« Freakonomics Radio

264. In Praise of Incrementalism

2016-10-27 | 🔗
What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, we shouldn't ignore the power of incrementalism.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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small injury or a complex issue. It's time to get moving again. Call Cooper today to make an appointment with our nationally recognised orthopedic team for committed, compassionate and complete orthopedic care call eight five, six five, three six one: two: zero five or visit Cooper, health dot, Org, Slash orthopedics. Our previous episode of Economics, radio was called in praise of maintenance. We asked if our cultural obsession with enough mission has led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken. Care of. We talked about sewers. Certainly Rome understood. Engineering and infrastructure was a huge part of making it city function about bridges, its more workable and not a very happy tail. We talked about housework they're, doing
almost ass, much unpaid maintenance work as they are paid work, and we talked about the nuts and bolts of the digital economy. All of that is infrastructure. We wound up talking about a pet project of mine, which is trying to digitally archive all my work in. Snow files, so this is about maintenance, losing the two hundred pounds and then stay in that way. This project was daunting until someone help me frame it differently. This about privatisation, one step at a time, one step at a time increment by increment. It got me to thinking about the value of income
to listen in a moon shot world. It got me thinking that incremental ism is to the moon shot. What maintenance is to innovation, and so this week on friggin, I'm a radio in praise of incremental ism or if it's too want you for you about this. What do the italian renaissance, the tour de France and the civil rights movement having common? We all like a dramatic store, but things don't happen out of the blue and it's so interesting to see why Ange happens to get a true picture of. Why change happens rather than this sort of phony all of a sudden picture
from w unwisely studios. This is free economic, radio, upon cosmetics that explores inside of everything with your nose Stevens up there. Ed Glaser, is an economics professor Harvard I want to ask him about my incremental is idea so my arm and here is the term generally. We are encouraged and trained really to look for big Bang successes in all realms education, Healthcare, Paul
Kitsune man and, while I understand the impulse to find these magic bullets, it's exciting, it's sexy solo sings. It is strikes me that much progress, if not most route. History has really been a series of incremental games. What's your take on that? Oh, I think they'll most. Surely that's true! You know I like these examples from the arts, where you know you can really see each and in each painting on each step along the way, if you think about the glory of the italian renaissance, it's a piecemeal process which Brunelleschi first puts together the mathematics of linear perspective, of making two dimensional space is seen three dimensional. You know down a Tello, his fur
and puts it in lowly sculpture moves to massage, oh, who finally put it into a painting in Karachi, chapel, Saint Peter, finding a coin in there in the belly, the fish, the profitable lippy, takes up the ball, but a chilly takes it for each person incrementally improving on the last person each person exploring the implications of this new idea. It's not that you know divinity comes along and all of a sudden the world is different. It's that is built on a century of incremental, as some of whom are pretty big incremental has been incremental, is nonetheless, who are really creating this revolution. Pleaser is plainly and everyday fellow specially for an economist, but just so you don't think he spends all his time. Thinking about renaissance are and ignoring his own discipline. Well, we talked about that too.
Women feel economics. There are large or small parts of those increments, but we feel that builds on itself and it sort of a striking fact with an economics that the Nobel Prize doesn't really give a wars for single papers, so much as it does for a series of contributions by up to two percent as surely as it should be, because its rarely truth, it sort of one paper on itself is, is so revolutionary changes things more that people build on each things in it often takes dozens of extra wants to figure It means what it implies for the wider world. So plainly, you appreciate incremental ism in your own field and in other fields, do you feel that puts you a little bit in the minority. Do feel that our political and social culture is always. For some version of the moon shot, I don't know I think this is more a silicon Valley thing than Cambridge thing.
I think, maybe I believe, an incremental ism exam so painfully aware of the very incremental nature of my own contributions, but it is certainly true that in the political sphere, We are always looking for big bang solutions, we're looking for a leader who make everything right by coming round the corner, inevitably, whereas credibly disappointed the Sahara. This new leader didn't magically chow, and everything. The more that you just think that the right answers to select one person who magically fix anything, the less that you actually pay attention to, what really matters, which is the knit and grit of everyday decision making of everyday governance. So civil rights reform strikes me as one where incrementally there have been massive improvements, and yet it seems as though the appetite for an overnight solution to every civil rights issue
this kind of expected and when that doesn't happen, there is massive hue and cry, even though overall trend has been moving in the right direction. Do you see that as well or do you think I'm gonna know? I agree totally with that and it required people who, in the end, a lazy pay, for example, which worked for decades before the Civil Rights act right to move the ball afford, often in ways that were important but seem today quite modest and fighting up to the Supreme Court. Any attempts to zone by race, for example, which it did in the teens american segregation, would have been even worse, of cities could explicitly zone by by raised. They couldn't fighting restrictive covenants, as it did in the forties fighting segregation, America, schools, as it did in the fifties decade by decade, increment by increment, and once we start thinking that there is a silver bullet, we lose that we lose the fact that we need to be working day by day over decades to effect change. So, let's take a look at a recent story. That's been dead.
It's in the making. The court now holds that same sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry and all states no longer made this Would he be denied to them? In two thousand fifteen, the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples, have a constitutional right to marriage mare, edge rope, justice, Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion, is a keystone of the nation's social order. There is no difference between same and opposite sex couples. With respect to this principle, challenge laws excluding same sex couples: remarriage cannot stand under the constitution in two thousand one. The Pew Research Centre found that a majority of Americans opposed same sex marriage. The margin was fifty seven percent against to thirty five percent in favour, but by two thousand fifteen those numbers are practically flipped, which would seem to indicate a rather sudden shift
people often say to me well gay marriage. It succeeded so quickly. Hain't. Is it all the time we all like a dramatic story, but things don't happen out of the blue and it's so interesting to get a true picture of why change happens rather than this sort of follow me all of a sudden picture. That's Linda Hersman she's, a legal scholar who used to practice labour law she's, argued two cases herself before the Supreme Court and briefed and manage the third. She is also the author of several books, including victory, the triumphant gay revolution. The revolution hersman argues was incremental. It wasn't the explosion that the popular narrative makes it out to be so
to understand how we got here, a Supreme court yard. You can probably here. Gay rights need to go back to a time when life for gay men and women in Amerika was very different group, about which I have the great too, but I think the brick driven complete unless we do. It got very bad. During the Joseph Mccarthy period, with unusual of big department, affliction Homosexual. The sort of red scare stuff that went on in America started during
World WAR two and right after world war, two, it really ramp job and the government used to fact that people were gay as evidence that they were subversive and the government fired them if they worked for the government shows a fairy dark period and gay history, one of those people was Frank company. He was a Phd astronomer from Harvard he was helping to become a net
Kennedy worked with the army map service of the? U S, army core of engineers and they caught him in a bathroom in San Francisco and they fired him. This was a nineteen, fifty seven and a sad, that's and hence situational you can't fire may just because I'm gay and he soon the United States, Canada lost and appealed. He lost again on appeal in eighteen. Sixty one Kommeni petitioned the: U S Supreme Court, but was turned down. It was too soon bought. Things in America are starting to break up, and just at that moment, Frank Kommeni had the courage to resist the civil rights movement was growing citizens. Freedom rides eventually the March on Washington DC in nineteen. Sixty three Frank Kommeni wanted to do something similar for gays and lesbians. There was a gay rights group founded in LOS Angeles and eighteen fifty called the Madison society. The name came from matter. She, no italian for
court jester who spoke truth to power. Company started a Washington chapter of the managing society, Andy organised protests outside the White House in other federal buildings. Every american citizen has the right to be considered by a government on the basis of his own personal merit added an individual, that's Kommeni, speaking outside the state Department in nineteen sixty five At the time, the State Department argued the gay men and women were national security risks because they could be easily blackmailed, certainly thumb homosexual up or if there is no possibility of penalizing homosexuals. Their protests were ineffective. Here is then secretary of State Dean, Rusk found that will be forget it bag of homosexuals, policy that are, Germany is that we do not employ homosexuals knowingly and that if we discover homosexual,
apartment away discharge them from the tune, rusks voice, you get a sense of just how much stigma attached to homosexuality- you have to remember being gay at the time could not only get you fired, could also lend you in jail. Nearly every state at the time had sodomy laws. Was there at least some support from the medical community. Hardly homosexuality is, in fact, a mental illness which has raked epidemiological proportions. That's Charleston Treaties Psychiatry professor interviewed for nineteen sixty seven CBS News report called the homosexual fact that somebody somebody's homosexual, a true obligatory homosexual, medically rules out,
that he will remain happy for long. In my opinion, can many had figured out ass soon ass? He got active in the light of decent, really success that there could be no equality for gay lesbian people, while they were classified as crazy. Indeed, Socrates is view was hardly a marginal one. The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The machines eighty and other groups set out to change that classification, and they went about it in a very incremental must weigh. They went to the people and the American Psychiatric Association who were studying the question of third diagnoses, Reich their Medical association, so they had scholars were studying, so the gay organizers approached the scholars and said you are wrong.
You gotta do real research into this. It helped perhaps that Frank company was himself a scientist. Hersman says he could spot flaws in the scholarship about homosexuality. For instance, most of the studies relied solely on gay psychiatric patients. I mean, when somebody's going to a psychiatrist to be helped he's part of aid. Population. That's not representative of the whole gay population right he's already in need of psychiatric help. Forty wouldn't be there in the votes. But if you look at a representative sample the harbor relation and see if they seem to be in distress which they did not accept from the persecution of course and to see if they were functioning according to the other industry of course now have, and they were there now,
twelve alarming. Once this address temp looking at their own patients, homosexuality was finally removed from the list of mental illnesses in nineteen. Seventy three to their credit, these doctors, at the end of the day, confronted with the science, did change their position. I interviewed before he died the psychiatrist, who was in charge of the EPA at the time, and he said it was the greatest accomplishment of his life, so that was progress but consensual sex between two people of the same gender was still illegal in most states, and those laws gave the police enormous power over gaze lesbians there always on the lookout for us they tormented us. They just did leave us alone. That's Martin Voice along time, New Yorker who participated in the famous stone Wall riots in nineteen, sixty nine, the amount of people had trouble with the police or was sent to some sort of institute
nor were brutalized one way or another by somebody with the police not intervening or being on the side of the brutalized was growing. Holding any of us did not know. Someone would really really suffered real consequences, if not ourselves, somebody, the riots were set off by a police read of the stone, while in a gay, barring Greenwich village. In retrospect, the riots were turning point in the gay rights movement, but it would take a long time to gather enough momentum to challenge the legal system quietly during those years in various gates and around the country, state courts and state legislatures had been decriminalizing sodomy, so gaze were now not crazy right and they then attacked the premise of their behaviour was criminal
and they were succeeding pretty well, but many states still had sodomy laws. The movements ultimate goal was to take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court, which could invalidate all the state laws at once in nineteen. Eighty, six, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, the american civil liberties, in thought. It found a perfect test case in Michael Hardwicke. Gay man had been arrested for sodomy in Georgia. In the gay legal bureaucracy, it was felt that they reasonably Codex back now to get a national judgment that criminalizing gay sex as opposed to not gay sex bitches. Not criminal was a violation of the equal protection cars. The ACL you did take the case known as bowers. We Hardwicke to the Supreme Court and
they lost at five to four. The majority ruled that the right to engage in sodomy was not constitutionally protected. Linda Hersman says it was a devastating defeat for the gay community. The opinion is reprehensible and they are already suffering from AIDS, but she says it also made gay rights advocates even more determined, some times age. Like that is showing salting that it radical eyes is the Commune
Marie by now the right to marry was becoming another significant plank in the gay rights platform here from back in eighteen. Seventy four is frank: Kommeni talking about it on PBS exercise by homosexual couples of the right to marry, detracts not why iota from the rights of heterosexual couples. Tomorrow, homosexual marriages interfere with no one individually, and such marriages impair or interfere with no societal enterprise. The question was how the goal of gay marriage could be achieved through the courts. Hersman says that one source of inspiration was and in the african american leadership, particularly the end, doubly c p that pursued civil rights legislation in the nineteen fifties and Sixtys they followed an income now pattern more clean
than any other social movement, because the underbelly C p controlled Thurgood Marshall, who eventually became the first black Supreme court. Justice was head of the industry cps legal strategy. In that capacity
he argued several cases before the Supreme Court, including the landmark brown, be bored of education of Topeka, which, in eighteen fifty four desegregated public schools, the Caucasus that leave come an american social history to having a dictator is turquoise natural. The ink fund, the end Abdullah C P Legal defence fund, controlled the money that you needed to spend to prove a school desegregation case and accordingly, they got to say in what order that very fundamental question of school desegregation was presented to the Supreme Court, so they challenged, for instance, a loss,
that segregated it's one, black law student out from the class of white lost students by rope ping, Emily didn't. I am up that so important was the maintenance of racial past and it's hard for a Supreme court in the fifties to look at that and say out their talk show. In fact the court said it was unconstitutional. Ok, now, if its unconstitutional to segregate estate law school, why isn't it unconstitutional segregate state colleges and from there to the great schools which was the socially most explosive?
decision. The gay rights movement had no dictator, like Thurgood Marshall, nor was there a single dominant organisation like the doubly cp but Linda Hersman says there was a consensus, beginning to form among activists that the gay marriage fight would be the hardest one to win, which meant continuing to focus on the sodomy laws
and fighting antigay discrimination in the labour and housing markets and elsewhere, they very smart Lee, went back to the drawing board with the sodomy laws and kept getting them struck down by state courts and reformed or reversed and state legislatures until it was an hour liar in America to make sodomy criminal. Finally, in a two thousand three case called Lawrence be Texas: the Supreme Court overturned Bowers be Hardwicke, thus invalidating all remaining sodomy laws and that it goes Important decision of the more that again is Martin Boyce veteran of the Stone Wall Riots, and he once that happened, then it was going to be a matter of time. I don't know how much
it could have been many more years of incremental ism, but I know what's going to happen it being the legal right for same sex, marriage, gay rights advocates, one. The legal battle in a number of States- Massachusetts was first in two thousand, for although they subsequently had a fight off a proposed federal amendment to the constitution that would have defined marriage
as a union between a man and a woman, they kept working to shift public opinion in two thousand twelve President Obama, who had previously opposed same sex marriage, changed his position at a certain point. I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get the same. Sex marriage movement has triumphant as it was in some ways came out of order. There were other, perhaps more fundamental goals to still accomplish, for instance, winning nondiscrimination protections for the algae Bt Q community throughout the United States. Still as Linda Hersman points out, the marriage movement did work and it worked because of the incremental steps that added up to victory. Hersman is written a number of books on social moving,
We asked if she had any advice for one social movement. That's dominating headlines these days, black lives matter. I have lessons that. I think any future movement can learn from the gay rights movement and they are as follows: put your own interests. First, do not take up every conceivable progressive issue that somebody in your motion thinks is interesting. At the beginning, new movement don't have a lot of spare capital and they need to spend it on their issues and the things or keep them together, rather than fragment them. The game movement did that to take the moral high ground, the AIDS epoch,
force the gay movement to take the moral high ground and they did it beautifully and then they used it and the marriage fight perfectly when the third lesson is have clean meetings. I am not convinced that social media, as a substitute for the kind of deep, rich social contacts that emerge from physical proximity to one another. The next steps are black lives matter. And take are reasonable ones for them to take next. Ok, the availability of technology in the form of video cameras, M found cameras empowers them to take a bolder action. Then they would be able to take without the technology show their next steps. Look about
write to me their bald, but they are in a sense incremental, I mean saying, don't shoot me, I've got my hands in the air. Does not strike me as radical position. They then have to move too much more profound issues like the organization of the these forests and their training in the way that people use or taxes against communities of color like in Ferguson. Those are bigger bites. But it's time I think, for those to be addressed as well coming up next on economics. Radio, if incremental approach can help produce widespread social change. What can I do for you retirement savings, its part to imagine how do you go from what seem like a little bit of money each year to being a millionaire, but that's it,
exactly the way it works. When you work out the math and can incremental ism help you win. The tour de France probably knows that it can contribute let me ask you a question: where do you get your financial advice? Let me say how I see it. Maybe you tuning Kramer to see where the markets headed Crystal Clear short term signals ourselves So the automakers for the moment or maybe you follow it money guru. We know why these stocks are cheap, but if you look like the big five air spats from the options pits media starts right now, the last two years, massive under performance, the markets Dan walk over the smart bargain on over there. That is the thirty zero is too precious.
So many people giving so much bad advice has such a big audience and get paid for it, and that's David leaps in Behavioral economist at Harvard University leaves and has done a lot of amazing research over the years. Really amazing. You should look it up mainly focused on how people make decisions and how a lot of those decisions are sub optimal and what should be done about then consider saving for retirement alot of people don't follow the incremental broach. They love to hear that get rich, quick story and people dispensing those stories get big audiences end some of them even have good historical track records and they get even bigger audiences until, of course, they get a bad track record. It varies They get sucked into a false profit.
For so many of them in the financial services industry. In study after study, the data overwhelmingly show that individual investors are no good at picking stocks. Even the pros are no good at that game. The ability of a mutual funds does well in one year to do well in the next year is close to perfect chance, so just making a mistake, it's a very natural mistake. I understand the mistake, because we all look out at the world and say hey. I can see good companies and bad companies. The problem is that that goodness and ban, as is already prized in so you're, not the first one to figure out that Amazon's, a good company. You not the first one to notice that this carmaker is still to make bad products and no one's buying their vehicles. Everyone see what you're saying all at information Christ. In already you don't have an advantage in playing the market. So what's a better way to think about saving for retirement, one has the impression that it's impossible to save enough for it
Herman and, to a certain extent it is impossible if you start at age fifty. But if you start early in life and every year you contribute, let's say ten percent of your income. And maybe there's an employer match so now we're up to maybe fifteen percent and you invest that savings in a diversified, mutual fund stocks and bonds, and you have low fee is, and you keep going at that year in and year out, and you don't accumulate prematurely, it's amazing how that process produces millions. Dollars of retirement savings, so it's kind of part. Imagine how you go from what seems a little bit of money each year to being a millionaire, but that's it. Exactly the way it works when you work out the math, so what you're describing is not at all a secret anyone who has ever read any basic personal finance or investing book in you,
As we know, there are a lot of people who don't follow that so talked me from about what we know about the people who have the ability and the resources, the income to accomplish exactly that plan, but don't do it is it just to boring? Is it too much work? Is spending here and now just chew, exciting to divert that saving That's a lot of elements. One element is investing is complicated, so one of the ways that success is achieved, is by employers, auto enrolling their employees in these plans, and then Otto escalating their savings rates. Also, the employer picks up good default investment fund, again diversified stocks and bonds.
Mostly stocks when young moving more and more to bonds as you age, low fees, passive investment. So, rather than having active management which is costly, you have passive investments, that implies lower fees and when the employer puts all those pieces in place. People go with the flow, they don't opt out, they don't say no. In fact they say. Thank you so much. I M so glad you did this for me, but if all of those pieces are in there we go off the rails, so our employer may not offer such plan. That's a problem for approximately half of the price, Sector Workforce. This so many ways in which, unless the right conditions. Are there we end up doing what comes natural, which is postponing saving or even if we saved simulating that's another big risk factor. Maybe I'm at a firm for ten years. I've now accumulated a considerable pool of funds. I leave that firms go,
another firm rather than rolling the money over to an IRA or leaving the money in the original employers plan. I take that savings as a distribution. And now I'm spending that money. So, in fact, rather than building the beginning of the snow, It's gonna role into something enormous. I've made my savings vanish and I start again from zero at the next firm so there's a lot of ways in which, and though we know we should save retirement, we fail unless the right conditions exist for us to succeed in its those workers who accept those defaults and who take advantage. Of these modern retirement savings systems, employer base retirement savings systems who end up thriving in retirement. One more conversation today before we wrapped things up on it, tourism, shall I call you sir rails bird, Sir David has at work now, not
Oh no! No! No! No! No! It was a nice thing to happen at the time, but so in reality it get you look great on flights and a few hotel rooms, but about that's about it. Ready so were yardstick. Today, Dave Rails bird was needed for helping turn great Britain into a perennial tighten in sport. Of cycling prior to the year, two thousand great Britain's nation, but only one. Why
gold medal in seventy six years of trying in Rio in twenty sixteen team, GB one twelve cycling metals, including six gold. At the two thousand twelve games in London, eight gold medals Brill's heard was the performance director of the british cycling team from two thousand three. Until two thousand fourteen in two thousand nine, he helped found the professional cycling outfit team sky. The stated goal of team sky at the time was to have a british winner of the tour de France within five years, in fact, team sky, one to tours within its first five years, then to more in two thousand fifteen and sixteen Brill's. Where I grew up in Wales, the son of a mountain climber, he want
to be a professional cyclist, maybe even when the tour de France himself, so I decided to write my bags brookside from a bank in a box and dumb saves money took an unlawful, went to France. He found a team willing to take em on perhaps out of pity he says I realized pretty early on, unfortunately, that I wasn't gonna make it as a top level. Professional cyclist suffer well. If I can't win the tour de France myself, then maybe the future lies in turn, help other people do that so Bradford returned to the UK and went to university. He studied science and psychology and a gun mba. He first started working for british cycling, beckoned, eighteen, nineteen. Ninety seven over the years he developed a strategy based on a principle called marginal,
physics, and so I can go hand in hand. The United States, a sport that lends itself nicely to physics and ace collection measurement and power and speed, and so we could collect lots of data that I'm live performance and we could feed them back to Rhonda's, and then we could work with them. Small, very small minded twigs minor changes that probably folds relatively significant at a time, but over time would stick. Give me a for instance. Is it something like posture is something like pacing is a mental Yeah position when I get across the whole continuum of sports performance kind of area is the sum of it could be the position in the blank position of the head. You know we fight against in cycling all the time. It's the biggest thing that slows down and literary dropping between the shoulders, dropping it down just a centimeter will improve the aerodynamics and for the same power you go a little bit further and more
think about. Holding a position and being cognisant of of position was was writing eliminates? It makes a difference, but the marginal gains approach went well beyond aerodynamics. The idea was to produce at least a one percent improvement in every facet of the enterprise from the mechanical, like installing attire perfectly straight on the rim to the physiological like managing the riders, nutrition and choosing the best massage jail we'd. Look. It's handwashing, for example, was in an area where we go to the beginning, It would be a great form and then we be terrified of the right is getting elegant catching a book. So he started to think about well how we gonna do reduce the chances of us getting an illness. In the team in the Olympic Village, for example, and for that venture it run through the team and create havoc. So we got a surgeon in who showed everybody out wash our hands properly? We have people
cleaned all handles clean, the live buttons, we obviously income, people not to shake hands. Then be very, very mindful of this news hung gels all the time and its common practice now when we were starting out. There were small little things you think he's not gonna win us olympic metal. Well know it's not gonna contributes to it yeah. Potentially, how did you first come too embrace the notion that marginal gains could be fruitful attitude. Oh about learning or deciding which areas to apply it to it, wasn't something overnight. Diana just woke up one morning I felt ok we'll deal. I this. We human beings, affection, notably says I'd like a perfect performance. Vised daunting, so come thought. Let's break up form is down to all of its component parts map a more out, and then my humble I can see. Is it possible to progress in each one of the areas and if we did Conway,
bothered to do it because it takes a lot of work and energy, and then you got something that people in control of policing. Ok, they feel acts empowered now to move forward. So yes, but I might not be able to see how I'm going to get to the top of that massive mansion over that. But boy, I can tell you what I can improve a small amount in the nutrition in the diet. I can move my weight program for word. I can get another five minutes sleep tonight. I can do all the recovery protocols at NASA an anomaly goes now, there's a big, a psychological component of this, where, as a team and a support team, if everybody buys into philosophy your creating a culture which is actually move
food and is actually kind of building a little bit of momentum. Now, there's no denying that there's no point doing anything on the periphery unless the absolute critical elements which can account for forty fifty percent of performance are in place. What are you talking about when you talk? that forty fifty four percent baselines at talent is at writers, who are very very good already. So you have to You have doubled up a willingness and too much younger, but I want to be an olympic jumpin. Its hunger towards I can break down was it would take to get from where I am now to be an olympic champion, and I can see the sacrifices I can see the suffer, an undoing all of that work. So that's for me is what we would dare we, denounces the hunger index. We then look at the talent, obviously, and then you barriers so remove the berries,
and that will then equal success. I'm curious, I'm guessing back when you are trying to break into cycling yourself. There was probably no such thing as a hunger. Next there I'm guessing if there had been what what? What do you think you're hunger index was back, then they are very high. I think I'm a trial. Am I try it isn't that damn thing that something has just said? I guess he's may be part of my my psychology, my personal see all well. Son of a mountain climber probably doesn't hurt her. No less right does that's right in here. You know the one thing always used to tell me why you know I gotta be professional, always gotta, be professional, professional professional I said I wrote my eyes every time he set his high come on, don't shut up and then somewhere that it sees the team. Sky personal cycling team that Brussels for now runs competes in big time. Races like the tour de France, where you cover
in two thousand miles over three weeks, which means a new day new hotel in a new bed and again Brill's, who saw an opportunity for marginal gain, the hotels given much given to you by the organization. You can't change, don't know what the mattresses gonna be like you, don't rooms gonna be like, so we have a full team. Go into the hotels They have a room protocol by basically they if the better they hoover all under the bed, the clean the room. They have antibacterial protocol birds and cleaned all of the old room, including that to the television, remote, controlled, the tap, handles, etc, We take the shower, had often three in the shower and then they have their own mattresses. Pillar is specifically for each rider, and so they can sleep in the same posture every night, Now is that gonna win you the total funds, probably not where it can contribute
Let me ask you: your teams have been phenomenally successful. To what extent do you believe that the marginal gains approach is actually responsible? I get the sense from some earlier interviews that, maybe you think too much has been eight of the marginal gains business. I think he gave us a methodology and gave us an approach which allowed the supports. On the right is to be of a certain mindset and approach things in a certain way and is no doubt about it that that was some. It was like a teachers. Enthusiasm, I feel, like I think. Equally at times, is it's too simplistic just to say? Well, we have to do is to adopt this Martin gains approach and I think people misunderstood the concept. A module gains of being the latest bit of technology or an improvement
by Correira dynamics, except for, I think what they miss was the whole tacit psychological components which created a culture, a mindset within a group which allow the whole group to buy into something. However, ever a collective approach, hundreds of a second could be the difference between winning and losing now, of course, even casual cycling fans. They know that Lance Armstrong, who won the tour de France seven times vehement we denied doping for many years until he eventually admitted and that too many there are many cyclists of doped which really put a huge stand on the sport. So how does a group of cyclists as dominant as yours, with both team sky and team GB? expect all of us to believe that there is no doping going on
it is a very good question and I don't think, given the past, that we can expect everybody just to believe everything that some that that that they see- and I think the right question that questions ass to the past and I think people trusted luncheon and then becomes a big blow and a big shocked or a lot of people in, and I think come that that would inevitably led to a level suspicion and a lack of trust that turn that was gonna, be a hangover from that time period. So I fully endorse and why people do question us- and I think our job, then it strikes me as transparent and open as possible about what we do and how we do it and I also have a over time. I think people will see that some we are going the right way and it is their building. It's clean Damn I like I say we just have to be accepted
none of the above the situation we find ourselves in to be patient and tolerant, and not long after this interview with Brailsford, he and team sky found themselves in a situation. Computer hackers released team sky documents showing that it's two star riders of the past several years, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, both of whom have won the tour de France. So they both used banned substances no, what's known as a therapeutic use, exemption or two you eat, a t allows a rider to use and otherwise off limits. Drug for legitimate medical reasons in Wiggans is case, for instance, in order to treat his pollen allergies before the tour in two thousand eleven two thousand twelve, he injected a band corticosteroids called triumphant alone, which some,
they acts as a performance, enhancing there's no evidence at Wiggans or anyone else on team sky broke the rules. It was, after all, a therapeutic use exemption which is supposed to be kept confidential, but when it wasn't kept confidential and when you run a team has been hugely successful and when you ve been touting something
marginal gains as a key component of that success? Well, people will talk, especially in Britain. Recycling is a national obsession. Here's the Sunday Times, sportswriter David Walsh, talking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The problem that team sky have got with. This is not only the act itself which is at the very least, highly questionable, but there's a team that set themselves up as wiser than wife there, the team that set themselves up as totally transparent. They have been anything but transparent in their response to this day, facie Lou refused to go into any detail about how this was authorized and they are basically sticking to the line it was approved by the authorities and therefore it was technically illegal and
Lots of people- that's not good enough, because ethics still measurement sport more instilled measure. The Uk Anti doping agency is looking into the charges team skies response. It's kind of statement that won't surprise anyone is I heard a statement issued in this kind of case. We hope people understand why it would not be helpful for us to comment further whilst that investigation is taking place. The statement reads further We are confident there has been no wrong doing, and team sky above by the rules, and we one hundred percent stand by our commitment to clean competition. It is impossible to say at this moment the degree,
to which team sky may have broken were stretched. The rules bore the extent to which their success will be downgraded if they are found to have broken the rules, just as progress in civil rights and investing in cycling itself is an incremental exercise. So too is the revelation of truth, but I do think we can agree on. Is this if you want to accomplish something specially something large and meaningful, It pays to at least to think hard about incremental approach, but say you weigh thirty pounds more than you should and you decide to lose it which expectation that you can lose it all. Just a few weeks, even just a few months, ridiculous
You know how long it took you to put on those thirty pounds a long time. It's a lot of work to put on thirty extra pounds. Not work is actually quite fun. Eating omit delicious food, but still it took a lot of nachos and rice bowls and sugary drinks to put on thirty extra pounds good in the supermarket, and look at a five pound bag of tomatoes. Now look at six of them. That's how much you ve accumulated over time. You know what it's gonna take some time to De Cumuli, little by little choice by choice increment by increment. If you expect otherwise well, your expectations are likely to be dashed by lowering your expectations, you can actually raise your chances of success, so good luck with your goal is
losing weight. Saving money were contributing to a social movement, as always we'd love to hear from you. Let us know how it's going were at radio at for economics: dot com thanks, you listening coming up next week on for economics, radio, how a White House behavioral science is start up is trying to make big changes by taking small steps. If you don't see progress, it incremental it's going to be hard to eat morale high within the federal government that, if you start small and you celebrate small wins eventually, you will have built the trust and the credibility to fully engage in more powerful
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Transcript generated on 2021-01-24.