Book Review: Scarcity

In the book Scarcity: Why having too little means so much (Amazon,) authors Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir show how scarcity impairs judgment, and decision making.

The book lays out how scarcity – of time, money and attention – ends up creating tunnel vision that trades short-term hacks to longer-term solutions. However, the book is short on solutions and long on anecdotes. It is almost reads like a teaser to Nudge. The book is also a strong endorsement for having a bit of slack in our lives.

Toward the end of the book, I couldn’t help but conclude that the only way not to fall into the scarcity trap is to automate an increasing amount decisions that we make. Everything from buying toothpaste to scheduling appointments can be handled by bots so that we can take longer naps.

Recommendation: worth a read.

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