The Concord fallacy

Also known as sunk cost trap.

Good day to you!

Hope you’re doing great.

As you know, our mission is to help people free themselves from rampant consumerism, so that they can dedicate more time, money and bandwidth to be and build.

Know people who feel the pain of having too much stuff ; are curious, value knowledge? We’d love to talk to them!

Share myStvff and yours.

Thoughts

I have always been fascinated by the Concorde fallacy or sunk cost trap. (Piège abscons in French.)
Pretty random names. Yet not so random situation.

The sunk cost fallacy has also been called the "Concorde fallacy": the UK and French governments took their past expenses on the costly supersonic jet as a rationale for continuing the project, as opposed to "cutting their losses" - Wikipedia

We’ve all experienced that. Being halfway into something and realizing it might be a trap, yet being absolutely unable to stop it. Because we’re obsessed with the time, money and energy we’ve already allocated to it.

The trap is often built upon a mix of:

  1. we did not set up any limits beforehand (how long we’re gonna wait for the bus, how much money we will invest in that project,..) and once we’re trapped in, it’s already too late, we’re emotionally biased because of what we’ve already invested

  2. our goal probably wasn’t clear enough. If it was, and if we had lost sight of where we were heading to, we would avoid chosen an alternative path

Our loss aversion is so strong we’re unable to see that we’re not going anywhere. I can already see how this applies to things we bought, too 🤓

A couple of recent Concorde fallacy s*** that happened to me recently:

  1. Hiring a babysitter for a night out (first time in months 💃🏻) and feeling I have to stay up till sunrise, while deep down I knew, the only think I truly needed was to sleep 12 hours straight (yeay I know it’s me getting old!)

  2. Watching the next episode of a so-so TV show while constantly telling myself this is the last one I am watching

  3. Being half-way into a book I don’t like (L’usage du monde) but flip pages anyway

What’s been a Concorde rabbit hole you’ve fallen into but were able to reroute? How did you do so?

Random // That’s a win! Two weeks into our 30-day stay away from home, and still haven’t missed a thing from our light packing 🧘🏽‍♀️

What’s new in the app 📱

Here’s a resume of the past seven days:

  • you can now sort and browse your items by creation date (like in the photo app of your phone) to help you save time finding the latest added

  • you can set up reminders to come back to your item(s) when you feel like it (e.g. to warn you that the warrantee’s soon over, to pick it up at the repair shop,…)

Here’s to give it a try!

Readings

I am starting this section to share the best of what we’ve been reading lately.

Book

  • Goodbye, things, Fumio Sasaki. [thanks Louis-B for the reco!] Fumio started his journey probably like you and me. He got stuck in this infernal spiral of discontent and craving, until it was too much. During this journey, he took pictures of everything he throw away because he had a hard time tossing (he ended up with ~3k photos!). This book is more practical than philosophical that’s for sure. Bullet point style. Maybe a pinch of vision / aspiration would have made it from good to really good. Among his 55 tips to help you toss, here’s my selection:
    - ask yourself this question “if you lost it, would you buy it again?” [this one helps me A LOT!]
    - if you can’t remember every present you’ve given, don’t worry about the gifts you’ve gotten. Instead, express some gratitude. [i.e. don’t feel bad discarding a present]
    - when your entire neighborhood is your extended home, there’s no need for so many stuffs
    - discarding one big thing has a big pay off (e.g. discard your TV, and all the satellite items around it: DVD player, DVDs,…)
    - careful of the Concord Fallacy: what’s spent is already lost
    - use dust as an indicator!

Have a beautiful day! 🎺

Mathilde

Photo by Lynn Kintziger on Unsplash