It’s also, in some ways, sexier to build a bigger rocket

It’s also, in some ways, sexier to build a bigger rocket Loran Nordgren: It’s because we naturally understand behavior in terms of internal forces, things like motivation and intent. Understanding behavior, interpreting it in terms of these internal forces like motivation, intent perfectly maps on to fuel. So you’re trying to launch a new product and maybe people aren’t buying. The way the mind understands that is to assume that it’s because the appeal, the allure, is insufficient. And if that’s the problem you imagine, the way you solve that problem is to elevate appeal, and fuel does that job. Shankar Vedantam: I’m wondering if it’s also possible, to go back to my analogy of the spaceship, should you build a bigger rocket or should you build a lighter spaceship? Designing a lighter spaceship means doing a vast number of things that are more humble; designing lighter materials, lighter technology. If you have astronauts on board, you want lighter plates and cups, or maybe even lighter clothing. I’m wondering if one reason it’s easier to focus on building a bigger rocket is because friction can be caused by so many different things. Loran Nordgren: Absolutely. […]