utility

44 Production for use

Stories The sailors were restless on the deck and in their cabins. Drills had been completed for the day and there was ample time to worry in silence. Suddenly the loudspeakers blared out “We have received our orders. We are going to war.” An adrenalin rush surged through the troops; men sprang to their feet and cheered. They were ready! This was production for use: they would use their training. Awareness of what they would be doing had been conditioned out of them. That is why military bodies induct people around age nineteen when they can be trained to kill …

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41 Think first!

Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics, explained that he maximized his utility by multiplying the need for a task by his ability to perform it. People regarded some things more urgent than physics research, but his skill set did not match those other needs. Society thrives by combining the talents of diverse workers. It takes all of us. People do not always behave logically. Emotions carry more weight; we do the things about which we feel best. Sometimes that coincides with logic. Previous articles have considered resolving differences in people’s perceptions and expectations. We are hard-wired for collaboration, and the …

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