Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’

Did Anyone Notice That…

May 7, 2013
English: Christiane Amanpour at the Vanity Fai...

The queen of news reporting…Christiane Amanpour!

In my last post, I was fooled by randomness, or more specifically, by my System 1 thinking. I had hoped that a couple Kahneman fans would call me out in the comments section – though that is not to imply that my rush to judgement was intended as a test (it wasn’t)!

What am I talking about? Well, in my last post, I called out Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina based solely on her appearance on Christiane Amanpour’s excellent show. Now, if we think about it, it makes zero sense to base our entire judgement of her ability to govern on one appearance on one news show. I don’t know if we have any experts on Bangladeshi government  residing here on TPS Planet, but I am certainly not one. I would need a great deal more information on her regime, their policies, and their effectiveness in managing change before making even the slightest judgement in this regard.

The story is a great illustration of how our minds work, though. Our system 1 makes rapid judgements about individuals. When there is little evidence of a particular trait available, we fill in those gaps in information with what we do know – substituting good qualities when we have an overall good feeling about someone and vice versa. On a blog post meant to entertain, the consequences are not dire. In other cases – negotiation involving known suppliers being one – we need to take steps to avoid that bias.

We’ll explore those in greater detail in the days, weeks or months that follow…whenever my lazy System 2 gets itself motivated again.

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Bangladesh, Kahneman, and Browsers

May 2, 2013
Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Random notes make yet another appearance on TPS Planet today. Today’s excuse? My System 2 is a little overloaded after a week of deep procurement thought. Guess what I’m currently reading…

  • Looks like Bangladesh has deeper problems than poorly constructed buildings…and that’s not to underestimate the building problem. Prime Minister Hasina of Bangladesh embarrassed herself on Amanpour Thursday evening.
  • Just found out that Kahneman and Nassim Taleb are friends (or at least outwardly friendly). This revelation gives me a warm glow inside…I feel my own cognitive dissonance slowly melting away as two of my favorite intellectuals have found some common ground.
  • Currently powering my way through Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman. There are so many good parts that it is hard to randomly choose one, but when has randomness ever stood in the way of fairness, right?! During his discussion of people that are seemingly dominated by System 1 (rapid, but often inaccurate) thinking, I couldn’t help but recall dinner conversations in which I became bored beyond belief as System 1 cannons made the air murky with their dark smoke.
  • Jon Stewart may be the funniest man of our current generation. He has proven that generating a laugh at the expense of one’s opponents is approximately 30 times (trust me…I’m a stats guy!) more effective than giving a lecture. 85% of all statistics are invented on the spot anyway.
  • Firefox is attempting to do the near impossible – i.e. make me switch browsers. A couple years ago, a few reports that Safari was insecure (teenagers can be so cruel), led me to hop on the Mozilla wagon train. Now, even though I have allowed cookies in my Firefox preferences, I’m blocked from, among other things, reading my favorite right-wing propaganda business news in the Wall Street Journal.

Have a great weekend, and for heaven’s sake, leave a comment. There are enough of you out there that I should be getting more than the occasional spam bot trying to sell knock-off Nike’s.


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