💬 From vaccines to homework, why we humans can’t stop overpromising

Replied to From vaccines to homework, why we humans can’t stop overpromising (Tim Harford)

“Facing a choice,” he wrote, “we gave up rationality rather than give up the enterprise.” The project took eight years and ended in failure.

Tim, your discussion of overpromising reminded me of something from Nassim Nicholas Taleb in Black Swans that ‘the longer you wait, the longer you will be expected to wait’.

With human projects and ventures we have another story. These are often scalable, as I said in Chapter 3. With scalable variables, the ones from Extremistan, you will witness the exact opposite effect. Let’s say a project is expected to terminate in 79 days, the same expectation in days as the newborn female has in years. On the 79th day, if the project is not finished, it will be expected to take another 25 days to complete. But on the 90th day, if the project is still not completed, it should have about 58 days to go. On the 100th, it should have 89 days to go. On the 119th, it should have an extra 149 days. On day 600, if the project is not done, you will be expected to need an extra 1,590 days. As you see, the longer you wait, the longer you will be expected to wait.(Page 159)

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