The Sunk Cost Fallacy

People treasure things more when they’ve made an investment in that thing. We do this because we were lied to: quality isn’t always proportional to the amount of work we put in.

Whether it’s an idea or a piece of art or even just a sentence; the number of times I’ve made the conscious decision to make a paragraph worse in order to keep a sentence that I’d laboured over and couldn’t part with…

The best example of this that I can think of is the war on drugs. Still being fought on urban streets while the world moves on around it. Black people sent to jail for life for dealing weed while white people are praised as entrepreneurs for opening dispensaries. The State, having made career criminals, unwilling to confront the capital and human cost of their misguided policies.

But the same could be said for the war on terror and for loveless marriages around the world. We imagine that if we just invest a little more that it will redeem our bad decisions.

It’s why I was so surprised when the GOP decided to back Trump as a candidate after he got the nomination. It seemed that their best case scenario would have been that he lose, because otherwise they would be forever lashed to whatever he would do as president.

We find it hard to accept that sometimes it’s for the best that we cut our losses. That we’ll be better off if we start from scratch with nothing than if we keep trying to work with what we already have.

Stop polishing the turd.

Posted in: Progress

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