Half baked solution

Who eat half-baked cookies? Probably someone who have never tasted a cookie; or maybe someone who prefers cookie dough, or don’t know what you were trying to bake. Yes when you don’t know what you’re trying to bake, then something half-baked works just as well as one that is properly baked.

Likewise, there are plenty of half-baked solutions lying around and even implemented by those who have no clue what is the problem they are trying to solve.

We often overlook the importance of specifying a problem well before getting our hands dirty to solve it. Being biased to action isn’t always good when one does not have strong thinking. Of course, if there’s a system of trial and error that continuously test different solutions to find one that works, that’s okay. The challenge is in not knowing what problem one is trying to solve; or attempting to design a solution that tries to solve multiple problems.

Then there’s no proper test for the solution at all, no success indicators that allows the solution to past the usefulness test.

So if a government comes up with a scheme and it is not used; or an incentive programme which no one in the market qualifies, what just happened? Did the problem that it was designed to solve not actually exist? Or is the solution half-baked?

Investing into the status quo

When you spend effort figuring out the position in the train station you should stand to catch the train in order to alight at the optimal position at your destination, you’re investing. And you only would find it worthwhile if you take from the same point of origin to the destination over and over again. The reason is that each time you follow the rule you created for yourself, you reap the benefit of that first problem solving. And over time, the gains compound. You save the extra walking and the time.

But in having this figured out, there’s more inertia to moving workplaces, thinking you’ve already got used to commuting and knowing you are comfortable with the way to travel to that same place every day. It might be foolish to care that much on which station you’d alight for your workplace but you still do. And that can be because you’ve invested in that status quo, to the extent you can autopilot to the location you’re supposed to be.

When we learn to drive a car, operate a machinery, use the interface of a new OS, we are investing into some sort of status quo, or what will become a strong status quo for us. It will be hard to change, because we change the calculations involved on what it means to change whenever to optimise for a particular result. It might be annoying, or boring, but it works.

But upsetting that status quo every now and then, getting your mind to crack and solve new problems, or rethink ‘old ones’, makes for a better mind, and a better life.