Archives For uncertainty

Well it was either Crowley or Kylie Minogue given the title of the post, so think yourselves lucky (Image source: Warner Brothers TV)

Sometimes it’s just a choice between bad and worse

If we accept that different types of uncertainty create different types of risk then it follows that we may in fact be able to trade one type of risk for another, and in certain circumstances this may be a preferable option.

Continue Reading…

Why more information does not automatically reduce risk

I recently re-read the article Risks and Riddles by Gregory Treverton on the difference between a puzzle and a mystery. Treverton’s thesis, taken up by Malcom Gladwell in Open Secrets, is that there is a significant difference between puzzles, in which the answer hinges on a known missing piece, and mysteries in which the answer is contingent upon information that may be ambiguous or even in conflict. Continue Reading…

As the latin root of the word risk indicates an integral part of risk taking is the benefit we achieve. However often times decision makers do not have a clear understanding of what is the upside or payoff.

Continue Reading...

One of the current concepts in decision making theory is that of bounded rationality. In essence we (humans) try to act rationally but are constrained by the limits of time and information on our decisions. So if we make decisions in this way what are some useful, ‘tools of the trade’ that can guide our decision making?

Continue Reading...

To Dare…

04/11/2010 — Leave a comment

What is the root meaning of risk? The word risk derives from an early Italian word ‘risicare’, which means ‘to dare’. In this sense risk is a choice rather than a fate and with that authority of choice goes (in a just society) some measure or responsibility and accountability.

Continue Reading...

So why is one in a million an acceptable risk? The answer may be simpler than we think.

Continue Reading...

The IPCC issued a set of lead author guidance notes on how to describe uncertainty prior to the fourth IPCC assessment. In it the IPCC laid out a methodology on how to deal with various classes of uncertainty. Unforunately the IPCC guidance also fell into a fatal trap.

Continue Reading...