questioning the small decisions we make
Wed Jul 6 21:27:44 2016 - permalink -
are we really making a decision at all?
it's not obvious that they said, "should i buy a house", it's just, "which house will i buy?"
it's this sort of, gliding over of very important choices, is quite interesting
A: oral rehydration therapy & completely preventable childhood deaths in india due to diarrhea
Last Mile Problem: interesting thing we see in social policy
there'll be some core problem that we'll find a technical solution to, like a real solution
but what we neglect is this last little bit which is the annoying part, it's not the science part, it's the human part, it's just a thing we underresource. we have this view "build it and they will come". we'll make e.g. vaccines, high-yielding crops and then the problem will solve itself.
35-50% of women in india say, when child has diarrhea, to reduce water -- they are making their child more likely to die
Most people: "that's just stupid"
A: think of the mental model behind this (not put water leaky water into bucket) is intuitively right, it just doesnt happen to be right about the world
e.g. medieval: put person with fever into cold water
what's really frustrating and puzzling about the last-mile problem to me is, the first 999 miles are all about science, but the last mile we just haphazardly do
we put BILLIONS of dollars into fuel efficient technology
how much are we putting into energy behavior change
in a credible systematic testing way
A: the problem is the problem of choosing.
e.g. i go to gym every day, because not really a "choice" -- if i woke up in the morning and had to choose, i guarantee you i wouldn't go
much like with brushing my teeth, i don't really choose to brush my teeth ("ah i'm really tired i gotta brush my teeth")
Once it's just a thing with a rule and not a choice, it changed everything
Q: nudging people to do the right thing / be rational about their health, it's not always about giving them more information, it's about understanding the choice?
A: Yes, it's about finding, what is the psychological blockage.
I started out feeling like "these are all examples of irrational behavior" -- bias both from economics, but human nature. "why can't you just take your pill? that's just stupid."
but i think that perspective is highly mistaken and makes it harder to find solutions.
I've found it's much more helpful to understand what's right about it. We know the bigger reference frame in which it's stupid, we undersatnd what's wrong about it.
But if you're going to change it, you have to understand what feels right about it, in that moment, at that time.
Because that's the key to unlocking it.
We're on the verge of a whole new social science, that recognizes the complexity of the human mind. That careful testing, retesting, design, are going to upon up whole vistas, creating both of new science, and change the world as we know it.