Read: March 2022

Inspiration: Came across on Amazon and knew of Annie Duke’s poker career


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“Thinking in Bets”, published in 2018 by author and professional poker player Annie Duke, explores the concept of decision-making under uncertainty. The book argues that in order to make the best decisions, it is important to understand the role of probability in decision-making and to be willing to embrace uncertainty. Duke suggests that the key to successful decision-making is to think in terms of bets, or probabilities, rather than trying to achieve certain outcomes. She also discusses the importance of being open to new information and being willing to revise one’s beliefs in light of that information. The book also covers topics such as risk assessment, the role of emotion in decision-making, and how to use probability to make better decisions in various real-world situations. Overall, Thinking in Bets offers a framework for making better decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

Don’t equate quality of decision with quality of outcome (outcome influenced by luck, factors out of control—called resulting in poker), can make right decision thoughtfully and have bad outcome, odds of coin heads 4 times—assume we know all about the coin when answer but really know little (coin weighted, two-headed, 3-sided, etc), chess is not about luck—complete info vs poker involves luck like life (decisions not equal outcomes, chess decisions equal outcomes), polls not wrong about election unless said 100% or 0%, all decisions in life can be seen as bets—bets against all future versions of self not chosen, human default setting is to believe what hear as true, being smart can make more susceptible to bias as better at crafting narratives, asking “wanna bet?” triggerd audit of beliefs when standard process is to hear and accept and not vet unless prompted, outcomes can be due to luck or skill but hard to decipher looking back and not 100% either one, take credit for good and attribute bad to luck, phil hellmuth “if it weren’t for luck, i’d win everytime”, Yogi Berra “you can observe a lot by watching”, attribute others having good outcomes to luck and bad is their fault (reverse of self), schadenfraude—pleasure at others misfortune, outcome fielding-consider luck vs skill in alternatives (pose as bet with self), confirmatory vs exploratory thought, identify learning opportunities in wins (less painful and helps understand decision quality vs outcome, having a group with diverse reasonable opinions to challenge and hold accountable in right environment is key—SCOTUS justices hire clerks of opposing ideologies in past (now not happen and court polarized), social psych is one of most liberal leaning subjects at 10:1 professors, peer review shown less correct than if scientists bet on replicability (peer review not great is homogenous peers), Robert Merton magician turned sociologist coin terms “role model”, “self fulfilling proph” “unintended consequ”, Rashomon effect=two very different interps of same event (named after film), scientists in 60s blamed fat not sugar and led to obesity, known outcome leads us to be resulters/biased, better if outcome blind, devil’s advocate coined centuries ago from cannonization process of Cath Church when present arguments against sainthood, identify a successful future then backcast to think how get there, premortem to imagine negative future to achieve positive goals, forget all possible outcomes with hindsight—see as bound to happen, key it to recognize can make best decision and have bad outcome but do not be so discouraged

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Welcome to JeffReads, where I share summaries of the best books I’ve read on business, politics, science, technology and more.




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