Scott Adams on Comparing

photo by Mike Johnson -

Scott Adams Blog: Comparing 01/27/2011.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is onto to something here. We’re not very good at comparing. He proposes a course in comparison that includes sunk cost, time value of money, illusion of fairness, risk evaluation, considering the source, considering the wider context, etc. Read the post for the entire “curriculum.”

Lacking skills to compare alternatives leads to the partisan divide we have now. Making decisions because we just “know ” wastes time, effort, resources and demoralizes. Our inability to discuss alternatives as adults, give us the zero sum solutions – I win, you lose.  Let’s embrace and compare practical solutions that are give-give.

Update 03 FEB Listened to This American Life: Kid Politics, Act 2 Climate Changes, People Don’t. In this act, an articulate 14 year old climate change skeptic is presented evidence about climate change. We’re talking data,  peer-reviewed research. This comparing error is comparing data with opinion. In today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution OpEd section Focus on killers, not weapons they use, a reader compares 30 round magazines in handguns to bats and asks, “shouldn’t we ban bats ( …etc)” since they can be used as weapons.

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