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🤯Unknown Unknowns #63 - Control
There's different ways to approach uncertainty. One way is to prepare for every eventuality that you can think of. Another way is to become as strong as you possibly can so you can withstand any difficulty. A final way is to have faith. I've been guilty of all three.
The first is Robust, the second Antifragile, and the third Fragile.
I came across the story of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race twice in the last couple of weeks, in essays by Morgan Housel and Steward Brand.
This was a race to be the first solo uninterrupted circumnavigation of the world. In other words, a race to be the first to sail around the world by yourself, without landing.
Morgan Housel and Stewart Brand are writing about the same story, but they have two completely different narratives and takeaways. They both talk about the competitors mindsets, but Morgan Housel focuses on the motivation of the racers while Steward Brand focuses on the preparation and risk taking.
Morgan Housel writes about how the motivations of two of the sailors were wildly divergent. One, Moitessier was driven by intrinsic motivation. Another, Crowhurst, was driven by extrinsic motivation. The difference in motivation led to two surprising outcomes.
Steward Brand focuses on the preparation of three of the sailors.
Knox-Johnston had a robust approach - he was prepared and equipped for any eventuality
Crowhurst had a fragile approach - he relied on his superior technology, but he was underprepared and underequipped.
Moitessier had an antifragile approach - he was minimalist, if it doesn't exist, it can't break. Everything piece of his gear was engineered to need the least amount of maintenance, or be easily accessible. He believed in simplicity, in using tools that don't break.
3️⃣ Thoughts (Recommend reading the essays first):
Linking back to last week's issue, it's clear that Moitessier was playing a different game than Knox-Johnston or Crowhurst. Not only did he gave up a small fortune and fame, he risked his life doing another half-circumnavigation. He could have finished the race, claimed the money, and still gone to Tahiti. Instead, he risked his life to do what he felt he had to do. Was this inspired? Stupid? Reckless?
I am continuing nonstop because I am happy at sea, and perhaps because I want to save my soul. - Bernard Moitessier
Who are we to judge?
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Leaving you in peace,