decision_making   1270

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Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, reviewed. - Slate, Sep 9, 2018
Woodward himself seems to suffer one of the same maladies as his sources: namely, the condition of thinking that a better version of Trump might exist out there. He rather solipsistically blames himself for saying some skeptical stuff about the FBI’s handling of the Russia case, which Trump saw and repeated. He even writes, “The episode played a big role in launching Trump’s war with the intelligence world, especially the FBI and Comey,” as if that war could have ever been averted given Trump’s contempt for democratic institutions and obvious corruption (which would inevitably get investigated). And sometimes, his quotes are just simply not believable as told or transcribed, which is a problem in most of his books on the last several presidencies. Of Afghanistan, Trump is reported to have said, “It’s a disaster there. It’s never going to be a functioning democracy.” I’d sooner believe the president sits up late at night reading Martin Luther King Jr. speeches than I would that he uses the phrase “functioning democracy” in casual conversation. I trust Woodward’s ability to decipher whether his sources are being honest more than I do Michael Wolff’s, whose dodgy book on the Trump presidency set a very low bar for works like this, but too much of Woodward’s narrative feels reliant on the firsthand accounts of a group of very untrustworthy people.

Where does all this leave John Kelly, the ultimate adult in the room who is often portrayed in the media as rubbing his temples in frustration with his toddler-like boss? Kelly enters and leaves meetings, gets angry and calms down, rants and raves, all to diminishing returns. He seems to find the president incurious and stupid and potentially dangerous, but nevertheless shares a slightly tamer version of his authoritarian instincts and disdain for immigrants. Despite supposedly exclaiming “We’re in Crazytown,” he also likes to pride himself on being “the only thing protecting the president from the press. … Everyone’s out to get us.” Like the other characters in the book, Kelly is insufficiently concerned about Trump’s contempt for democracy; unable to truly understand—regardless of his strong criticisms—how incapable of restraint Trump is; and compromised by his own sympathy for too much of the president’s agenda, which has a way of dulling any resistance to the worst aspects of it. If Trump won in part because of the bankruptcy of the Republican establishment and the withering of our institutions, it’s no surprise that the figures surrounding him are unequipped—intellectually, practically, and morally—for the current emergency.

TrumpAdministration  Trump  decision_making 
11 days ago by elizrael
Turkey's Financial Crisis Shows the Risks of Strongmen - The Atlantic, Sep 24, 2018
Yet the problem with concentrating power is that the appetite tends to grow with the eating. And the more concentrated power gets, the more unaccountable it becomes. Meanwhile, personalized rule almost always subverts the very institutions that provide the real long-term foundation for sound public policy and economic dynamism: an independent, professional judiciary; a free press; and apolitical, qualified civil servants, regulators, and security services.

The result, unsurprisingly, is that while strongman regimes can be successful for a while, sometimes dazzlingly so, they usually end up reproducing the problems they were supposed to solve.

Self-correction also becomes harder in strongman regimes over time, as the information that makes its way to the top is increasingly only what the top wants to hear, creating a vicious feedback loop that reinforces mistakes rather than reverses them.
Turkey  economy  authoritarian_regime  decision_making 
11 days ago by elizrael
[1711.04024] How fragile are information cascades?
It is well known that sequential decision making may lead to information cascades. That is, when agents make decisions based on their private information, as well as observing the actions of those before them, then it might be rational to ignore their private signal and imitate the action of previous individuals. If the individuals are choosing between a right and a wrong state, and the initial actions are wrong, then the whole cascade will be wrong. This issue is due to the fact that cascades can be based on very little information.
We show that if agents occasionally disregard the actions of others and base their action only on their private information, then wrong cascades can be avoided. Moreover, we study the optimal asymptotic rate at which the error probability at time t can go to zero. The optimal policy is for the player at time t to follow their private information with probability pt=c/t, leading to a learning rate of c′/t, where the constants c and c′ are explicit.
self_organization  information_diffusion  contagion  decision_making  models_of_behavior  networks  ? 
june 2018 by rvenkat
Why hypothetical thinking is only a pale imitation of real life | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian
"Hypothetical thinking, in short, can only ever be a pale imitation of real life. On balance, that’s good news: a reason to worry less about the future, and trust that, if the situation you’re fretting about occurs, you might surprise yourself by knowing precisely what to do."
decision_making  psychology  dopost 
june 2018 by niksilver
8 Ideas to Help Your Challenging Conversations and Difficult Decisions:
“How are we going to make this decision?”

A number of links to other articles
decisioning  decision_making 
june 2018 by tom.reeder
May 31, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Here are 12 crucial factors that consultant Nathan Magnuson says you should consider in decision-making:

* Are you the right person to make the decision?
* What outcomes are you directly respons...
questions  decision_making  from notes
may 2018 by jerryking
מעריב | תמיר פרדו: "שקלתי להתפטר כשרה"מ הורה להיערך לתקיפה באיראן"
כשנשאל האם לדעתו תקיפה באיראן היא כמו החלטה על פתיחה במלחמה, השיב: "חד וחלק". בסופו של דבר, על רקע התנגדותם של הרמטכ"ל וראש המוסד, נסוג ראש הממשלה בפעם הזו מכוונתו לדרוך את המערכת, אולם פרדו מגלה כי בשלב מסוים כבר שקל להתפטר מתפקידו: "כשדרג מדיני נותן הנחיה, יש לך שתי אפשרויות - אפשרות אחת זה לבצע, ואפשרות אחרת זה לשים את המפתחות. טוב שלא הגעתי לנקודת ההחלטה הזאת... לא שזה לא עבר לי בראש".
Israel  attack  Iran  2011  Iran.NuclearProgram  Mossad  Netanyahu  decision_making 
may 2018 by elizrael
Go Fast and Break Things: The Difference Between Reversible and Irreversible Decisions
If a decision is reversible, we can make it fast and without perfect information. If a decision is irreversible, we had better slow down the decision-making process
decision_making  productivity 
may 2018 by guilleten
Open questions – Julia Galef
As I conduct conversations for the Update Project (and just informally, on my own time) I'm looking for important open questions. Important, in the sense that what you believe about that question changes how you try to impact the world, and how successful you are at it. And open, in the sense that smart, well-informed people disagree about the answer.…
racionalidad  decision_making  research  critical_thinking  economia  technology  trends  ai  resources 
may 2018 by guilleten

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