Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rumors, Hysteria and Panic-driven decision making

(you can buy the cartoon here )

Yesterday an application went offline for a minor networking problem. Everything was under control and the application was shortly after put online again. Yet the rumor spread that the application was unusable and we needed to put in place a workaround. It took some effort to quell the rumors - which I am sure are still alive somewhere in the organization, it takes a moment to destroy the reputation and a lifetime to build it.

Mass hysteria is not confined to human beings. I once saw a photograph of a large herd of wild elephants in Central Africa Seeing an airplane for the first time, and all in a state of wild collective terror. As, however, there were no journalists among them, the terror died down when the airplane was out of sight. [Bertrand Russell, Abr. T.F.D. p 7]

No comments: