MEME: The Concorde Fallacy

http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2015/01/23/what-target-did-right-in-canada/?intcmp=HPBucket

What Target Did Right in Canada
By Jim BlasingameGrowing Your BusinessPublished January 23, 2015FOXBusiness

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This story isn’t to call attention to the many things Target did wrong, but rather to highlight the one thing they did right: They did not become victims of the Concorde Fallacy.

In 1956, the British and French governments, along with aircraft and engine manufacturers, began the process of building a supersonic airliner. From the start the Concorde was plagued by prohibitive budget overruns. In fact, long before the wheels came up on the first commercial flight in 1976, the partnership knew the venture would never sustain itself financially. And yet they couldn’t bring themselves to shut it down.

By the last Concorde flight in 2003, the Anglo/French misadventure had become so legendary that evolutionary biologists coined the term, “Concorde Fallacy,” as a metaphor for when sticking with a troubled project costs more than starting over with a new alternative.

Ego and sovereign pride by the Concorde partnership caused the willing suspension of economic reason. Plus they failed to apply the lesson of sunk costs, which is that, “Any decision to continue a financially unviable project shouldn’t be based on what has already been spent.” In a small business, it might sound like this, “We’ve got too much invested to stop,” or “We just need to work harder.”

Pride can be productive or it can be a problem. Consider this handy admonition a mentor once gave me that I have named the Concorde Question: “Do you have a fighting chance or just a chance to fight?”

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This is the best formulation of the problem of “sunken costs”.

Unfortunately, everyone, EVERYONE, thinks about the sunken cost, the lost opportunity, and looking bad.

Argh!

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MEME: Confirmation Bias

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2014/08/a-simple-strategy-for-shaking-confirmation-bias/

A Simple Strategy for Shaking Confirmation Bias
[TIP ‘o’ the HAT to: The Big Picture by Barry Ritholtz 

A Simple Strategy for Shaking Confirmation Bias
Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D.

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One of the most insidious cognitive biases affecting investors and traders is confirmation bias. Once we hold a particular view, we tend to prefer processing information that fits with that view. What’s worse is that, because of our bias blind spots, we commonly recognize biased thinking in others, but not in ourselves. We know from research in psychology that fresh inputs and mental flexibility are essential to creativity of thought. When we become locked in confirmation bias, we cease to innovate.

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We are properly discerning about the food we put into our mouths, but not so much with the information we choose to process.  Fresh inputs, chosen for their quality, provide a healthy intellectual diet and catalyze creative thinking.  If we’re not regularly surprised by what we read and discuss, the odds are good that our brain’s diet has turned stale.  And that’s a danger zone for confirmation bias.

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Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and works as a performance coach for hedge funds, proprietary trading firms, and investment banks.  He is the author of the TraderFeed blog and several books on trading psychology.

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This is one of my (many) concerns.

I try and avoid it (and many other biases) by confirming external evidence.

Probably would be a good exercise t itemize all the biases. Mind map anyone?

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MEME: Raskin’s Design Principle: “Computers should never lose work or waste time.”

http://www.svenread.com/dont-harm-a-human/

Don’t harm a human

During reading Jef Raskins “Humane Interface” for the first time I came across him quoting Isaac Asimov’s famous first rule for robots: “A robot shall not harm a human, or, through inaction, allow a human to come to harm.” He rightly pointed to the deep meaning this quote should have to every interface designer and it got me thinking about how right he actually is.

Raskin exchanges “robot” for “computer” and “harm a human” with “lose work” or “waste time”. But I actually would prefer to leave the “harm a human” as is, because it encapsulates both lost work and wasting time, as well as other disastrous events that can occur while using a computer / applications / websites.

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Raskin’s Design Principle: “Computers should never lose work or waste time.”

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MEME: slow and laborious; destroy thoughtlessly

“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”- Winston Churchill

I read this and thought of the bozo who tumbled that pile of rocks. 

Maybe I’m just a fat old white guy injineer and, while I don’t see the significance of that particular pile of rocks that got everyone upset, I do think one should think carefully about what one destroys.

Reminds me of “Reinke’s Rule of Negative Progress”!

(Namely you can screw up enough in one day that it can take weeks to fix. Keep backups and change control.)

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MEME: Good riddance to home plate collisions

http://www.caintv.com/three-cheers-for-the-likely-en

Sports: Three cheers for the likely end to home plate collisions
Published by: Dan Calabrese on Saturday October 26th, 2013 

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I really don’t think anyone will miss the collisions – certainly not the catchers, who get banged up enough taking foul tips to the mask and the chest for nine innings. And as for the runners who get thrown out at the plate, and the third base coaches who decide to take a risk and send them, I guess their approach will need to be adjusted to reflect the fact that plays at the plate will now work like the rest of the game of baseball. And if it really bothers them that much, they can always try out for the NFL.

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Baseball isn’t football.

Football isn’t hockey.

Hockey is just a fight on ice.

Our society is sick with violence and, in sports, we need to change our thinking.

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MEME: Everything is as it should be

http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/07/20/12-tough-truths-that-help-you-grow/

POST WRITTEN BY: MARC CHERNOFF
12 Tough Truths that Help You Grow

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Everything is as it should be.  It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn.  Remember, oftentimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.

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I’m not sure if I can accept that.

I’m not sure if I even believe that.

I’m not sure if this is really true.

I’m certainly not evidence of that.

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MEME: Anything more than year ago is a historical lesson; less than a year, it might be a mistake

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/why-you-shouldnt-beat-yourself-up-over-something-from-the-past/?utm_source=feedly

Why You Shouldn’t Beat Yourself Up Over Something from the Past
POSTED ON JUNE 23, 2013 BY STEVE BLOOM | CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY POSTS

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I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve done things in the past I’m not proud of. I think most people can say that. Even if you always try to be a good person, you can end up doing something bad once in a while.

Sometimes it’s hard to look back on those past actions and rationalize them away. They can stick in your mind and make you feel bad.

But you can’t beat yourself up over them. Sometimes you just have to accept the things you’ve done and move on. Just because you did some bad things in the past doesn’t make you a bad person.

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Anything more than year ago is a historical lesson; less than a year, it might be a mistake

I learned this from watching my Mom, Dad, and other family members literally drive themselves crazy. Crazy in hospital, or bottle, or worse.

Hence I formed this meme. 

Even something that is less than a year old is hard to characterize as a “mistake”.

You may have made a choice that didn’t work out the way you thought. Does that make it a mistake?

There’s no VCR in life where you can retry stuff.

Think the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. Not only is it funny; it’s downright philosophical.

(imho)

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MEME: Guilt blocks your smarts

http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2012/04/how-to-be-less-stupid/

How to Be Less Stupid
Posted by James Altucher

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I’m really stupid. I can tell you in advance. I think at heart, if I work at it, I can be smart. But at the moment I’m largely an idiot. I feel I have the right knowledge but I let a lot of stuff get in the way. You know: “stuff”. Worries, guilt, paranoia, grudges, resentment. Like, for instance: I resent the people who resent me. I think they resent me for no reason. So now I resent them. What a circle-jerk!

I used to think when I added stuff to my brain I’d get smarter. But this is not true. For instance, if I look up when Charlemagne was born I’d just add a fact to my head which I will forget tomorrow. This won’t make me smarter. Subtraction, and not Addition, is what makes the window to the brain more clear, wipes away the smudges, opens the drapes.

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6)      Guilt. A good friend of mine wrote me recently. I should say, wrote me six weeks ago. Every day when I wake up I tell myself: don’t return emails until you read, then write. But then sometimes I have other things to do. Meetings. Or BS stuff. Or eating. I say, “ok, I will return that email later.” And then when later comes I feel bad that I haven’t returned his email earlier. Then at 3am I turn over and say to Claudia, “I didn’t return that email”. She says “Urgh…ushghsh…emmmm” which was not the answer I was looking for. Then I don’t sleep as much. Then I feel guilty. That takes away about 10% of my intelligence right there.

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Ahh, yes, I feel guilt.

Everyone says I have nothing to be guilty about.

That still doesn’t change how I feel.

Argh!

What do they know?

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MEME: Specifically

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/nine_things_successful_people.html?goback=.gde_1141097_member_114042212

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

8:58 AM Friday February 25, 2011
by Heidi Grant Halvorson 

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Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

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Seems simple enough. Be specific. And as specific as possible. I read that color is important. So I want ANOTHER blue FIT. This one that drives itself back and forth between NJ and VA. ROFL!

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MEME: Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition?

http://www.parablesite.com/

#1

The Obstacle in our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the kirig’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

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Very Zen?

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MEME: Often stats can show where our memes and paradigms are wrong

A MESSAGE SNIPPET FROM A EMIL EXCHANGE WITH LUDDITE:

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0216 is what time I wrote it. (Meaning the message,)

No, I just haven’t slept through the night in many years. The new doc is not happy with that and the sweats and other “symptoms”. So I am keeping a log for him.

I attribute the problems sleeping to the last six years of “training”. You might remember that EVY would say I would sleep through an atomic attack. As she got sicker, I “taught”my self to be a light sleeper and wake up often.

Like putting the cellphone on vibrate and have it alarm every thirty minutes. Slept with it rubber banded to my hand. That was so I could check her for low sugar during the night.

Rofl! How dumb was that?

Now I can’t sleep without a light on. When she would be in hospital (working with Brit and for a Brit i the past has rubbed off a little. Bloody hell!)

Any way, about the light on, when she was in the hospital, I began to sleep with the light on to remind me that she wasn’t there. This after a couple off times in a panic when she was NOT there and didn’t answer when I called her. Followed by a furious race around the house to “find” her. Quite funny really. Why would someone look in a cupboard? Or, another time, in my skivvies, checking the cars. Lucky I didn’t get arrested as a pervert. Anyway, you KNOW how crazed I was in those days. So, I started that habit and continue it to this days.

Like every room has to have a night light after the time she tripped over her blanket going to the bathroom.

Looks like Christmas lights around the house. Good thing they have sensors.

I have several techniques to get back to sleep as outlined in various self help books.

One is called “clearing”. The theory is that in trying to go back to sleep, you clear by writing any thinking that’s on your mind at that time. Some of my short stories are the result of that. If you’re “trying” to sleep, you might be afraid you’ll forget and the Universe keeps you awake so you don’t

[Privacy invoked]

And you’ve read my book and my blog so you know more about my paradigms and memes than I do about yours. Lol! Probably more than you want to know about a very very strange fellow!!!

[Privacy Invoked]

Most times when I’m upset about something if I actually gather data, I find my perception (paradigm) is flawed. In size, amount, impact, or other measures.

Statistic is an interesting discipline because usual human paradigms and memes are just plain wrong!

PS, look for this as a blog post!

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On Monday, May 14, 2012, LUDDITE wrote:

What’s this 0216 crap? Did I cause you to lose sleep? I know you said you have trouble…maybe when I get up there I will have to bring some sleep tips.

Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 2:16 AM
Subject: @0200 peridot — two am thinking about your work issues and “load”

LUDDITE,

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MEME: Occam’s, or Ockham’s, razor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

Occam’s razor

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Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor, Latin lex parsimoniae) is the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness. It is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect.

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Or, as I like to say it, “KISS — Keep it simple, stupid!”.

I took some trash yday for being too erudite (That’s, for the intellectually challenged or those eddykated in a Gooferment Skrule, using de big wurds.) and making a joke at the expense of poor old Ockham and his razor or a German knife.

Tuff!

Grow up.

Stretch your paradigms and memes.

(Pair of dimes is how you perceive stuff. Your eyes can deceive you. Look in Johari’s box.)

(Meme, like genes for ideas. How you think about thinking. SOP’s for life. An idea that can spread from human mind to human mind. Like a fad, rumor, or (mis)understanding. Think MegaBall Jackpot craze, “pet rock”, religious beliefs, and concepts like “money”. Memes can be handy shorthand, like the United States Government, Alma Mater, political party, or the “Tea Party”. They can be false like “Social Security is insurance”, “Laws protect me”, or even that there is such a thing as “government”. They can be unprovable “God Exists”. Or obvious, “Law of Gravity”.)

I refuse to accept that using the correct word, even if it’s big, uncommon, or strange, is being pedantic, obtuse, or show offy.

So, get a dictionary, use Wikipedia, or get lost!

:-)

The fat old white guy injineer is in his alter ego “Grumpy”.

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