Paving the Cow-Paths: The Demise of Idealism and the Pathway to Pragmatism

In my recent visit to London, I attended a presentation given by Dr. Dan Lockton at the Behavioral Economics drinks. The topic of the presentation was “Paving the Cow-Paths” or simply put, helping people do what they want how they naturally do it. Dan’s presentation made me think about what does “paving the cow-paths” actually mean from a broader point of view. At micro-level things are relatively simple. If people do something in a certain way, help them do it. The pictures below (taken from Dan’s website - Source ) illustrate very well the concept. At a macro-level, however, things aren’t all that straightforward. Whether paving the cow-paths is a good idea or not is not entirely clear and

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