This blog looks at studies comparing expertise in many fields over decades, including work by Tetlock and Kahneman, and problems like — why people don’t learn to use even simple tools forex intellect robot download stop children dying unnecessarily. There is a summary of some basic lessons at the end. In SW1 now, those at the apex of power practically never think in a serious way about the reasons for the endemic dysfunctional decision-making that constitutes most of their daily experience or how to change it. This fact is why, for example, a startup created in a few months could win a referendum that should have been unwinnable.
It was the systemic and consistent dysfunction of Establishment decision-making systems over a long period, with very poor mechanisms for good accurate feedback from reality, that created the space for a guerrilla operation to exploit. This makes it particularly ironic that even after Westminster and Whitehall have allowed their internal consensus about UK national strategy to be shattered by the referendum, there is essentially no serious reflection on this system failure. In the commercial world, big companies mostly die within a few decades because they cannot maintain an internal system to keep them aligned to reality plus startups pop up. Neither of the main parties has internalised the reality of these two crises.
The Tories won’t face reality on things like corporate looting and the NHS, Labour won’t face reality on things like immigration and the limits of bureaucratic centralism. Neither can cope with the complexity of Brexit and both just look like I would look like in the ring with a professional fighter — baffled, terrified and desperate for a way to escape. Few senior Insiders are interested in these questions but that’s OK — few of them listened before the referendum either. It’s not the people now in power and running the parties and Whitehall who will determine whether we make Brexit a platform to contribute usefully to humanity’s biggest challenges but those that take over. We know a lot about the distinction between fields in which there is real expertise and fields dominated by bogus expertise. To know whether you can trust a particular intuitive judgment, there are two questions you should ask: Is the environment in which the judgment is made sufficiently regular to enable predictions from the available evidence? The answer is yes for diagnosticians, no for stock pickers.