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July 07, 2006


Daniel O'Connor

It's a great list, Dave. We seem to have very similar libraries.

The more I learn about how systematically messed up our decision making really is, the more amazed I am that we've managed to survive this long.

Nevertheless, I think there are a couple of ways to systematically reduce the impact of individual biases in decision making:

1) markets and other self-organizing decision making processes in which large numbers of people learn their way out of the messes they've created without necessarily intending to do so and without even understanding what they're collectively doing.

2) psychological development to awaken structures of consciousness through which our common biases and defensive routines become more transparent and less powerful.

Taken together, I see the potential for more mindful, innovative markets and organizations.



I agree with you, Daniel. Wondering however, whether you and I sometimes wax too optimistic (me, only in my fleeting bouts of "butterfly effect" optimism).

I added Deborah Stone's "Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making" and Robert Jervis' "System Effects: Complexity in Poitical and Social Life" to my short list of suggested reading on decision making.

I decided that I had overlooked those two books on on my shelves when I posted, and that they rightfully ought to be included. Those two and about a hundred others.... But we wouldn't want to over-burden our readers, would we?

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