Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Chapter 2…

Some thoughts while reading the chapter, in order as they appeared… 


Pearls, diamonds, jewelry, rare, and luxury items in a Perfect Capitalism world… 

  • I am not opposed to high end items for wealthy people, especially if they are of low environmental costs 
  • In my opinion there still needs to be some advantages for people that fulfill certain positions in life. I am not for some lottery system to divide up rare, precious, or limited goods just so that it is fair for everyone. 
  • I do however sometimes think that events like the super bowl should have a certain amount of seating up for a lottery that are affordable to everyone… I don’t think all of those seats should just be just for the wealthy when it is something enjoyed by people representative of all of the economic classes. Such a shared cultural event. 
  • Definitely don’t think that we should all be paid the same though… we need an incentive-based society, it is for the good of the world… helps shape society and get people to fulfill jobs we need done. 
  • I do worry about the psychological impacts and how much self-worth or status is applied to material things… I worry about success going to people’s heads. 
  • People need to keep things in perspective and stay grounded… not think that the wealth makes them better than another person, especially on a soulful level. 
  • I think under perfect capitalism when everyone is taken care of, people will be more accepting of wealth as long as it doesn’t go to people’s heads and other people don’t feel it necessary to put them in their place and bring them back down to earth. 
  • To me it would be nice to offer some low environmental cost, high end incentives to people that are doing more critical things for us and that require hard to achieve skills… you know what I mean… 
  • If we are all doing well, we should try to hook up certain people and try and feel happy for them… Plus people can make money selling them the stuff… 


A bit wild to think about that anchoring and how powerful first impressions are… 

  • Books and studies like these can make it easier to achieve meta cognition and observe our own thoughts and tendencies… very helpful… 


The power of the mind to see something as work or pleasure… 

  • Before my schizophrenia really set in… there was a period when I really enjoyed work before it became apparent that I couldn’t sustain that level of work for an extended period of time. Plus, I was starting to read the news every day for the first time, that began to take up a lot of my minds limited work capacity at one time… 
  • During that period, I use to joke that if people watched me work for a while, they would want my job because I made it look pleasurable. 
  • An analogy I used to use was… If I was a janitor in a doctor’s office, before long the doctor would be wishing that he were me instead. 
  • I was able to mentally find ways to really enjoy my work and find it meaningful. 


His thoughts on the manipulation of the consumer can be largely altered by competition or a consumer union. 

  • A consumer union is an idea for consumers to unionize and hire lawyers and things to read terms and agreements, look into production costs and things like that, try to look out for consumers and make sure they are not being screwed… organize boycotts if necessary… can be particularly useful in industries that are not subject to a lot or any competition. Help achieve what more pure competition can. 
  • If there is no competition the manufacturer/seller/supplier has a higher degree of manipulation and can more easily use psychological tactics against us… Enough competition though can almost completely remove all manipulation or at least greatly curb it… I believe the term might be perfect competition when the market achieves a truer horizontal equilibrium price.  
  • I think that consumer unions could help achieve a better equilibrium in a limited competitive market. 
  • The author does recognize this a bit when he discusses how areas like utilities, the school system, healthcare, etc…  places in general with little to no competition, are subject and exposed to more potential manipulation and consumers being taken advantage of. 


A good chapter… Still very much enjoying the read! 

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