Data vs. Instinct

A striking observation:

Being willing to ask probing, difficult questions about what is really working versus what just feels good is often a tough shift for organizations that are used to running on instinct and anecdote.

Michael Slaby

2 thoughts on “Data vs. Instinct

  1. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe […] that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify.

    [… W]e cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion [… U]nless there is in the community at large a growing conviction that prejudice and intuition are not enough, the working out of realistic opinion which takes time, money, labor, conscious effort, patience, and equanimity, will not find enough support. That conviction grows as self-criticism increases, and makes us conscious of buncombe, contemptuous of ourselves when we employ it, and on guard to detect it. Without an ingrained habit of analyzing opinion when we read, talk, and decide, most of us would hardly suspect the need of better ideas, nor be interested in them when they appear […]

    ― Walter Lippmann. Public Opinion. pp. 249, 254.

  2. Oops. The “[…W]e cannot”… and “[… U]nless”… are two different sentences, but the ellipses kind of don’t make that obvious.

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