A case study in combating bias Following several disappointing investments, the German electric utility RWE overhauled its decision-making processes. Learn how from the CFO who spearheaded the effort. The Quarterly: Tell us a bit about the circumstances that motivated RWE’s management to undertake a broad debiasing operation. Bernhard Günther: In the second half of the last decade, we spent more than €10 billion on big capital-expenditure programs and acquisitions in conventional power plants. In the business cases underlying these decisions, we were betting on the assumptions of ever-rising commodity prices, ever-rising power prices. Vigilantes In India: Protecting Sacred Cows, Promoting A Hindu Way Of Life : Parallels A buffalo market in central Rajasthan, India. Drivers ferrying these animals to slaughterhouses have been intercepted and accused of transporting cows, an animal many Hindus consider sacred. A new report from Human Rights Watch says that this devotion to protecting the cow has contributed to recent vigilante violence.
A Primer: What Is Net Neutrality — Why All the Fuss? The battle over net neutrality is once again heating up. Earlier today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he wants to scrap a rule passed by the FCC in 2015. In an interview with Reason magazine, Pai said, “Going forward, my hope is that in a more free market, light touch environment, we can figure out what the right regulatory framework is to preserve those core protections of a free and open internet.” Not everyone has followed this somewhat complicated issue. Here, then, is a primer for understanding what’s at stake in the fight for an open Internet.
The world’s required reading list: The books that students read in 28 countries In the US, most students are required to read To Kill a Mockingbird during their school years. This classic novel combines a moving coming-of-age story with big issues like racism and criminal injustice. Reading Mockingbird is such an integral part of the American educational experience that we wondered: What classic books are assigned to students elsewhere? We posed this question to our TED-Ed Innovative Educators and members of the TED-Ed Community. People all over the globe responded, and we curated our list to focus on local authors. Many respondents made it clear in their countries, as in the US, few books are absolutely mandatory. Sullivan: Why the Reactionary Right Must Be Taken Seriously Look around you. Donald Trump is now president of the United States, having won on a campaign that trashed liberal democracy itself, and is now presiding over an administration staffed, in part, with adherents of a political philosophy largely alien to mainstream American politics. In Russia, Vladimir Putin has driven his country from postcommunist capitalism to a new and popular czardom, empowered by nationalism and blessed by a resurgent Orthodox Church.
Cognitive bias cheat sheet – Better Humans Great, how am I supposed to remember all of this? You don’t have to. But you can start by remembering these four giant problems our brains have evolved to deal with over the last few million years (and maybe bookmark this page if you want to occasionally reference it for the exact bias you’re looking for): Information overload sucks, so we aggressively filter. Noise becomes signal.Lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in the gaps.
How do you sell God in the 21st century? More heaven, less hell A couple of years ago, a Chicago-based corporate-identity consultant Chris Herron gave himself the ultimate challenge: rebrand hell. It was half gag, half self-promotion, but Herron took the project seriously, considering what it would take for a place like hell to become a premier destination in the travel market. Herron decided that what hell needed was a complete brand overhaul. The new hell would feature no demons or devils, no tridents or lakes of fire. The brand name was rendered in a lower-case, bubbly blue font designed to evoke “instant accessibility and comfort”. The slogan, which was once “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”, would be “Simply Heavenly”. Key findings about U.S. immigrants The U.S. has more immigrants than any other country in the world. Today, more than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in another country, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants in 2015. The population of immigrants is also very diverse, with just about every country in the world represented among U.S. immigrants. Pew Research Center regularly publishes statistical portraits of the nation’s foreign-born population, which include historical trends since 1960. Based on these portraits, here are answers to some key questions about the U.S. immigrant population.
how-finland-is-finally-putting-an-end-to-bullying Whether tormented relentlessly by older siblings at home or pushed around by the meanest of peers at school, we’ve likely all experienced bullying to some degree or another. “Research suggests that nine out of ten elementary students have been bullied by a classmate to some degree, although only 36% will report instances of bullying.”* Donald Trump's tax plan would turn the whole U.S. into Kansas. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images It is hard to think of a more obvious recent public-policy failure than the tax cuts that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback championed in 2012. The state has been mired in a perpetual budget crisis ever since the package passed, forcing its residents to swallow painful spending cuts in essential areas like education.
We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment - NYTimes.com But it is increasingly clear that the mind is mainly drawn to the future, not driven by the past. Behavior, memory and perception can’t be understood without appreciating the central role of prospection. We learn not by storing static records but by continually retouching memories and imagining future possibilities. Our brain sees the world not by processing every pixel in a scene but by focusing on the unexpected. Our emotions are less reactions to the present than guides to future behavior. Therapists are exploring new ways to treat depression now that they see it as primarily not because of past traumas and present stresses but because of skewed visions of what lies ahead.