Why Crap Factoids get believed

We have an interesting discussion thread going on the suspension of critical faculties in the face of analyst research, and especially on the desire for it to be true. Cognitive dissonance and denial have been suggested as two causes. The IT Skeptic explores some ideas.

Yes cognitive dissonance and denial happen once they are in the drek. To get there involves other factors:


Those asking for ITIL spending

  • ITIL advocates may have joined the cult. They've been "sheep dipped"on Foundation training and seen the light: ITIL is the way. Like any faith (non-rational) decision, evidence is then selectively believed to support it
  • In a milder case of the same syndrome, people just want it to be true. The numbers offer hope that they can fix systemic problems in their organisation with whatever snake oil the analyst is peddling: they grasp on to that hope.
  • We've bred several generations of suckers. Critical analysis and objective debate haven't been taught for years. Post-modernists have captured the education systems of most countries and now teach people anything can be true if they want it to be. Magic happens in the New Age.
  • People just don't think any more
  • In a Dilbertesque move, they don't fall for it but they are cynical enough to try it on the boss


Those approving ITIL spending

  • Managers can often be sociopathic (or even entirely psychopathic) and the probability increases with rank. They don't give a toss, if they think the consequences will not stick to them personally.
  • Others are just trying to keep the family fed, and survive on the old "yes up, no down" strategy. They don't have the guts to tell the boss.
  • Still more are, as the thread discussed, deluded by their own self-image, usually as a result of arrested development I say: teens know no fear. Over-confidence is a strong contributing factor to promotion.
  • In many parts of Asia I saw a wide-spread strategy of "Assume it won't go wrong until it does. A problem is niot a problem until you can no longer ignore it. Planning for it is a waste of resources" - the opposite of the Anglo "be prepared". Many people think like this and not just in that part of the world.
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