Saturday, June 5, 2010

Snapshot Fallacy

The desire for governmental fixes to our short term problems are always based on a common human mistake: The snapshot fallacy. In a picture you are given an infinitesimally small time frame with static information from which to draw all of your conclusions. This is another example of the knowledge problem. We look at the now and try to solve it as quickly as it happened. But that is in effect trying to pay for a 1 trillion dollar debt in one day. The debt accrued over a long time, yet it went undetected. Now that we can see the aggregate result and or consequences of our previous decisions over time we finally realize the folly of our ways, yet in cases where we borrow again against the future we are simply perpetuating the problem. Only long term solutions work for long term problems. However human ingenuity can create solutions that maximize the speed with which we can fix our previous woes, but if the solution is not based upon reality, then we again will cause even newer and by their very nature, more complex and thus more difficult problems to spot and fix (law of compounding action: All actions are based off of the altered perceived reality created by their results)

To combat this phenomenon we must first be honest with ourselves and accept things that are true even though we don't like them. Then we must seek the Truth out honestly. This will give us the knowledge to to fix problems, but then we must do the hardest part, and that is abide by these laws. If we do not follow them, then all our fixes will be flawed, and produce worse results.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Jarod. Seems everyone wants things done yesterday and has very little patience for what it takes for things to work out in a sustaining manner. This principle bodes well for all aspects of life.


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