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Dan Gilbert: Why we make bad decisions

“Bernoulli’s gift, Bernoulli’s little formula, allows us, it tells us how we should think in a world for which nature never designed us. That explains why we are so bad at using it, but it also explains why it is so terribly important that we become good, fast. We are the only species on this planet that has ever held its own fate in its hands. We have no significant predators, we’re the masters of our physical environment; the things that normally cause species to become extinct are no longer any threat to us. The only thing — the only thing — that can destroy us and doom us are our own decisions. If we’re not here in 10,000 years, it’s going to be because we could not take advantage of the gift given to us by a young Dutch fellow in 1738, because we underestimated the odds of our future pains and overestimated the value of our present pleasures.”

– Dan Gilbert

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