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Decision Making Outline

One of the dilemmas of making the “important“ decisions in life is that you are usually called upon to make them - - these “choices” that could be life changing events - - under the worst of conditions - - either under extreme stress, confusion, sickness, or what seems like unreasonable timeframes leaving you at the highest probability of, in fact, making the wrong/worst decisions.

By using an "Outline" to take “inventory” of the situation from a purely mathematical basis to evaluate WHAT ARE THE "TRUE ODDS" IN REAL PERCENTAGE TERMS can only be helpful?

I personally feel, first and foremost, that determining whether the "ends justify the means" is the FIRST QUESTION THAT NEEDS to be HONESTLY answered to start the process. Should you even engage in making the call/decision? Sometimes just saying “no” to most questions rather than “yes” or “maybe” (for some reason the natural response I had or maybe most people do?) and giving no reason has been serving me well in the little things/questions since I started my notes on writing this outline.

I FEEL THE REFUSAL TO “THINK” IS EVIL! and leads to disastrous results - - by not simply going thru the below exercise to determine if it is in fact a “good bet” I have only myself to blame when/if things go wrong... the switch to becoming a “system trader” over last several years coupled with playing probably >2000 hours of poker (I am profitable and in the top 10% of online players in 2008) has changed the way I look and the way I answer even simple questions or make decisions.

Outline questions:
Do you have any pure “EMPIRICAL” data - - and how much/how many data points?

#2 Is/are their enough data points? Are there 10 circumstances in row in your favor? a 100?, a 1000? = try and define your edge in a “hard” way makes most sense right? - - MAKE SURE YOU DON’T FALL VICTIM TO THE “LAWS OF CAUSALITY!!!”

#3 What is/was the “premise” of the data? How many variables were there in the “sample test” that you are using?

#4 If using say “Pascal’s triangle” or you had to think about what a “Vegas” bookmaker’s “line” would be in pure percentage terms? What % are you favored by? 60%, 80% etc.? Have you used “confirmation bias” or are you relying on “blind evidence”?

#5 Are you using “inductive probability” rather than ”deductive probability”? if so, have you adjusted for the WHY you feel you can fade the hard odds?

#6 Win, lose or draw have you prepared the “EXIT STRATEGY“?

#7 Have you WRITTEN DOWN (actually in writing) the plan of action as to the “exit strategy” so not to fade or change (stay honest to yourself!!!) the plan?

Other thoughts to take into account:

1. All coincidences are living on borrowed time - - there are “outliers” waiting to get you!

2. It matters NOT how often something succeeds if failure is too costly to bear!

3. It’s NEVER really “different THIS time” there is nothing new under the sun = sure, things change/evolve, but relying on the difference is too costly.

4. EVERYTHING is in a state of entropy, so prepare to make adjustments.

5. Just because I am paranoid DOES NOT mean “they’ are not after me? or you or that bad things don’t happen?

6. Understanding that the “law of BIG numbers” when evaluating statistics and odds is what is going to make most situations go well “ANTICIPATING BAD LUCK IS GOOD LUCK AND DEPENDING ON GOOD LUCK IS BAD LUCK”


February 25, 2009

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