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When you make the decision to eat cake vs drink water, bringing the whole “causal window” into focus is key to making the right decision. The majority of the time, we make decisions based on a very short amount of time that doesn’t allow for the entire set of effects to conclude.

If you’ve ever experienced a really bad aftertaste when eating something, that’s how most of our decisions are effecting us in life. We consume something as input, exclaim after a second or two that it’s good, and then a minute or two later exclaim how bad something is. But we still continue to consume the same input because we’re not detecting and responding to the true casual output of our input (in a word: causality).

So as you make decisions, consider the true total effects of a cause in the moment of the decision, it’s likely what will allow you to make the best long term decisions.