One egg or two?

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/   Article

Hobson’s choice, Occam’s razor, Wheeler’s which and the way we decide

“Hobson’s choice is no choice at all. Take what’s offered, or walk away.

Occam’s razor is a rule of thumb: the simplest explanation is often the best one.

Wheeler’s which teaches us that the answer to ‘one egg or two?’ is usually ‘one’, while the answer to, ‘do you want an egg?’ is usually zero.

Occam, Hobson and Wheeler were all scholars of something humans are fabulously bad at: deciding among multiple options.

Getting good at this is a skill, something we can do better if we choose to. That might be the first decision.

[Some readers were curious about the ‘Wheeler which.’ Elmer Wheeler was a sales trainer nearly a century ago. He got hired by a chain of drugstores to increase sales at the soda fountain. In those days, a meal might consist of just an ice cream soda for a nickel. But for an extra penny or two, you could add a raw egg (protein!). Obviously, if more people added an egg, profits would go up. Wheeler taught the jerks (isn’t that a great job title?) to ask anyone who ordered a soda, ‘One egg or two?’ Sales of the egg add-on skyrocketed.]”

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