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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 49 of David Henderson’s and Charles Hooper’s 2006 book, Making Great Decisions in Business and Life:

Recycling has come to be thought of as some kind of Holy Grail, something that you should do regardless of circumstances. But why did we want to recycle in the first place? Wasn’t it because we were trying to save resources and also reduce pollution? The problem is that recycling itself often wastes resources. One of the most important resources left out of the calculation of whether or not to recycle is the value of time that you spend separating the items and hauling them out in separate bins to the curb. If value of your time is worth more than the value of the recycled materials, society loses money each time you recycle. In this case, recycling is just too wasteful.

DBx: Yes. What is seen is almost never all that is relevant, and very often it is the much-smaller part of all that is relevant. What is not seen looms gigantically.

Awareness of what is not seen is valuable always. Such awareness is valuable in normal times. Awareness of what is not seen, however, is even more valuable in crises, when genuine uncertainty is greater and when people panic. Grabbing what appears to be the obvious “solution” or best response is almost certainly not advisable. “Solutions” panic-grabbed are too likely to make matters worse.

But there’s this distressing reality to deal with: causing people to take notice of that which is unseen is difficult enough in normal times, but causing such notice is nearly impossible in times of panic. Fear not only is itself blinding, it also shortens people’s time horizons – yet much of what is not seen is not seen precisely because it lies beyond the immediate present.