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Interview with Dan Ariely: The Upside Of Irrationality

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Michael, I heard on the podcast you are visiting my adopted city of Beijing where I have lived for the past 8 years. If you need anything while there, places to go eat, see, my friend has great Israeli restaurant there etc. Whatever you need let me know. My local China mobile number is below. We are out of town so can not meet but can help. Glad you enjoy Asia. I moved there from Wall Street about 8 years ago. Life never been the same ever since. Also, you will love this interview. Full link below. Best of luck with CLSA.

Miguel: Continuing from this definition of decision making you write about the Lancelot story where he’s a fighter and claims that the key to fighting well is not worrying about the outcome but rather focusing on having perfect concentration (minimal stress). How can you relate this story to decision making?

Dan: What is interesting about this story is that by not valuing his life Lancelot became much more rational in a standard way. Basically, the way we think about it is that emotion makes people irrational. Not bad necessarily, but irrational, and if you can disassociate yourself from your emotions you can make more rational decisions. That is exactly what Lancelot was able to do-So during a sword-fight where you want to fight to the best of your ability you don’t want any stress, and to do so you don’t want to think about anything besides the immediate fight. By detaching yourself from emotions you are able to do that.

Thanks for the nice words and words of wisdom!

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