The VP of Devil’s Advocacy

TechCrunch

In the 2013 film, World War Z, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is riding through the streets of Jerusalem as Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken) explains how the city was able to avoid the zombie apocalypse:

The tenth man. If nine of us look at the same information and arrive at the exact same conclusion, it’s the duty of the tenth man to disagree. No matter how improbable it may seem, the tenth man has to start thinking with the assumption that the other nine are wrong.

While Hollywood may have simplified the idea a bit for the screen, this is apparently a very real tactic which Israel has used in the past. Their military has a unit often referred to as the “devil’s advocate office” [PDF]. And yes, the goal is simply to avoid falling prey to group think.

I’ve thought about this concept quite a bit over…

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