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March 15, 2015



"However, this bias isn't always a costly one. Quite the opposite. The entrepreneur who thinks "I reckon this is a good idea, so others will too" is more likely to give us new products and companies than the man with a clearer-minded view."

I'm not sure about this. He's also more likely to waste resources on a stupid idea. So, at some level over optimism of this type must be bad for society. It follows that there's an optimal level of consensus bias among entrepreneurs (and potential entrepreneurs).

Is your assumption that we're below that optimum?


Wasn't there some study of prisoners in which they rated themselves as more trustworthy than average? And in a rare moment of self-knowledge, merely averagely law-abiding.

Luis Enrique

Well, there are two mistakes you can make. One is thinking everybody else is like you, the other is thinking other people are different to you.

Steven Clarke

"For me, one implication of this is that we should go out of our way to seek out cognitive diversity - to remind ourselves that our ideas might be minority ones."

The converse is true. Our view may be the majority one, and it may be wrong. Seeking out a different, minority view may then be helpful in puncturing any group-think.


"Cognitive diversity" is something conservatives would like to see more of, while progressives are probably correcting in thinking this would undercut racial diversity. Which kind of diversity is more important? Presumably racial diversity is important BECAUSE it promotes cognitive diversity. But does it?

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