85: Risk: Policies for the Unknown Unknowns


Editorial

Asked in a briefing, in February 2002, about the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the American Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, entered into a poetic reverie that unintentionally described risk. In his answer he declared: … as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know... Read more »

Editorial  

In Evidence We Trust

As the community and voluntary sector is increasingly shaped by the need to constantly generate evidence of outcomes, practitioners can become attuned to the expectation of the “knowledge” which should be produced.

Economics  

Nudging Ourselves to Death

Speeding Towards a New City There’s an old quip attributed to Henry Ford that no one was looking for the car to be invented; they just wanted faster horses. Even that is not true. What city-dwellers in the late 1800s had a problem with was manure. One early urban planner predicted that the biological waste... Read more »

Economics  

Ageing, Risk and Housing in Ireland

In the early 1990s, Professor Anthony Clare addressed a Dublin conference audience of some 300 people. It was an inspiring address and among the words that resonated were the following: “‘The elderly’ are not ‘them, out there’; ‘the elderly’ are us, writ large writ later.” Pithy and fundamentally true, it is a good starting point... Read more »

Economics  

Risk and Surveillance Capitalism

People are notoriously bad at assessing risk – we instinctively overestimate the likelihood of very scary events and underestimate the likelihood of familiar hazards. When this is combined with the power of gradual change, we end up collectively accepting situations that we would never rationally choose. The motorcar is the classic example: if we could... Read more »

Economics  

Debt Hurricane

Jubilee Caribbean (JCaribbean) is a newly formed non-governmental organisation, born out of the bigger Jubilee Campaigns from the turn of the millennium – Drop the Debt, Jubilee 2000 and Jubilee Debt Campaign – based in Grenada, but hoping to reach out to the wider English-speaking Caribbean islands. Due to our debt situation here, in the... Read more »

Economics