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(Psyche)   Inefficiency is like an insurance policy. Article extolling the virtues of at least some inefficiency in life to the left. Calm and reasoned discussion to the right   (psyche.co) divider line
    More: Interesting, Insurance, Economic efficiency, Economics, Investment, Financial crisis of 2007-2010, A Good Thing, good thing, Health insurance  
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162 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 28 Nov 2022 at 9:45 AM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



12 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-11-28 8:51:45 AM  
Childhood education should include learning some "inefficient" or outdated skills.
 
2022-11-28 9:01:39 AM  
"When making decisions, instead of asking ourselves which option will give us the best results, we should be asking which option will give us good-enough results under the widest range of future states of the world."

So... not keeping all the eggs in one basket?
 
2022-11-28 9:10:07 AM  
But we want the thing and we want it now! Now now now now now!
 
2022-11-28 9:20:34 AM  
I once redid a whole tedious mailing list task that was being done by hand as an email deal that took a few mins instead of about two hours. My boss, an older gentleman, thanked me and then explained that he used snail mail to be purposely inefficient. The letters notified a bunch of stakeholders about grants the organization made. Any of these people could chime in and ask questions about them.

If there's a pending question, we could not do final approval. If people can just hit reply on an email, they ask for the sake of asking. They ask stupid questions. It can get very annoying. If they gotta read a letter and then write one back to ask, or even dig up a contact phone/email, they only ask shiat if they really thinks it matters.

Lesson learned. I developed a healthy respect for *some* inefficiency and old timers that really know their jobs.
 
2022-11-28 9:43:35 AM  
Sounds like someone didn't adopt the Agile Mindset
 
2022-11-28 10:36:40 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Sounds like someone didn't adopt the Agile Mindset


JIT a minute, I left my Black Belt over by the LEAN machine
 
2022-11-28 10:37:23 AM  
Speed is the economy of motion.  Slow is smooth, smooth becomes fast.  If a minor process upset is able to cause additional motion, then you aren't being efficient.  You are dancing on a knife edge.

It's sort of like those random times on the interstate when traffic comes to a complete stop even though there was never a blockage.  What happens is that one guy slows down a little, the guy behind him is too close and slams the brakes, the guy behind him is too close and slams the brakes, repeat, repeat, repeat until traffic ends up stopping completely (sometimes a quarter mile or more back).  A safe following distance by the first guy would have absorbed a mild braking and everyone would still be moving full speed.  I saw a really good video once, but can't find it at the moment.
 
2022-11-28 10:47:09 AM  
So the correct search term is "traffic wave".  You can find some sciencey videos where they run an experiment with a ring of cars on a track, but I think the real word example really hits home:
Traffic shockwave in a Higway
Youtube Mh6PNQbKBYo
 
2022-11-28 10:50:32 AM  
I'm a big believer in maintaining a healthy margin for error (10-20%) because things rarely go exactly according to plan. If you think it's going to take 5 hours of effort to do A Thing, give yourself 6 or 7 hours. If it goes smoothly you get that time back. If it doesn't, you have time to adjust without stressing out.

I got lucky with an employer that was fine with that approach, since I usually got things done ahead of time. When things blew up, there was extra time, energy, and brain power available to deal with it. It's too bad new management does not agree and wonders why attrition is rising.
 
2022-11-28 11:16:42 AM  

RogermcAllen: Speed is the economy of motion.  Slow is smooth, smooth becomes fast.  If a minor process upset is able to cause additional motion, then you aren't being efficient.  You are dancing on a knife edge.

It's sort of like those random times on the interstate when traffic comes to a complete stop even though there was never a blockage.  What happens is that one guy slows down a little, the guy behind him is too close and slams the brakes, the guy behind him is too close and slams the brakes, repeat, repeat, repeat until traffic ends up stopping completely (sometimes a quarter mile or more back).  A safe following distance by the first guy would have absorbed a mild braking and everyone would still be moving full speed.  I saw a really good video once, but can't find it at the moment.


I think CGP Gray had one on that.
 
2022-11-28 12:06:41 PM  
Efficiency is defined by metrics.
Pick the wrong metrics, and you may be efficient, but you will be ineffective.
Pro tip: time and money are very, very seldom the best metrics.

Also; the more "efficient" a process is, the worse the consequences of even trivial disruption.
For example, the Ever Given was a model of efficiency. But it was operating near the limits of a lot of physics & human performance factors.  But damn it, the accounts insisted they squeeze every iota of money and time-saving out of that ship.
 
2022-11-28 12:27:53 PM  
Man, that article was all over the f*cking map.


Credit, for example, meant that you could go shopping for eggs and milk even without having the money right now.

This is a weird example to bring up as an 'efficiency'. Credit was primarily created out of profit-motivation, that it might also be efficient is just an added side benefit.


But the financial crisis of 2008 suggested that maybe there could be too much of a good thing. If mortgages and other loans hadn't been transformed into tradable assets ('securities'), then bankers might have taken the time to assess the credit-worthiness of each applicant.

This completely misses the central failure of the 2008 crisis, which is not necessarily that these investment products existed, but that they had been fraudulently labeled en masse  as being solid, stable investments, and not the toxic high-risk junk that they actually were.


Every year that you don't get into a car accident and your house doesn't burn down and you stay healthy, you could think to yourself that you have 'wasted' your money on various pointless insurance products, and that you'd be financially better off without all those insurance premiums to pay.

A huge chunk of that "waste" with insurance is because you're paying a for-profit company who gleefully pockets that money you "wasted". We could have the government operate insurance so that everyone's premium isn't just padding a profit margin, but that would be socialism, so we obviously can't have that.


I think the real flaw in capitalism revealed by the 2008 financial crisis was its unbridled, single-minded pursuit of profit and efficiency.

Again, why are you not talking about the outright FRAUD which is what actually brought the economy to the brink of collapse.


What a f*ckin' mess of a read. Would not read again.
 
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