this is groundbreaking stuff – a thorough and cogent argument for some guidance on life issues. This is the ultimate application of the kind of stuff the cognitive engineering and decision making technical group at HFES works on. Brilliant!
People have been ‘engineering’ decision making since the dawn of time. As they say in the Navy, "navy regulations are written in blood"–something bad happened, so they wrote the rules to prevent it from happening again. before you go rocketing off the catapult, every part of your plane is checked, all the red flags are removed, nothing is left to chance… because if something goes wrong, you’ll end up with a Martin-Baker tie … if you’re lucky.
You might be alarmed by the fact that on new planes (Airbus A380 for example), the pilot is only a ‘voting member’ of the flight crew–the plane is actually flown by the computer (a quadruple redundant fly by wire system). Without the computers, the plane would be much harder to control, less efficient, and more susceptible to windshear, weather conditions, and damage. Some military aircraft can’t be flown without computer assistance–the F117 isn’t a really flying shape, the computer makes it controllable and stay in the sky.
So what’s so bad about doing the same thing for real life? Putting the fruit close to the checkout in the cafeteria is a good idea–it promotes public health, and is pretty painless. And if there simply weren’t twinkies, well, you wouldn’t miss them anyway.
A little more insidious is Keep the Change by Bank of America and IDEO. They won an IDEA Gold Award for their crafty ‘homer simpson’ outwitting system, and if that’s what it takes to get people to save, well, that may be necessary and prudent. right now Americans save -0.1% of their income. that’s right, a negative number. so maybe some cognitive engineering is a good idea, even if sleazy and underhanded.
Roger Kimball decries this meddling as socialism. Aside from getting his definition of socialism wrong, and conveniently forgetting the successes of the more paternalistic societies (if socialism is so bad, why do Norway and Finland top the world rankings in quality of life?), this engineering is already a part of your life.
that’s right, you’re already being nudged.
remember the last time you were in the grocery store or 7-11 or Duane Reade or any store for that matter? notice the candy right in the checkout aisle? it’s there, within arms reach, for you to just grab. Clever, eh? What about all of the ads you see on TV and bus shelters and billboards and on your screen right now?
yep, your thoughts are being pushed around by Madison Avenue. and they’re probably up to no good, because they’re just doing it for money.
So, the question is, who do you want to pull your strings and why, not whether you want them pulled.
Due to the 11:30 start time, I didn’t have to stay over up there, and picked up Jose and crammed Jane into the back seat in the morning. Arriving with plenty of time, there was plenty of opportunity to warm up, chat with people and get ready for bear.
But the story begins the day before: I rode over to the store to make sure everything was set, and managed to pick up a little flake of glass in the rear tire. I noticed it was soft, and spying the flake, pulled it out. the tubular went flat, and I tried the CO2 cartridge to reinflate it, which just froze the valve and didn’t pump up the tire. So i was forced to walk the mile home and use the pump. When I mounted the tubulars to begin with, I put Tufo sealant in them. So, when I got home I pumped up the tire, and lo and behold, it held 120 psi just fine. I superglued the hole, and in the morning, the tire was still holding 120. good deal.
So the race got off to a good start, a few people launched themselves on futile, stupid breaks, and on lap 2, a group of about 10 left the front. I saw a red jersey, but couldn’t tell whether Jose was in it or not. I didn’t want to chase him down, and was boxed in anyway, so I stayed put. On the back stretch, there was a crash on the right side a row ahead of me, and fortunately I was able to easily get around it and get back up to speed. I thought Jose was safe, in the break.
On descent 3, I pushed my way to the front and bombed down the hill, placing myself at the front for the climb. with Adam behind me, I was climbing at a hot pace, thinking the break was still up the road, with Jose safe in it. I wanted to make people hurt, then sit back and block a bit. well, I burned myself out and didn’t have anything left at the top of the climb, and watched the pack leave on me.
A chase pack formed, with another guy who knew his stuff, and we set to work in a nice little paceline of about 8, and kept picking people up. we worked fairly efficiently, but I was still hurting from the effort up climb 3, but made the best of it.
pulling towards the finish, I came in midpack in our little sprint finish, but i was pretty satisfied with that, but still unhappy with blowing up due to bad tactics. after a quick look in the parking lot for Jose, I looped back out to the course, just in time to see him motor through the check gate. Aparrently, he finished behind me.
Adam, our other man, came in 2nd, behind andrew, a friend from the triangle rides. good for them!
As far as my racing, I learned some useful things:
- clif bars are like eating a kingsford briquette. bloks and gu are the way to go.
- 2 big bottles was barely enough fluids. I ran dry as planned, but would have liked more fluids. Next time it will either be feed or
- (contributed by Jose) Perpetuem is too heavy for racing.
- the race goes to the strategic (i.e. lazy). in a long race, conserve energy as much as possible.
- a lot of cat4s have no idea what they’re doing, both in terms of riding and tactics, no wonder Velocity can have success by being organized!
- tufo sealant in the tubulars is a wise thing to do.