Tuesday, April 21

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

There is an economics principle called the Sunk Cost Fallacy, which says in essence that it can be a bad idea to continue to see a project or activity through to completion solely because you’ve already invested so much time, effort, or other resources into it.  In many cases you’d be better off recognizing a loss and moving onto something else.  And so it was with my morning’s subway misadventure.  The trip into Penn on the LIRR was fairly straightforward, the shuttle from Medford and then the 7:19 express from Ronkonkoma.  One of the fabled “centuries,” namely a 100-pound woman, actually took the seat next to me on the latter train, so the ride was easy even though it was a cattle train.  Quite a contrast to the elephantine SCA’s who more commonly get their thrills from squashing up next to me.  I spent most of the ride reading, and we got to Penn without any sort of delays. 

I then had the brilliant idea of taking the Eighth Avenue line to Broadway-Nassau.  Why?  I cannot explain.  It is a loathsome line, and I had absolutely no reason to believe that it would be any different today.  So I trudged up to the central platform to get an A, and waited.  And waited.  Five minutes went by with no sign of a train, then ten minutes.  After about ten minutes I started figuring that it probably would be better if I went to the local platform and got an E train to the World Trade Center, a short walk from my workplace (there weren’t any C’s either).  Actually, I could have left the station and walked through Penn to get an 2 or 3 on the Seventh Avenue side and still saved time.  But no, I figured that I’d been waiting for the A long enough, and that going elsewhere would mean that all the time had been wasted.   What ended up happening is that it was almost 20 minutes until an A finally ambled into the station.  There were no PA announcements of any delays, of course.  My trip into work would’ve taken at least ten fewer minutes had I crossed over to the E platform when I first had the idea of doing so.  Even going to the 2/3 might have saved a couple of minutes, not to mention the frustration that would have been avoided.  Sunk costs, blah.

I wasn’t about to go anywhere near the Eighth Avenue line after work, and instead had a nice quick trip on a 2 from Fulton to Penn, followed by the 5:22 to Ronkonkoma.  The latter train was crowded but tolerable, and a man of average size sat next to me and wasn’t any trouble.  There were a few very loud cell phone talkers in the car, including one who had a truly obnoxious ringtone, so I was quite thankful for my iPod.  There weren’t any delays to Ronkonkoma, and the wait for the shuttle went by quickly too.

Gym: deadlifting tonight, with some progress over last week.  6 x 225, 6 x 275, 4 x 295, 2 x 4 x 315, 4 x 285, 6 x 245.  Last week I did a set of four at 315 followed by a double at 325.  Doing two sets of four at 315 represents progress, even though I didn’t go up to 325.  I then did Precor leg extensions, 8 x 195, 8 x 200, 8 x 205, 8 x 210, and finished with Life Fitness seated leg curls, 8 x 185, 2 x 8 x 190.

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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