Goodhart, Campbell and Elections

I'm the sort of person who has favourite Laws of Social Science. Don't judge me. The two "Laws" (let's be honest, they're rules of thumb) are Goodhart's Law and Campbell's Law. The first, Goodhart's Law, is best described in paraphrase from Marilyn Strathem:When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. … Continue reading Goodhart, Campbell and Elections

Management by decree

As a part of my current mini side project #NotAWebinar I was watching a clip from the psychologist and former NBA star John Amaechi. In it he talked about how behaviours that would be otherwise unacceptable in modern life are tolerated if not positively encouraged in the world of sport. He talked of a hypothetical … Continue reading Management by decree

Is Social Media a Public Health Issue?

Something strange is going on in Westminster. Actually, a whole lot of strange things are going on in Westminster, but there's one in particular that is leaving me concerned. It's the way that it appears that the Secretary of State for Health and Social CareĀ  Matt Hancock has taken on responsibility for policy around the … Continue reading Is Social Media a Public Health Issue?

The Simple Question Fallacy

Our world is dominated by ideas of problems and solutions. Of questions and answers. And I'm beginning to wonder if there are cognitive biases at play that prevent us from being able to contend with the complexity that often arises from the answers that are required to solve seemingly simple questions. The trigger for this … Continue reading The Simple Question Fallacy

Problem-less solutions

So apparently Theresa May has asked her Brexit subcommittee to go away and think a bit harder about their two proposed solutions to the post-Brexit EU border and customs problem. One of the two approaches has been summarised as: A 'highly streamlined' customs arrangement - This would minimise customs checks rather than getting rid of … Continue reading Problem-less solutions

A state of confusion

When Chris & I spoke on Sunday evening about the emerging Cambridge Analytica story as we recorded WB40 I was confused. As further revelations have emerged through Carole Cadwalladr's fantastic and dogged reporting (which I have been following for months), I am reminded of the Morrissey lyric "I was happy in the haze of a … Continue reading A state of confusion

The everyday sexism of AI

I'm currently preparing a talk for a group of HR professionals on the subject of AI, machine learning and robots. My opening gambit is going to be that robots have already taken over our houses and have us enslaved. A strong pitch. What are these robots of which I speak? Well, you probably know them … Continue reading The everyday sexism of AI