Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Poor Judge of Risks

Continuing the thread from my post What Type of Person Takes Risks, an anonymous commentator suggested that we look at security guru Bruce Schneier's article Why the Human Brain Is a Poor Judge of Risk.

Every human being (yes.. that's each one of us) looks at life through filters. Some are rosy... some are black... and they change depending on our moods, our personal experiences, and how we interpret our present circumstances. We really can't be trusted to assess risk based on our "gut feelings".

Question: How many animals of each type did Moses take on the Ark?

Answer: None... It was Noah

The human brain is too easily tricked into thinking that it knows and understands more than it really does. That is why we need structured and disciplined processes such as Privacy Impact Assessment, Threat and Risk Assessment or Safety Hazard Risk Assessment.

For more also read Don Norman's essay Being Analog.

We need to apply more science and less instinct.

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