Iceberg – too much time? an analogy for our times

A cruise ship with 1000 people is travelling across the North Atlantic.

They are told that they are on course for a collision with an iceberg.

Their decision-making is democratic; the captain’s input is taken into consideration but they do not rely solely on the captain’s advice. All 1000 have the franchise. Here are the results of their discussions.

Interpretations of the evidence

Some deny the iceberg exists.

Some deny there is any risk from the iceberg.  

Some think the iceberg will melt before the ship reaches the iceberg.

Some accept the risk but are sure fate will determine the outcome. 

Some think perhaps the ship and iceberg are not really on a collision course

What to do?

Some want to go right.

Some want to go left. 

Some want to stay the course.

Some want to back up.

Some want to stop and wait.

Some want to fire a torpedo to move the iceberg out of the way.

Some want to send a boat to the iceberg and light a fire to melt it.

Some want to send a delegation to the iceberg to negotiate a compromise.


It takes time to research the situation, go to the iceberg and take measurements.

It takes time to educate all 1000 voters.

It takes time and effort to convince the passengers of the risk.

It takes time to vote on a course of action.

It takes time to take action.

Too much time?

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