Former World Series of Poker champion Annie Duke wrote Thinking in Bets. It's not a poker book, but reveals how decisions and chance interface. Thoughts and quotes from TIB help us understand the process.
Instinctive and programmed bias impair judgment and outcome. Every individual and community benefits from skilled decision-making.
"There are exactly two things that determine how are lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck."
We cannot extrapolate back from results to judge the quality of our choices. Of Pete Carroll's Super Bowl goal line pass she shares, "The play didn't work. He had control over the quality of the play-call decision, but not over how it turned out."
"I never seem to come across anyone who identifies a bad decision where they got lucky without the result, or a well-reasoned decision that didn't pan out."
"Valuable information remains hidden..." (in making decisions)
"When someone asks you about a coin they flipped four times, there is a correct answer: "I'm not sure."
"Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science."
How can we exploit better decisions? Better decisions inform better opportunities.
Statistics define which types of plays work best (and least) re: points per possession. Note how GSW does more of what works and less of what doesn't. We can, too.
"When the chances are known, we are tethered more tightly to a rational interpretation of the influence of luck."
"...making explicit that our decisions are bets, we can make better decisions..."
Our default state is to believe information (data input), which makes us susceptible to deception. She tells a story of a noise in the bush to early man, who had to presume danger lurked and urgent response (fight or flight) kicked in. That's how I view anxiety, a conflict between two different realities, real or illusory danger.
We are not open-minded..."altering our interpretation of that information to fit our beliefs." We choose to accept false confirming or true disconfirming evidence to maintain our beliefs. I live with the cognitive dissonance that we forfeit a higher chance to win now, believing that man-to-man defense gives our young players a better chance to win later.
"The potency of fake news is that it entrenches beliefs its intended audience already has, and then amplifies them." She points out that Nobel Laureate Danny Kahneman points out that being wrong doesn't fit with our positive self-narrative. She notes that smart people have higher blind-spot bias.
"We stubbornly refuse to update our beliefs." We all know people who discount the power, the social proof, of social media. I read a tweet that Alabama was last in public education and healthcare in the United States. I simply asked, "is that true?" while suspecting it was ballpark accurate but hyperbole. It was on the cusp of the bottom ten percent in both but NOT the bottom. We don't have to lie to score points. Credibility and truth intersect. Why accept bad information and mediocrity?
We have a tendency to blame others for our misfortune. "in single-vehicle accidents, 37% of drivers still found a way to pin the blame on someone else."
Duke advises us to "substitute the routine of truthseeking for the outcome-oriented instinct to focus on seeking credit and avoiding blame."
Getting 'right' starts by seeing "I'm not sure."
I highly recommend Thinking in Bets for readers committed to make more informed decisions leading to better outcomes.
Lagniappe 1: "This is defense..." from Chris Oliver
Lagniappe 2: Good teams execute high percentage half-court actions. "Great offense is multiple actions."This is defense...attack the drive and recover. Swarming to stop the matchup. Fundamental, aggressive and filled with extra efforts. #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/td1IbOghKX— Chris Oliver (@BBallImmersion) May 24, 2019
1-4 wing clear into post entry and cut.
Simple high-low action off mid-post off-ball screen. Worst case scenario? 1-5 ball screen.
1-4 wing ball screen with screen away.