Acts of Humility

Sendhil Mullainathan, professor of economics at Harvard, muses on human behavior:

Habits are powerful. We persist with many of them because we tend to give undue emphasis to the present. Trying something new can be painful: I might not like what I get and must forgo something I already enjoy. That cost is immediate, while any benefits — even if they are large — will be enjoyed in a future that feels abstract and distant.

Most notably, he suggests a significant reframing on the nature of experimentation.

Experimentation is an act of humility, an acknowledgment that there is simply no way of knowing without trying something different.

For me, this is liberating.

Yet, I admit, as does Mullainathan, that acting on this truth is remarkably more difficult than accepting it.