Saturday, November 24, 2007

Is tradition an impediment to experimentation?

This Thanksgiving was the first time we tried grilling a turkey and it turned out well. I wondered whether tradition could some times be an impediment to experimentation, and experimentation I am also suggesting is something good because it could lead to new discoveries. Tradition is an excuse to resist trying something new -- "We've always done it this way", for instance.

One area that is ripe for experimentation is our insurance. We currently hold all our insurance policies (life, auto and home) with one insurer. Should we experiment by switching? I realize that the costs of switching could be onerous which is why I've resisted any attempts to do any research at all into this.

I experiment with household help services, in particular, plumbing companies. I do find that costs vary a great deal (and some of these experiments were quite costly!) even for similar jobs but I have resisted settling on one plumbing company at this time. Perhaps it is time to stop experimenting on this.

The teachers at our kids school are constantly experimenting -- e.g. changing the schedule so that some classes are longer (but fewer times per week), instructional materials, integrating IT, etc. Sometimes it can be frustrating to see all this change every year -- it seems like after teaching for such a long time they should know by now what works. But perhaps I should stop harping and applaud them for their constant efforts at learning how to do things better and experimenting.

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