On the military balance of power in the Western Pacific

Some observations concerning the military balance of power in Asia. Even “experts” I have spoken to over the years seem to be confused about basic realities that are fundamental to strategic considerations. 1. Modern missile and targeting technology make the survivability of surface ships (especially carriers) questionable. Satellites can easily image surface ships and missiles …

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NIH peer review percentile scores are poorly predictive of grant productivity

The impacts of studies ranked in the 3rd to 20th percentile are more or less statistically indistinguishable. With current funding lines as low as 10th percentile, this means that many unfunded proposals are more meritorious than funded studies. NIH peer review percentile scores are poorly predictive of grant productivity DOI: 10.7554/eLife.13323.001 Peer review is widely …

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Expert Prediction: hard and soft

Jason Zweig writes about Philip Tetlock’s Good Judgement Project below. See also Expert Predictions, Perils of Prediction, and this podcast talk by Tetlock. A quick summary: good amateurs (i.e., smart people who think probabilistically and are well read) typically perform as well as or better than area experts (e.g., PhDs in Social Science, History, Government; …

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Perils of Prediction

Highly recommended podcast: Tim Harford (FT) at the LSE. Among the topics covered are Keynes’ and Irving Fisher’s performance as investors, and Philip Tetlock’s IARPA-sponsored Good Judgement Project, meant to evaluate expert prediction of complex events. Project researchers (psychologists) find that “actively open-minded thinkers” (those who are willing to learn from those that disagree with them) …

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