Qonspiracy Warehouse

Bill Murray used to do a very funny routine where he was the sleazy piano bar musician playing inane tunes and urging a sing-along to an audience which was oblivious to his kitschy banter. Do you know the words to the music of Star Wars? We all roared with laughter. But my mother had a very different reaction. Having a great deal of experience in small piano bars, she saw Murray as the quintessential loser struggling to remain relevant: he wasn’t funny; he was sad. My mother didn’t like Bill Murray … he was too real.

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Survivorship Bias


I have suggested reading You Are Not So Smart several times on this weblog. This week’s posting struck me as an obvious problem with human thinking so I thought I would share a bit of the analysis and suggest you read the entire article at You Are Not So Smart.

Simply put, survivorship bias is your tendency to focus on survivors instead of whatever you would call a non-survivor depending on the situation. Sometimes that means you tend to focus on the living instead of the dead, or on winners instead of losers, or on successes instead of failures. …

It is easy to do. After any process that leaves behind survivors, the non-survivors are often destroyed or rendered mute or removed from your view. If failures becomes invisible, then naturally you will pay more attention to successes. Not only do you fail to recognize that what is missing might have held important information, you fail to recognize that there is missing information at all.

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