. Let’s look at a few of the differences between yesteryear and today.

One of those differences is the treatment of women. There are awesome physical strength differences between men and women. To create and maintain civil relationships between the sexes is to drum into boys, starting from very young ages, that they are not to use violence against a woman for any reason. Special respect is given women. Yesteryear even the lowest of lowdown men would not curse or use foul language to or in the presence of women. To see a man sitting on a crowded bus or trolley car while a woman is standing used to be unthinkable. It was deemed common decency for a man to give up his seat for a woman or elderly person.


To see a man sitting on a crowded bus or trolley car while a woman is standing used to be unthinkable. It was deemed common decency for a man to give up his seat for a woman or elderly person.


Today young people use foul language in front of – and often to – adults and teachers. It’s not just foul language. Many youngsters feel that it’s acceptable to assault teachers. Just recently, 45 Pennsylvania teachers resigned because of student violence. Back in what my daughter calls prehistoric times, the use of foul language to an adult or teacher would have meant a smack across the face. Of course, today a parent taking such corrective action risks being reported to a local child protective service and even being arrested. The modern parental or teacher response to misbehavior is to call for “time out.” In other words, what we’ve taught miscreants of all ages is that they can impose physical pain on others and not suffer physical pain themselves. That’s an open invitation to bad behavior.

It has always been considered a good idea to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage or at least adulthood. During the sexual revolution of the 1960s, lessons of abstinence were ridiculed, considered passe and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortion. Out-of-wedlock childbirths are no longer seen as shameful and a disgrace. As a result, the rate of illegitimate births among whites is over 30 percent, and among blacks, it’s over 70 percent.


It has always been considered a good idea to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage or at least adulthood… Out-of-wedlock childbirths are no longer seen as shameful and a disgrace. As a result, the rate of illegitimate births among whites is over 30 percent, and among blacks, it’s over 70 percent.


For over a half-century, the nation’s liberals – along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts – have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. Many in today’s generation have been counseled to believe that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what’s moral or immoral, right or wrong, is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or what is or is not criminal.

Society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values. Customs, traditions and moral values are those important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and shalt not cheat. They also include respect for parents, teachers and others in authority, plus those courtesies one might read in Emily Post’s rules of etiquette. These behavioral norms – mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings – represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience, trial and error, and looking at what works and what doesn’t.


Society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values… They also include respect for parents, teachers and others in authority, plus those courtesies one might read in Emily Post’s rules of etiquette…  Unfortunately, customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now we’re paying the price – and that includes the recent revelations regarding the treatment of women.


The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching. There are not enough cops. Laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct in producing a civilized society. At best, the police and the criminal justice system are the last desperate lines of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now we’re paying the price – and that includes the recent revelations regarding the treatment of women.

Are Liberals the Science Deniers?

From John Nolte:

The settled science informs us that the more often you flip a coin, the more likely it is that there will be a 50/50  split of heads to tails. In other words, if you flip a coin 20 times, the probability of achieving a ratio of 8 heads and 12 tails diminishes greatly if you flip it 40 or 60 times. The closer you get to 100 coin flips, the closer you will get to a perfect 50/50 split of heads to tails.

Naturally, in order to achieve this perfect split, in order to conduct the experiment accurately, good faith must be involved. The person flipping the coin must show no bias and no personal investment towards the outcome. The coin-flipper must be interested in only one thing — an outcome that reveals objective truth.

Therefore, through the use of dispassionate science and math, the only conclusion one can come to when observing the national media’s relentless fire-hosing of fake news is that these are not “honest mistakes,” but instead deliberate lies — attempts from a biased and partisan media to destroy President Trump through a propagandistic crusade of calculated disinformation.

What allows us to safely come to this conclusion?

Well, what would you think of a scientist who came to you with a coin-flipping experiment that resulted in 0 heads and 100 tails?

That is easy, you would know the experiment had been rigged, that he is lying. And you would know this because a 0/100 outcome is impossible without a corrupting influence, without a conscious act of bias. Moreover, you would know that an insistence that the experiment was ethical was an attempt to make a fool of you.

And that is what the media believe we are — fools, which is why proven liars, chief among them CNN’s Chris Cillizza, Brian Stelter, David Frum, and Jim Acosta, continue to make the audaciously anti-science argument that, all of the fake news we have seen over the last two years, is the result only of “honest mistakes” from reporters who “work hard to get it right.”

Well, everyone knows that honest mistakes are like coin flips. The more honest mistakes one makes, the more the ratio of those mistakes will end up 50/50.


 So, if 100 honest mistakes are made in reports about Trump, we should see something very close to a 50/50 split in these reports. Half of these honest mistakes will get it wrong to Trump’s benefit; the other half will be damaging to Trump.


So, if 100 honest mistakes are made in reports about Trump, we should see something very close to a 50/50 split in these reports. Half of these honest mistakes will get it wrong to Trump’s benefit; the other half will be damaging to Trump. Meaning…

For every piece of MSM fake news that is unfair to Trump, we should see a piece of MSM fake news that is too soft on Trump, that gives him too much benefit of the doubt, that clears him of wrongdoing prematurely, soft-pedal his mistakes, or overestimates his popularity, crowd size, and political victories.

Just as an honest and unbiased scientist interested only in an outcome of objective truth will achieve a 50/50 split, so too would honest and unbiased journalists interested only in an outcome of objective truth.

But that is not what we are seeing from our national media, and already we are way, way, way beyond 100 coin flips. In just the last 10 days, the national media have been caught red-handed telling no fewer than 11 consequential lies. And…

Every honest mistake comes up tails for Trump.

Every.

Single.

One.


 If you believe in science, math, and history, the only conclusion you can come to is that these not honest mistakes; rather, these are deliberate and calculated lies told by deliberate and calculating liars.


It is just a fact that coin flips and honest mistakes do not fall like this — and anyone who argues otherwise is either a liar or a science denier.

Furthermore, recent history is achingly clear in informing us that these are not “honest mistakes,” because this never happened to Barack Obama. We never saw anything even close to this unrelenting assumption of the worst when it came to Bill Ayers’s pal.

Whether it was the IRS abuses against conservatives, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Veterans Administration death list, the Solyndra subsidies, the DOJ refusing to prosecute the Black Panthers, the wiretapping of Trump’s campaign, Hillary’s secret email account, spying on journalists, Bowe Bergdahl, or the EPA polluting the Colorado River — the media did everything in their power to make it comes up heads for their Precious Barry.

Everything the media could do to downplay Barry’s scandals, to give him the widest benefit of the doubt, to dismiss and move on, was done, even by a CNN staffer during a consequential presidential debate.

For Obama the media always made it come up heads.

For Trump, it is always tails.

If you believe in science, math, and history, the only conclusion you can come to is that these not honest mistakes; rather, these are deliberate and calculated lies told by deliberate and calculating liars.

Interesting Article on Gender Identity

From Intellectual Takeout and Michelle Cretella.

I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.

An identity is not biological, it is psychological, a pediatrician writes.

“Congratulations, it’s a boy!” Or, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”

As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years, that’s how many of my patient relationships began. Our bodies declare our sex.


Biological sex is not assigned. Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female.


Biological sex is not assigned. Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this.

An identity is not biological, it is psychological. It has to do with thinking and feeling. Thoughts and feelings are not biologically hardwired. Our thinking and feeling may be factually right or factually wrong.

If I walk into my doctor’s office today and say, “Hi, I’m Margaret Thatcher,” my physician will say I am delusional and give me an anti-psychotic. Yet, if instead, I walked in and said, “I’m a man,” he would say, “Congratulations, you’re transgender.”


 …if you want to cut off a leg or an arm you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.


If I were to say, “Doc, I am suicidal because I’m an amputee trapped in a normal body, please cut off my leg,” I will be diagnosed with body identity integrity disorder. But if I walk into that doctor’s office and say, “I am a man, sign me up for a double mastectomy,” my physician will. See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.

No one is born transgender. If gender identity were hardwired in the brain before birth, identical twins would have the same gender identity 100 percent of the time. But they don’t.

I had one patient we’ll call Andy. Between the ages of 3 and 5, he increasingly played with girls and “girl toys” and said he was a girl. I referred the parents and Andy to a therapist. Sometimes mental illness of a parent or abuse of the child are factors, but more commonly, the child has misperceived family dynamics and internalized a false belief.

In the middle of one session, Andy put down the toy truck, held onto a Barbie, and said, “Mommy and Daddy, you don’t love me when I’m a boy.” When Andy was 3, his sister with special needs was born, and required significantly more of his parents’ attention. Andy misperceived this as “Mommy and Daddy love girls. If I want them to love me, I have to be a girl.” With family therapy Andy got better.

Today, Andy’s parents would be told, “This is who Andy really is. You must ensure that everyone treats him as a girl, or else he will commit suicide.”

As Andy approaches puberty, the experts would put him on puberty blockers so he can continue to impersonate a girl.


 It doesn’t matter that we’ve never tested puberty blockers in biologically normal children. It doesn’t matter that when blockers are used to treat prostate cancer in men, and gynecological problems in women, they cause problems with memory. We don’t need testing. We need to arrest his physical development now, or he will kill himself.


It doesn’t matter that we’ve never tested puberty blockers in biologically normal children. It doesn’t matter that when blockers are used to treat prostate cancer in men, and gynecological problems in women, they cause problems with memory. We don’t need testing. We need to arrest his physical development now, or he will kill himself.

But this is not true. Instead, when supported in their biological sex through natural puberty, the vast majority of gender-confused children get better. Yet, we chemically castrate gender-confused children with puberty blockers. Then we permanently sterilize many of them by adding cross-sex hormones, which also put them at risk for heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancers, and even the very emotional problems that the gender experts claim to be treating.

P.S. If a girl who insists she is male has been on testosterone daily for one year, she is cleared to get a bilateral mastectomy at age 16. Mind you, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a report that urges pediatricians to caution teenagers about getting tattoos because they are essentially permanent and can cause scarring. But this same AAP is 110 percent in support of 16-year-old girls getting a double mastectomy, even without parental consent, so long as the girl insists that she is a man, and has been taking testosterone daily for one year.

To indoctrinate all children from preschool forward with the lie that they could be trapped in the wrong body disrupts the very foundation of a child’s reality testing. If they can’t trust the reality of their physical bodies, who or what can they trust? Transgender ideology in schools is psychological abuse that often leads to chemical castration, sterilization, and surgical mutilation.

Michelle Cretella, M.D., is president of the American College of Pediatricians, a national organization of pediatricians and other health care professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.