02 DECEMBER 2019
The process vs. the outcome
A sports fan, a zealot and a hack all look at the outcome before they decide if they’re happy with the process that led to it.
On the other hand, a scientist, an engineer or anyone searching for fairness and utility insist on a reliable process and learn to live with the outcomes (or even better, learn to work hard to change the inputs so that the next time, the useful process delivers a desired outcome.)
Instead of asking, “how did my team do?” we can begin with, “did the system do what it’s supposed to do?”
You can game the process for a little while, but that approach will always catch up with you. On the other hand, when you learn to understand first principles, you can work with them forever.
The process that gets you answers you want most of the time is probably a process worth trusting even when the answers don’t match your belief system in the moment.
Yelling at the ref because you don’t like a call against your team is not nearly as effective as insisting that your team train harder or find a better strategy.