Less can be more

The recent study published in „Nature“ draws our attention to the apparent cognitive phenomenon, that „people systematically overlook subtractive changes„. The paper highlights the phenomenon, but the old question of „nature or nurture“ is particularly important here. Overlooking subtractive changes could simply be the result of decades of schooling looking for additive solutions like building up a puzzle or simplistic growth paradigms in economics. Also for mobility and climate change we probably have to socialize pupils and train future generations much more in testing also subtractive changes. There might be a cultural bias as part of the nurturing children and their imagination. Training to think of solutions involving less resssources, stress or time is a landmark global development project. It is not effortless to even think of fasting, abstention or reductions as better solutions than just adding something. „add blue“ to clean diesel engines did not really provide an effective answer in the past. Hence, a constitutive part of the „imagination method“ needs to be the inclusion of subtractive opportunities or thinking. Did I really have to write this blog? Yes I am still very much captured in the additive thinking mode. Thanks for the reminder. Theory is nice but implementation is so much harder.