Category Archives: Death by Metrics

Evaluating Predictions in Hindsight

Epistemic Status: Confident I have useful things to say, but apologies for the long post because I don’t think it’s worth my time to make it shorter. Better to get thoughts down for those who want to read them. Scott … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Guide, Rationality | 19 Comments

Seemingly Popular Covid-19 Model is Obvious Nonsense

Previous Covid-19 thoughts: On R0, Taking Initial Viral Load Seriously Epistemic Status: Something Is Wrong On The Internet. Which should almost always be ignored even when you are an expert, and I am nothing of the kind. However, this was a necessary … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Death by Metrics | 15 Comments

How Doomed are Large Organizations?

We now take the model from the previous post, and ask the questions over the next several posts. This first answer post asks these questions: Are these dynamics the inevitable results of large organizations? How can we forestall these dynamics … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Immoral Mazes Sequence, Moral Mazes, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Out to Get You

Epistemic Status: Reference. Expanded From: Against Facebook, as the post originally intended. Some things are fundamentally Out to Get You.  They seek resources at your expense. Fees are hidden. Extra options are foisted upon you. Things are made intentionally worse, forcing … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Facebook Sequence, Good Advice, Rationality, Reference, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 46 Comments

Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction

Epistemic Status: Minus One Million Points Shortness Status: Long (this is a proposed new norm I want to try out, in the sense of ‘apologies for writing a long letter, I did not have enough time to write a shorter … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Economics, Personal Experience, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Short Termism

Epistemic Status: Metrics look good Original Post: Larry Summers: Case Still Out On Whether Short-Termism is a Problem There is a long-standing hypothesis that corporate America focuses too much on short-term results. Larry Summers looks at a new study by McKinsey (McKinsey’s … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Economics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Thing and the Symbolic Representation of The Thing

Let’s assume there is a thing that all would agree is, in context, a Good Thing(tm) that someone in your situation would want. Do you want the thing, or do you want the symbolic representation of the thing?* This sounds … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Impractical Optimization, Personal Experience, Rationality | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments

What If It Rains?

Follow Up To: Full Service Gas stations in New Jersey do not have awnings to protect customers from the rain. Let us presume for the moment that due to some combination of inertia, regulations and initial costs, it is not … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Economics, Impractical Optimization | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

In a world… of venture capital

On Twitter, Robin Hanson asked a question yesterday I have given a lot of thought to, which is why the bigger venture capital firms dominate the market and make oversize profits while the other firms taken together make almost no … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Impractical Optimization, Personal Experience | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments