Four things I’ve been surprised by in the context of the pandemic

1) Narratives are (much) more stable than I would have ever thought possible.

Switzerland is, by any sensible metric, doing badly in this pandemic. And yet this hasn’t filtered through to public discourse. It boggles the mind.

Just one example of a metric showing rather drastically why, at a minimum, we probably shouldn’t be too confident that we’re currently nailing this.

2) If our starting assumptions are wrong, we’re doomed (aka ‘mental models rule everything around me’).

One of the reasons for Switzerland’s abysmal performance seems to be a ‘business-as-usual’ mindset. We don’t seem to have clocked that this a crisis of enormous proportions.

Photo by Jade Scarlato on Unsplash

3) There seems to be a shocking lack of ambition and imagination at the top of (some/many of) our political institutions.

This relates to point 2 from above. If it wasn’t for Israel, to pick just one example, we’d probably still have people telling us that it simply isn’t possible to vaccinate this many people in such a short period of time.

4) The best way to think about media products is to understand their (economic) incentive structure.

This is a trivial point. I used to think of media products as somehow being different from other goods/services. I’ve been thoroughly disabused of that notion.

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