Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘selection process

Consequences of Neglecting Base-Rates in your behavior

“When you hear hoof beats behind you, don’t expect to see a Zebra”: Zebras are minority among all the hoof species.

Nothing is certain but death and Taxes” Benjamin Franklin

It is a good habit that physicians are practiced to learn Not to neglect base-rates when diagnosing ailments: The physicians learn to investigate the most likely ailment before starting any exotic diagnosis of the disease.

For example, the probability that a new firm will survive the first 5 years is at best 50%.

Depending on you level of education, the university you graduated from, the social class you are allotted to, your genders, your height, your handsomeness, the color of your skin… the chances of landing a high spot on a Fortune 500 company is alarmingly low.

Get data and statistics on the base-rates of your status conditions before you invest all your strength and energy on a selection process.

You heard of the Gambler’s Fallacy: “Something must change eventually…”

Actually, outside casinos, lottery, coin tossing (not loaded or tampered with)…events in nature are interrelated and you should Not bet on them as “independent” or “memoriless events“.

We also tend to fall prey from drawing universal certainties based on individual observations. This is called the Induction bias.

Do you remember the feeding goose allegory? The goose started to have confidence of the feeder just before Xmas Day slaughter-hood.

We tend to fall hook, line and sinker for induction in our lives.

We believe that aerodynamic laws are totally understood and applied in designing airplanes: As if only aerodynamics is the major safety issues in plane accidents.

Read: Art of Thinking Clear


As in any selection: Beauty and body are the main factors. The Aptitude traits

Model-like women are selected because they were born attractive and tall. It is never the cosmetics that made them attractive. All the cosmetics cannot help before or after selection.

It is the swimmer body, slim, streamlined and attractively built, that made them be selected, including big and large feet and hands for displacing more water. Swimmers were selected because they exhibited the kinds of bodies most readily performing with training.

Taking swimming as a hobby to render your body attractive will not do: Though it is a better sport to keep fit.

I’m talking of when you are young. As the years go by, it is how you take care of your health and how you keep your mind agile that aid you in your activities.

Without the illusion of confounding selection factors with results, most advertising companies would falter.

Is Harvard a good university?

Somehow, historically, the elite and rich classes sent their children to top selected universities and institutions.

These institutions could afford to have the most rigorous programs for selecting applicants according to the mental aptitude They enjoyed plenty of funding from state and private rich donors.

It is this rigorous selection process favoring students with high aptitude levels and the strength character to withstand rigorous programs that graduate top smart people.

Mind you that the IQ scores for the bottom tier of selected student in top universities are higher than the top tier students in normal university.

And yet, these bottom tier fail to graduate while the top tier in normal university become successful people: The Big Fish in Small Pond paradox.

When you are competing with highly smart people and starting to collect B minus, grades that you have never received in high school, it dawn on you to drop out and move to normal universities where effective interactions with classmates are possible.

Generally, the MBA graduates from the top institutions exhibit a wide gap in earning income compared to non-graduates. This gap has nothing to do with the MBA programs or what students learn:

Those who insist on investing big to attend an MBA program are already the achievers who could have made it anyway.

Cheerfulness, a trait shared by people who see a half full glass, is largely a personality trait that remains constant throughout life.

Try to be happy is as futile as trying to be taller

Do you know of an unhappy person writing a “self help” book? (About their failures and unhappiness?)

Can you be honest about what you see in the mirror?

Would what you see be “selection material”?

Best, rely on outside observers to tell you what you are blind to,

More probably, it is the reaction of other people that give you the proper hints about you aptitudes.

If not a selection material, forget selection tests and tedious processes that are meant to humiliate, and plug on with what life best offers to you.

Read: “The Art of Thinking Clear” by Rolf Dobelli






March 2023

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