Monday, September 18, 2017

"I wouldn't do that"

"Doubt is unpleasant, but certainty is absurd"

Interested in quantitative risk management, understanding risk metrics, and risk management?
This one may be for you:
Matthew Squair is working on a new book, entitled "I wouldn't do that". He's made a draft of Chapter 1 available, at least for a short time.
Why another book on risk management? The shelves are already full (even if only virtually full). Squair addresses the question. He writes:
" ..... in the face of the uncertainties posed by complex systems and new technologies, can we also achieve an acceptable level of safety. Answering this question both philosophically and practically is the purpose of this book"
Squair's focus as a consultant is risk-safety .... connecting those dots. But, he really writes in a larger context. Thus, if you're the least interested in managing with uncertainty, and self-educating with a very readable explanation of quantitative risk considerations, look through the Chapter 1 sample.

Here's the opening statement:
A nuclear reactor’s defences are overwhelmed by a tsunami, an aircraft manufacturer’s newest aircraft is brought low by design faults while another aircraft’s crew is overwhelmed by a cascading series of failures.

Why do these things happen?

Can we predict such events and protect ourselves from them, or are we destined to suffer like disasters again and again?
Do you actually care? You do! But, maybe not all that much

Squair posits that for there to be risk, there has to be value first. That is, if there is really nothing at stake then there really is not a risk to be considered. It's an interesting idea, really: start thinking first of value, or the value of an outcome, and then posit the risk proposition to that value.

Squair, again:
" ... there is an exposure to a proposition about which we care and about which uncertainty exists. If there is complete certainty then risk does not exist. For risk to be meaningful it also implies that we must value a speciļ¬c outcome of the proposition."

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