Published 2010. Authors are: prof of learning tech, founder of maritime software company, founder of educational software company.
Two systems for decision-making: hot associative recall of similar situations / analogous situations / stories / proverbs etc vs cold calculation. Authors strongly put down cold system, without any real references or actual arguments. Reminiscent of Blink in it’s unbounded enthusiasm for the power of intuition.
Hot system relies on having a body of relevant stories to recall. Main thrust of the book is that companies should build a library of stories about previous decisions, good and bad, and a human-like recall system that can provide appropriate stories at the relevant point in time.
Obstacles that are not discussed:
- Human-like recall. Many of the hypothetical examples in the book display recall by analogy, proverbs etc based on a strong understanding of contextual information. There is no detail at all on how this might be implemented, and as far as I’m aware this is beyond the reach of current IR.
- Effectiveness of hot reasoning. Ignores the many documented domains where long years of experience increase confidence, but not competence. May be a slight edge here, since a library of stories could be annotated with high-latency feedback that the original decision maker wouldn’t benefit from.
- Applicability of stories. What percentage of important decisions fall in the sweet spot - both unfamiliar enough to be difficult but comparable to a body of stories in the library.
- Accuracy of stories. Advocates gathering stories from experts long after the fact. Not clear to what extent the post-hoc rationalization of events matches either the actual events or the unconscious decision-making model of the expert.
Slight tangent on using library of stories (without any recall system) as framework for designing training simulations. Normal training provides explicit knowledge, need practice and feedback/failure to turn that into implicit knowledge that can be acted on in the moment.
Interesting ideas but more marketing than analysis. Sounds like the authors are revving up to sell this to someone.