Venkatesh Rao: Author of Tempo: timing, tactics and strategy in narrative-driven decision-making & independent researcher.
How many decisions do you think you make in a day? What about an hour? Well, if you want to do the math – go ahead, because all I know is you make about 1,400 decisions a MINUTE. With that many decisions to be made, how do we ever get anything done? Lucky for us, our brain is a magical blob. Our subconscious makes approximately 90% of our daily decisions, freeing us up to really think hard about the other important 10%. Which is important. For example, if you’re running down the street and all of a sudden a car comes flying around the corner right at you, I don’t think you want to be wasting time deciding which foot goes in front of the other, how fast to move, how to breathe, etc. Most likely you ONLY want to ask yourself, “How the F do I get out of the way of this thing!” Which is great, but it’s also scary. We like to feel like we are in control, like we think things through – but science tells us otherwise. This week we discover the decision making process, what we can learn from robots, and how you catch a ball… among other things.
Venkatesh Rao is an author and independent researcher. He writes a popular blog at ribbonfarm.com. Tempo grew out of themes originally explored on ribbonfarm. He earned his PhD in aerospace engineering, in systems and control theory, from the University of Michigan in 2003. He has worked in startup, university, and large enterprise environments. Currently, Venkat’s interests are in the areas of decision-making, narrative and metaphor, social psychology, the future of technological society, aging infrastructure issues, and globalization.