Yngve Høiseth

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The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller

I have to admit, I was a bit dismayed by history professor Jerry Z. Muller’s new book The Tyranny of Metrics. A big believer in using numbers for analysis, I didn’t like seeing such a solid argument for why we should be more careful before deploying metrics to improve organisation performance. At fewer than 200 short pages, the book is an admirably easy read. If I were to add anything, that would be a discussion on the effective altruism movement in the chapter on philanthropy and foreign aid. Read more →

Philip Tetlock’s Alpha Pundit Challenge

Introduction In 2015, Philip Tetlock (of Superforecasting fame) asked the Open Philanthropy Project to fund two projects, one of which was called the Alpha Pundit Challenge: “[The “Alpha Pundit Challenge”] would systematically convert vague predictions made by prominent pundits into explicit numerical forecasts. Both of these projects are in the early stages of planning, so the details have not been worked out, but they share the goal of encouraging public figures with strong positions on important issues to convert those positions into concrete forecasts” (Open Philanthropy Project, 2016). Read more →

Ideas to improve the measurement of surgeon skill

In Britain, “[a]t least one in three heart surgeons has refused to treat critically ill patients because they are worried it will affect their mortality ratings if things go wrong” (Knapton, 2016). Ideas for improvement Because heart surgeons’ success rates are published, they have an incentive to avoid treating high-risk patients. And, apparently, the do have a say in which patients they treat. How can we avoid such a situation, while still informing patients about how good individual surgeons are? Read more →