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Are we baking or cooking?

Though a recipe, this was cooking.

Most of life is a cooking problem. Should you pay off your mortgage or invest? That’s a cooking problem. Cooking problems have leeway because there’s not a lot of interaction. If you get things mostly right you’ll be fine.

For cooking problems the biggest issue is inception. Just start. Cooking problems suffers from paralysis by analysis. Cooking problems should be ‘rough consensus and running code’. Cooking problems are easily fixed and have multiple potential solutions. I made General Tso’s last week. It was a cooking problem. Did I need exactly three scallions? No, as the picky eaters (12, 10) scooped around them anyway.

Baking problems are different. Baking is chemistry and chemistry is balance. Math is precise balance too, so is physics. For baking problems it pays to pay attention. When my daughters make cookies it’s a baking problem; you never want too much baking soda in a batch. Flying planes and medical diagnosis are baking problems too.

Baking problems have tight feedbacks within closed systems and single solution aims. Kill virus, land plane, eat cookie. Baking problems require domain expertise.

Most of life though is cooking.

Baking is recipes. Cooking is mental models: like this pay-what-you-want pdf of ideas from Tyler Cowen. If you like Cowen and podcasts, here is an RSS feed for you.

3 replies on “Are we baking or cooking?”

One of your best!

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 5:05 AM The Waiter’s Pad wrote:

> > > > > > > MIKE posted: ” > Though a recipe, this was cooking. > > > > Most of life is a cooking problem. Should you pay off your mortgage or > invest? That’s a cooking problem. Cooking problems have leeway because > there’s not a lot of interaction. If you get things mostly right you’ll b” > > > >

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