In 1993 I started grad school in social science at Caltech, after being out of school for nine years. But going back to school wasn’t the only option I had considered. My good friend and mentor Eric Drexler, whose book
I apologize for being probably too harsh. However, my bet is that starting a successful prediction market back then would have been more effective than writing about the relatively few that were about, but I could be wrong.
Sounds like you are planning to write an overly academically serious book rather than one of these that will be vying to outsell Freakonomics. Shucks, and you could have gone all tabloid about your sufferings with the Congress and Paul Wolfowitz!
Nick, I wonder if I could have helped jump-start the prediction market fad 15 years earlier. Now my book will not be on that topic, but on disagreement.
Robin, what is it you have discovered as you begin writing your book that now makes you more doubtful that you've taken the right path? Do you have the feeling that you could have written pretty much the same thing back in 1993? Or are you just making a general point that one often never finds out whether one's key choices in life where the right ones?
We just need a retrodiction market to determine what Robin should have done! But how would it work?
Good grief! So, you are feeling all jealous of your colleagues, Bryan and probably Tyler, with their hot selling books! If you had written yours years ago without what you have now or the current milieu, it probably would have been a flop. Now, you have the advice and support of these folks, plus you have had the glorious experience of having been martyred by the Pentagon for your efforts to establish prediction markets, which probably would not have happened if you had written your book back then. If you can't use that peg to get a decent selling book now, well, you certainly would not have had one back then.
This is a no-brainer.
Best of luck with the book! I'm looking forward to it :-)
To have chosen differently you would have had to be a different person, absent flipping a coin, and even then that would take a different personality. Cognitive dissonance should help reduce retrospective regret; when one cannot change the decision one rationalizes it.
I think it's pretty clear you made the right choice. There's nothing better for life satisfaction (once basic needs like health are shelter are taken care of), particularly as one gets older, than to be a recognized expert in something and to have a Ph.D.
Given the large number of choices one could have made in the past, it doesn't take long to see one has made a suboptimal choice with hindsight.
welcome to life, sir.