Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Why You Should Sometimes Value Uncertainty

Do you always prefer certainty over uncertainty?

Are you sure?

Uncertainty brings value. There is value to me in charities being uncertain how much money I make and value to me in friends being uncertain how little I make. But there is also value in the uncertainty for each of those groups as well. Charities can play off my desire to look good to my friends while my friends can imagine my generosity is not a big sacrifice.

Perhaps a hypothetical example will convince you. Imagine we are sitting at breakfast and I get up to get us both more coffee. I pick up your cup with my right hand and my cup with my left hand before leaving the table for the kitchen. When I get to the coffee, I put down both cups, pick up the carafe, and fill each cup. I soon return with each cup, but I have not paid attention to see whose cup is in which hand. We are in a state of uncertainty. I can take away this uncertainty very easy--I can spit into each cup and remove all doubt that you will receive "my" cup rather than your own. 

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