Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cognitive Biases
Here's a pretty impressive list of cognitive biases that whether you are aware of them or not may blindside you. I can remember the day when I got hit over the head by a major cognitive bias. During the 70s, I was quite excited about women's lib and all the new options opening up for women. Then in the 80s, a very attractive, very competent woman in her middle 20s was brought in from another division and became the first woman in the history of the plant to be company car level. Prior to that, the pattern for women was to be 4th level during your 20s, 5th level during your 30s and capped at 6th level if you'd given your life to the company and hadn't married. So when this young, bright, beautiful woman jumped over everyone and landed at 8th level, the rules changed and they changed in a way that rewarded a combination of youth, intelligence and beauty. While I had thought myself all self-righteous and idealistic, the truth is I was motivated by self-interest - expanded opportunities for myself. And that's how I see liberation movements. People are finding for expanded opportunites that are in their self-interest and I say go for it - that's a good thing - and I'll be there for you when you discover that you've done a good thing for those who come after after. There are those that plant and those that reap and the reapers just don't know the people around them planted those seeds.

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