Category Archives: Poor reasoning

An inability to learn

From a review of Lynne Olson’s Last Hope Island that I found in the Fin this weekend: In the early evening of March 6, 1942, Lauwers sat in an apartment in The Hague, waiting to begin his scheduled biweekly transmission … Continue reading

Posted in Decision-making, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Poor reasoning, Principal-Agent Problems, Problem Solving, Problems with perception intuition and judgement, Strat. Assumptions v. Tac. Indicators, Thinking Course, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Narrative and Taboo

Trump’s backing away from the positions that got him elected continues apace: Trump frequently used the phrase “radical Islamic terror” on the campaign trail to describe Islamist extremists and militant groups, but the term has historically been avoided by presidents, including … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Narrative and Taboo, Poor reasoning, Principal-Agent Problems, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

The Strategic Consequences of Donald Trump’s Limbic System

Syrian air force bombs a munitions dump belonging to insurgents. Aerosol anti-personnel chemicals are released into the surrounding atmosphere, and drift towards a town in which people, including numerous children, reside. The chemicals adversely affect the people’s health. A camera-team … Continue reading

Posted in Decision-making, Epistemic Rationality, Esau Problem, Instrumental Rationality, Poor reasoning, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

Multiple intelligences, multiple competencies

About two months into the new job, and getting to know my colleagues, tasks, managers and obligations. One thing I’ve had presented to me in this role is senior managers and executives who are capable in one area, or one competency, but … Continue reading

Posted in Good Thinking, intuition and judgment, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Poor reasoning | Leave a comment

From the ‘Cutting one’s nose off …’ department

A historical episode which, if it happened this year, would quite possibly win the Zbig Brzezinski Prize for Myopia. From page 342 of an interesting but overly-long book, Operation Kronstadt, by Harry Ferguson: But before Paul [Dukes, MI6’s operative in Bolshevik Russia just … Continue reading

Posted in Esau Problem, Poor reasoning, Prize for Myopia | Leave a comment

Conquest’s Second Law of Politics comes to the IMF

Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics: 1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best. 2. Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing. 3. The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by … Continue reading

Posted in Poor reasoning, Straw Men, The Mind & Society | Leave a comment

Paper money approaches its logical end-point

If this report is to be believed, Japan is planning to create, in the near future, a zero-coupon perpetual bond. Value of the Principal to be repaid: zero Value of the coupons to be paid out over the life of the bond: zero. … Continue reading

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam, Poor reasoning, Strat. Assumptions v. Tac. Indicators | Leave a comment

The Iraq invasion in retrospect: neo-cons in their own words

While doing research for an essay that I am writing for the blog, I came across this January 2007 piece, written by David Rose for Vanity Fair, in which he interviews the US ‘neo cons’ and asks them ‘What went wrong?’ As … Continue reading

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Too clever by two standard deviations

From Stephen Bartholomeusz’s column in this weekend’s Oz: The BHP board will have done a lot of head-scratching to understand how they could have ended up in the bind the group finds itself in. Its [earnings?] model was supposed to … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Instrumental Rationality, Poor reasoning, Strat. Assumptions v. Tac. Indicators | Leave a comment

Knowledge is supposed to be the hand-maiden to informed action

The aim of epistemic rationality is not knowledge for its own sake, but knowledge gained in the service of instrumental rationality. We seek as accurate a view of the world around us as possible, so as we can make the best … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Instrumental Rationality, Poor reasoning | Leave a comment