Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The end of average

The end of average: how we succeed in a world that values sameness / Todd Rose 247 pgs.

How is average determined?  Measure something a bunch of time, add it up then divide by the number of subjects.  Unfortunately, when it comes to people, what you get fits no one.  The author tells of airplanes designed in the early days of aviation when crashes were prevalent.  Someone finally realized the cockpit designed for the "average" pilot fit no one and was the cause of many failed flights.  Engineers were told to go back to the drawing board and re-design so the cockpit was easily adjustable.  Originally they said it could not be done but they soon figured out how to make it work.  Now envision this type of system in other places.  School is designed for the average student, most work places are designed for the average worker, healthcare is maximized for the average patient...but wait, just like those pilots, nobody is really "average."  What does this mean for all of us?  We need to figure out how to make these structures work for us as individuals. Sometimes this can be done, sometimes it can not because the system is too entrenched.  This book really give you a new way to look at some aspects of society that we all think need fixing and realize just how off track many of the suggestions really are.

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