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jerryking : oil_spills   14

9/11 and the age of sovereign failure -
Sep. 10, 2011 | The Globe & Mail | Michael Ignatieff.. One
of the tasks we ask govt. to perform is to think the unthinkable. Yet on
9/11, govt. institutions failed...A sovereign is a state with a
monopoly on the means of force...It is there to think the unthinkable
and plan for it. A sovereign failed that morning.... There has been a
cascade of failure: (1) No WMDs found in Iraq; (2) The failure of the
levees & New Orleans civil authority following Hurricane Katrina;
(3) the 2008 mortgage bubble and govt. regulators; (4) the failure of
govt. regulators to catch BP before the Spring 2010 oil spill. ...While
there are a lot of things a govt. might do, there are a few things that
only a govt. can do: protect the people, rescue them when they are in
danger, regulate against catastrophic risk and safeguard the full faith
and credit of their currency. Sovereigns matter. And rebuilding their
legitimacy, their capacity and their competence is the political task
that matters most......It is always good to be skeptical about what governments tell us. But we are beyond skepticism now, into a deep and enduring cynicism. There will come a day when they are not crying wolf and we will not believe them. Then we will be in trouble. Some trust in government is a condition of democracy and security alike. That trust has been weakened and can't be rebuilt until sovereigns say what they mean, mean what they say and do what they promise.
Michael_Ignatieff  failure  government  9/11  low_probability  catastrophic_risk  priorities  unthinkable  sovereign-risk  state-as-facilitator  legitimacy  capacity  competence  oil_spills  cynicism  skepticism  policymaking 
september 2011 by jerryking
Far Offshore, a Rash of Close Calls -
The oil industry has said the Deepwater Horizon rig catastrophe was a
unique event, the result of an unprecedented series of missteps that are
unlikely to be repeated. The recent history of offshore drilling
suggests otherwise.

In the months before and after the rig exploded and sank, killing 11 and
spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the
industry was hit with several serious spills and alarming near-misses,
some of them strikingly similar to what happened aboard the Deepwater
catastrophes  missteps  offshore_drilling  oil_industry  oil_spills  safety  near-misses  environmental_disasters  Deepwater_Horizon  uniqueness 
december 2010 by jerryking / Management - When to turn a blind eye to the facts
September 20 2010 | Financial Times | By Philip Delves Broughton.
.....For the men and women fighting to stop the leak, there were the messy, practical challenges to be met, and decisions to be made based on the evidence. And then there were those who made the decision early to pound away at this latest example of “Big Oil” gone wild.

President Barack Obama was caught between the two, trying to make decisions based on the complex set of facts, while others claimed to know exactly what decisions should be made, and compiled the evidence accordingly.

Businesses are often caught in the same trap. Ideally, you want to base your decisions on sound evidence. But often, managers make a decision then rustle up the evidence to support it. As Peter Tingling and Michael Brydon of Simon Fraser University wrote recently in the MIT Sloan Management Review, it is the difference between evidence-based decision making and its ugly sibling, decision-based evidence making......
Profs Tingling and Brydon found that evidence is used by managers in three different ways: to make; inform; or support a decision. If it is used to make a decision, it means the decision arises directly from the evidence. If it is used to inform a decision, evidence is mixed in with intuition or bargaining to lead to a decision. If it is used to support a decision, it means the evidence is simply a means to justify a decision already made. They also found that evidence is often shaped by subordinates to meet what they perceive to be the expectations of their bosses.

There are two dangers to letting decisions trump evidence. The first is when decision making is simply ill-informed. Ideally, a decision that contradicts the evidence is an inspired hunch, formed by experience, like Nelson’s. In the worst case, it is the product of ignorant bias.

The second danger is that once your employees know that you, as a manager, are more interested in finding evidence to fit your conclusions rather than seeking out truth, it infects a company with demoralising and destructive cynicism.
......In other companies, however, the cult of data-driven decision making leaves so little room for personal beliefs that people just tailor evidence to fit pre-made decisions......What is a manager to do? How do you encourage the use of data, while leaving room for the occasional inspired decision? One solution is to be more flexible in how you categorise decisions. Not all will require the same degree of evidence.

Another is to weigh the costs of gathering evidence. Is it always worth it? If not, don’t fudge it for appearance’s sake. Admit that you are trusting your well-honed instincts.
evidence_based  Octothorpe_Software  Philip_Delves_Broughton  decision_making  Peter_Tingling  environmental_disasters  Deepwater_Horizon  evidence  oil_spills  oil_industry  fact_patterns 
september 2010 by jerryking
Drilling for Better Information -
JUNE 28, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
The financial crisis and BP share a common attribute: regulatory
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  risk-assessment  risk-management  oil_spills  BP 
july 2010 by jerryking
The Regulation Crisis: A failure of economic and environmental regulation
June 14, 2010 | The New Yorker | by James Surowiecki.
As Carpenter argues in a recent essay, successful regulation, by filling
information gaps and managing risk, fosters confidence in the safety
and honesty of markets, which in turn makes them bigger and more robust.
The pharmaceutical industry, for instance, would be much smaller if
people were seriously worried that they might be poisoned every time
they took a new drug. And though executives chafe at financial
regulation, the protection it provides makes investors far more likely
to hand them money to play with. If we want our regulators to do better,
we have to embrace a simple idea: regulation isn’t an obstacle to
thriving free markets; it’s a vital part of them.
BP  confidence  consumer_protection  economics  environment  financial_regulation  free_markets  information_gaps  investors  James_Surowiecki  oil_spills  pharmaceutical_industry  politics  regulation  regulators  SEC 
june 2010 by jerryking
Spill could be ‘game changer’ for oil
Jun. 11, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Nathan VanderKlippe. The
Deepwater Horizon spill could become a global oil “game changer” by
spurring a deep and potentially costly rethink of the rules needed to
keep offshore drilling safe.
oil_spills  oil_industry  competitive_landscape  game_changers  environmental_disasters  Deepwater_Horizon 
june 2010 by jerryking
Spillonomics - Underestimating Risk -
May 31, 2010 |NYT | By DAVID LEONHARDT. The people running BP
did a dreadful job of estimating the true chances of events that seemed
unlikely — and may even have been unlikely — but that would bring
enormous costs....We make two basic — and opposite — types of mistakes.
When an event is difficult to imagine, we tend to underestimate its
likelihood. This is the proverbial black swan...On the other hand, when
an unlikely event is all too easy to imagine, we often go in the
opposite direction and overestimate the odds.
unimaginable  BP  risk-taking  risk-assessment  oil_spills  mistakes  black_swan  underestimation  underpricing  unthinkable  overestimation  dual-consciousness  frequency_and_severity  improbables  disasters  disaster_preparedness  imagination  low_probability 
june 2010 by jerryking
Gulf Oil Spill's Fallout Widens Debate on Government's Proper Role -
MAY 28, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By GERALD F. SEIB. New
Rules in an Old Tug-of-War. A presidential commission soon will put
the relationship (govt.-offshore oil industry) in therapy. The risk is
that the wrong question may dominate the coming discussion—namely,
whether there was too little regulation of the offshore oil industry.
The better question is less about quantity than quality: Were
regulations smart and up to date? They almost certainly weren't. ...The
broader point is that the BP oil spill is just the latest in a series of
traumatic events forcing a rethink of government's relationship with
business. Bank bailouts, energy plans, auto-maker rescues, Toyota
accelerator problems: All have forced both politicians and average
Americans to rethink the proper role of government in the private
bailouts  Gerald_Seib  government  private_sector  BP  oil_spills  regulation  event-driven  events  regulators  business-government_relations  politicians  offshore  offshore_drilling  questions 
may 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Drilling for Certainty -
May 27, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. "...the real issue has
to do with risk assessment. It has to do with the bloody crossroads where complex technical systems meet human psychology...we’ve come to depend on an ever-expanding array of intricate hi-tech systems. These h/w & s/w sys. are the guts of financial markets, energy exploration, space exploration, air travel, defense programs and modern production plants. These sys. which allow us to live as well as we do, are too complex for any single person to understand. (1) people can't
imagine how small failings can compound into catastrophic disasters. (2) people acclimate to risk (3) overconfidence in backup sys. and safety devices. (4) people match complicated technical sys. with complicated governing structures. (5) people tend to spread good news and hide bad news.(6) people in the same field suffer groupthink...Overlooks incentives that distort choices.
David_Brooks  oil_spills  complexity  risk-assessment  cognitive_skills  biases  Malcolm_Gladwell  certainty  overconfidence  psychology  incentives  catastrophes  groupthink  compounded  financial_markets  energy_exploration  space_exploration  air_travel  multiplicative  risk-perception  optimism_bias  risk-acclimatization  Richard_Feynman  cumulative  bad_news 
may 2010 by jerryking
Peggy Noonan: He Was Supposed to Be Competent
MAY 29, 2010 | - | By PEGGY NOONAN He Was Supposed to
Be Competent. The spill is a disaster for the president and his
political philosophy.
Peggy_Noonan  Obama  oil_spills  BP 
may 2010 by jerryking

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