Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Special cases

 

All cases are special cases

The art of the successful institution is figuring out which cases are special enough to deserve a fresh eye.

It’s virtually impossible to scale an institution that insists on making a new decision every time it encounters a new individual.

On the other hand, what makes a bureaucracy stupid is its insistence that there are no special cases.

They’re all special. The difficult work at scale is figuring out which ones are special enough.

And, if you want to be seen and respected and sought out as the anti-bureaucracy, there’s your strategy: All cases are special cases.

Good judgment, it turns out, is very difficult to boil down to a few pages in a rulebook.

The end of the future is premature

Twenty years ago, when I was working on projects with AOL, we were sure that this was the next big thing for a long time to come.

It was a profitable natural monopoly, one that could expand to serve everyone’s needs. They were the end of the future of the Internet.

When one surveyed people in 1996, most thought AOL = The Internet. They were the same thing, game over.

Then, of course, just four years later, Yahoo cornered the market. It was where everyone started their internet experience. All you needed. That didn’t last more than a decade.

We have similar conversations about the form factor and platform of the iPhone.

And Facebook, of course, will be the way generations connect online… it’s hard to imagine the next thing.

Until it’s here.

As far as I can tell, there’s always a next thing.

[Even better, it turns out that this thing, the thing we have now, is worth working with, because it offers so many opportunities compared with merely waiting for the next thing.]

Special cases? Discarding evidence to fit your Confirmation biases model

Confirmation bias maybe the mother of all misconceptions.

Once we believe that a program, a product, an idea… is successful, we refuse to let go, even if we are presented with tons of proofs to the contrary.

This is basically the paradigm shift problem with all disciplines

If we are unable to insert a new piece of intelligence or information in our existing worldview model as a compatible element, it is hard to accept the new addition or understand it. This is called the Disconfirming Evidence tendency.

Although facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored, “what the human is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact”  Warren Buffet

And Charles Darwin found a method to circumvent this confirmation bias: Any observation that contradicted his theory, he took it seriously and noted it down immediately. The more correct he judged his theory, the more actively he looked for contradicting aspects.

We deal with all kinds of assumptions. The more nebulous they are, the stronger the confirmation bias.

You may utter prophesies so vague that any event can substantiate them.

Religious and philosophical system of beliefs represent an excellent breeding ground for this bias.

Economists fall prey to this bias by predicting the economic trend.

Business journalists suffer most from this bias: rarely the journalist seeks out disconfirming evidences to what he formulated on a company’s cause for success or failure.

Self-help and Get-rich quickly books are excellent examples of blinkered storytelling.

Axing beliefs that feel like Old Friends is hard work, but it should be an imperative task.

When you hear “This is a special case”, you better tend your ears and be on your guard. Most probably, your consultant refuses to alter his model.

Actually, all laws are special cases. Why?

Laws are valid within certain restrictions, constraints, conditions and range of application.

If you neglect or ignore these limitations of the parameters that a law is supposed to function within, your solution is out of bound and erroneous.

This behavior is typical to most novices in any field of practice, and they keep falling into these traps and generate dire consequences until they learn to become professionals.

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2021
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