Adam Robinson on Understanding


The post is mostly the quote, it is quite long, so I am just linking to the post where I read it.

A couple of notes:

In 1974, Paul Slovic — a world-class psychologist, and a peer of Nobel laureate
Daniel Kahneman — decided to evaluate the effect of information on
decision-making. This study should be taught at every business school in the
country. Slovic gathered eight professional horse handicappers and announced, “I
want to see how well you predict the winners of horse races.” Now, these
handicappers were all seasoned professionals who made their livings solely on
their gambling skills.

It goes on to explain how they made decisions. This interests me because of the predictive technology and consensus building software used with the most recent Kentucky Derby, where experts came to agree on the winning order of horses.

I think the premise should be examined with that in mind, so we can find where having too much info as an individual can be mitigated by sharing capacity with a group.

I also wonder how cognitive diversity affects the process; is it better to have divergent perspectives, if each has a smaller amount of data to process?

But what’s really going on when investors say that something makes no
sense is that they have a dozen or whatever reasons why the trend should be
moving in the opposite direction… yet it keeps moving in the current direction.
So they believe the trend makes no sense. But what makes no sense is their model
of the world. That’s what doesn’t make sense. The world always makes sense.

The above quote is the brainbomb in the piece. It is the piece of the reality puzzle I struggle with: how much of my personal reality is reflected in the world, even as the world appears insane and self-destructive? How do my experiences shape the world, and what am I entitled to assert? What if the alternative to the world heading into oblivion is for individual action to change the world, but those individuals are “wrong”, because they never had an actual read on the “sense” of the world?