Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slate ran an article on William Kauffman. I'd read a thing he wrote back in college but it didn't really stick. Basically he was a leader in developing America's cold war nuclear strategy, left that gig, and when he was out of the Pentagon-RAND loop changed his opinion dramatically. His life tells us a lot about the problems with decision making in pressurized, homogenous environments.

Every subculture, especially every bureaucratized subculture, has a set of unquestioned assumptions—bits of "conventional wisdom...The key to preserving one's sanity and wisdom is not to fall prey to their assumptions, not to fear sounding stupid by questioning them—to stay an inside player without losing a common-sense outsider's perspective.

Good stuff.


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