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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The maths of "admitting you have a problem"

"admitting you have a problem is half the problem" is a popular phrase (over 11 million Google hits) but poor math.
 
If "admitting you have a problem is half the problem" were true, then admitting you have two problems would be the same as solving one. It's not.
 
In fact:
admitting you have lots of problem isn't the same thing as solving half of them, but is likely to lead to such paralysis of inaction that none of the problems get solved, or maybe even worked on.
 
admitting you have a problem today, and then admitting you have the same problem again a year later doesn't mean these two admissions have solved the problem.  They are more likely to mean you haven't done a darned thing about actually solving the problem in a year.