Tag: decision-making

Hubris and the Lack of Humility

 

Afghanistan is a catastrophe on so many levels in terms of the military, governance, human beings, security, with an overabundance of hubris and lack of humility. But, you might say, we have always acted out of hubris in the past and gotten away with it. And why would anyone expect a show of humility from any president, past or present? The reason is that the current devastation is costing our country, the Afghan people, and the rest of the world dearly, because decisions were made out of gross incompetence and the very attributes I am citing.

I couldn’t help wondering if our pride in the greatness of our country has finally caught up with us. Were we too prideful? Did we refuse to learn from our mistakes and spend all our time blaming others for our problems? Did we believe our own propaganda so thoroughly as a world leader that we’ve been unable to reflect on our own actions or refused to make tough decisions?

Radar Wars: a Case Study in Expertise and Influence

 

In today’s WSJ, David Mamet writes about expertise and influence, pointing out that experts who get important things wrong, sometimes causing great harm to millions of people, often pay no personal price whatsoever. One example he mentions is the pre-WWII secret British debate on air defense technologies and especially the role played by Churchill’s scientific advisor, Professor Frederick Lindemann.

It is an interesting and important story, and is discussed by the scientist/novelist CP Snow in his 1960 book Science and Government…which, he says, was inspired by the following thought:

You may know Annie Duke as a former professional poker player, but her focus now is as an author, corporate speaker and consultant in the decision-making space. She has just released How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices as a follow-up to her national bestseller, Thinking in Bets. Annie and Carol Roth talk about the perils of groupthink, having access to too much information and social media, as well as a formula for making better decisions. 

She even catches Carol in saying she knows less about something than she does and gives her a problem-solving tool that you can use, too. 

Member Post

 

During the last few months, I have carefully assessed my relationship with COVID-19, how “obedient” I should be to government rules, how I’ve relied on common sense to make decisions about upcoming commitments (like cancelling a two-week cruise scheduled in May, but going to my nail person last week), and trying to guess about what […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Quote of the Day: Decision-Making

 

“It would be hard to think of a more ridiculous way to make decisions than to transfer those decisions to third parties who pay no price for being wrong. Yet that is what at least half of the bright ideas of the political left amount to.” – Thomas Sowell

Although Thomas Sowell wrote this years (perhaps decades) ago, it is more relevant today than when he wrote it. We have had our noses rubbed in the consequences of transferring important decisions to third parties who pay no price for being wrong for nearly ten years — certainly since January 2009 when the American people inaugurated a government for experts, of experts, and by experts. Since then, they have made dozens of faulty decisions, for which others paid the price of the “experts” being wrong. The third-party deciders suffer no consequences except occasionally being promoted.

Member Post

 

“Holding an inner or outer conflict quietly instead of attempting to resolve it quickly is a difficult idea to entertain. It is even more challenging to experience. However, as Carl Jung believed, if we held the tension between the two opposing forces, there would emerge a third way, which would unite and transcend the two.” […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.