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How to Solve Almost Any Problem by Alan Barker

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Chapter 10

Making it happen: deciding wisely

“If an important decision is to be made, they discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house where the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk.”

This is Herodotus, the ‘father of History’, writing about the Persians. Being Greek, Herodotus regarded the Persians as fascinating foreigners, with strange habits.

The first half of Herodotus’ description is easily recognizable. We all know how we can make stupid, impetuous decisions when drunk or emotionally ...

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