Binary vs Graded outcomes

Some activities have binary outcomes while some have graded outcomes. Getting admission into a college is binary, either you get it or you don’t; how well you do in the college is graded. Clearing a job interview is binary, either you get selected or you don’t; how well you do the job isn’t that black and white. Getting a promotion is binary; while a pay raise is usually on a graded scale. Being single or married is binary; while the quality of life, in either case, is graded.

When the outcome is binary, either the outcome is desirable or all the effort is in vain. Activities with graded outcomes allow you to observe and calibrate the effort. Activities with binary outcomes can be made graded by repeating them. That’s especially true when the repetition cost is low like in the case of college admissions or job interviews.

Book summary: The science of happily ever after by T Y Tashiro

The book is an interesting take on what it takes to attain a happy marriage and why only ~30% of us end up in happy marriages.
The book is divided into three sections – what is love, why we fail in the game of love and what can we do differently to succeed at it.

book cover the science of happily ever after

The nature of love

Why happily ever after is so hard to find

  1. In the western world,
    1. 50% of marriages end up in divorce,
    2. ~10-15% are separated without divorce and
    3. ~7% go along with an unhappy marriage
      which implies only 30% live happily ever after.
  2. Being “in love” is equivalent to having a “liking” (fairness, kindness, loyalty) and a “lust” (sexual desire).
  3. Post-marriage, liking declines at about 3% annually while lust declines 8% annually (in first 7 years of marriage) => from a long term perspective, it’s better to invest in liking than lust.
  4. Children’s fairy-tale belief about love is a beautiful girl falling in for a brave hero and they fall for each other in minutes. This is far from what happens in reality

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