Thursday, November 3, 2022

The "Sunk Cost Trap" and Gender-Identity et-al

The "Sunk Cost Trap" is the very human tendency to base future decisions based on the amount of investment we "sank" into a given direction in earlier decisions.

For example, perhaps we have been dating somebody for three years and know in our hearts that she is not-the-one we want to spend the rest of our life with. Yet we keep dating her.

Maybe it is an old car we keep sinking money and time into restoring even though we see more and more reasons (rust, lack of demand) that we will never get a return on our investment.

Maybe it is our kid in college who realizes half-way through their course of studies that there are no jobs in the field they chose but rather than change their major they keep drifting toward the finish line.

One of the things that sunk-costs share is that the resources that were invested cannot be recovered. They are "sunk". Time locked up in a going-nowhere relationship cannot be recovered. Auto parts, once installed, cannot be economically recovered and resold.

Gender Identity

Is there a greater "cost" than to chop off pieces of your body?

That is one of the diabolical parts of the entire Gender-Identity scam. By forcing a huge cost upon the naive early in the process, the dupe becomes a life-long zealot for the cause. They cannot recant because they would have to stand in front of the world and admit they were fools.


At least there is a tunnel between "same sex attraction" and normality via "bisexual". A homosexual man can "realize" he is bisexual and move toward normalizing his intimate relationships. Ditto for homosexual women. The brute numbers makes that path a very real possibility. Some enormous percentage of young women now "identify" as bisexual.


Mothers who have had abortions are often the greatest advocates for abortion. Oddly, it is often the ones who were most conflicted or pressured into the act that are the greatest zealots.

Rather than publicize bosses who pressured them to abort, or to rail against boys who refuse to step-up and be men, or to call attention to the mothers of their baby-daddy who pressured them to abort because their "baby" would be responsible...they defend their decision to abort.

Pro-lifers sometimes claim the people who are most stridently pro-abortion do so as a way to escape the pain of the multiple betrayals they experienced.

How to push-back against Sunk-Cost reasoning

A mathematician might characterize the sunck-cost trap as a local minima/maxima phenomena. A near-sighted person might stand on a mole-hill in the shadow of Pikes Peak and believe he was standing on the highest point in the Colorado.

Questions to ask the person who is trapped:

Is the overall trajectory of your sequence of decisions moving you to your ultimate goal? That is, are your current behaviors and choices effective.

Are you happier (or better off) today than you were five years ago?

Is it possible that you misdiagnosed the issue? Is it possible that you are unhappy or depressed? It is easy to fixate on what appears to be a symptom and miss the root-cause...this is tricky because often the root-cause is unpalatable. If you are not happier today than you were five years ago then there is a good chance you misdiagnosed the problem.

Do you keep a log or a diary? Like a dune-buggy stalling out and sliding back down the face of the dune, it is easy to mistake noise and wheel-spinning for progress. 

Do you keep encountering the same problem over-and-over again? If you keep running your face into the same fist, maybe you should try a different doorway.

Can you step back and use math and best guesses to estimate the probability of your current path yielding enough "profit" to justify your current and future investments? Math is a great way to step out of emotional traffic and think another way.

Can you think of any opportunity costs associated with staying on your current path?

Is there a tunnel or middle-way that can provide a stepping-stone to another path? Can your path evolve in a way that doesn't demand public repudiation of your prior path? Part of the sunk-cost trap is that we intertwine our perceptions of our decisions with our self-image at the cellular level.

Will the world care if we change our direction? What do we fear more: The approbation of the world or maybe the realization that the universe will not care if we change?


  1. ERJ, in general sunk cost is a concept I do not really see investigated nearly as much as it should be - it was years before I was introduced to the concept and even now I struggle to separate myself from the analysis. Add to the general lack of knowledge and practice an overall society that truly lives only for today, and it is not surprising that we find ourselves where we are.

  2. Good grief. Your root ripper goes deep. I had a dozen things come to mind that I really should spend some time evaluating. Thanks, Joe. I have days of potential pruning to do. But it's for the betterment of my little garden. I really mean that thank you, btw.

  3. No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn back. Turkish proverb.

  4. When we live in a culture that only values virtue signaling of transient values and the acquisition of fashionable material possessions, from houses to cars to ripped up blue jeans and tatts, it is probably not possible for most people to understand, or try to practice your excellent advice. Our moral and cultural values are gone. ---ken

  5. Most important paragraph

    Will the world care if we change our direction? What do we fear more: The approbation of the world or maybe the realization that the universe will not care if we change?

    It has been pointed out to me repeatedly that the universe does not care about me one tiny little bit. My happiness is irrelevnt to the universe.

    My evolving attitude is to reciprocate.

  6. "No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn back. Turkish proverb."

    But what about the fabled "Point of No Return"?

    If headed toward an incorrect destination there is no Point of No Return. (Pro Tip: compasses and maps come in LOTS of different forms....)


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