Habits and Happiness 15: Habits and (all too) Human Error

Habits and Happiness 14: Habits and Human Error

As I progress very slowly I am mindful of the fact that my mind and my fallible human judgement can let me down. Just one pint and watch the first half and soon I am munching massive burger and having a multiple of pints. Talking of football I am not going to make excuses for England’s naïve defending or their toothless attack, nor even their milquetoast midfield. I though BBC Newsnight’s excellent Economics Editor and by far sharpest analyst of the economic crisis, Paul Mason got it best see. http://tinyurl.com/ye74nr7. it’s the referees I am interested in. Those who have read my blog before will know that I share a general exasperation with the ironclad resistance of referees and their apologists to change, and the Lampard goal incident amplifies this. Some people are addicted to the habits they have of doing things, and the blazered bureaucrats of FIFA make the Luddite machine breakers look like change champions from Palo Alto. In essence FIFA won’t let technology such as Hawkeye or a common or garden TV picture, decide on goal line clearances. They will however have an extra goal line official at each end. I can testify as a Fulham fan who saw the wrong player sent off in a crucial Europa league game against Roma, that this has about as much chance of working as Kerry Katona has of becoming the next Poet Laureate.

The official who saw what happened stood there dumbly embarrassed whilst the fans raged and the referee studiously ignored him anyway. When it comes to lino's the referee usually acts like someone who has taken Hofstede’s power distance index as an instruction rather than a benchmark. Humans are too confident about their own abilities to manage complexity. As an L&TD specialist I think we should stretch ourselves to our cognitive limit but humans are sometimes bad at making complex decision in condition of uncertainty. That’s why we have advanced by using technology.

Consider the aviation industry. Human error was identified as the cause of many accidents, because however skilled, individuals are sometimes too slow cognitively and too confused to react to their environment. Controlled Flight Into Terrrain http://www.tinyurls.co.uk/C6385 (CFIT), is the sanitised acronym the safety authorities use for a crash caused by pilot error. Now imagine instead of introducing a simplified series of cockpit drills, (checklists), and the aid of technology autopilot, auto-throttle , auto land etc. the airlines had instead added two more pilots. What would be the impact of those additional human being?. Confusion and complexity that’s what ? Junior pilots saying nothing and adding nothing whilst senior ones unaided by technology to reduce their workload continue to make mistakes! Any parallels? Please learn the lesson FIFA. Technology can help us make sense of complex data and we should use it.



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