Here are ideas and historical (no emotional connection to me) events that have fundamentally affected my outlook.
In no particular order
- Pareto Optimality
- Coase Theorem
- Hayek and Sowell on the limits and costs of knowledge
- Gresham’s law
- Napoleon’s invasion of Russia
- Dominant Strategies
- Schelling Points (as elaborated on by David Friedman)
- The seatbelts kill theory of Steven Landsburg (though the theory might actually originate with George Stigler)
- The diaries of Eric Hoffer (and his books, they’re fairly similar) as they deal with mass movements
- Network effects
- Robert Nozick’s notion of morality as a time saving device (morality is used very broadly) as explained in the Examined Life
- The defensive boxing style of Pernell Whitaker
I’ll have more detail on what they are and how they are all used later.