A few days ago I came across Jacob Falkovich’s “Predictable Identities” series, which introduced me to the concept of idiosyncrasy credits, or, better phrased for personal application, a “weirdness budget.” The basic idea is that humans like predictability on a fundamental level, including in those they associate with. To be able to predict someone requires that you be able to model them, and when trying to understand someone, it helps a lot to be like them.
There were several new ideas in here for me:
- The connection between difference and unpredictability: the more different someone is from you, the less context you have about their life from shared experience, and the harder they are to model
- The connection between unpredictability and aversion.
- Explicitly modeling this as a continuous spectrum (credits) rather than an on/off switch