Neurath’s Boat via Robert Seawright

From Bob Seawright:

The world we live in is profoundly complex and is much more difficult for us to navigate than we usually think or assume. According to Dan Kahneman, “We systematically underestimate the amount of uncertainty to which we’re exposed, and we are wired to underestimate the amount of uncertainty to which we are exposed.” Accordingly, “we create an illusion of the world that is much more orderly than it actually is.”

Our ability to forecast the future, much less control the future, is extremely limited and is far more limited than we want to believe. That’s why the planning fallacy is such a constant and monumental problem. We simply misapprehend (or ignore) the data far too often. Instead, we concoct stories — often wonderful stories — to provide an interpretive framework for our forecasts, expectations and decisions. That framework is necessary for us to “sell” our stories and ourselves.

He continues:

We are always tempted and too often swayed by the shiny new object — the next “silver bullet” — that will make things right. Sadly, life doesn’t seem to work that way very often. No matter what our stories say.

Spot on.

Otto Neurath
Otto Neurath