Rational Ignorance

Reading the discussion about the reluctance to move to 3D/BIM in the latest issue of upFront.eZine reminded me of the principle of rational ignorance. The principle of rational ignorance applies when the perceived cost of obtaining knowledge is greater than the perceived benefit. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario, where individuals rationalize their decision to remain ignorant based on their perception of the (lack of) benefit in the very thing they are ignorant about.

It is interesting to think about the 2D to 3D paradigm shift in terms of shifting the balance in the rational ignorance equation. I think there’s also another principle at work here: Newton’s Third Law. The harder the collective movers and shakers try to push, the harder the end users resist. Maybe if the software companies stopped pushing so hard, the shift would occur naturally with much less resistance.

By the way, I noticed a familiar theme in the upFront eZine discussion: those resistant to the paradigm shift lament the lost art of drafting and fail to believe that the new paradigm no longer needs artisans. Obviously there are other factors at work here — factors over which no amount of logic will prevail.

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