Leidy KlotzFeb 2, 2023
Why It’s So Hard for Us to Subtract
A Discussion with Leidy Klotz
New Books Network 2022
Leidy, professor of engineering at the University of Virginia, talks about his book, Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less, with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. As Klotz shows throughout the book, we pile on “to-dos” but don’t consider “stop-doings.” We create incentives for good behavior, but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. We collect new-and-improved ideas, but don’t prune the outdated ones. Every day, across challenges big and small, we neglect a basic way to make things better: we don’t subtract. Klotz’s work sits at a fascinating intersection between engineering, design, and experimental psychology. His pioneering research shows us what is true whether we’re building Lego models, cities, or strategic plans: Our minds tend to add before taking away, and this is holding us back.