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The Elephant in the Airport

Tom Evslin on why we should focus on single issues at our peril. He concludes with 4 lessons :

  • Pilots are taught never to focus on a single threat or a single instrument to the exclusion of everything else in and around the plane. (Letting the threat of climate change overwhelm consciousness of all other threats was poor public policy.)
  • Models are of limited use in projecting the course of chaotic phenomena like disease or climate or the economy. (Models are a tool for understanding through simplification; but not all complex interactions can be simplified usefully.)
  • β€œListen to the science” is a guide but not a panacea. Climatologists will tell you that climate change is the elephant in the room. Epidemiologists will tell you we should focus solely on disease.
  • When everyone is looking in one direction, look the other way.

That third one reminded me of an apocraphyl story we used to tell back in the Group Partner days …

If a compnay had a Β£10 million budget and asked Oracle, IBM, WPP and Accenture to solve the problem, the answerr would be respectively

  • a better way of managing the data in the compnay
  • new hardware
  • a multi audience advertising campaign
  • a consulting program to get to the bottom of the problem
What Else? Back British Pub Culture | ANON NOT my original words. They came to me through the ether and the only credit I have thius far found is : β€˜KJMB’, for now planted here for posterity. Next The TipShitShow Matt Stoller writing on How the Pandemic Is Launching the Era of Online Platform Regulation. We know that Google and Facebook disinter-mediated the
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