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The Logic Of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations

by Dietrich Dorner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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624637,738 (3.79)7
Why do we make mistakes? Are there certain errors common to failure, whether in a complex enterprise or daily life? In this truly indispensable book, Dietrich Dörner identifies what he calls the logic of failure",certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now. Working with imaginative and often hilarious computer simulations, he analyzes the roots of catastrophe, showing city planners in the very act of creating gridlock and disaster, or public health authorities setting the scene for starvation. The Logic of Failure is a compass for intelligent planning and decision-making that can sharpen the skills of managers, policymakers and everyone involved in the daily challenge of getting from point A to point B.… (more)
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
An unusual book and subject matter covering the experiments the author performed on different types of people (lay or expert) in tasks involving managing of virtual villages. The main idea is humans are actually very bad at managing resources, and they are bad in certain near predictable ways. We overreact, we obsess, we reframe situations and we do not understand processes that change with a delay in time.

This book, this subject matter is of paramount importance, but I have not found much similar accessible text. The actual writing is not amazing but the content is unique. ( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
A good book which should be read by more people. As I read it, I worried whether I was guilty of any of the errors the people described in the book were making. ( )
  MarkLacy | May 29, 2022 |
A concise, clear and thought-provoking study of how humans make decisions when confronted by complex systems, drawing upon psychological experiments using computer simulations. ( )
1 vote JLHeim | Sep 2, 2013 |
A guided tour of why we tend to misunderstand complex systems. At the end of it I wanted access to the simulations to try my hand at them and learn from my own mistakes. ( )
  muness | Oct 7, 2009 |
Human beings often make errors when confronted a complex system. Dorner uses the results of decision-making experiments with computer simulations to describe the types of errors that people often make. Conclusions are interesting, but presentation is a bit dull and academic. There are more interesting books on this topic, like Perrow's "Normal Accidents", Tenner's "Why Things Bite Back" and Weinberg's "Introduction to General Systems Thinking". ( )
1 vote lorin | Apr 12, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorner, Dietrichprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kimber, RitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kimber, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Why do we make mistakes? Are there certain errors common to failure, whether in a complex enterprise or daily life? In this truly indispensable book, Dietrich Dörner identifies what he calls the logic of failure",certain tendencies in our patterns of thought that, while appropriate to an older, simpler world, prove disastrous for the complex world we live in now. Working with imaginative and often hilarious computer simulations, he analyzes the roots of catastrophe, showing city planners in the very act of creating gridlock and disaster, or public health authorities setting the scene for starvation. The Logic of Failure is a compass for intelligent planning and decision-making that can sharpen the skills of managers, policymakers and everyone involved in the daily challenge of getting from point A to point B.

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