What Ticos Cannot Do

They cannot perform a logical analysis – such as cost/benefit analysis. Making choices after considering the costs of each alternative – and its benefits.

For example: there was a footbridge over a creek that I often used to go to my bicycle mechanic. It had a fair amount of traffic because it was so convenient for pedestrians – or for me, pushing my bicycle. It was close to a new subdivision, and they could use it to get into town easily. It didn’t cost much to maintain it. But for some reason, they went to a lot of work to tear it down! And I had to use a larger bridge with a lot of traffic on it, that was more dangerous. There was no explanation for why this was done – it was just done!

I took a course on the logical way of thinking when I was an engineering student, back in the Fifties – it was called Linear Analysis. You added up all the costs for different ways of doing a project – and used the one that cost the least.

But Ticos are instinctively averse to this – they want to do it the same way they always have, for centuries – even though the old ways, of making emotional decisions, based on no thought at all – are completely useless. They do whatever feels right – and end up wasting a lot of money.

But this method (if you could call it that) has some hidden advantages – it allows them to consider the human costs – which cannot be quantified into an mathematical equation. Cultures that make their decisions based on logical analysis, such as the American culture – end up being cold and inhuman. They are richer – but they pay a high price (in human terms) for their riches.


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