Being approximately right (not precisely wrong!)

Spurious precision One of the big accounting firms got my goat this week when it released house price growth forecasts by capital city out until the end of the year 2021, predicted to one decimal place. Even if you could predict the future of housing markets beyond a decimal point… full article

Small samples & the hot hand fallacy

Extreme outcomes In his ground-breaking book¬†Thinking Fast and Slow¬†psychologist Daniel Kahneman invited the reader to consider why some small, rural, Republican towns in America's South, West, and Midwest might've recorded the highest rates of kidney cancer (perhaps due to the clean-living rural lifestyle, lack of pollution, and access to fresh… full article

The roadmap to remarkable

Making the weight For the first year after my daughter was born I became lost in a maze of statistics. Doctors recognise that children come along in all shapes & sizes, but when looking at the 'normal' distribution of baby weights, she was an outlier - consistently lower than she… full article

You’ve changed…

Old habits Upon catching up with someone you haven't met for a long time they often observe that 'you haven't changed a bit!', and it's usually meant affectionately. On the other hand, an old associate noting that 'you've changed...' can be taken as an insult (although this often says as… full article

Connecting the dots

Re-engineering your life We've all heard more than enough Buffett quotes about the price of swimming naked when others are greedy (or whatever) to fill our proverbial punch-cards 20 times over by now. Instead, for today, how about some more practical advice from the 'Sage of Quotemaha'? Here's Wazza, on… full article

When doing nothing is the best action

Your next move! I was intrigued by the game of chess for some years when I was at junior school, with its universal appeal & endless permutations - in fact, there are well over 319,000,000,000 possible positions after only four moves! One of the interesting things about chess is that… full article

How to detonate a time revolution

Quality time Lately I've been going to the gym twice per week with my mate Si, usually for about an hour. Si is a builder, and this week he turned up looking rather drained: 'Short session tonight, I've been digging a wretched trench all day' he grumbled (or words to… full article

Blowing away Schumpeter’s gale

Appetite for destruction When I trained as an accountant a handful of our clients still maintained their records in a handwritten ledger, whereas today you can scan a receipt into your phone and post an according book entry in real time. Some things don't change so easily - I'm still… full article

Gone to the dogs

Days at the races As a teenager I use to go up to Romford dog track on Friday nights for a bit of a drink and a punt. If you could be bothered to wander track-side there were on-course bookies, but as mug punters we normally stayed in the bar… full article

On thwarting the Peter Principle

Promotion to pain Thinking back to my professional career days in Sydney, I can recall it being something of a ritual for staff to repair to Ryan's Bar of a Friday afternoon to have a good old whinge about their respective bosses. What on earth were the odds, I'd muse… full article