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Burch's law

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I think people should have a right to be stupid and, if they have that right, the market's going to respond by supplying as much stupidity as can be sold.

While Burch was referring specifically to SUV's (which he believed to be badly designed) his point carries far more generally. Examples include:

  • Lotteries, which take advantage of people's inability to understand small probabilities.
  • Cigarettes, which take advantage of the tendency to think about the possibility of lung cancer in far mode while thinking about potential social benefits of smoking in near mode.

A corollary of Burch's Law is that any bias should be regarded as a potential vulnerability whereby the market can trick one into buying something one doesn't really want.

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