Blog of Sara Jakša

The Sunk Costs of Small Projects

Since I don't actually have a regular job yet (and no matter what anybody says, schooling is not actually a job), I have some free time that I can use to try some of the possible future works in my free time. This could be lecturing, or writing, like this blog, or programming or research. It helps if some of this work can also be used then for school, but not everything can.

I have recently started to think about these projects. Anki, a program that I have written a couple of add-ons is upgrading to python3 and new interface. One of the python libaries I packaged for arch Linux had also upgraded into python3, so there were changes needed. And people actually sometimes post comments or recommendations for changes. All of this creates a bit of work each time, but so far I don't really have a lot of things like that.

So I was thinking that this explains why people sometimes abandon their projects. Sunk cost fallacy means that people are a lot more likely to keep doing the things, and even investing more money and time into the project, simply because they have already invested some kind of money. For the Slovenian people, think our politicians with TEŠ6 kind of behaviour.

Not that I am not like that as well. I still have way too many reading materials and projects, that sit unfinished on my computer. I have gotten better at finishing them sooner and then releasing them and forget about it. But what I should be even better at, would be to simply move on. Still struggling with this one, though I am proud of some of the things that I walked away from when the positive things started to diminish.

But there are still projects that I started years ago, and I still did not finish. Selling my old book is one of this projects. Sure, I have come the long way and I like that I need one less book-case for my books. But I also know that I don't really have a desire to read 95% of the books that I still have. Sure, there might be some gems there, but I am sure that most of the books are not something that I am going to be rereading a lot. I mean, one of the books is about the series that I watched in primary school. Another one is a romantic story that I got as the gift. Neither of these books is something that I even read these days.

I mean, you can't do better than historical and cognitive-scientific non-fiction and historical and mystery fiction.

Maybe I should just give up and simply dump all of them in some place. That way I could eliminate them from my environment. I am not that good in the phenomenological therapy, but there the environment indicates the state of the inner world. So eliminating some of the clutter in my environment will also have an effect on my own inner state to be less cluttered.

But this would require ignoring the sunk cost, and this is something that I am not that good at putting into action yet. I really should be eliminating more old stuff and projects, so I will have an energy and space to go forward with the projects that I am really interested right now and they might be a better investment going forward.