Bias

Let’s go back in time in word war II and to be specific, let’s be in position of making some choices which could make us win the war or loose it. At mid of nowhere this conversation with my brother took us back in time and gave us a profound insight about the nature of reality. Let’s dive in,

Jo: I came across something strange, I felt like my mind got stuck in the infinite loop.

Me: (Hahah!) Can you at least describe that loop? I’m curious.

Jo: It’s not a loop perce but it’s a strange way of approaching reality which is not realistic.

Me: Damn it! I’m lost. Make it simple please.

Jo: Have you ever come across this quote, it goes by “If you only focus on what obvious, you will always miss the enormous.”

Me: Yeah! I’m pretty familiar with that.

Jo: Are you sure?!

Me: Come onnnnn… I know it.

Jo: Let me check if you really know what you are talking about.

Me: Ok, bring it on.

Jo: Here is the diagram aero plane from the war II. Have you ever come across it?

Me: No, Bro. But what are these dots for?!

Jo: Each time the the ship return from war they recorded the area where it get shot. And those dots represents the area where the shot happened the most.

Me: Ok, got it. Damn it! It full of holes. Ok, carry on.

Jo: Now after a while they decided that they want to build an amour or some sort of guard to protect the plane during war.

Me: Yeah! That sound logical, especially if you have this kind of data.

Jo: Exactly! But the issue was that it was impossible to put an amour all over the plane since it would be impossible to fly it.

Me: Sure.

Jo: So, can you guess base on data they had, Where was the reasonable place to put a armor plates?

Me: Owww!!! That obvious!!! The areas where the plane get shot the most.

Jo: Well they thought like you initially but they didn’t.

Me: Hahahah… Damn that too obvious?! But how?! If I refer to the quote you mentioned earlier about obvious things, I have the feeling I’m lost or something is missing. But I don’t see any error with my flow.

Jo: Have you ever heard of survivorship bias.

Me: Nop!

Jo: Then it’s normal conclude that way, I also thought the same initially but I was mind blown to find I was wrong.

Me: Yeah! I think I’m already blown away. So what is it?

Jo: Actually, the place with less statistical shots are the areas they concluded to place the armor plates/bullet proofs.

Me: (Hahah!) Well, that make no sense at all.

Jo: Think like this …
…Most data was recorded from the planes which return from the war
…So this planes got shot but somehow managed to make it back
…But other planes also got shot but never made it back
…Hence this planes got shot to places we didn’t record any data
…So if we want them to be back we have to guard the areas without shots record

…In simple terms the way we observe these data misguide our conclusions

Jo: It’s pretty counter intuitive.

Me: Damn!! (Hahah!) Wooooooow!!! Well, I didn’t see that coming.

Jo: And eventually in Word War 2 Britain used this approach and it worked super well. However many individuals rejected the idea initially due to the bias created by data they observed.

Me: Well, now I’m in the loop.

Jo: (Hahah!) Why?!

Me: I get this feeling that I have done this mistake several times. Not in planes but in real life. I may pick particular individuals as my icons and get bias. I may see how our parents live and get bias. I may start a single business and get bias and got forbid I may have few relationship and get bias. It’s so tricky to consider the unknown in a logical manner when you have the biased experience at hand. It’ so weird.

Jo: Damn! Don’t overthink about it. (Hahah!) I have spent days to figure out how to dodge it, but I never come with something solid out of it.

Me: I think something can help this, not 100% percent but somehow.

Jo: Seriously!?

Me: Yeah! Before making particular critical decision it’s important to arrive to your conclusion from different points of views. But still as long as something is missing we will always be prone to this kind of error.

Jo: Sure, But either way it’s life and as usual it’s always bizarre and paradoxical in either direction you head.

Me: (Hahah!) And that the beauty of it, It’s absolute mysterious.

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