Tagged: Decision making

Thinking the unpalatable - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jan 25, 2017

If you look beyond the current concerns of rising populist authoritarianism there is a greater threat. It’s what Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon in the UK have called the failure to “think the unthinkable”. Based on interviews with a range of Chief Executives and other senior people in the public and private sector they highlight that current institutional … Read More

Experts: harness them, don’t let them set the course - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Oct 25, 2016

There was interesting long article in The Guardian the other day by Sebastian Mallaby, the author of a new biography of Alan Greenspan, on “The cult of the expert – and how it collapsed”.  His focus is central banking, but his concerns range much wider. For Mallaby, the (alleged) “collapse” of this “cult” is something to lament. Of course, … Read More

On being wrong - Mind Matters

Michael Corballis Oct 19, 2015

A few weeks ago I gave a talk in Rome, as you do. I happened to mention that I had been wrong about a few things. I was surprised to discover that this brought me more compliments than what I was actually trying to say. Most of us in academic life have at some stage lived in fear of being … Read More

Unthinking machines - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 16, 2014

It’s interesting how “Watson”, the computing system from IBM, is gathering a persona around itself (or rather one is being woven for it). “Watson”, which garnered fame several years ago by winning a game show, is now doing scientific research, among other noble things. Though it’s still a distant forebear of HAL 9000, so the cult of persona doesn’t seem … Read More

Gaming the system - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 18, 2012

In an earlier post I noted the emergence of game playing to solve real world problems. As you may expect, Silicon Valley is establishing companies to do this. One is Innovation Games. They are already working with some large multinational companies to help improve strategy and determine which products to focus on, as well as using … Read More

Free will — problems of definition - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Feb 02, 2012

Some of the philosophically inclined readers have probably followed the recent internet discussion of “free will.” I am referring specifically to that between evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne (blog: Why evolution is True) and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci (blog: Rationally Speaking). It been … Continue reading → … Read More

TOSP Episode 15: December 19th 2011 - misc.ience

Aimee Whitcroft Dec 19, 2011

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] The last TOSP before Christmas! And, because we’re daring, it _isn’t_ Christmas-themed.  Just to give y’all a break. Instead, Elf and aimee cover the winners of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize(s), how bees reach consensus (warning: headbutting), a very special new crab, Jupiter’s heart-cannibalisation, the [...] … Read More

The Risky Business of Hunger - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jul 16, 2010

We like to think of ourselves as rational actors when it comes to making decisions, we take in information, process it and choose the path that we think will lead to a desirable outcome (if we aren’t deep-seated masochists I suppose). Regular readers of this blog and others that espouse a sceptical viewpoint will know [...] … Read More

Can the Order You View Things Affect Your Opinion of Them? Or, To Make a Good Impression Ensure You’re Introduced First - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jun 28, 2010

“First the worst, Second the best, Third the golden eagle.” The above is a rhyme from my youth1, the implication being that you really don’t want to be first in anything. First is the worst after all. Obviously this is not true in the world beyond the playground, firsts in every field are celebrated, sometimes [...] … Read More