Summary of Trial, Error and the God Complex

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Rating

8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


Recommendation

The certainty that comes from being an expert in your field is assuring. But beware, warns Tim Hartford in this entertaining, cautionary lecture, because the “God complex” that feels so good also cripples problem solving and innovation. The process of trial and error, on the other hand, creates value within complex systems. getAbstract recommends this summary to those seeking to advance social policy, scientists, politicians, economists and educators.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the “God complex” is part of human nature,
  • Why it cripples problem solving within complex systems, and
  • Why trial and error is the most robust means of problem solving and leads to innovative results.
 

About the Speaker

“Undercover economist” Tim Harford is a journalist for the Financial Times.

 

Summary

Through rigorous experiments, precise record keeping and sheer courage, Dr. Archie Cochrane, a prisoner of war in a German camp during World War II, improved the health of fellow prisoners. Cochrane and many of his comrades suffered a mysterious illness that created swelling under the skin. Recognizing...

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