I resisted the Freakonomics radio show/podcast for a stupid reason: I’m not very interested in economics.
It turns out, it’s not about economics per se. It’s a really interesting show exploring the hidden explanations for all manner of things.
The episode that got me started was this one: #323: Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Late–And What To Do About It.
I was driving on the highway with two college students when the episode was rebroadcast on the radio, and all three of us were riveted. (I’m sure this is strongly related to our lives filled with deadlines for term papers, in their case, and the MDK editorial calendar in mine.) Not sure we really learned “what to do about it,” but now we have a fancy new concept to blame for this familiar phenomenon: the planning fallacy, combined with optimism bias. No matter how many times you have done something, if you are a human, you are pretty much always going to predict that you are going to do it faster this time. It’s kind of sweet, and kind of discouraging.
The Freakonomics archive is chock full of intriguing episode titles.
See you later! (Really, later.)