Last night while watching “The Big Bang Theory,” I started putting together another quilt block.
If I make enough samples with this fabric, I’ll have a quilt before I make up my mind to do something different.
I’ve been reading the book Nudge. I enjoyed it quite a lot, though we have to keep in mind that I like books on economics. This book is about economics and design, though.
The authors take a look at the assumption among economists that people will make rational decisions based on their own self-interest. They look at the stupid things we do all the time and suggest that we make some decisions based on rational thought — reflective reactions, they say. But we also make some decisions based on automatic reactions, which are not rational.
After advancing some suggestions about why that might be adaptive in some circumstances, they suggest that we should — when we’re in a reflective state — set up some rational decisions for ourselves (and others, if we have that responsibility) when we’re reacting in an automatic state. These rational decisions can serve to nudge us toward making the best choices when we’re making bad decisions.
That is, we should set up automatic payroll deductions for our retirement funds, fill our kitchens with healthy foods, make an exercise date with a friend — we know this, right? I needed the reminder, though.
It gets more intriguing when the authors begin to analyze and speculate on government nudges. What went wrong with the whole Medicare prescription bit for the elderly, the worthlessness of the terror alert color system, what might happen if we privatized marriage — interesting stuff, there.
It inspired me, since I was going over logical fallacies with my class yesterday. About half the class was present. Today is the due date for their rough draft of their research paper, so I’ll be lucky to have half the class present today. The persistent belief that not showing up makes it okay not to turn in the assignment baffles me. Anyway, I went over the stuff for the sake of the ones who showed — not necessarily the ones who needed it most.
Then on to The Computer Guy’s place to meet with a new shared client. He launched into a strange diatribe on The Computer Guy’s ethnic heritage at one point. I kept my eyes riveted on him so as not to exchange glances with The Computer Guy. Later, he made off-color jokes and added a rant against children. More not-exchanging of glances took place. Apart from this, he seemed like a nice guy. In fact, even while saying these things he seemed like an essentially nice guy. Lacking a sense of audience, perhaps.
I came home to some interesting assignments from my Northerners and a few hours for one of the remaining pro bono projects. This week, I may get all of those three that I took on last year finished up. If so, then I can begin thinking about what would be a good one for the next year. I’m doing some market research among nonprofits right now, so I may encounter someone …