POSTPONED: Mervyn King - Radical Uncertainty—in conversation with Janet Yellen at GW Jack Morton Auditorium

Upcoming Event
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 7:00pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event is being postponed to a later date. New date and location to be announced. For questions, contact Politics and Prose at 202-364-1919.

Some uncertainties are resolvable. Most situations in life, however, involve a deeper kind of uncertainty, a radical uncertainty for which historical data provide no useful guidance to future outcomes. Before President Barack Obama made the fateful decision to send in the Navy Seals, his advisers offered him wildly divergent estimates of the odds that Osama bin Laden would be in the Abbottabad compound. In 2000, no one—not least Steve Jobs—knew what a smartphone was; how could anyone have predicted how many would be sold in 2020?

The limits of certainty demonstrate the power of human judgment over artificial intelligence. In most critical decisions there can be no forecasts or probability distributions on which we might sensibly rely. Instead of inventing numbers to fill the gaps in our knowledge, we should adopt business, political, and personal strategies that will be robust to alternative futures and resilient to unpredictable events. Within the security of such a robust and resilient reference narrative, uncertainty can be embraced, because it is the source of creativity, excitement, and profit.

King will be in conversation with Janet Yellen, economist at the Brookings Institution and former Chair of the Federal Reserve.



GW Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st St NW
Washington, DC 20052
Cancelled, or Cancelled and Rescheduled
Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324004776
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 17th, 2020

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