Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tit-for-tat strategy in tribal culture

The world today changes at a rate great than ever before. And 10,000 years ago, when most of mankind lived in hunter gatherer societies, change was not so prevalent. Life might have altered over many generations with the comings and goings of long climactic processes, but not with the coming and going of the new iPhone.

What’s interesting about this is that if life was so much more stable, conflicts would be much more reminiscent of situations that produce tit-for-tat strategies. If you know what tit-for-tat strategies are, skip the next paragraph.

Tit-for-tat scenarios are ones in which 2 parties play a game. The game consists of rounds. The rounds give the players the option to cheat or cooperate. If they both cheat, they both lose. If one cheats and the other does not, the cheater wins big. If both don’t cheat, they both win similarly (but less than the previous case). What’s interesting about this is that if there are an innumerable number of rounds, than the players will fall into a tit-for-tat strategy where if one player cheats, the other will pay retribution to them by cheating once as well. But then they’ll go back to cooperating as soon as they both understand the game.

So maybe we’re missing out on a golden age in which tribes knew that if the guys next door tried anything funny, they would just hit back the same way, so that it made most sense to just be peaceful. In any case, it only works when there’s enough resources to go around which obviously isn’t the case any more. But no sense in not appreciating what was.


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Arenas in which confidence hurts

North Americans will score better than any other country in aspects of confidence. Over simply said: North Americans are over confident (myself included). And this has a particular aspect of value to it:
Disproportionate value is created from rash endeavours in entrepreneurship.  If one doesn’t think that his or her business is bound to be the company of the century, than they are slightly more likely to fail. High risk requires brash confidence. And overall, at a macro level, that produces disproportionate value. An aside: that value is only derived from MANY losers. A very smart PLUS very lucky few that really hit it and take off (the ‘winner takes all arena’) are the ones that capture the value.
So there aren’t many arenas in North American culture or life that produce the negative: decreased value from over confidence. Our culture loves confidence. We fiend it. We admire and love those that display it (usually after they succeed enormously at something which hurts my stomach thinking about). We should laud the smart entrepreneur who had the courage to try and fail just as much, if not more, than those that succeeded. 

But in sailing, overconfidence defines failure more often than it determines success. And it is because the arena of sailing is governed by unpredictable forces that no confidence can overcome. No matter how confident or heavy you are, you cannot sail in some winds in certain boats. It is an arena where overconfidence is often the source and causation of tragic downfall. Such an arena so highlights the odd culture in which we have come to live. Sailing could be said to be a sceptics sport.

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My daily ‘prayer’ — braintraining

“Let that which you cannot control, be. For this too shall pass.

Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about defining the self you want to be and then doing that which is necessary to become that person, while enjoying the journey.

Please be here because the past and future have one commonality. They exist only in your mind.
Smile because things are neither bad nor good. Thinking makes them so. And the amount of time we spend in this form of being is infinitely small. We will be returned to dust.

Do and say only that which you know to be as true as you want it to be. On your deathbed, you’ll be the sole knower of what was what and how happy you are with yourself.
It is your happiness with yourself that defines what your subconscious believes you deserve. And what you believe you deserve defines what you get in life.”


The goal is to make your concepts implicit in your daily conscious and subconscious decision making. So rehearsing this daily trains the neural connections on which the concepts are based.


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