Sign me up as untrustworthy

Reportedly, the Danish RKI register for people who cannot pay their bills get a least one request a week from someone who wants to be added to their files (article in Danish).
The applicants do not trust their future selves to resist the temptation of a quick loan.
I find this deep skepticism towards one’s future abilities to control one’s own behavior quite fascinating. In strategic situations with more than one player it is often a smart move to limit one’s own options (as in the oft-mentioned example of visible tearing out one’s steering wheel in a game of “Chicken”). But we also constantly limit the options of our future selves when there’s no-one else involved.
As Daniel Gilbert puts it in his book Stumbling on Happiness we spend much of our time attempting to make sure that our future selves will be happy (and Gilbert’s point is that we are often quite wrong). But we clearly also make an effort to ensure that our future selves at some point will be unhappy (e.g. when we cannot get that loan) so that our even-more-future self will be happy (when we come to our senses). It must be quite complicated being us.

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