Luke Gilman

Continuous Project, Altered Occasionally

Daniel Goldstein on Why You’re Going to Screw Up Your New Year’s Resolution (unless you tie yourself to the mast)

TED Talks: Daniel Goldstein: The battle between your present and future self

“The other reason that it’s difficult to resist temptation is because it’s an unequal battle between the present self and the future self. I mean, let’s face it, the present self is present. It’s in control. It’s in power right now. It has these strong, heroic arms that can lift doughnuts into your mouth. And the future self is not even around. It’s off in the future. It’s weak. It doesn’t even have a lawyer present. There’s nobody to stick up for the future self. And so the present self can trounce all over its dreams.”

Goldstein has come up with some interesting ways of balancing the power between present and future self that go beyond commitment devices (tying oneself to the mast) and into visualization of outcomes.

The scholarly articles behind Goldstein’s talk are available on his website:

11 Angry Jurors and 1 Lone Hold Out, Some Insight into Juror Dynamics

After seven weeks of trial and 14 days of deliberation on 24 counts, 67-year-old grandmother JoAnn Chiakulas was the lone hold out juror on whether former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had attempted to sell Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Her interview with This American Life’s Ira Glass offers some fascinating insights on juror dynamics.

Chiakulas discusses the hostility and social pressure present in the jury room, the fear of public embarrassment and self-doubt, being hounded by the press for a month following her jury service. Her experience makes a reasonably good case for the availability of protective measures for jurors in high profile cases to ensure the integrity of the decision-making process and the privacy of the individuals who serve.