Peter Orszag’s tip for discipline

Orszag has employed this knowledge while training for a marathon.

I didn't achieve what I wanted to, a very large contribution would
automatically come out of my credit card and go to a charity that I
very much didn't support," Orszag says of his training strategy. "So
that was a very strong motivation, as I was running through mile 15 or
16 or whatever it was, to remind myself that I really didn't want to
give the satisfaction to that charity for the contribution."

He declines to name the charity.

The source is here.


This sounds very similar to Ian Ayres' project at:

let's hope the unnamed charity is the U.S. Treasury.

Ironic that Orszag thinks "that people are not likely to do anything that's hard, such as saving money or taking care of one's health — no matter how good the incentives are" and yet he's telling us a story about how the right incentives (giving to Cato, probably) can make him do something hard (running).

"Nicely put! I've always wondered why we're forced to contribute to charities when signing up for sporting events - why can't we just say, keeping myself fit is my good deed to the world, and I pay to whoever helps me do that? Most of the time folks just seem too concerned about political incorrectness to ask that Q?"

Probably because keeping yourself fit isn't a gift to the world?

I made the same promise to meet deadlines on the chapters of my dissertation. My committee members are aware of this. So far so good.

How about I just flat out don't believe a word of it?

IMHO it would be a rational thing to do.

Economist (ie arrogant putz) working for a Messiah. A used car salesman is an working honest man in comparison.

why would anyone do this rather than cancel it? Seriously--why wouldn't you just say "oh, what a farce. forget it."

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