Sunday, November 25, 2007

Overcoming Bias

Yet another thought-provoking post on Overcoming Bias. I liked these paragraphs:
There's chocolate at the supermarket, and you can get to the supermarket by driving, and driving requires that you be in the car, which means opening your car door, which needs keys. If you find there's no chocolate at the supermarket, you won't stand around opening and slamming your car door because the car door still needs opening. I rarely notice people losing track of plans they devised themselves.

It's another matter when incentives must flow through large organizations - or worse, many different organizations and interest groups, some of them governmental. Then you see behaviors that would mark literal insanity, if they were born from a single mind. Someone gets paid every time they open a car door, because that's what's measurable; and this person doesn't care whether the driver ever gets paid for arriving at the supermarket, let alone whether buyer purchases the chocolate, or whether the eater is happy or starving.


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