Monday, June 27, 2011

Optimistic Consultants

OMG. This cracks me up.
From a World Bank report about high-speed rail projects being oversold:
"A whole new area of behavioral research has been generated by the phenomenon of over-forecasting in transport, known as 'optimism bias.' But a brief reading of the early days of railway development in the U.S.A. and Europe would quickly reveal that optimism bias is actually an inherited trait, handed down over generations, which tends to emerge whenever the recessive gene of optimism becomes over-stimulated by the dominant gene of self interest."14

14 - Whether professional or financial, the latter becoming prevalent when projects are supported by consultants and financial advisers working on a success-fee basis.

Translation by my fish-head teammate: "people are delusional, and consultants are happy to obfuscate reality in pursuit of payment."

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. You should watch this:

    I've been meaning to tell you about it, kind of suitable for this article. Interesting example as well if you choose to look at in a free markets, capitalism kind of way :).