The Inability to Objectively Look at Data Can Be Fatal

By James E. Wilson via

Remember the movie Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and the late Bill Paxton? The crew famously called Houston Mission Control after discovering serious mechanical problems on the spacecraft and uttered the phrase “Houston, we have a problem”.

The main problem that all of us share, as humans, is a striking inability to objectively look at data. In Apollo 13, this would have been a fatal error. It certainly can be for us in our financial lives as well.

Think about all the people that you encounter in everyday life. Most of these folks have sharply honed beliefs about many issues ranging from politics to religion and everything in between. For the main, these beliefs are born out of an information filtering system that our brains cleverly disguise. Information that runs directly counter to our beliefs is disregarded before it is fully processed. Instead, we believe mostly as we want to believe, evidence to the contrary.

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