King of Human Error influences Checklist Manifesto

Vanity Fair has an article by Michael Lewis on Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow book.

December 2011

The King of Human Error

Billy Beane’s sports-management revolution, chronicled by the author inMoneyball, was made possible by Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. At 77, with his own new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, the Nobel Prize-winning Kahneman reveals the built-in kinks in human reasoning—and he’s Exhibit A.

Related: “The Quiz Daniel Kahneman Wants You to Fail.”

THINKING MAN Daniel Kahneman outside his Berkeley, California, home. “He [is] more alert and alive than most 20-year-olds,” writes Lewis.

We’re obviously all at the mercy of forces we only dimly perceive and events over which we have no control, but it’s still unsettling to discover that there are people out there—human beings of whose existence you are totally oblivious—who have effectively toyed with your life.

One of the data center executives turned me on to the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, and guess what.  Atul was influenced by the same King of Human Error.

When you wander into the work of Kahneman and Tversky far enough, you come to find their fingerprints in places you never imagined even existed. It’s alive in the work of the psychologist Philip Tetlock, who famously studied the predictions of putative political experts and found they were less accurate than predictions made by simple algorithms. It’s present in the writing of Atul Gawande (Better, The Checklist Manifesto), who has shown the dangers of doctors who place too much faith in their intuition.

One of the patterns that is interesting to investigate is where the judgement errors are made in the data center.

Why is this important for a green data center?  Because there are judgement errors all over the place.