The ‘why?’

Mark Twain is credited with quoting:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”


As to the ‘why’ for this site … here is where it started … which you’ll also see in the ‘about’ section.

It is by now well documented, and supported by sound evidence, that people behave irrationally. Although these experiments all show that we are ‘predictably irrational‘, borrowing from the words of Dan Ariely, the range of outcomes within these experiments themselves suggest that we are all irrational in varying degrees. Therefore in the context of all animals being equal, it’s clear that some are more irrational than others. I’ve recently been asked if that also holds true for professions, and specifically whether actuaries, who by intuition should be less present time biased, would in fact be less irrational. I’m exploring that, but irrespective of the outcome and how many degrees of grey there might be, I can still confidently call myself irrational!

What then is a bactuary? In my irrational world its simply a behavioral actuary – one really interested in human behavior, with a specific focus on behavioral economics and actionable insights to help people live longer, healthier lives. Soon the term ‘behavioral economics’ should start fading as it’s core principles are adopted in what we know as traditional, or classic economics. Oh, wondering what an actuary does – the easiest way to describe that is that actuaries evaluate the financial consequence of risk. In my case I mostly focus on the health and life consequences of human decision-making and behaviors, but more importantly how we can use financial structures to facilitate better decision making.

This is simply my convenient library of references, which I should have established years ago … darn procrastination! Understanding the principles helps me narrow my own gap between intention and action – as I value the years in my life, but also the life in my years. It also has powerful application in traditional organizational structures.

Hope this will also serve as a useful reference to you and let’s work together to make the world a better place.