decision_making   1259

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[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  ? 
25 days ago 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 
27 days ago 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 
4 weeks ago 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
7 weeks ago 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 
7 weeks ago 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 
7 weeks ago 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 
9 weeks ago by guilleten
What It Takes to Think Deeply About Complex Problems
Deepening depends on our willingness to challenge our blind spots, deeply held assumptions, and fixed beliefs.

Widening means taking into account more perspectives ­— and stakeholders — in order to address any given problem from multiple vantage points.

Lengthening requires focusing on not just the immediate consequences of a decision but also its likely impact over time.
decisioning  decision_making 
10 weeks ago by tom.reeder
Opinion | Robert E. Rubin: Philosophy Prepared Me for a Career in Finance and Government - The New York Times
By Robert E. Rubin

Mr. Rubin was secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1999.

April 30, 2018

Raphael Demos. Professor Demos, an authority on Greek philosophy, was Harvard’s Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Policy. But to me, when I took a class with him my sophomore year, he was a genial little man with white hair and an exceptional talent for engaging students from the lecture hall stage, using an overturned wastebasket as his lectern. Professor Demos would use Plato and other great philosophers to demonstrate that proving any proposition to be true in the final and ultimate sense was impossible. His approach to critical thinking planted a seed in me that grew during my years at Harvard and throughout my life. The approach appealed to what was probably my natural but latent tendency toward questioning and skepticism.

I concluded that you can’t prove anything in absolute terms, from which I extrapolated that all significant decisions are about probabilities. Internalizing the core tenet of Professor Demos’s teaching — weighing risk and analyzing odds and trade-offs — was central to everything I did professionally in the decades ahead in finance and government.......Demos crystallized for me the power of critical thinking: asking questions, recognizing that there are no provable certainties and analyzing the probabilities. And that, coupled with my coffeehouse lessons, was the best preparation one could have — not just for a career but also for life.
Robert_Rubin  Colleges_&_Universities  Harvard  philosophy  Wall_Street  Goldman_Sachs  career_paths  advice  life_skills  probabilities  decision_making  critical_thinking  U.S.Treasury_Department  Greek 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
Go Fast and Break Things: The Difference Between Reversible and Irreversible Decisions
Amount of time spent on making a decision depends on if it is reversable or not

Also looks at uncertainty
decisioning  decision_making 
12 weeks ago by tom.reeder
Iran’s Priorities in a Turbulent Middle East | Crisis Group
The proponents of the former perspective warned against intervening militarily in Syria, lest it prompt a sectarian backlash against Iran and dilute Iran’s revolutionary ideal of siding with the downtrodden; instead, they championed reforms to counter the protests. The latter, by contrast, argued for aiding Damascus in supressing the uprising. The resulting deadlock in the SNSC was broken by the parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, who sided with the interventionists, but suggested offering a package deal to Damascus that, in addition to Iran’s military backing, contained demands for reforms. It remains unclear precisely what reforms Iran proposed beyond Syria making a transition to a more inclusive form of government, or whether Iran was willing to back up its proposal with genuine pressure. The fact is that whatever reforms may have been considered were overtaken by military priorities, as the uprising turned into a civil war and then a sectarian-tainted, zero-sum regional proxy conflict in which the regime’s survival rendered moot any notion of reform.
Mar15  Iraq  intervention  ForeignFighters  NSC  decision_making  Khamenai  Rouhani  Yemen  IranianProxy  Hizbollah  Saudi-Arabia 
april 2018 by elizrael
Trump scales back US goals in Syria, leaves future to others
Trump has given no formal order to pull out the 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria, nor offered a public timetable, other than to say the United States will pull out just as soon as the last remaining IS fighters can be vanquished. But Trump has signaled to his advisers that ideally, he wants all troops out within six months, according to three U.S. officials — a finale that would come shortly before the U.S. midterm elections.

In his haste to withdraw from Syria, Trump stands alone. The Pentagon, the State Department and CIA are all deeply concerned about the potential ramifications if the U.S. leaves behind a power vacuum in Syria, as are Israel, Arab leaders and other nations in the U.S.-led coalition that has fought IS in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

Urging him to slow down, Trump’s aides have been emphasizing that IS fighters remain active in Syria, evidence that Trump’s own, publicly stated objective — the total defeat of IS — has yet to be met. Officials said the U.S. is tracking two pockets where IS remains viable — one in the Middle Euphrates Valley Region, another along the Iraq-Syria border. And despite the White House’s insistence that the group is “almost completely defeated,” a string of renewed IS attacks in recent weeks has raised fears about a resurgence.
Trump  TrumpAdministration  DoD  State_Department  decision_making  ForeignFighters  withdrawal  Mar15 
april 2018 by elizrael
Trump gets testy as national security team warns of risks of Syria withdrawal - CNNPolitics
In a sometimes-tense meeting of his national security team, Trump complained at length about the amount of American money being spent in the region, which he said had produced nothing for the US in return, according to senior administration officials.
And he continued to question why other countries in the region -- particularly the wealthy Gulf nations -- haven't stepped in.

Despite his annoyance and public statement to the contrary, Trump agreed to hold off on immediately pulling troops from the war-plagued nation, even after airing his displeasure with top national security officials.
CIA  Trump  decision_making  foreign_policy  TrumpAdministration  Mar15  ForeignFighters 
april 2018 by elizrael
Trump Freezes Funds for Syrian Recovery, Signaling Pullback - WSJ
President Donald Trump froze more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria as his administration reassesses Washington’s broader role in the protracted conflict there.

The White House ordered the State Department to put the spending on hold, U.S. officials said, a decision in line with Mr. Trump’s declaration on Thursday that America would exit Syria and “let the other people take care of it now.”

Mr. Trump called for the freeze after reading a news report noting that the U.S. had recently committed an additional $200 million to support early recovery efforts in Syria, said the officials. Departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged the money in February in Kuwait at a meeting of the coalition to defeat Islamic State.
Mar15  Trump  TrumpAdministration  aid  PYD  State_Department  decision_making 
march 2018 by elizrael The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability before Pascal (9781421418803): James Franklin: Books The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability before Pascal (9781421418803): James Franklin: Books
books  decision_making 
march 2018 by guilleten

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