Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Reliable forecasts versus speculative opinion....

 The apparently trivial here has a high degree of reliability and is, in a genuine rather than business jargon use of the term, robust - retains its truth across a wide variety of settings:

"I very frequently get the question: “What’s going to change in the next 10 years?” That’s a very interesting question.

I almost never get the question: “What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?” And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two.

You can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, “Jeff I love Amazon, I just wish the prices were a little higher.” Or, “I love Amazon, I just wish you’d deliver a little slower.” Impossible.

So we know the energy we put into these things today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it."

— Jeff Bezos

Monday, August 23, 2021

No mandate to dictate to others...

"You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing." Richard Feynman

Monday, August 16, 2021

Worth a thought


"Asking for feedback creates a critic. Asking for advice creates a partner." from Farnham Street.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Neither Guilt Nor Apocalypse are Sound Policy Instruments


Bjorn Lomborg reports in Business Day that the latest IPCC report – the “code red” document states that “frequency and intensity of cold extremes has decreased.” Just what we might expect.

The Lancet reports that half a million die  from heat every year. At the same time 4.5 million people die from cold. The last 10 years have seen, globally, an increase of 116,000 deaths from heat but a decrease of 283,000 deaths from cold. We have then seen 167,000 lives saved per year

This is neither apocalypse nor anything to be guilty about. Code red? Code for – look at both benefits and costs. You might be surprised.

Monday, July 26, 2021

A Critical Distinction

But what does it mean to believe in science? The British science writer Matt Ridley draws a pointed distinction between “science as a philosophy” and “science as an institution.” The former grows out of the Enlightenment, which Mr. Ridley defines as “the primacy of rational and objective reasoning.” 

The latter, like all human institutions, is erratic, prone to falling well short of its stated principles. Mr. Ridley says the Covid pandemic has “thrown into sharp relief the disconnect between science as a philosophy and science as an institution.”

Wall St Journal 23 July (remainder pay walled)

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Stench of Regulator Envy

New Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules say astronaut hopefuls must be part of the flight crew and make contributions to space flight safety. That means Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson may not yet be astronauts in the eyes of the US government.

These are the first changes since the FAA wings programme began in 2004.

The Commercial Astronaut Wings programme updates were announced on Tuesday - the same day that Amazon's Bezos flew aboard a Blue Origin rocket to the edge of space. To qualify as commercial astronauts, space-goers must travel 80km above the Earth's surface, which both Bezos and Branson accomplished.

But altitude aside, the agency said that would-be astronauts must have also "demonstrated activities during flight that were essential to public safety, or contributed to human space flight safety".

What exactly counts as such is determined by FAA officials.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Two thoughts worth considering

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher


Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. John Quinton, American actor/writer