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The Dilemmas of WonderlandDecisions in the Age of Innovation$
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Yakov Ben-Haim

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198822233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198822233.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Dilemmas of Wonderland

Yakov Ben-Haim

Oxford University Press

Innovations provide new and purportedly better opportunities, but—because of their newness—they are often more uncertain and potentially worse than existing options. To use or not to use a new and promising but unfamiliar and hence uncertain innovation? That dilemma faces just about everybody. This chapter introduces the idea of an innovation dilemma and briefly surveys the following chapters. The endless possibilities for discovery and invention imply the boundlessness of our current ignorance. Brief discussion of Knightian uncertainty and Herbert Simon’s “bounded rationality” leads to the limits of optimizing the outcome of our decisions. This motivates the method of robustly satisficing critical requirements. Finally, cultures of innovation and progress are briefly described and critiqued.

Keywords:   innovation, innovation dilemma, decision, uncertainty, info-gap, Knightian uncertainty, bounded rationality, optimization, robustness

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