07 November 2010

Weird conclusions, part 2

The Customer Is Not Always Right has great examples of people failing to properly update their mental models of the world on lots of matters less politically loaded that the ones I mentioned here.  A distressing number of people not only come to the wrong conclusions, they flat out refuse to change their model of the world at all.  Often they not only won't update their models to conform to the world, they demand the world change to conform to their models!

Here are two examples from this week of people that refused to update their mental models:
And of course economic ignorance is always entertaining, especially coupled with oblivious arrogance:
Not Always Right | Loathe Of Bread
Bakery | Sydney, Australia

(I work at a bakery that cuts bread with a machine.)

Me: “Okay, sir, would you like me to cut your bread for you?”

Customer: “How?”

Me: “This machine here will cut it.”

Customer: “You use a machine rather then cutting it by hand?!”

Me: “Yes sir, it is quicker and gets the job done well.”

Customer: *at this point he is getting furious* “This is outrageous! You use a machine to do a mans job! You are putting people out of their jobs! You are ruining the natural process of man and the cutting of bread.”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t realize. Would you like me to cut your bread by hand?”

Customer: “No, use the machine! I’m in a big rush to get to my sister’s place. It’s her birthday, you know.”
Finally, you know the Clarke line about sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? We've apparently reached that point already.
Not Always Right | Her Phone’s Not Much To Look At
Phone Company | London, England

Customer: “This compensation thing means you can get a phone back, right? I shouldn’t even have to pay. It’s your fault my daughter doesn’t have a phone!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that Ma’am. Could you please tell me what happened and how it’s our fault? We’ll try to rectify it. Did it break for no reason?”

Customer: “Her teacher took it! She was texting me and the teacher confiscated it! She has no phone until they give it back.”

Me: “Most schools do operate a ban on cell-phones during school hours and inform the students. Ma’am, how is this our fault?”

Customer: “You lot told me when I bought it that it would be perfect for teenagers! There should be something to stop it being seen in school!”

Me: “And how do you suppose we do that?”

Customer: “You’re the techno-geeks, you should be able to make it invisible on and off or something! God! You just don’t work hard enough!” *stomps out angrily*
You could make a whole career out of cataloging the types of pathological thinking on that site. Take the last one, for example. A lot of people have just given up on understanding technology as a product of the physical world. It really might as well be magic to them.

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