Your built-in software


I paused for what felt like 1 full second in the middle of my home-alone cardio session on the stairs and said out loud.

I was listening to an interview with Annie Duke on The Knowledge Project where she told a story about trying to order food at a Chinese restaurant. Trying to explain her order, being vegan and gluten intolerant, to a non native speaker. Annie told her friend afterwards that she feels it was a 72% chance she would be getting her orders correctly. Then her friend, also deep in probabilistic thinking, gave his take that it’s probably closer to 65%. And she said how convenient and interesting that they share this common language and ways of viewing the world — embracing uncertainty.

I had an aha moment because it reminds me of something I noticed about the way I speak.

I would throw out offhanded remarks about “I feel x% well today“, or how I think “there’s a 55% chance of this thing happening anyway“.

I just assign probabilities to random day to day events.

I wasn’t aware about this before someone pointed it out to me 2-3 years ago. And I haven’t brought it to my attention much again since.

Apparently this is something I do by default. I think in a nuanced and probabilistic manner.

I like to quantify things; tangible and intangible things.

And the kick is, I currently do this professionally without any conscious deliberateness.

I deconstruct, tinker, research, estimate, and make decisions on many variables with often changing tradeoffs. I am also making it part of my personal challenge and experiment to explore and establish a good decision making process to scale this process to my team.

I get to play to my strengths.

What a nice full circle. Things always fall into place quite perfectly.

Or at least that’s the belief I use to rationalise my life, the lens I use to view the world.

Self awareness is such an amazing quest.

What are some of the built-in software you have installed in you? Do you notice them?

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