Thoughts on Trump

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4 years ago, I woke up at 6am and navigated to Google. Seeing the words "Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States" made my heart jump and sent me into a stupor.

America had just repudiated me and others like me. America said that they believed lies and fear mongering over facts. That day, America became just a country; it was no longer the shining beacon that immigrants strive to go to.

Over the last 4 years, I have seen things I never thought would happen:

  • A "friend" shouted "Build the Wall" at the end of the national anthem at a Royals game while sitting next to me.
  • I grew to distrust everyone around me. What if they're part of the Trump brigade that would rather that I not be in this country anymore? I found myself wondering "Is he/she a Trump voter?"
  • This country had a leader who didn't care about the people, even during the worst pandemic in 100 years.

It'll take a while for my faith in this country to be restored. But, a shred of it is still there. I want to see us move forward from this, the most shameful period of our modern history. I want people to get along and not be divided by fear and racism.

America is bruised and bloody from the last 4 years. We had a group of people in power who did their best to destroy the country. Now it's time to help America heal.

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Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

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Making Decisions

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Decision making is a multi-faceted subject. It goes beyond just deciding yes or no. As the resources below will show you, there are a number of ways to make decisions optimally.

Behavioral Economics

Why do people do what they do? Behavioral economics seeks to combine economic theory and human behavior to answer why.

Daniel Kahneman is a giant in the field. Start with his work:

Nudging

We often think that we know what's best and it would be nice if we could just get people to see it our way. You can use subtle cues called "nudges" to push people towards what you want them to do.

Optimal Stopping

A niche area of decision theory is optimal stopping. Optimal stopping is meant to calculate the best point at which to stop seeking new choices and make a decision amongst your existing options. This is one of the few areas of mathematics where laypeople can understand the immediate significance of the concept.

Cognitive Biases

No one is perfectly rational. By recognizing your cognitive biases, you can counteract the hidden impairments to making good decisions.

Tools For Decision Making

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The Big Anti-Racism List

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The Abolition of Work

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The Abolition of Work

To abolish work requires going at it from two directions, quantitative and qualitative. On the one hand, on the quantitative side, we have to cut down massively on the amount of work being done. At present most work is useless or worse and we should simply get rid of it. On the other hand — and I think this the crux of the matter and the revolutionary new departure — we have to take what useful work remains and transform it into a pleasing variety of game-like and craft-like pastimes, indistinguishable from other pleasurable pastimes except that they happen to yield useful end-products. Surely that shouldn’t make them less enticing to do. Then all the artificial barriers of power and property could come down. Creation could become recreation. And we could all stop being afraid of each other.

There are some very thought provoking ideas in this essay.

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