My Saturday Afternoon

I considered going to a pub to watch ManUtd v Liverpool on Saturday but decided to read a novel instead. In retrospect, this seems to have been a mistake, but I still think the ex ante calculation was sound.

One can distinguish three kinds of utility one gets out of something: U-anticipation, U-doing and U-remembering. The standard deviations are huge, of course, but on average I probably get as much fun out of reading the novels I choose to read as out of watching the football matches I choose to watch. But the number of football matches I remember with any intensity is tiny compared to the number of novels for which this is true. And the matches remembered are usually the predictable ones like world cup finals. Only looking at U-doing underestimates the utility of reading novels relative to watching footie matches. For me, that is.

I have a feeling that both I and most people tend to overlook utilities other than U-doing. My explanation for this is that for most courses of action, U-anticipation and U-remembering are indeed negligible.

This concludes my series of posts on last weekend. Let's hope the next one brings another bunch of fundamental, groundbreaking insights!

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