The Process is More Important Than The Results

In this year’s NFL draft, the Seahawks had a decision to make with pick number 5. They badly needed to upgrade their defensive line–and the most talented defensive linemen, Jalen Carter (and some argued the most talented player in the draft regardless of position) was available. However, Carter had a lot of red flags relating to his commitment to the game and legal issues, among other things. A cornerback, Devon Witherspoon, who Pete Carroll said was a rare talent and compared his instincts and understanding to Troy Polamalu, was also available. Additionally, Witherspoon checked off all the boxes in other areas. But cornerback wasn’t a position of need. The Hawks chose Witherspoon.

I agree with this decision, even if Carter turns out to a great player and Witherspoon does not. To me, the rationale behind the decision is sound, and this is what I care about and focus on. Results matter. If Carter is great and Witherspoon is not, that has serious ramifications for the Seahawks. But the team can’t control the results, not completely. They have more control over their decision making–and the process they rely on for making decisions (which includes the way the gather and analyze information). I believe process is more important not only because one has the most control, but if the process is good, that increases the likelihood for good results.

This not only applies to the NFL, but almost anything. (I wonder what it doesn’t apply to.) Here are some other examples:

Continue reading “The Process is More Important Than The Results”

Alternative to College, Part 2

While writing a post about alternates to college (part 1), a thought occurred to me that I wanted to write about here. Let me quickly lay it out. Colleges are valuable because they are markers for a person’s suitability of employment. The more prestigious the college, the more powerful the marker. I think this is a flawed approach, and I think many would agree. But given the absence of a viable alternative, it’s something we have to live with.

In this post, I want to suggest a possible alternative. Here’s my idea:

Continue reading “Alternative to College, Part 2”

How Was Barnes and Noble Able to Turn Things Around?

Barnes and Noble is doing so well financially that they plan to open thirty new stores in 2023. That caught my attention, and I think it’s great news. Why is the store thriving? That’s the question music critic, Ted Gioia, tries to answer in this post. I agree with some of the reasons he cites (e.g., appointing a better CEO who decentralized decision making), but I’m dissatisfied with the overarching reason he offers–namely, that the new CEO loves books.

In this thread, I’ll explain the reason I feel this way, as well as offer an alternate explanation that seems more compelling. (In spite of this slight disagreement, I recommend reading his post.) OK, let’s begin.

Continue reading “How Was Barnes and Noble Able to Turn Things Around?”

The Failure to Prosecute People Who Committed Crimes is a Part of Our Criminal Justice System

A thread from a UNC law professor goes over that. The thread started in response to a headline that said the FBI and DOJ were considering not charging all the rioters at Capitol on January 6. Some people naturally reacted with outrage to that, and Prof. Byrne Hessick wrote a threat in response:

I completely understand why people are angry about this. But the truth is that the criminal justice system routinely fails to prosecute people who are obviously guilty of crimes. It’s at the very core of modern criminal justice enforcement. It’s a serious problem that most Americans don’t know this. But we routinely fail to prosecute people who have obviously committed crimes. We just don’t have the capacity to pursue all of those cases. Part of the problem is that we’ve made too many things illegal. Another problem is that we’ve refused sufficiently fund the prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges we’d need for full enforcement. But we also don’t have the cultural commitment to full enforcement. This isn’t just a question of partisan politics. And it isn’t just about race either. We’ve literally built a system predicated on partial enforcement of the criminal laws. In sum, if you’re angry about this, I understand. But that anger probably means you need to pay more attention to the criminal justice system generally, and not just when a bunch of losers storm the Capitol. A big hello to everyone in my mentions who are here to tell me that *they* know how prosecutors use their discretion to prosecute only certain groups of defendants. Please share your dataset with those of us who actually studprosecutors’ decisionmaking. We’d love to see it!

I wanted to chime in and say that this resonates with me, based on my work experiences. I think what she’s saying applies to many, if not most situations, that involve the enforcement of rules–specifically, situations where pursuing every infraction and meting out the appropriate consequences is not practical. Workplaces and schools are some examples.

What are the implications of this? And is there an alternate system that would prosecute every infraction, and would that be desirable? What are these systems? I’ll try to answer that in the rest of this post (in the comments section).

Funny Moments in TV, Film, Literature, and Real Life

This is thread for to post and discuss humorous moments or anecdotes from TV, movies, books, or even real life.

I want to start off with a tweet from a political reporter, about his exchange with a politician. Before I post the tweet, I want to say that while I feel like I’m having trouble finding comedies that really make me laugh, some of the things I’ve seen in politics prove that I haven’t completely lost my sense of humor. Indeed, a part of me wonders if I’m losing interest in fiction because reality is far more entertaining. With that, here’s the tweet: Continue reading “Funny Moments in TV, Film, Literature, and Real Life”

5Qs: Leadership in Hawai’i

1. To what degree, do you care about having good leaders in Hawai’i?
2. Do you think there is a high demand for good leaders in Hawai’i?
3. In what ways can citizens express the desire for good leaders?
4. What venues are available to citizens to support good leaders?
5. How would you rate the quality of leadership in Hawai’i (1-10 scale)?

How Local Businesses Can Compete Against Wal-Mart’s Red Pickle

You might be thinking about why a local company would feel the need to compete against Wal-Mart’s red pickle. You’ve come to the right place to learn the answer. You see, it relates to one of their key principles to not only their current success, but their future success as well. To find out how the red pickle is important to their current and future success, I recommend first listening to the Planet Money podcast below.

If you don’t want to listen to this, I’m going to describe the key points below, but I think both Mitchell and Don would find the podcast interesting. Continue reading “How Local Businesses Can Compete Against Wal-Mart’s Red Pickle”