Monday, October 16

Back from the Hendricks conference (symposium?) in Lincoln, several thoughts to log, as I get the time...

a heuristic for exchanging money for goods & services

Most people regularly engage in transactions where at least one party has some incentive to lie. In a great many transactions, it would be crippling to assume that people are lying to an extent which will harm you, because trust costs less than suspicion. In others, suspicion is irrelevant: I know the bum on the corner is lying to me, but it hasn't got much to do with the decision I make about the 56 cents in my pocket.

But: In any exchange where the cost to you is substantial, and regardless of your domain-specific knowledge: if you feel like you are getting ripped off, you are probably right.

Based on experience, the one practical issue I can see with this is that if you're being an asshole, you are probably wrong (or you might be right and deserve it anyway). Which brings us to what I feel is a fairly good general principle: Don't be an asshole.