The house that looks like Hitler


ja, ich bin ein Haus, aber vergleichen Sie bitte mich nicht auf den schlimmsten Diktator in modernen europäischen Geschichte

Remember the house that looks like Hitler?

Course you do, it’s a house that looks like Hitler. What’s to forget?

There’s loads of things that look like faces.

There is the tampon machine that just loves checkin’ the ladies out…


“Hubba hubba!”

The cake machine who partied too hard.


“Oh dear, I really overdid it last night”

There’s the cookie monster…



And who can forget the drunk washing machine…


“it…it woz tha last pint…it woz baaad….oh god, stand back!”

The point is we are primed to see faces everywhere even where there aren’t faces.
As babies we can only focus 20-30cm, which is the distance between a baby’s face and its mothers during breast feeding. We love seeing faces because it’s important that we did in the past.
We see shapes in clouds, we see things that aren’t there, all because we are pattern recognising machines.

Here’s the Virgin Mary in a 10 year old grilled cheese sandwich!


cheeses, not Jesus

What’s this got to do with systems thinking then?
We see patterns where there are patterns, but also we see patterns where there aren’t.

Dead simple, don’t be fooled by noise. Use the right thinking and the right tools, control charts and the like, and you’ll be sorted.
If I were dedicated enough I’d type stuff about them, but I’m not.
Go read some of this guys stuff.
And DEFINITELY Fooled By Randomness. That’s a good one.

It’s not just faces, what tune do you start hearing in your head when you see this?


Here’s a clue


This entry was posted in human brains are weird, information, psychology, statistics, systems thinking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The house that looks like Hitler

  1. Gavin says:

    I’ve been using Run Charts, and the occassional Control chart with teams of late. It’s quite remarkable just how often perceptions of what people think is happening is changed by looking at data that tells you what IS happening.


  2. ThinkPurpose says:

    Oddly, the main thing I find is that NOTHING is happening. If you’re looking at noise and confusing it with signal, you’ll see all sorts of exciting things all the time. Take away the noise, suddenly there’s very little happening at all cos nobody is changing the system fundamentally


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