Seth Godin on signals vs. causes. When we simplify the complex world around us, it is easy to mistake a signal for a cause. As Seth G. writes:
People who order wine with dinner might be bigger tippers, but persuading someone to order a bottle probably won’t change the way he tips.
Yet, so much of what we are told to do is based on things like teaching servers how to sell a bottle of wine because folks who order wine are bigger tippers. The world is complex. Sometimes we lose things in translation when trying to understand it.
Here’s another nice example from Godin’s post:
…it turns out that people who eat before bed are believed to gain more weight than those that don’t.
More likely…The kind of person who makes a habit out of eating when bored (just before bed) might very well be the kind of person that has to wrestle with weight.