Arte et Labore



Father's Day and Attempting to be Rational

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Dan Ariely's TED tak, "Are we in control of our own decisions", embedded below.

I think the talk is fascinating, and wouldn't mind if you stopped reading and watched the whole thing right now. Go ahead, I'll wait.

The same week I saw the video, my wife and I visited a favorite bookstore, and I noticed a new book on display on one of the tables. The book was called, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.

Wow, this was meant to be! I was delighted, and wanted the book right there and then, but my wife convinced me that I should do a little more research before purchasing it. She was very resolute, and I should have suspected something, but I didn't.

Cut to Father's Day, and indeed, there was a book-shaped present waiting for me. I opened it up to discover a hardback issue of Sway before me. It had a library catalog sticker on the spine. She didn't buy the book for me, she'd borrowed it for me.

Behind my back, my wife had reserved the book for me after we got back from the bookstore. And one happened to become available just before Father's Day! What luck, and what a thoughtful present!

What a perfectly rational present: Not only did she stop me from making a risky impulse purchase, having borrowed the book from the library, I'll be able to read it and still make an educated decision (if I so choose) as to whether I should buy it and give it an honored place on my bookshelf.

3 Comments on "Father's Day and Attempting to be Rational"

  1. davidd aka puuikibeach on June 21st, 2009

    This entry exemplifies my favorite kind of writing: both informative and entertaining!* If you wrote books, I'd read 'em. Heck, I'd even BUY 'em and read 'em!

    Now, intrigued, I've added "Sway" to my library queue. Perhaps the book will offer me insight into my own behavior, which is irrational more often than not.

    Of course, the tag line,"why rational people make irrational decisions," is based on a rather bold assumption.

    ______
    * okay, and "heartwarming." You're hitting all my marketing hot buttons here. Now I know why you named one of your kids "Madison." It's after the avenue where all the clever advertising types hang out. ;-)

  2. Zannah on June 21st, 2009

    I love this, it's great. <3 I just recently watched that same ted video. Really interesting.

  3. Pastilla on June 22nd, 2009

    The more you write about her, the more I adore your wife.

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