Altoids and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

I can’t find my Altoids tins anywhere. I’ve looked for months. Although I’m good at finding lost things (blame debugging 6502 assembler on paper), I have not been able to find these wretched tins.

I don’t particularly like Altoids, but I bought a batch of them off eBay so that I could use the cute, small, metal tins for storing other useful things. I have one tin for pills, another for adapters, and that’s it. I would have had two dozen more had I not lost them.

This evening, it occurred to me that I needed an Altoids tin to store the bits and pieces that came with my e-cig RTA, so I thought “let’s have one more look in the shed”. Then I realised how much time I had spent already searching.

A decade ago, I would have stubbornly persisted in the fruitless search, throwing good time after bad, with the full expectation that one day, due to my doggedness, I’d find them.

Today I came to the realisation that I was ignoring the sunk cost fallacy and that time is not a renewable resource. So I bought a few more tins off eBay for the grand total of about five pounds. That’s how poorly I used to value my time, but my thinking of late has shifted dramatically.

I’m quite happy to pay for time. There is no better bargain.

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