August 28, 2007
In a recent interview, Barack Obama deflected weak criticisms of his lack of experience by suggesting that he has demonstrated good judgement. If I may toot my own horn, I believe I have pretty good judgement, too. Though there are many, many people who are smarter or more knowledgeable about particular subjects, I still seem to make better decisions. The reason is that I am so obsessively aware of cognitive biases, such that it’s an effort to make a decision. Even though I still make some cognitive mistakes, I make fewer mistakes than most other people and arrive at good decisions more often. I believe Obama is right. The challenges facing the next President will no doubt be new, unexpected events where experience won’t really help. He’s obviously smart enough to absorb the background information provided by experts in the field. The important trait, however, is whether a President can exercise good judgement in unforeseen situations. Bush failed miserably. Maybe Obama will do alright.