Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Christmas shopping is done

What do I do now? I would like a job, but right now everyone who is capable of hiring is dealing with banks who refuse to lend them money. While I'm bored I should do some thinking exercises.

The one thing that frustrates me is wishing I had done something earlier. I must force myself out of my short-term thinking process. One way to do it might be to imagine that an upcoming event is either moments away from happening or has already happened. I'm not sure if this method will work, but I'll give it a shot and see how long it takes to generate ideas that would normally not occur until it is too late.

It turns out that there is an event horizon of thought processes that affects nearly everyone. It's the threshold between long-term planning and short-sightedness. Everyone has short-term thinking, it's called "thinking in the box."

It's the time we tell ourselves "I wish I had done..." or "I wish I had thought of that earlier." You know, "Should have, would have, could have" and so on.

For example, some legislator comes up with the brilliant idea to cap malpractice liability claims at half a million dollars, the idea being to prevent doctors from fleeing the state of Illinois due to rising malpractice insurance premiums.

Unfortunately, the insurance companies caught wind of the idea long before its enactment, and the insurance companies raised premiums in advance, to a level based on the assumption that the law was passed.

Following the law's passage, the insurance companies had the luxury of flattening their rate increase for a period long enough for the politicians to proclaim that the law worked. A brilliant strategic illusion based on the assumption that the public's short-term thought processes would draw the same conclusion, which they did.

Insurance companies and credit card companies have all the experts that study consumer behavior patters, and specifically, the way consumers think in terms of short and long. Between the two lies the golden median, the big money-maker.

Yeah, I wish I had thought of it earlier, but It's one of those things that I would not have learned without spending enough time in my current situation.
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