"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe


Contemplating Our Conclusions

This short post first appeared on the excellent blog, "Our Dinner Table" on February 27, 2013. It was written by Seth, a regular contributor to this site.

Short on words, long on potential for provoking thought about the conclusions we regularly accept because of the regularity of their repetition.

Signals Rather Than Causes

Being a homeowner makes one responsible.
More likely:
Responsible people become homeowners.

Going to preschool improves ones chances of success.
More likely:
Having parents that do a lot of things, including sending kids to preschool, improves ones chances of success.

A college degree increases your earnings.
More likely:
Ambitious folks find ways to make more money. I’ve heard of studies that look at non-college graduates that have similar ambition and work ethic as college graduates that show that they have about the same earnings as college graduates.

Countries with government health care have better health, as measured by life expectancy and infant mortality, than the U.S.
More likely:
Other factors like health habits, diet choices, demographics, lifestyle choices and differences in the way these health stats are tracked from country to country have bigger impact than whether the health care system is provided by government or not.

Can you think of any?


Brian Jennings said...

It would be good fun to come up with 100 of these assumption challenging statements.

Brian Jennings said...

If I was wealthier, I would be happier.
More likely:
If I was wealthier, I would have more stuff and be about as happy as I am already.

If I had more time, I would ...fill in the blank with some lofty goal....learn to play the piano...lower my handicap...grow better roses, etc.
More likely:
I would find other trivial distractions or other excuses to not achieve goals.

If the Blackhawks go undefeated, I will reside in Fan-nirvana.
More likely:
If the Blackhawks go undefeated, I willbe incapable of enjoying being a fan of any team ever again, since all will pale by comparison.