Atul Gawande

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pages: 182 words: 56,961

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Airbus A320, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, index card, John Snow's cholera map, megacity, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

ALSO BY ATUL GAWANDE BETTER: A SURGEON’S NOTES ON PERFORMANCE COMPLICATIONS: A SURGEON’S NOTES ON AN IMPERFECT SCIENCE THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO ATUL GAWANDE THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO: HOW TO GET THINGS RIGHT METROPOLITAN BOOKS HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY NEW YORK Metropolitan Books Henry Holt and Company, LLC Publishers since 1866 175 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10010 Metropolitan Books® and ® are registered trademarks of Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Copyright © 2009 by Atul Gawande All rights reserved. Distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company Ltd. Some material in this book originally appeared in the New Yorker essay “The Checklist” in different form. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data are available. ISBN: 978-0-8050-9174-8 Henry Holt books are available for special promotions and premiums.

Their insistence that people talk to one another about each case, at least just for a minute before starting, was basically a strategy to foster teamwork—a kind of team huddle, as it were. So was another step that these checklists employed, one that was quite unusual in my experience: surgical staff members were expected to stop and make sure that everyone knew one another’s names. The Johns Hopkins checklist spelled this out most explicitly. Before starting an operation with a new team, there was a check to ensure everyone introduced themselves by name and role: “I’m Atul Gawande, the attending surgeon”; “I’m Jay Powers, the circulating nurse”; “I’m Zhi Xiong, the anesthesiologist”—that sort of thing. It felt kind of hokey to me, and I wondered how much difference this step could really make. But it turned out to have been carefully devised. There have been psychology studies in various fields backing up what should have been self-evident—people who don’t know one another’s names don’t work together nearly as well as those who do.

Just as powerful, though, was the effect that the routine of the checklist—the discipline—had on us. Of all the people in the room as we started that operation—the anesthesiologist, the nurse anesthetist, the surgery resident, the scrub nurse, the circulating nurse, the medical student—I had worked with only two before, and I knew only the resident well. But as we went around the room introducing ourselves—“Atul Gawande, surgeon.” “Rich Bafford, surgery resident.” “Sue Marchand, nurse”—you could feel the room snapping to attention. We confirmed the patient’s name on his ID bracelet and that we all agreed which adrenal gland was supposed to come out. The anesthesiologist confirmed that he had no critical issues to mention before starting, and so did the nurses. We made sure that the antibiotics were in the patient, a warming blanket was on his body, the inflating boots were on his legs to keep blood clots from developing.

pages: 299 words: 92,782

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, commoditize, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Emanuel Derman, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, income inequality, Innovator's Dilemma, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Simon Singh, six sigma, Steven Pinker, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipf's Law

Benbow, “Beyond the Threshold Hypothesis: Even Among the Gifted and Top Math/Science Graduate Students, Cognitive Abilities, Vocational Interests, and Lifestyle Preferences Matter for Career Choice, Performance, and Persistence,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 19, no. 6 (December 2010): 346–351. 18. Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (New York: Random House, 2006). 19. Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (New York: Riverhead Books, 2009). 20. Atul Gawande, “The Checklist: If Something So Simple Can Transform Intensive Care, What Else Can It Do?” The New Yorker, December 10, 2007. 21. Peter Pronovost, MD PhD, and Eric Vohr, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor's Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out (New York: Hudson Street Books, 2010). 22. Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009), 114–135. 23. Daniel Boorman, “Safety Benefits of Electronic Checklists: An Analysis of Commercial Transport Accidents,” Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 2001, 5–8. 24.

And as Kahneman points out, our natural tendency is to rely on the easy, automatic routines of System 1 and avoid the effortful actions of System 2. Our minds are naturally lazy. Feedback is the glue that holds together the elements of deliberate practice. Your performance improves only if you receive accurate and timely feedback. Elite performers often use coaches for that purpose. A strong link between cause and effect is essential, of course, and when it is difficult to get quality feedback, deliberate practice is less effective. Atul Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Gawande underwent exhaustive training to become a surgeon and, like other doctors, was left on his own to ply his craft once he finished school. For the first few years of his practice, he noticed that his performance in the operating room improved steadily.

These deaths typically showed up as “complications” from surgery, but were completely preventable. Yet the number of people dying from these infections was equal to the number of women dying from breast cancer each year. Pronovost was able to get doctors to use a simple checklist when installing central line catheters and thereby saved hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of lives, more than “any laboratory scientist in the past decade,” as Atul Gawande wrote in The New Yorker.20 A checklist is a series of steps that must be carried out accurately and on time. Where cause and effect can be clearly established, checklists have been widely embraced. Examples include aviation and construction. Airplane pilots, for instance, use checklists universally and with great benefit. Checklists ensure that the pilots follow all procedures precisely and unfailingly.

pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, young professional

Commentators have variously described the arrangement as a licence,31 a regulative bargain,32 and a mandate and claim.33 Alongside others, we prefer to call it ‘the grand bargain’.34 One version of this bargain, useful as a starting-point, is provided by the philosopher Donald Schön, in the following terms: In return for access to their extraordinary knowledge in matters of great human importance, society has granted them [professionals] a mandate for social control in their fields of specialization, a high degree of autonomy in their practice, and a license to determine who shall assume the mantle of professional authority.35 For physicians and surgeons, Atul Gawande, a surgeon and a writer, captures the bargain more memorably: The public has granted us extraordinary and exclusive dispensation to administer drugs to people, even to the point of unconsciousness, to cut them open, to do what would otherwise be considered assault, because we do so on their behalf—to save their lives and provide them comfort.36 Everett Hughes, a sociologist, puts it similarly, when he speaks of ‘the license of the doctor to cut and dose, of the priest to play with men’s salvation’;37 as did Adam Smith, the great political economist and philosopher, in the late eighteenth century, when he wrote that ‘[w]e trust our health to the physician; our fortune and sometimes our life and reputation to the lawyer and attorney’.38 For the legal profession, we have captured the heart of the bargain in more prosaic language: the principles underlying the exclusivity of lawyers are similar in most jurisdictions; and the pivotal justification is that it is in clients’ interests that those who advise them on the law are suitably trained and experienced.

, American Journal of Sociology, 70: 2 (1964), 137–58. 30 The new Company enjoyed interesting privileges, such as the annual allocation of the bodies of four executed criminals for dissection—see <>. 31 Everett Hughes, Men and Their Work (1964), 7. 32 Keith MacDonald, The Sociology of the Professions (1995), 10. 33 Donald Schön, Educating the Reflective Practitioner (1987), 7. 34 William Alford, Kenneth Winston, and William Kirby (eds.), Prospects for the Professions in China (2011), 1. 35 Schön, Educating the Reflective Practitioner, 7, where he is citing Everett Hughes. 36 Atul Gawande, Better (2007), 148. 37 Everett Hughes, ‘The Study of Occupations’, in Sociology Today, Vol. II, ed. Robert Merton, Leonard Broom, and Leonard Cottrell (1959), 449. 38 Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1998), 101. 39 Richard Susskind, Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013), 6. 40 Abbott, The System of Professions, 1. 41 See e.g. Abbott, The System of Professions, 86–7: ‘For Parsons a professional’s power over clients was necessary to successful treatment and did not prevent other professional powers.

In England, for example, long-term care needs for illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and dementia make up 70 per cent of health and social spending.3 Within medical communities there has for long been recognition that practitioners can work more efficiently by learning from one another. Thus, as we discuss below, the publication of medical research takes place on a vast scale, enabling physicians to build on the insights of others. While standard protocols and procedures are also invoked daily, the medical profession, as Atul Gawande has shown, expresses considerable ambivalence towards the use of simple checklists, even if their efficacy is well established.4 With the advent of the Internet, patients themselves now have access to far more health information. Platforms like NHS Choices and the WebMD network provide extensive guidance on symptoms and treatment—there are a greater number of unique visits (190 million) each month to the latter than to all the doctors working in the United States.5 Specialized search engines, like BetterDoctor, ZocDoc, and Doctor on Demand, allow people to sift databases of more than 1 million doctors, in some cases assigned an Amazon-style experience-based rating.

pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

Airbus A320, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War

Peter Pronovost, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out (New York: Plume,2004). 23. Atul Gawande, Complications. 24. The Francis Report: 25. The Kirkup Report: 26. Select Committee Report: 27. 28. Michael Gillam et al., “The Health Care Singularity and the Age of Semantic Medicine” in The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery (Microsoft, 2009). 29. Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (London: Profile, 2010). 30. Atul Gawande, Complications. 31.

One study examined the aftermath of nine major discoveries, including one finding that the pneumococcal vaccine protects adults from respiratory infections, and not just children. The study showed that it took doctors an average of seventeen years to adopt the new treatments for half of American patients. A major review published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that only half of Americans receive the treatment recommended by U.S. national standards.29 The problem is not that the information doesn’t exist; rather, it is the way it is formatted. As Atul Gawande, a doctor and author, puts it: The reason . . . is not usually laziness or unwillingness. The reason is more often that the necessary knowledge has not been translated into a simple, usable and systematic form. If the only thing people did in aviation was issue dense, pages-long bulletins . . . it would be like subjecting pilots to the same deluge of almost 700,000 medical journal articles per year that clinicians must contend with.

I have also much enjoyed, and learned from, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn and Against Method by Paul Feyerabend. There are some marvelous popular books that have influenced the argument, too. These include Just Culture by Sidney Dekker, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals by Peter Pronovost, Human Error by James Reason, Being Wrong by Kathryn Schultz, Adapt by Tim Harford, Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Complications by Atul Gawande, Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me!) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, Uncontrolled by Jim Manzi, Teaming by Amy Edmondson, Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson, Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, Self Theories by Carol Dweck, The Decisive Moment by Jonah Lehrer, and Philosophy and the Real World by Bryan Magee. I would also like to thank all of those who agreed to be interviewed, or who have read particular chapters, or helped in other ways.

pages: 117 words: 30,538

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

8-hour work day, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Community Supported Agriculture, David Heinemeier Hansson, Jeff Bezos, market design, remote working, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, web application, January 20, 2015. Accessed June 2018. Sandra Faber Annual Reviews. An Interview with Sandra Faber (podcast). Annual Reviews Audio. Available at Accessed June 2018. Atul Gawande Cunningham, Lillian. “Atul Gawande on the Ultimate End Game.” The Washington Post, October 16, 2014. Accessed June 2018. Stephen Hawking Newport, Cal. “Stephen Hawking’s Productive Laziness.” Study Hacks Blog, January 11, 2017. Accessed June 2018. Yuki Kawauchi Barker, Sarah.

pages: 330 words: 59,335

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William Thorndike

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, Claude Shannon: information theory, collapse of Lehman Brothers, compound rate of return, corporate governance, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gordon Gekko, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, NetJets, Norman Mailer, oil shock, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, shared worldview, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

We will, as the Watergate informant Deep Throat suggested, “follow the money,” looking carefully at the key decisions these outsider CEOs made to maximize returns to shareholders and the lessons those decisions hold for today’s managers and entrepreneurs. FIGURE P-1 Multiple of S&P 500 total return FIGURE P-2 Multiple of peer group total return Introduction An Intelligent Iconoclasm It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different. —John Templeton The New Yorker’s Atul Gawande uses the term positive deviant to describe unusually effective performers in the field of medicine. To Gawande, it is natural that we should study these outliers in order to learn from them and improve performance.1 Surprisingly, in business the best are not studied as closely as in other fields like medicine, the law, politics, or sports. After studying Henry Singleton, I began, with the help of a talented group of Harvard MBA students, to look for other cases where one company handily beat both its peers and Jack Welch (in terms of relative market performance).

In today’s world of social media, instant messaging, and cacophonous cable shows, it’s increasingly hard to cut through the noise, to step back and engage Kahneman’s system 2, which is where a tool that’s been much in the news lately can come in handy. The Outsider’s Checklist Checklists have proved to be extremely effective decision-making tools in fields as diverse as aviation, medicine, and construction. Their apparent simplicity belies their power, and thanks to Atul Gawande’s excellent recent book, The Checklist Manifesto, their use is a hot topic these days.1 Checklists are a particularly effective form of “choice architecture,” working to promote analysis and rationality and eliminate the distractions that often cloud complex decisions. They are a systematic way to engage system 2, and for CEOs, they can be highly effective vaccines, inoculating against conventional wisdom and the institutional imperative.

TABLE A-1 Outsider CEOs and the Buffett test * The General Cinema data adjusts for extreme swings associated with the 1991 Harcourt General acquisition, which otherwise skews the data. ** Malone managed TCI to intentionally minimize reported earnings; therefore, this metric does not apply to him. Notes Preface 1. Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, 1987. 2. Ibid. 3. Warren E. Buffett, “The Superinvestors of Graham and Doddville,” Hermes Magazine, April 1984. Introduction 1. Atul Gawande, “The Bell Curve,” The New Yorker, December 6, 2004. See also Richard Pascale, Jerry Sternin, and Monique Sternin, The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2010). 2. Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2003). 3. Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success (New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2008) 4.

pages: 270 words: 85,450

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, delayed gratification, different worldview, longitudinal study, Skype, stem cell

But her devotion to the book remained unwavering, and she went through every draft with me meticulously, working paragraph by paragraph to make sure I’d got every part as true and right as I could. Sara’s dedication is the reason this book says what I wanted it to say. And that is why it is dedicated to her. Also by Atul Gawande Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right About the Author ATUL GAWANDE is the author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

In his work in public health, he is director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health system innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts. BEING MORTAL. Copyright © 2014 by Atul Gawande. All rights reserved. For information, address Henry Holt and Co., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010. Cover design by Nate Durrant/Elixir Design eBooks may be purchased for business or promotional use. For information on bulk purchases, please contact Macmillan Corporate and Premium Sales Department by writing to The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows: Gawande, Atul, author. Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande. — First edition. p. ; cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-8050-9515-9 (hardcover)—ISBN 978-1-62779-055-0 (electronic book) I.

If you believe the copy of this e-book you are reading infringes on the author’s copyright, please notify the publisher at: To Sara Bershtel Contents Title Page Copyright Notice Dedication Epigraph Introduction 1 • The Independent Self 2 • Things Fall Apart 3 • Dependence 4 • Assistance 5 • A Better Life 6 • Letting Go 7 • Hard Conversations 8 • Courage Epilogue Notes on Sources Acknowledgements Also by Atul Gawande About the Author Copyright I see it now—this world is swiftly passing. —the warrior Karna, in the Mahabharata They come to rest at any kerb: All streets in time are visited. —Philip Larkin, “Ambulances” Introduction I learned about a lot of things in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them. Although I was given a dry, leathery corpse to dissect in my first term, that was solely a way to learn about human anatomy.

pages: 52 words: 16,113

The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes From an Uncertain Science by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Atul Gawande, cognitive dissonance, Johannes Kepler, medical residency, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, stem cell, Thomas Bayes

Abraham Verghese A doctor’s touch Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are merely data points and calls for a return to the traditional one-on-one physical exam. Atul Gawande How do we heal medicine? Our medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people. Doctor and writer Atul Gawande suggests we take a step back and look at new ways to do medicine—with fewer cowboys and more pit crews. Brian Goldman Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that? Every doctor makes mistakes. But, says physician Brian Goldman, medicine’s culture of denial (and shame) keeps doctors from ever talking about those mistakes, or using them to learn and improve.

pages: 263 words: 75,455

Quantitative Value: A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors by Wesley R. Gray, Tobias E. Carlisle

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, backtesting, beat the dealer, Black Swan, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, compound rate of return, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, forensic accounting, hindsight bias, intangible asset, Louis Bachelier, p-value, passive investing, performance metric, quantitative hedge fund, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical model, survivorship bias, systematic trading, The Myth of the Rational Market, time value of money, transaction costs

Fama/French Forum, June 27, 2011; 14. Joel Greenblatt, “Adding Your Two Cents May Cost a Lot Over the Long Term.” Perspectives, Morningstar, January 16, 2012; 15. Atul Gawande, “The Checklist.” The New Yorker, Annals of Medicine (December 10, 2007); 16. Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009). PART TWO Margin of Safety—How to Avoid a Permanent Loss of Capital In Part Two, we describe the first step in our checklist: how to avoid stocks at risk of a permanent loss of capital. The potential for a total loss manifests in three ways: financial statement manipulation, fraud, and financial distress and bankruptcy.

How can we create a more complex investment process and expect to maintain discipline when investors have a hard time sticking to a simple strategy like the Magic Formula? We next introduce the concept of a checklist, which is a simple way to break a necessarily complicated process into manageable pieces that can be repeated without errors and with a high success ratio. The Case for a Checklist Atul Gawande, a surgeon and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, wrote an article in 2007 for The New Yorker magazine called “The Checklist,”15. in which he described the manner in which intensivists successfully manage the incredibly complex range of tasks required to keep alive a patient in intensive care. Gawande's thesis is that modern intensive care medicine has advanced to a degree of complexity that renders it beyond the ability of clinicians to effectively administer without technical help.

FIGURE 11.3 Invested Growth of EBIT Enterprise Value Separated into High-Quality and Low-Quality Portfolios (1974 to 2011) Figure 11.3 demonstrates that separating the value decile of EBIT enterprise multiple stocks into high quality and low quality concentrates the better-performing stocks in the high-quality portfolio, which outperforms the whole EBIT enterprise multiple decile and the low-quality portfolio. OUR FINAL QUANTITATIVE VALUE CHECKLIST In Chapter 2, we sought to make the case for employing an investment checklist using Atul Gawande's intensive care analogy. Recall that Peter Pronovost, the intensivist at Johns Hopkins Hospital who pushed so hard for the widespread adoption of checklists, drew his inspiration from the U.S. Army Air Corps's experience with the WWII-era test flight of the Boeing Corporation's B-17 model. Prior to the test flight, Boeing's model had been the favored plane, beating out competing airplane designers vying to build the next-generation long-range bomber.

pages: 312 words: 84,421

This Chair Rocks: A Manifiesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Downton Abbey, fixed income, follow your passion, ghettoisation, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, obamacare, old age dependency ratio, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning, white picket fence, women in the workforce

Now director of geriatrics at Toronto’s Mount Sinai and University Health Network hospitals in Toronto, Sinha blames institutionalized ageism for the geriatrician shortage: “A culture that devalues the old places little value on those who work with them.”18 Internalized ageism on the part of patients perpetuates this prejudice: God forbid anyone find out you’re in the care of a geriatrician! Age denial seals the regrettable deal. Consulting a geriatrician, as Dr. Atul Gawande points out in his book Being Mortal, “requires each of us to contemplate the unfixables in our life, the decline we will unavoidably face, in order to make the small changes necessary to reshape it. When the prevailing fantasy is that we can be ageless, the geriatrician’s uncomfortable demand is that we accept we are not.”19 Medical students also assume, wrongly, that practicing geriatrics will be depressing.

No matter now well intentioned it may be, offering help based on the assumption that an older person is less competent than a younger one is ageist. Ask first, in a neutral way that makes the offer easy to accept or decline. Dependence needn’t mean powerlessness. It’s different from true incompetence, a distinction that mitigates what age scholar Margaret Cruikshank calls “age shame.” Learned helplessness can actually kill, while having a choice, is hugely significant. Dr. Atul Gawande frames this in terms of remaining the writers of our own stories, and having them reflect our characters and our deepest needs. The dying, he writes in Being Mortal, “ask only to be permitted, insofar as possible, to keep shaping the story of their life in the world—to make choices and sustain connections to others according to their own priorities. In modern society, we have come to assume that debility and dependence rule out such autonomy.”

The very old may not fear death, but they do fear a ghastly, painful precursor. No one wants a long and costly exit hooked up to machines, and opting out should be easier. Making dying better, however, is no substitute for making living better in those last days, weeks, or months. On a personal level, that means resisting “duty to die” thinking. On a political level, it means effecting large-scale social change. In his invaluable book Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande writes, “Our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives.”18 Ideally, that means making space for an ongoing conversation about what matters most to us.

pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation,, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine,, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

Advance Praise for The Digital Doctor “The Digital Doctor is the eye-opening, well-told, and frustrating story of how computerization is pulling medicine apart with only a vague promise of putting it back together again. I kept thinking, ‘Exactly!’ while reading it, and that is a measure of Wachter’s accomplishment in telling the tale. This is the real story of what it’s like to practice medicine in the midst of a painful, historic, and often dangerous transition.” —Atul Gawande author of Being Mortal and The Checklist Manifesto “As scientific breakthroughs and information technology transform the practice of medicine, Bob Wachter is one of the few people with the insight, credibility, and investigative skills to go from the trenches to the observation booth. The Digital Doctor is first of all a personal journey, as Wachter travels the country, meets with key players who are shaping our future, and wrestles with their views.

Let’s take a closer look at Watson, and at a tiny competitor that has taken a different approach. 12 Khosla later softened his prediction slightly, writing in 2014, “This is not to say that 80 percent of physicians will be replaced, but rather 80 percent of what they currently do might be replaced, leading to new possibilities and functions for the physicians.” Chapter 10 David and Goliath There is a science in what we do, yes, but also habit, intuition, and sometimes plain old guessing. —Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science When IBM announced that Watson’s first post-Jeopardy focus would be healthcare, the media immediately ran with the Man Versus Machine meme, dubbing the computer “Dr. Watson.” “Meet Dr. Watson: Jeopardy Winning Supercomputer Heads into Healthcare,” proclaimed one headline. “Paging Dr. Watson: IBM’s Medical Advisor for the Future,” read another.

Khosla conceded that today, a good physician could judge his health more accurately —by talking to and examining him and running some standard tests—than a computer could by analyzing these bits of data. But, he continued, “Once we have readings on 100 million people, it will become more valuable. It’s not the data. It’s the complex math that creates insights about that data.” And yet … and yet, as I reflect on the complexity of the problem, my instincts tell me that Khosla might not quite get it. In The Checklist Manifesto, the author and surgeon Atul Gawande recounted a study that vividly illustrates this complexity. In a single year, the trauma centers in the state of Pennsylvania saw 41,000 patients, who had 1,224 different injuries. Taken together, there were 32,261 unique combinations of injuries. Gawande described the findings to me in more detail: Someone stabbed in the eye, and stabbed in the belly. Another person had a seat belt injury with a cardiac contusion and a long-bone fracture.

pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Over a two-week period, these recruits, who weren’t told the nature of the study, covertly recorded when doctors, nurses, and other health care staff faced a “hand-hygiene opportunity” and whether these employees actually hygiened their hands when the opportunity arose. Once again, the personal-consequences sign had zero effect. But the sign appealing to purpose boosted hand washing by 10 percent overall and significantly more for the physicians.14 Clever signs alone won’t eliminate hospital-acquired infections. As surgeon Atul Gawande has observed, checklists and other processes can be highly effective on this front.15 But Grant and Hofmann reveal something equally crucial: “Our findings suggest that health and safety messages should focus not on the self, but rather on the target group that is perceived as most vulnerable.”16 Raising the salience of purpose is one of the most potent—and most overlooked—methods of moving others.

See also “Patient Photos Spur Radiologist Empathy and Eye for Detail,” RSNA Press Release, December 2, 2008; Dina Kraft, “Radiologist Adds a Human Touch: Photos,” New York Times, April 7, 2009. 7. Turner and Hadas-Halpern, “The Effects of Including a Patient’s Photograph.” 8. “Patient Photos Spur Radiologist Empathy and Eye for Detail,” ScienceDaily, December 14, 2008, available at 9. See Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Picador, 2011). 10. See, for instance, “Disconnection from Patients and Care Providers: A Latent Error in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine: An Interview with Stephen Raab, MD,” Clinical Laboratory News 35, no. 4 (April 2009). 11. Sally Herships, “The Power of a Simple ‘Thank You,’” Marketplace Radio, December 22, 2010. 12. R. Douglas Scott II, The Direct Medical Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S.

Monina Klevens et al., “Estimating Health Care–Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals, 2002,” Public Health Reports 122, no. 2 (March–April 2007): 160–66. 13. Adam M. Grant and David A. Hofmann, “It’s Not All About Me: Motivating Hand Hygiene Among Health Care Professionals by Focusing on Patients,” Psychological Science 22, no. 12 (December 2011): 1494–99. 14. Ibid., 497. 15. Atul Gawande, “The Checklist,” New Yorker, December 10, 2007; Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Done Right (New York: Picador, 2011). 16. Grant and Hofmann, “It’s Not All About Me,” 498. 17. See, for instance, Dan Ariely, Anat Bracha, and Stephan Meier, “Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially,” American Economic Review 99, no. 1 (March 2009): 544–55; Stephan Meier, The Economics of Non-Selfish Behaviour: Decisions to Contribute Money to Public Goods (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2006); Stephan Meier, “A Survey of Economic Theories and Field Evidence on Pro-Social Behavior,” in Bruno S.

pages: 256 words: 60,620

Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition by Michael J. Mauboussin

affirmative action, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, butter production in bangladesh, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Edward Thorp, experimental economics, financial innovation, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, presumed consent, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game

American Psychologist 64, no. 1 (2009): 1–11. 24. Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (New York: Random House, 2007). 25. Ibid., 210–221. 26. Peter F. Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century (New York: HarperBusiness, 1999), 74. 27. David Leonhardt, “Why Doctors So Often Get It Wrong,” New York Times, February 22, 2006. 28. Atul Gawande, “The Checklist,” The New Yorker, December 10, 2007, 86–95; Atul Gawande, “A Lifesaving Checklist,” New York Times, December 30, 2007; and Peter Pronovost, “Testimony before Government Oversight Committee,” April 16, 2008. 29. Bargh, Chen, and Burrows, “Automaticity of Social Behavior,” 241. 30. Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect, 451–456. 31. Warren E. Buffett, “Chairman’s Letter,” Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report to Shareholders, 1989. 32.

Creating rigid procedures, like a pilot’s checklist, feels overly restrictive. Yet using checklists can help doctors save lives. It’s not that the doctors don’t know what to do—for the most part, they know their stuff—it’s just they don’t always follow all the steps they should. When asked why doctors generally shun checklists, Joseph Britto, a former doctor, quipped, “Unlike pilots, doctors don’t go down with their planes.”27 Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer, explained how regulatory inertia trumped good decision making, even when the consequence was a matter of life and death.28 Gawande told of Dr. Peter Pronovost, an anesthesiologist and critical-care specialist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The death of his father because of a medical error encouraged Pronovost to dedicate his career to ensuring the safety of patients. He started modestly with a five-step checklist to help prevent infections as the result of inserting large intravenous lines into patients.

pages: 238 words: 68,914

Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, informal economy, inventory management, job automation, knowledge economy, lifelogging, obamacare, personalized medicine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application, women in the workforce, working poor

Beyond a comfortable lifestyle and steady work, they wanted careers offering meaning and service. But many doctors now find their time and efforts swallowed up by chores they hate. This deprives them and their patients of their deepest connections, and leads to discontent. A 2013 study by Jackson Healthcare shows that a stunning 59 percent of physicians would not recommend a medical career to young people. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and one of the most insightful writers about health care, says that primary care doctors across the country are suffering from burnout. “We’ve lost the joy in taking care of patients,” he says. How do we get it back, for them and for us? That’s what this book is about. I’ve divided it into three parts. In the first section, I’m grappling with these challenges myself, from the ambulance in New Orleans and army boot camp to the birthing start-up in San Diego.

Worse, by restricting ACO ownership to practitioners, the law effectively bars outsiders from the industry. And outsiders are precisely what health care needs. Health care is starving for efficiency experts, customer service geniuses, retail mavens, people who have created thriving and modern businesses in other industries, and will apply their expertise to health care. In a brilliant New Yorker article, “Big Med,” published on August 13, 2012, Atul Gawande explores efficiency and quality control at The Cheesecake Factory restaurants. They have it down to a science. This is the work of brainy product managers, the same kind who figure out how to sell us two-year phone subscriptions and supersized burgers. They’re the outsiders who should be landing at ACOs. But the law keeps them out. As usual, when it comes to legislation, the incumbents come out on top.

Athenahealth has over fifty thousand of them now and most all are inspiring. Ralph de la Torre, John Rugge, Ken Konsker, and John Briggs all give purpose and focus to my fevers by using the nascent health information backbone we are building to deliver better, more affordable care to their patients. John Randazzo and Rushika Fernandopulle (who are not clients, but should be!) continue to provoke and challenge us all to think differently about health care. Atul Gawande, Clay Christensen, and Abraham Verghese are each, in my view, the deans of health care storytelling. I have learned and continue to learn so much in the presence of their ideas. Finally, my original debt of gratitude, at the top of the debt food chain, goes to the original athenistas. Mitch Besser and the partners of Athena Women’s Health and the Birthplace took an absurd risk entrusting their medical group to some kooky kids sharing laptops.

pages: 218 words: 70,323

Critical: Science and Stories From the Brink of Human Life by Matt Morgan

agricultural Revolution, Atul Gawande, biofilm, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive dissonance, crew resource management, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Strachan, discovery of penicillin,, hygiene hypothesis, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, meta analysis, meta-analysis, personalized medicine, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs

Levels of Critical Care for Adult Patients. 1–12 (2009). ‘It is no wonder that we intensive care doctors feel unsure of ourselves when expected to assimilate the 13,000 diagnoses, 6,000 drugs and 4,000 surgical procedures . . .’ Fitzpatrick, L. Atul Gawande: How to Make Doctors Better. Time (2010). ‘The cream contained aspirin as the active ingredient, the willow-bark extract originally used by ancient Egyptians as a remedy for aches and pains.’ Vainio, H. & Morgan, G. Aspirin for the second hundred years: new uses for an old drug. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 81, 151–152 (1997). ‘Atul Gawande’s paradigm-shifting book, The Checklist Manifesto.’ Gawande, A. (2010). The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right. New York: Metropolitan Books. ‘His introduction of the World Health Organization’s “Surgical Safety Checklist” has saved millions of lives . . .’

I may try to inject a fatal amount of air through a tube into a vein instead of the stomach, but a special attachment will prevent me from being able to do so. Intensive care nurtures a robust system that should be able to fail gracefully not catastrophically. It should compensate, have resilience and redundancy, in anticipation of human error. However, it is in no way perfect and has a long way to go. These improvements have been achieved through three strands of innovation. Atul Gawande’s paradigm-shifting book, The Checklist Manifesto, introduced to medicine simple yet effective techniques you already use when shopping to remember those essential items. His introduction of the World Health Organization’s ‘Surgical Safety Checklist’ has saved millions of lives by ensuring that simple critical steps, such as checking a patient’s name and allergies, are carried out for each and every operation.

pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

An openness to indirect paths means I don’t obsess over selling my “content,” and I never have. My network, partially built through writing, is my net worth. If you want to increase your income 10x instead of 10%, the best opportunities are often seemingly out of left field (e.g., books → startups). Checklists Ramit and I are both obsessed with checklists and love a book by Atul Gawande titled The Checklist Manifesto. I have this book on a shelf in my living room, cover out, as a constant reminder. Atul Gawande is also one of Malcolm Gladwell’s (page 572) favorite innovators. Ramit builds checklists for as many business processes as possible, which he organizes using software called Basecamp. Google “entrepreneurial bus count” for a good article on why checklists can save your startup. ✸ Who do you think of when you hear the word “successful”?

Unbolded books were recommended or mentioned by the guest, but not specifically “most-gifted.” Which books came up the most? Here are the top 17—everything with 3 or more mentions—in descending order of frequency: Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (5 mentions) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (4) Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (4) Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (4) The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (4) The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (4) Dune by Frank Herbert (3) Influence by Robert Cialdini (3) Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (3) Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom (3) Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman (3) The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss (3) The Bible (3) The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (3) The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (3) Watchmen by Alan Moore (3) Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters (3) Enjoy!

Hamilton), Mountain Light (Galen Rowell) Gladwell, Malcolm: Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious (Timothy D. Wilson), Merchant Princes: An Intimate History of Jewish Families Who Built Great Department Stores (Leon A. Harris), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Little Drummer’s Girl; The Russia House; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John le Carré), The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Michael Lewis), The Checklist Manifesto (Atul Gawande), all of Lee Child’s books Godin, Seth: Makers; Little Brother (Cory Doctorow), Understanding Comics (Scott McCloud), Snow Crash; The Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson), Dune (Frank Herbert), Pattern Recognition (William Gibson) AUDIOBOOKS: The Recorded Works (Pema Chödrön), Debt (David Graeber), Just Kids (Patti Smith), The Art of Possibility (Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander), Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale (Zig Ziglar), The War of Art (Steven Pressfield) Goldberg, Evan: Love You Forever (Robert Munsch), Watchmen; V for Vendetta (Alan Moore), Preacher (Garth Ennis), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) Goodman, Marc: One Police Plaza (William Caunitz), The 4-Hour Workweek (Tim Ferriss), The Singularity Is Near (Ray Kurzweil), Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (Nick Bostrom) Hamilton, Laird: The Bible, Natural Born Heroes (Christopher McDougall), Lord of the Rings (J.R.R.

pages: 240 words: 73,209

The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Nelson Mandela, NetJets, pattern recognition, pre–internet, random walk, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, winner-take-all economy, young professional, zero-sum game

The goal in creating a checklist is to avoid obvious and predictable errors. Before I make the final decision to buy any stock, I turn to my checklist in a last-ditch effort to prevent my unreliable brain from overlooking any potential warning signs that I might have missed. The checklist is the final circuit breaker in my decision-making process. The idea for this didn’t originate with me, but with Atul Gawande. A former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he is now a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and a renowned author. He’s a remarkable blend of practitioner and thinker, and also an exceptionally nice guy. In December 2007, Gawande published a story in The New Yorker entitled “The Checklist,” which drew heavily on his experience as a surgeon to explore a problem that is both profound and practical.

I thought it was interesting, but it took me longer to understand just how significant it might be. By now, I’m used to the fact that Mohnish is quicker on the uptake than I am. I console myself by contemplating a sage observation of Buffett’s: “The key to life is figuring out who to be the batboy for.” As I realized long ago, there’s no dishonor in being Mohnish’s batboy. Far from it. And while I’m busy cloning Mohnish Pabrai, he’s busy cloning Atul Gawande. Mohnish pursued the checklist idea with ferocious intensity and rigor. He began by marshaling a group of us to recall a slew of investing mistakes we had made. In each case, we had to work out why they had happened and if there was a cause that we should have seen beforehand. Sometimes I would look back at a situation where I had missed some vital clue, shake my head, and say, “How did I not see that?”

Or, A Good Hard Look at Wall Street by Fred Schwed Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich by Jason Zweig Literature 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez Hamlet by William Shakespeare Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert Pirsig Miscellaneous Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with the Truth by Mahatma Gandhi City Police by Jonathan Rubinstein Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson Reagan: A Life in Letters by Ronald Reagan The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell The New British Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers Vor 1914: Erinnerungen an Frankfurt geschrieben in Israel by Selmar Spier Walden: or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau Why America Is Not a New Rome by Vaclav Smil Philosophy and Theology A Theory of Justice by John Rawls Anarchy, the State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick Destination Torah: Reflections on the Weekly Torah Readings by Isaac Sassoon Halakhic Man by Joseph Soloveitchik Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Annaeus Seneca Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Pirke Avot: A Modern Commentary on Jewish Ethics by Leonard Kravits and Kerry Olitzky Plato, not Prozac!

pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, women in the workforce, young professional

Lawlor, “Backyard Burning,” Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery 61, no. 1 (February 2008). / 140 The sabbatical backlash: see Solomon Zeitlin, “Prosbol: A Study in Tannaitic Jurisprudence,” The Jewish Quarterly Review 37, no. 4 (April 1947). (Thanks to Leon Morris for the tip.) FORCEPS HOARDING: See James Hobson Aveling, The Chamberlens and the Midwifery Forceps (J. & A. Churchill, 1882); Atul Gawande, “The Score: How Childbirth Went Industrial,” The New Yorker, October 2, 2006; and Stephen J. Dubner, “Medical Failures, and Successes Too: A Q&A with Atul Gawande,” Freakonomics blog, The New York Times, June 25, 2007. MORE FOOD, MORE PEOPLE: See “The World at Six Billion,” United Nations, 1999; Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England: The Transformation of the Agrarian Economy, 1500–1850 (Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose (Harvest, 1990; originally published 1979).

It is thought to have been invented in the early seventeenth century by a London obstetrician named Peter Chamberlen. The forceps worked so well that Chamberlen kept it a secret, sharing it only with sons and grandsons who continued in the family business. It wasn’t until the mid–eighteenth century that the forceps passed into general use. What was the cost of this technological hoarding? According to the surgeon and author Atul Gawande, “it had to have been millions of lives lost.” The most amazing thing about cheap and simple fixes is they often address problems that seem impervious to any solution. And yet almost invariably, a Semmelweis or a team of Semmelweises ride into view and save the day. History is studded with examples. At the start of the Common Era, just over two thousand years ago, there were roughly 200 million people on earth.

pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

Peggy Reynolds and George Kaplan, “Social Connections and Risk for Cancer: Prospective Evidence from the Alameda County Study,” Behavioral Medicine 16, no. 3 (1990). 9. In physician and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande’s remarkable account of solitary confinement, he cites a US military study of nearly 150 naval aviators who returned from imprisonment and torture in Vietnam; they reported that they had found social isolation far more agonizing and damaging than any of the physical abuse they were subjected to. Gawande’s article reports that prisoners put in “the hole” (solitary confinement) in American prisons, often become psychotic, catatonic, or suicidal when deprived of all social contact. Atul Gawande, “Hellhole: The United States Holds Tens of Thousands of Inmates in Long-Term Solitary Confinement. Is This Torture?” New Yorker, March 30, 2009. 10.

These terrible deaths prompted a public outcry in Canada for school expulsions and legal sanctions for adolescents who cyberbully, isolate, or otherwise torment their classmates. Meanwhile, suicides of children who have been bullied in the United States and elsewhere have led to criminal charges and recent changes in school and public policy.16 Torment is not too strong a word. Writing about the impact of solitary confinement in US prisons, physician Atul Gawande quotes John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate who spent two of his five years in a Vietnamese POW camp in a tiny isolation cell, cut off from all human contact. “It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment,” Gawande writes. “And this comes from a man who was beaten regularly; denied adequate medical treatment for two broken arms, a broken leg, and chronic dysentery; and tortured to the point of having an arm broken again.”

Eisenberger, “The Pain of Social Disconnection: Examining the Shared Neural Underpinnings of Physical and Social Pain,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2012); Carrie L. Masten et al., “Neural Correlates of Social Exclusion During Adolescence: Understanding the Distress of Peer Rejection,” Scan 4 (2009); George Slavich et al., “Neural Sensitivity to Social Rejection Is Associated with Inflammatory Responses to Social Stress,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107, no. 33 (2010). 18. Atul Gawande, “Hellhole: The United States Holds Tens of Thousands of Inmates in Long-Term Solitary Confinement. Is This Torture?” New Yorker, March 30, 2009. 19. Lisa Harnack et al., “Guess Who’s Cooking: The Role of Men in Meal Planning, Shopping, and Preparation in US Families,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 98, no. 9 (1998). An alternative explanation is provided by Richard Wrangham, who argues that the advent of cooking, approximately one million years ago, was one of the catalysts that sparked sexual divisions around food (I am grateful to my brother Steve for pointing this out).

pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

One of the biggest differences between financial and medical decisions is that doctors must swing at every pitch. Gurpreet Dhaliwal can’t turn away those patients he doesn’t quite understand. He can’t wait for the easiest possible diagnosis. He is obligated to try to help everyone. He might see nine cases that are like routine fastballs. But he also has to be ready to hit the one curve. In Atul Gawande’s provocative and insightful book The Checklist Manifesto, he shows how doctors can use checklists to save lives by reducing mistakes in medical decision-making, particularly during hospital surgery.12 He also advocates checklists for other nonmedical professionals, including airline pilots and financial professionals. Checklists serve as a reminder when our memory fails and as a guard against cognitive mistakes.

Although Gawande is focused on the benefits of routinizing the straightforward parts of surgery, and he does not explicitly argue about delay, one of the overlooked reasons why checklists are so useful and important is that they force us to pause. A checklist adds a speed bump before a task, to force surgeons or builders or airline pilots or investors to stop and think through what they are about to do before they do it. A checklist is an example of how skilled professionals move back and forth between thinking about the present and the future. Atul Gawande’s surgery checklist includes three “pause points”: before anesthesia, before incision, and before leaving the operating room. Each pause is designed to last no more than a minute—just long enough for members of the team to make basic checks (confirm the patient’s identity at the beginning; check for all the needles and sponges at the end). It might not seem like something as simple as making sure everyone on the surgery team introduces themselves by name and role would matter.

Warren Buffet, letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, March 1, 1991. 9. For the MBIA story, see Christine S. Richard, Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street’s Bluff (Bloomberg Press, 2010). 10. Ibid., p. 46. 11. Jerome Kassirer, John Wong, and Richard Kopelman, Learning Clinical Reasoning, 2nd ed. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010), p. xvii–xviii. 12. Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Picador, 2009). 13. Ibid., p. 154. 14. The concept of a diagnostic time-out is raised in John W. Ely, Mark L. Graber, and Pat Croskerry, “Checklists to Reduce Diagnostic Errors,” Academic Medicine 86(3, 2011): 1–7, an excellent recent article exploring the use of checklists in diagnostic decision-making, particularly under uncertainty and time pressure. 15.

pages: 25 words: 5,789

Data for the Public Good by Alex Howard

23andMe, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Network effects, openstreetmap, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social intelligence, social software, social web, web application

Around the world, developers, GIS engineers, online media professionals and volunteers collaborated on information technology projects to support disaster relief for post-earthquake Haiti, mapping streets on OpenStreetMap and collecting crisis data on Ushahidi. Healthcare What happens when patients find out how good their doctors really are? That was the question that Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Atul Gawande asked in the New Yorker, nearly a decade ago. The narrative he told in that essay makes the history of quality improvement in medicine compelling, connecting it to the creation of a data registry at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the 1950s. As Gawande detailed, that data was privately held. After it became open, life expectancy for cystic fibrosis patients tripled. In 2012, the new hope is in big data, where techniques for finding meaning in the huge amounts of unstructured data generated by healthcare diagnostics offer immense promise.

pages: 204 words: 53,261

The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Chelsea Manning, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deskilling, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, performance metric, price mechanism, RAND corporation, school choice, Second Machine Age, selection bias, Steven Levy, total factor productivity, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

An exception is Richard Rothstein, Holding Accountability to Account. Also valuable is Adrian Perry, “Performance Indicators: ‘Measure for Measure’ or ‘A Comedy of Errors’?” in Caroline Mager, Peter Robinson, et al. (eds.), The New Learning Market (London, 2000). 5. Laura Landro, “The Secret to Fighting Infections: Dr. Peter Pronovost Says It Isn’t That Hard. If Only Hospitals Would Do It,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2011, and Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto (New York, 2009). 6. Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (New York, 2003). 7. Chris Lorenz, “If You’re So Smart, Why Are You under Surveillance? Universities, Neoliberalism, and New Public Management,” Critical Inquiry (Spring 2012), pp. 599–29, esp. pp. 610–11. 8. Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind (New York, 2012), p. 34 and passim. 9. On the Spellings Commission report, see Fredrik deBoer, Standardized Assessments of College Learning Past and Future (Washington, D.C.: New American Foundation, March 2016). 10.

Mullen, “Teachers Should be Seen and Not Heard,” Education Week, January 7, 2010, CHAPTER 9. MEDICINE 1. Sean P. Keehan et al., “National Health Expenditure Projections, 2015–2025: Economy, Prices, and Aging Expected to Shape Spending and Enrollment,” Health Affairs 35, no. 8 (August 2016), pp. 1–10; Atul Gawande, “The Checklist,” New Yorker, December 10, 2007. 2. World Health Report 2000, Health Systems: Improving Performance, quoted in Scott Atlas, In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America’s Health Care (Stanford, Calif., 2011). 3. Atlas, In Excellent Health. 4. Ibid., pp. 28–30, 99–105. 5. Ibid., p. 84; and David M. Cutler, Adriana Lleras-Muney, and Tom Vogl, “Socioeconomic Status and Health: Dimensions and Mechanisms,” in Sherry Glied and Peter C.

pages: 243 words: 59,662

Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less by Michael Hyatt

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, informal economy, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, remote working, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Third, rituals correct your mistakes. It might be more accurate to say they prevent mistakes, because designing rituals allows you to anticipate different points of possible failure and build in safety nets for each step in the process. Even if you hit a snag early on, you can simply build the solution into your ritual, making the rituals self-correcting over time. Surgeon and medical writer Atul Gawande has highlighted the power of rituals codified in checklists to eliminate error across several industries. He extols the “virtues of regimentation.”3 In his own field, medicine, checklists save thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Four Foundational Rituals. You can build a ritual around any repetitive task in your life. In fact, you can create rituals for how, when, and in what order to accomplish a number of different tasks.

The Leading Brain (New York: TarcherPerigree, 2017), 91–92. 3. William Ury, The Power of a Positive No (New York: Bantam, 2007), 10–15. 4. Ury, Positive No, 14. 5. Ury, Positive No, 16–18. Chapter 5 Automate 1. “Ritual,”, 2. Mason Currey, Daily Rituals (New York: Knopf, 2015), xiv. Also see Pang’s discussion of morning routines in Rest, 75–92. 3. Atul Gawande, “The Checklist,” New Yorker, December 10, 2007, See also Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009). Chapter 6 Delegate 1. Ashley V. Whillans et al., “Buying Time Promotes Happiness,” PNAS, August 8, 2017, 2. Adapted and expanded from Stephanie Winston, The Organized Executive (New York: Norton, 1983), 249–50.

pages: 221 words: 64,080

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon

AltaVista, Atul Gawande, business cycle, commoditize, creative destruction, hedonic treadmill, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, young professional

The second is to do the reverse: to take a complex phenomenon and attempt to shed new light on it, not by removing information but by layering on unexpected shades of nuance, from unexpected sources. This is what Feynman did: He wove his subject into the broader tapestry of everyday life. He added richness, texture, context. He was a man I wish I could have invited to dinner. There are other examples of this, of scholars who have written books that have influenced my own approach to writing. The physician Atul Gawande has produced two books (Complications and Better) about medicine and the health care system in this country. Gawande’s books are a complicated brew—they touch on the professional and the personal, they are alternately dispassionate and impassioned, and together they transformed the way I thought about medicine. John Stilgoe has written a book entitled Outside Lies Magic; it transformed the way I thought about modern architecture.

Idea brands resound with meaning, and in the end, this is why they matter. They play to a different standard, and when they do, we respond. I wanted to write this book because I believe that there wil always be a muddied herd in business—in every category, in every industry, an indistinguishable cluster of brands moving in lockstep with one another—but at the same time I believe there wil always be exceptions, too. The writer-physician Atul Gawande has written about the phenomenon of “positive deviants” in the medical profession, that smal set of players who are mired in the same environmental conditions as everyone else but stubbornly refuse to al ow themselves to be constrained by conventional wisdoms, and as a consequence are able to identify fresh and often counter-traditional ways to address seemingly intractable problems. In business, I believe that there wil always be positive deviants, brands that are exceptional, not because they are able to run harder or faster than the rest, but because at some fundamental level they have made a commitment to not taking the status quo for granted.

pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, job automation, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Lyft, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition, turn-by-turn navigation, uber lyft

Resources to help with your routine Here's a selection of books, websites and tools that might inspire you to develop your own routine and good working habits: The Tiny Habits Method (website and free course): Coach Me (app that helps you reach your goals): Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results (book by Stephen Guise): The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (book by Atul Gawande): There are some fantastic answers on Quora to the question "What are the best daily routines of highly productive people?": The Quora answers to the question "What are the best ways for non 9-5 types to build structure and social interaction into their daily routines?" are also pretty good: Stay focused and filter out distractions Everyone has different kinds of distractions, and different ways of dealing with them.

Calculate your cost of living The Birdy: Numbeo's cost-of-living tool: Trail Wallet: Taxes Greenback Expat Tax Services: Small Business Bodyguard: Flag Theory: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (US residents only): CHAPER 3: GUARD YOUR DATA Protect Your Tech (book): HTTP Everywhere: Torguard VPN: LastPass (password management): CHAPTER 4: BE A PRODUCTIVITY POWERHOUSE Have a routine The Tiny Habits Method (website and free course): Coach Me (app that helps you reach your goals): Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results (book by Stephen Guise): The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (book by Atul Gawande): Quora Q&A – "What are the best daily routines of highly productive people?": Quora Q&A – "What are the best ways for non 9-5 types to build structure and social interaction into their daily routines?": Stay focused and filter out distractions Unroll Me (unsubscribe from emails): Gmail "plus sign" trick: Trello: Pomodoro Technique: Pomodoto (Pomodoro timer): You Can Book Me (appointment-booking software): iDoneThis (track what you've achieved): AskMeEvery (track what you've achieved): Kransen headphones: ShareDesk (coworking spaces): Coffitivity (concentration app): Focus@Will (concentration app): Optimise your workspace Roost laptop stand: Portable keyboards: Mini-mouse: ZestDesk (standing desk): StandStand (standing desk): Kinivo ZX100 laptop speakers: Deal with wifi issues Wifi speed test: Huawei E5330 mobile hotspot: Didlogic (cheap international calls without internet): Skype To Go: Google Docs Offline: CHAPTER 5: FREELANCE FROM ANYWHERE Emailing Boomerang (to delay when an email gets sent): Scheduling World Time Buddy: Doodle: Mixmax: You Can Book Me: Phone/video calls Buy a Skype Number: Zoom (alternative to Skype): GoToMeeting (alternative to Skype): Join Me (alternative to Skype): Didlogic (cheap international calls without internet): Skype To Go: Screen sharing Screenleap: Document signing HelloSign: EchoSign: Getting paid PayPal: Stripe: Freshbooks (for information about PayPal Business Payments): Harvest (for information about PayPal Business Payments): TransferWise (cross-currency payments): CHAPTER 6: HIRE LIKE A CHAMP Hire remote contractors Upwork (formerly Elance/oDesk): Guru: Freelancer: Gigster: 99 Designs: Crowdspring: Fancy Hands: Information about "milestones": Screencast-o-matic (record screencasts): Hire permanent employees Working Mums (UK): Hire My Mom (US): Remotive: Remote OK: We Work Remotely: Authentic Jobs: Upwork: Information about KPIs: Topgrading (hiring tips and resources): Buffer's 45-day contract period: CHAPTER 7: RUN THE BEST BIZ Team chat software Slack: HipChat: Structured meetings and ad-hoc calls Mastering The Rockefeller Habits (book): World Time Buddy: Google Calendar: Zoom (alternative to Skype): (alternative to Skype): Screen sharing Screenleap: Giving tutorials and training Screencast-o-matic: ScreenFlow (Mac): Camtasia (Windows): Procedures Google Drive: Process Street: Project management Trello: Basecamp: Asana: Teamwork: Wikipedia's "Comparison of project management software" page: Cloud storage Dropbox: OneDrive: Google Drive: Information on Google Drive "offline mode": Box: Amazon Cloud Drive: Other useful tools and resources LastPass (password management): HelloSign (document signing): EchoSign (document signing): Sqwiggle (video team chat): Zapier (task automation): IFTTT (task automation): Also by the author… Protect Your Tech: Your geek-free guide to a secure and private digital life If your password for every website is "monkey" or "iloveyou"… you need to read this book.

pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice,, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

And unexpectedly, we found that technical expertise was actually the least important of the eight behaviors across great managers. Make no mistake, it is essential. An engineering manager who can’t code is not going to be able to lead a team at Google. But of the behaviors that differentiated the very best, technical input made the smallest difference to teams. In addition to being specific, we had to make good management automatic. Atul Gawande has written persuasively in The New Yorker and in his book The Checklist Manifesto about the power of checklists. I first encountered his writing in the 2009 article “The Checklist,”139 where he described the test flight of the Model 299, a next-generation long-range bomber developed by the Boeing Corporation in 1935. It could “carry five times as many bombs as the Army had requested… fly faster than previous bombers, and almost twice as far.”

Nooglers whose managers took action on this email became fully effective 25 percent faster than their peers, saving a full month of learning time. I was shocked at how profound the result was. How was it possible that a single email could have such a big effect? It turns out checklists really do work, even when the list is almost patronizingly simple. We’re human, and we sometimes forget the most basic things. Atul Gawande, whom we last saw in chapter 8, developed a surgical safety checklist that starts with “Patient has confirmed identity, site [i.e., where on the body the surgery is to take place], procedure, and consent.”219 The entire checklist has nineteen items. In 2007 and 2008, one hospital in each of eight countrieslxii tried the checklist on a total of 7,728 patients. The rate of complications dropped to 7 percent from 11 percent.

Tom Warren, “Microsoft Axes Its Controversial Employee-Ranking System,” The Verge, November 12, 2013, 137. David A. Garvin, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld, and Liz Kind, “Google’s Project Oxygen: Do Managers Matter?” Harvard Business School Case 313-110, April 2013 (revised July 2013). 138. We wouldn’t see anything like this again until 2008, when Bill Coughran, our SVP of Research and Systems Infrastructure until 2011, amassed 180 direct reports. 139. Atul Gawande, “The Checklist,” The New Yorker, December 10, 2007, 140. From internal interviews. 141. ASTD Staff, “$156 Billion Spent on Training and Development,” ASTD (blog), American Society for Training and Development (now the Association for Talent Development), December 6, 2012, 142.

pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

I was an investigative reporter at The New York Times and spent my days chasing stories and my nights rewriting book pages. My life felt like a treadmill of to-do lists, emails requiring immediate replies, rushed meetings, and subsequent apologies for being late. Amid all this hustle and scurry—and under the guise of asking for a little publishing advice—I sent a note to an author I admired, a friend of one of my colleagues at the Times. The author’s name was Atul Gawande, and he appeared to be a paragon of success. He was a forty-six-year-old staff writer at a prestigious magazine, as well as a renowned surgeon at one of the nation’s top hospitals. He was an associate professor at Harvard, an adviser to the World Health Organization, and the founder of a nonprofit that sent surgical supplies to medically underserved parts of the world. He had written three books—all bestsellers—and was married with three children.

A productive weekend might involve walking through the park with your kids, while a productive workday involves rushing them to daycare and getting to the office as early as you can. Productivity, put simply, is the name we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect, and time as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort. It’s a process of learning how to succeed with less stress and struggle. It’s about getting things done without sacrificing everything we care about along the way. By this definition, Atul Gawande seemed to have things pretty well figured out. A few days later, he responded to my email with his regrets. “I wish I could help,” he wrote, “but I’m running flat out with my various commitments.” Even he, it seemed, had limits. “I hope you’ll understand.” Later that week, I mentioned this exchange to our mutual friend. I made it clear I wasn’t offended—that, in fact, I admired Gawande’s focus.

Like all diplomas handed out that day, his contained a blank space. There was one last thing, the principal told him. No one was allowed to finish elementary school without doing a final bit of work. Dante had to transform this diploma and make it his own. She handed Dante a pen. He filled in the space with his name. APPENDIX A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas A few months after I reached out to Atul Gawande—the author and physician from the introduction who helped spark my interest in the science of productivity—I began reporting this book. For almost two years, I conducted interviews with experts, read piles of scientific papers, and tracked down case studies. At some point, I began to imagine that I had become something of a productivity expert myself. When it came time to start writing, I figured, translating all those ideas onto paper would be relatively easy.

pages: 241 words: 75,516

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz

accounting loophole / creative accounting, attribution theory, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, framing effect, hedonic treadmill, income per capita, job satisfaction, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, Own Your Own Home, Pareto efficiency, positional goods, price anchoring, psychological pricing, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, science of happiness, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

I mean choice about what the doctors do. The tenor of medical practice has shifted from one in which the all-knowing, paternalistic doctor tells the patient what must be done—or just does it—to one in which the doctor arrays the possibilities before the patient, along with the likely plusses and minuses of each, and the patient makes a choice. The attitude was well described by physician and New Yorker contributor Atul Gawande: Only a decade ago, doctors made the decisions; patients did what they were told. Doctors did not consult patients about their desires and priorities, and routinely withheld information—sometimes crucial information, such as what drugs they were on, what treatments they were being given, and what their diagnosis was. Patients were even forbidden to look at their own medical records; it wasn’t their property, doctors said.

., of 2000, 26 electricity service electronic gadgets employment at home mobility in wardrobe and endowment effect Epstein, Benita error, susceptibility to evolution existential choice exit Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (Hirschman) expectations: control of high raised rising see also prospect theory expected utility experience, diversity of experienced utility expressive value, of choice F family “fear of falling,” feelings, memories and predictions of framing comparison and definition of prospect theory and psychological accounting and reference prices and risk assessment and France Frank, Robert freedom “freedom from” and “freedom to,” self-respect and, see also autonomy friendship G gains, see risk, risk assessment Gallup polls Gawande, Atul Gawande, Hunter Germany goal-setting God, belief in “good enough,” see satisficers Gore, Al gratitude Great Britain grocery shopping gross domestic product guarantees, money-back H habits happiness autonomy and choice and decline in maximizing as obstacle to measurements and surveys of social comparison and social relations and status and wealth and see also satisfaction Harris, Lou Harvard University health care health insurance heart disease hedonic adaptation hedonic lag helplessness, learned heuristic, definition of high expectations, curse of Hirsch, Fred Hirschman, Albert HMOs human progress Hungary hypertension I Iceland identity, choice of illness immune system inaction inertia income per capita individualism infants “infomercial,” information: evaluations of filtered by consciousness gathering of quality and quantity of information costs instrumental value, of choice Internet medical misinformation on interviews, effect of J jams, of choice Japan jeans, selection of job mobility Johnson, Paul Joyless Economy, The (Scitovsky) justification, of choices K Kahneman, Daniel Kaiser Permanente Kaminer, Wendy Katz, Jay L Landman, Janet Lane, Robert learned helplessness liberty, negative vs. positive liking, wanting and loss aversion Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies, The (Lane) losses.

pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

But equally, such standardization aims to lower the volume of decisions that must be presented to the firm’s leadership. By laying down such general rules, delegation is facilitated. A popular information-processing tool, the checklist—which is essentially a simplified version of the SOP—provides similar decision-making benefits. Checklists in aircraft have been shown to significantly reduce pilot error, particularly in high-stress situations. And Harvard Medical School professor Atul Gawande has demonstrated that using a checklist in a hospital intensive care unit drastically lowers infection rates among patients. Checking all the boxes may be tedious, but it makes for better decisions. Checklists and SOPs work well in routine situations—those that have largely been anticipated in advance—and when the outcomes are the same, or nearly so, each time. Some firms, especially those in which employee turnover is relatively high, take the strategy of SOP a step further, embedding some of the rules and procedures into the firm’s tools and technology.

Rosenfield, Linnea Gandhi, and Tom Blaser, “Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making,” Harvard Business Review (October 2016), Checklists in aircraft: Brigette M. Hales and Peter J. Pronovost, “The Checklist—a Tool for Error Management and Performance,” Journal of Critical Care 21 (2006), 231–235. checklist in a hospital intensive care unit: Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009). Gawande was inspired to test the checklist approach after reading about a pilot study conducted by Peter Pronovost of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. balancing centralized and delegated decision: Yingyi Qian, Gérard Roland, and Chenggang Xu, “Coordinating Changes in M-Form and U-Form Organizations,” paper presented to the Nobel Symposium, April 1998,

pages: 266 words: 87,411

The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Women musicians sounded better behind screens: Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse, “Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of ‘Blind’ Auditions on Female Musicians,” American Economic Review, Volume 90, Number 4 (September 2000), pp. 715–41. Broken window theory and effects of graffiti: Kees Keizer, Siegwart Lindenberg and Linda Steg, “The Spreading of Disorder,” Science 12, Volume 322, Number 5908 (December 2008), pp. 1681–5. John Wooden and basketball socks: Atul Gawande, “Top Athletes and Singers Have Coaches. Should You?” New Yorker, 3 October 2011. Van Halen and the M&Ms: Jacob Ganz, “The Truth about Van Halen and Those Brown M&Ms,” NPR’s The Record (February 2012). Cleared for Takeoff: Based on interview with Dr J. Terrance Davis, the Associate Chief Medical Officer who launched the program at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Chapter 7 – Prepare: Ready for Anything Art experts spotted fake sculpture: Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking (London: Allen Lane, 2006), pp. 4–8.

Image of human eyes boosts honesty: Melissa Bateson, Daniel Nettle and Gilbert Roberts, “Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting,” Biology Letters, Volume 2 (2006), pp. 412–14. Band of brothers: William Darryl Henderson, Cohesion: The Human Element in Combat (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1985), pp. 22–3. Sir Richard Branson on great delivery: From column in Entrepreneur, 20 April 2011. Knowing names helps teams: Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (London: Profile, 2010), p. 108. Happy staff more creative: Bill Breen, “The 6 Myths of Creativity,” Fast Company, 19 December 2007. Chapter 13 – Play: Solving Problems One Game at a Time Spanish housework study: Salomí Goñi-Legaz, Andrea Ollo-López and Alberto Bayo-Moriones, “The Division of Household Labour in Spanish Dual Earner Couples: Testing Three Theories,” Sex Roles, Volume 63, Numbers 7–8 (2010), pp. 515–29.

pages: 281 words: 79,464

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Columbine, David Brooks, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Ferguson, Missouri, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Erdős, period drama, Peter Singer: altruism, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

A friend of mine is a clinical psychologist with a busy schedule, working for several hours at a stretch, with one client leaving and the next coming in. This would kill me. I find it exhausting to spend even a short time with someone who is depressed or anxious. But my friend finds it exhilarating. She is engaged by her clients’ problems, interested in the challenges that arise, and excited by the possibility of improving their lives. Her description reminded me of a discussion by the writer and surgeon Atul Gawande about the attitudes of “tenderness and aestheticism” that good surgeons feel toward their patients, treating them with respect but seeing them also as problems that need to be solved. Freud himself made a similar analogy: “I cannot advise my colleagues too urgently to model themselves during psycho-analytic treatment on the surgeon, who puts aside all his feelings, even his human sympathy, and concentrates his mental forces on the single aim of performing the operations as skillfully as possible.”

“essential learning objective” Christine Montross, “Forum: Against Empathy,” Boston Review, August 2014, “If, while listening” Ibid. 144 nursing students . . . especially prone Martin L. Hoffman, Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for Caring and Justice (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 145 “tenderness and aestheticism” Atul Gawande, “Final Cut. Medical Arrogance and the Decline of the Autopsy,” The New Yorker 77 (2001): 94–99. “I cannot advise” Peter Kramer, Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), 26. 146 “I didn’t need him to be” Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams: Essays (New York: Macmillan, 2014), 17. “Still, in most of the interactions” Montross, “Forum: Against Empathy.” 147 “I appreciated the care” Leslie Jamison, “Forum: Against Empathy,” Boston Review, August 2014,

pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, drone strike,, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Army Sergeant Majors Academy Digital Library, Personal Experience Papers, October 5, 2006, [>] At noon on December: Blog of Sgt. Edward Montoya Jr., a U.S. Army medic who was in the mess hall when the explosion took place. [>] In 2004 the Army: Atul Gawande, “Casualties of War—Military Care for the Wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan,” New England Journal of Medicine 351 (2004): 2471–75. [>] Only one out of every ten: Ibid. [>] After the first: M. M. Manring et al., “Treatment of War Wounds: A Historic Review,” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 467, no. 8 (2004): 2168–91. [>] Simple guidelines: There are no universally accepted standards for use in emergency triage, but common criteria include systolic blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, ability to respond to commands, and the motor component of the Glasgow Coma Scale.

Louis: Institute of Jesuit Studies, 2004). [>] Even sympathetic commentators: O’Malley, The First Jesuits, 81, 85. [>] A decade after the order’s: Ibid., 82. [>] Both flexibility and consistency: Jason P. Davis, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, and Christopher B. Bingham, “Optimal Structure, Market Dynamism, and the Strategy of Simple Rules,” Administrative Science Quarterly 54, no. 3 (2009): 413–52. [>] Although these errors: Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Metropolitan, 2009). [>] The chain’s selling point: McDonald’s has ranked last for seventeen of the last eighteen years in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. American Customer Satisfaction Index, “Benchmarks by Industry: Limited-Service Restaurants,”

pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

To decipher a complicated medical problem or complaint, a clinician has to listen carefully to a patient’s story while at the same time guiding and filtering that story through established diagnostic frameworks. The key is to strike the right balance between grasping the specifics of the patient’s situation and inferring general patterns and probabilities derived from reading and experience. Checklists and other decision guides can serve as valuable aids in this process. They bring order to complicated and sometimes chaotic circumstances. But as the surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande explained in his book The Checklist Manifesto, the “virtues of regimentation” don’t negate the need for “courage, wits, and improvisation.” The best clinicians will always be distinguished by their “expert audacity.”24 By requiring a doctor to follow templates and prompts too slavishly, computer automation can skew the dynamics of doctor-patient relations. It can streamline patient visits and bring useful information to bear, but it can also, as Lown writes, “narrow the scope of inquiry prematurely” and even, by provoking an automation bias that gives precedence to the screen over the patient, lead to misdiagnoses.

Susan Ridgely and Michael D. Greenberg, “Too Many Alerts, Too Much Liability: Sorting through the Malpractice Implications of Drug-Drug Interaction Clinical Decision Support,” Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law and Policy 5 (2012): 257–295; and David W. Bates, “Clinical Decision Support and the Law: The Big Picture,” Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law and Policy 5 (2012): 319–324. 24.Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Henry Holt, 2010), 161–162. 25.Lown and Rodriguez, “Lost in Translation?” 26.Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), 34–35. 27.Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Modern Library, 2000), 840. 28.Ibid., 4. 29.Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1913), 11. 30.Ibid., 36. 31.Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 147. 32.Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998), 307. 33.For a succinct review of the Braverman debate, see Peter Meiksins, “Labor and Monopoly Capital for the 1990s: A Review and Critique of the Labor Process Debate,” Monthly Review, November 1994. 34.James R.

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Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, gender pay gap, Joan Didion, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, phenotype, pre–internet, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, stem cell, women in the workforce

Mary Shomon, “Dear Endocrinologists: Time to Hear What Thyroid Patients Have to Say,” Very Well, September 15, 2016, “If fatigue were a sound made manifest by . . . Nakazawa, The Autoimmune Epidemic, 24. In a recent survey the AARDA conducted of more than 7,800 . . . American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Highlights from “The State of Autoimmune Disease.” “utterly failed” to help . . . Atul Gawande, “Letting Go,” The New Yorker, August 2, 2010, “Chronic illness has become . . . Atul Gawande, “The Heroism of Incremental Care,” The New Yorker, January 23, 2017, Despite doing “a million dollars’ worth of tests . . . Daniela J. Lamas, “When the Brain Is Under Attack,” The Boston Globe, May 27, 2013,

Certainly, there’s no question that the medical system prioritizes life-threatening diseases over chronic conditions. This is reflected in everything from which diseases attract the most research funds to which specialties see the biggest paychecks and prestige. In recent years, there have been some important critiques leveled against medicine’s focus on mortality over morbidity, on preventing death over improving health. The surgeon and writer Dr. Atul Gawande, for example, has argued that, when it comes to end-of-life care, a medical system that tends to favor marginally prolonging life, even at the cost of destroying the quality of that life, has “utterly failed” to help “dying patients achieve what’s most important to them at the end of their lives.” Meanwhile, a system that rewards heroic interventions—the lifesaving surgery or the aggressive chemotherapy—when something goes seriously wrong has neglected to invest in the less glamorous work of effective management of chronic conditions.

pages: 307 words: 94,069

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate social responsibility,, fundamental attribution error, impulse control, longitudinal study, medical residency, Piper Alpha, placebo effect, publish or perish, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

We discuss it with some trepidation, because we know the associations buzzing in most readers’ heads: mundane, routine, bureaucratic. “Use a checklist,” we admit, sounds like advice a dad would give a college student, along with some tips on tire-pressure gauges and not charging beer to his Exxon card. But bear with us, because your perceptions are about to change. What if we asserted that checklists can be game-changing, that checklists can save lives? The Holy Grail of checklists may be one reported by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker. Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) often have intravenous lines put in to deliver medication. If those lines become infected, nasty health complications can result. Frustrated by these “line infections,” which are preventable, Dr. Peter Pronovost of Johns Hopkins compiled a five-part checklist. The checklist contained straightforward advice: Doctors should wash their hands before inserting a line, a patient’s skin should be cleaned with antiseptic at the point of insertion, and so on.

Kris-Etherton (2005), “Provision of Foods Differing in Energy Density Affects Long-Term Weight Loss,” Obesity Research, 13, 1052–1060. Natalie Elder. Dan Heath interviewed Natalie Elder in August 2008. The humble checklist. Parts of the section on checklists originally appeared in our Fast Company column (March 2008), “The Heroic Checklist,” Holy Grail of checklists. See Atul Gawande (December 10, 2007), “The Checklist: If Something So Simple Can Transform Intensive Care, What Else Can It Do?” New Yorker, pp. 86–101. Checklists educate people about what’s best. We’re not advocating the kind of checklists that are associated with some quality improvement processes—for example, the elaborate procedure manuals compiled for ISO 9000 certification. To educate people about what’s best and to help them avoid blind spots, a checklist has to be simple enough that people will actually use it.

pages: 86 words: 27,453

Why We Work by Barry Schwartz

Atul Gawande, call centre, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, if you build it, they will come, invisible hand, job satisfaction, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System

Instead, we just have to make sure that the incentives that are actually in place don’t have perverse effects on the quality of medical care. After all, doctors do have to make a living. We just want to make sure that what they have to do to make a living doesn’t interfere with what it takes to be a good doctor. I don’t want to suggest that offering financial incentives to doctors to withhold services will induce all doctors to do less than they should. But it doesn’t have to affect all doctors. As Atul Gawande documented in a New Yorker article a few years ago, what doctors do is very much influenced by what are the customary practices in their local communities. Some prestigious hospital sets a standard for the proportion of children born by cesarean delivery, or the proportion of joint injuries diagnosed by expensive MRIs instead of less expensive X-rays, and other institutions follow suit. This leads to dramatic regional differences in the frequency with which such procedures are done with little or no difference in the types of cases doctors face—or the outcomes of these cases.

pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

The Apgar score includes two points for being pink, two points for crying, two points for a brisk pulse, and so on. The score was devised in the early 1950s by Virginia Apgar, an American anesthesiologist, and it’s by no means absurd: it’s quick and convenient, and a baby with a low Apgar score is more likely to suffer problems.3 But because the Apgar score allowed for tidy quantification, it had unintended consequences. As Atul Gawande explains in The New Yorker, the Apgar score “turned an intangible and impressionistic clinical concept—the condition of a newly born baby—into a number that people could collect and compare.” Doctors, a competitive bunch, wanted to improve their scores. Hospital administrators started taking an interest, too. “When chiefs of obstetrics services began poring over the Apgar results of their doctors and midwives, they started to think like a bread factory manager taking stock of how many loaves the bakers burned,” writes Gawande.

Scott’s Seeing Like a State (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998) for alerting me to the story of German forestry and to its wider implications. 3. Brian M. Casey, Donald D. McIntire, and Kenneth J. Leveno, “The Continuing Value of the Apgar Score for the Assessment of Newborn Infants,” New England Journal of Medicine 344 (February 15, 2001), pp. 467–471, DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200102153440701. 4. Atul Gawande, “The Score: How Childbirth Went Industrial,” The New Yorker, October 9, 2006, 5. David Dranove, Daniel Kessler, Mark McClellan, and Mark Satterthwaite, “Is More Information Better? The Effects of ‘Report Cards’ on Health Care Providers,” Journal of Political Economy 111, no. 3 (2003), pp. 555–588. 6. Melissa Korn and Rachel Louise Ensign, “Colleges Rise as They Reject: Schools Invite More Applications, Then Use Denials to Boost Coveted Rankings,” The Wall Street Journal, December 25, 2012,; Max Kutner, “How to Game the College Rankings,” Boston Magazine, September 2014, 7.

pages: 411 words: 98,128

Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives and What the World's Best Companies Are Learning From It by Brian Dumaine

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, call centre, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, natural language processing,, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

When Bezos applies his AI flywheel to these industries, many competitors are likely to be ground into dust or at best lose significant market share. Take as just one example, health care. In 2018, Amazon partnered with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form a nonprofit dedicated to reinventing health care for the 1.2 million employees who work at the three companies. The head of this new initiative is the renowned Boston surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande. Amazon aims to use this laboratory to find new ways to disrupt the sector. What the health-care industry needs is lower prices and better customer care, and that’s exactly what Amazon does best. In 2018, the company acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy. Amazon could also build pharmacies in its Whole Foods stores, not only offering low prices but also employing its predictive analytics and customer data capabilities to track and influence patient behavior.

Patients could take advantage of Amazon’s same-day delivery to get their medicines, and it’s not inconceivable that the company could open up pharmacies in its Whole Foods stores as well as in its chain of new, lower-cost grocery stores that sources say it will open. Around the same time as the 2018 PillPack acquisition, Amazon announced that it would join Berkshire Hathaway—run by legendary investor Warren Buffett—and JPMorgan Chase—run by banking’s highest-profile CEO, Jamie Dimon—to form a nonprofit partnership, later dubbed Haven. The idea is to shake up the broken U.S. health-care system. The organization appointed Atul Gawande as CEO. If anyone has a shot at draining the health-care swamp, it’s Gawande. He’s a surgeon at the prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School and has written four bestselling books on health care, including Complications, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He’s also a longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, where in the fall of 2018 he wrote a memorable article titled “Why Doctors Hate Their Computers,” which argued that health-care software was so dysfunctional that some doctors were becoming depressed or even suicidal.

pages: 465 words: 103,303

The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery by George Johnson

Atul Gawande, Cepheid variable, Columbine, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, phenotype, profit motive, stem cell

Texas sharpshooter effect: The term was coined in the mid 1970s by the epidemiologist Seymour Grufferman while he was investigating a reported Hodgkin’s lymphoma cluster on Long Island, New York. E-mail to author, June 10, 2012. Also see S. Grufferman, “Clustering and Aggregation of Exposures in Hodgkin’s Disease,” Cancer 39 (1977): 1829–33; K. J. Rothman, “A Sobering Start for the Cluster Busters’ Conference,” American Journal of Epidemiology 132, no. 1 suppl. (July 1990): S6–13 [] and Atul Gawande, “The Cancer-Cluster Myth,” New Yorker, February 8, 1999. 62. no harmful exposures from chemical or radioactive contamination: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Public Health Assessment for Los Alamos National Laboratory,” September 8, 2006, available on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. [] 63.

Rothman, “A Sobering Start for the Cluster Busters’ Conference,” American Journal of Epidemiology 132, no. 1 suppl. (July 1990): S6–13 []; and Raymond Richard Neutra, “Counterpoint from a Cluster Buster,” American Journal of Epidemiology 132, no. 1 (July 1, 1990): 1–8. [] Also see Atul Gawande, “The Cancer Cluster Myth,” New Yorker, February 8, 1999. For an evocative account of a cancer cluster investigation and the lessons learned, see Dan Fagin, Toms River: A Story of Science, Folly and Redemption (New York: Random House, 2013). 67. even occupational clusters are uncommon: For an assessment see P. A. Schulte et al., “Investigation of Occupational Cancer Clusters: Theory and Practice,” American Journal of Public Health 77, no. 1 (January 1987): 52–56.

pages: 654 words: 191,864

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, cognitive bias, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demand response, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, framing effect, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, index card, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Shai Danziger, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, union organizing, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War

A baby with a score of 4 or below was probably bluish, flaccid, passive, with a slow or weak pulse—in need of immediate intervention. Applying Apgar’s score, the staff in delivery rooms finally had consistent standards for determining which babies were in trouble, and the formula is credited for an important contribution to reducing infant mortality. The Apgar test is still used every day in every delivery room. Atul Gawande’s recent A Checklist Manifesto provides many other examples of the virtues of checklists and simple rules. The Hostility to Algorithms From the very outset, clinical psychologists responded to Meehl’s ideas with hostility and disbelief. Clearly, they were in the grip of an illusion of skill in terms of their ability to make long-term predictions. On reflection, it is easy to see how the illusion came about and easy to sympathize with the clinicians’ rejection of Meehl’s research.

Dawes, “The Superiority of Simple Alternatives to Regression for Social Science Predictions,” Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics 29 (2004): 317–31. Dr. Apgar: Virginia Apgar, “A Proposal for a New Method of Evaluation of the Newborn Infant,” Current Researches in Anesthesia and Analgesia 32 (1953): 260–67. Mieczyslaw Finster and Margaret Wood, “The Apgar Score Has Survived the Test of Time,” Anesthesiology 102 (2005): 855–57. virtues of checklists: Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009). organic fruit: Paul Rozin, “The Meaning of ‘Natural’: Process More Important than Content,” Psychological Science 16 (2005): 652–58. 2 {ce moderated by an arbiter: Mellers, Hertwig, and Kahneman, “Do Frequency Representations Eliminate Conjunction Effects?” articulated this position: Klein, Sources of Power.

Irrational is a strong word: The view of the mind that Dan Ariely has presented in Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (New York: Harper, 2008) is not much different from mine, but we differ in our use of the term. accept future addiction: Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy, “A Theory of Rational Addiction,” Journal of Political Economics 96 (1988): 675–700. Nudge: Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). can institute and enforce: Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Holt, 2009). Daniel Kahneman, Dan Lovallo, and Oliver Sibony, “The Big Idea: Before You Make That Big Decision…” Harvard Business Review 89 (2011): 50–60. distinctive vocabulary: Chip Heath, Richard P. Larrick, and Joshua Klayman, “Cognitive Repairs: How Organizational Practices Can Compensate for Individual Shortcomings,” Research in Organizational Behavior 20 (1998): 1–37.

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The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom

A lot of professionals have an ego problem: their view of themselves does not line up with the way other people see them. Before people can change they need to know these outside views. We need to go to people we trust, who can give us honest feedback about our traits. These people are in a position to observe us operating within our circles, and are thus able to offer relevant perspectives on our competence. Another option is to hire a coach. Atul Gawande is one of the top surgeons in the United States. And when he wanted to get better at being a surgeon, he hired a coach. This is terribly difficult for anyone, let alone a doctor. At first he felt embarrassed. It had been over a decade since he was evaluated by another person in medical school. “Why,” he asked, “should I expose myself to the scrutiny and fault-finding?”7 The coach worked. Gawande got two things out of this.

pages: 464 words: 117,495

The New Trading for a Living: Psychology, Discipline, Trading Tools and Systems, Risk Control, Trade Management by Alexander Elder

additive manufacturing, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, buy and hold, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, computerized trading, deliberate practice, diversification, Elliott wave, endowment effect, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Ponzi scheme, price stability, psychological pricing, quantitative easing, random walk, risk tolerance, short selling, South Sea Bubble, systematic trading, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, tulip mania, zero-sum game

There is a very thoughtful discussion on matching one's personality type to various trading styles in Richard Weissman's book Mechanical Trading Systems. Whatever approach you take, the key advantage of any system is that you design it when the markets are closed and you feel calm. A system becomes your anchor of rational behavior amidst the turbulence of the market. It goes without saying that a proper system is written down. This needs to be done because it's easy to forget some essential steps when stressed by live markets. Dr. Atul Gawande in his remarkable book The Checklist Manifesto makes a convincing case for using checklists to raise performance levels in a large variety of demanding endeavors, from surgery and construction to trading. A mechanical trader develops a set of rules, back-tests them on historical data, and then puts his system on autopilot. Going forward, his software starts flashing orders for entries, target, and stops, and a mechanical trader is supposed to place them exactly as shown.

See also Japanese candlesticks Cash trades, futures compared to Catastrophic stops Ceilings, for commodities CFDs (contracts for difference) CFTC, see Commodity Futures Trading Commission Channels in A-trades Average True Range combining divergences and constructing in day-trading defined and moving averages in setting profit targets symmetrical Channel trading systems constructing channels and mass psychology standard deviation (Bollinger bands) symmetrical trading rules Chaos theory Chart analysis bar charts chaos theory detecting bias in diagonals in Efficient Market theory history of charting and insider trading Japanese candlesticks kangaroo tails “nature's law” Random Walk subjectiveness in support and resistance causes of strength of trading rules and true and false breakouts trends and trading ranges and conflicting timeframes of markets deciding to trade or wait hard right edge identifying and mass psychology as window into mass psychology Charting Commodity Market Price Behavior (L. Dee Belveal) Chart patterns: defined at right edge of charts RSI trendlines subjective interpretation of swings of mass psychology shown in Checklists Checklist Manifesto, The (Atul Gawande) Childhood, mental baggage from Churchill, Winston Classical chart analysis, see Chart analysis “Climax bottoms” Climax indicator Closing prices: Advance/Decline line on candlestick charts of daily and weekly bars of daily charts as most important consensus of value relationship of opening prices and for settlement of trading accounts Cohen, Abraham W. Come into My Trading Room (Alexander Elder) Commercials (hedgers) Commissions Commitment indicators, see Consensus and commitment indicators Commitments of Traders (COT) indicator Commodities.

pages: 455 words: 116,578

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel

., “The Egocentric Surgeon or the Roots of Wrong Side Surgery,” Quality and Safety in Health Care 17 (2008): 396–400; Mary R. Kwaan et al., “Incidence, Patterns, and Prevention of Wrong-Site Surgery,” Archives of Surgery 141, no. 4 (April 2006): 353–57. 6.39 Other hospitals have made similar For a discussion on this topic, see McCarthy and Blumenthal, “Stories from the Sharp End”; Atul Gawande, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2008); Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009). 6.40 In the wake of that tragedy NASA, “Report to the President: Actions to Implement the Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident,” July 14, 1986; Matthew W. Seeger, “The Challenger Tragedy and Search for Legitimacy,” Communication Studies 37, no. 3 (1986): 147–57; John Noble Wilford, “New NASA System Aims to Encourage Blowing the Whistle,” The New York Times, June 5, 1987; Joseph Lorenzo Hall, “Columbia and Challenger: Organizational Failure at NASA,” Space Policy 19, no. 4 (November 2003), 239–47; Barbara Romzek and Melvin Dubnick, “Accountability in the Public Sector: Lessons from the Challenger Tragedy,” Public Administration Review 47, no. 3 (May–June 1987): 227–38. 6.41 Then, a runway error Karl E.

pages: 160 words: 53,435

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd

Atul Gawande, demand response, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Yogi Berra

A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy … All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm. White and Didion may represent extremes, each admirable, in the essayist’s use of the self. Atul Gawande offers an equally admirable example of the use of the professional self. Gawande is a surgeon and professor of medicine at Harvard, and he has published several books of essays on medical subjects. In “The Bell Curve,” he contemplates a simple fact that most doctors find hard to discuss: that some of them are better than others. Gawande reports that the differences have become quantifiable and can be expressed in a bell curve, and he ponders the effects on patients and doctors alike.

pages: 187 words: 55,801

The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market by Frank Levy, Richard J. Murnane

Atul Gawande, business cycle, call centre, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gunnar Myrdal, hypertext link, index card, information asymmetry, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, pattern recognition, profit motive, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, talking drums, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, working poor

Other people who helped us by explaining the nature of their work and how computers were affecting it include Tim Guiney, Elliott Mahler, Stephen Saltz, and Jeff Silver. Joan Buchanan provided valuable insight about computers’ effects on healthcare. As our theory was taking shape, we faced the problem of how to tell our story in a way that would be accessible to interested readers. A number of people gave good advice in this regard, including Gene Bardach, Atul Gawande, Chuck Herz, Nick Lemann, Florence Levy, and David Wessell. Special thanks go to Flip Kissam, a professor of law at the University of Kansas, whose broad outlook on life enabled him to dream up the right title for an economists’ book. Still other people read parts or all of draft manuscripts to help correct issues of substance. They include Rosemary Batt, Michael Feuer, Kurt Fischer, Patricia Graham, Ellen Guiney, Neil Heffernan, Jed Kolko, Ellen Lagemann, Richard Lester, Richard and Katherine Nelson, Paul Osterman, Edward Pauly, Thomas Payzant, James Rebitzer, Christine Sanni, and Robert Schwartz.

pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

Their names are as follows: Cindy Gallop, David Kelley, Marshall Ganz, Jonathan Trent, Erika Karp, Salman Khan, Michelle Long, Laura Roberts, Emily Pilloton, Antje Danielson and Robin Chase, Yvon Chouinard, Daniel Pink, Howard Gardner, Michael Porter, William McDonough, Brené Brown, Ben Nelson, Wendy Kopp, Sasha Orloff and Jacob Rosenberg, Jonathan Abrams, Dr. Eric Topol, Arianna Huffington, Pam O’Connor, Dr. Peter Tuerk, Greg Berman, Marty Makary & Atul Gawande, William Rosenzweig, Carol Cone, Dr. Corey Keyes, Evan Wolfson, Howard Dean, Heather Franzese, Jeff Denby, Jonathan Rapping, Mary Bonauto, Beth Noveck, Rick Warren, R. Seth Williams, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, Chad Dickerson and Matt Stinchcomb, Daniel Rosen, Billy Parish, Steve Richmond, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, Joshua Mailman and Wayne Silby, Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane E. Dutton, Rick Fedrizzi, Mike Italiano, and David Gottfried, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy, Dr.

pages: 219 words: 65,532

The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News,in Politics, and inLife by Michael Blastland, Andrew Dilnot

Atul Gawande, business climate, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, happiness index / gross national happiness, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), moral panic, pension reform, pensions crisis, randomized controlled trial, school choice, very high income

Following a program in the More or Less series on BBC Radio 4 about randomness and cancer clusters, in which we nervously described to one of the Wishaw villagers active in a campaign against the phone mast how clusters can occur—a woman who herself had lived with cancer—we received an e-mail from a ferociously angry listener. How dare we, he said, take away their hope? Chance is heartless. “As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods,” said Shakespeare’s King Lear, “they kill us for their sport.” More comforting amid hurt and distress, maybe, to find a culprit you can hope to hold accountable, or even destroy. When the surgeon and academic Atul Gawande wrote in the late 1990s about why cancer clusters in the United States were seldom the real thing, he quoted the opinion of the chief of California’s Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control that more than half the state’s 5,000 districts (2,750 in fact) had a cancer rate above average. A moment’s reflection tells us that this is more or less the result we should expect: simply put, if some are below average, others must be above, unless all are identical.

pages: 226 words: 66,188

Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome) by Gavin Francis

Atul Gawande, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stem cell, traveling salesman

p. 194 ‘read an essay …’ Seamus Heaney, ‘Mossbawn’, in Finders Keepers: Selected prose 1971–2001 (London: Faber & Faber, 2003). 17. Hip: Jacob & the Angel p. 199 ‘He had studied …’ Italo Svevo, La Coscienza di Zeno (Milan: Einaudi, 1976), p. 109 (author’s translation). p. 202 ‘If someone over the …’ J. A. Grisso et al., ‘Risk Factors for falls as a cause of hip fracture in women’, The New England Journal of Medicine (9 May 1991), 1,326–31. p. 202 ‘Around 40 percent …’ Figures from Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (London: Profile, 2014). p. 202 ‘Between five and eight …’ P. Haentjens et al., ‘Meta-analysis: Excess Mortality After Hip Fracture Among Older Women and Men’, Annals of Internal Medicine 152 (2010), 380–90. p. 203 ‘His name Yaakov …’ My reading of Jacob’s story has been informed by Geoffrey H. Hartman, ‘The Struggle for the Text’, from Geoffrey H.

pages: 1,007 words: 181,911

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice,, Golden Gate Park, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, microbiome, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Pepto Bismol, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, spaced repetition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the High Line, Y Combinator

It was Looney Toons meets Emeril Lagasse. From wrist to fingertip, we were covered with dozens of visible and invisible nicks. We couldn’t have been happier. LITTLE DETAILS, BIG RESULTS How you do anything is how you will do everything. John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach, had his players learn how to put their socks on—step-by-step—during their first all-team meeting of the season. As surgeon Atul Gawande explained in The New Yorker: “He had two purposes in doing this. First, wrinkles cause blisters. Blisters cost games. Second, he wanted his players to learn how crucial seemingly trivial details could be. ‘Details create success’ was the creed of a coach who won 10 NCAA men’s basketball championships.”‡ Below are some of the details acquired over my cramming weekend with JZ. This list alone made the trial well worth it.

Think of “dead” grammar, presented out of context, to remember deductive. 31 This is known as an inductive approach to teaching. I give you the real-world examples (sample sentences), and you pick up the principles (grammar) by spotting patterns. 32 The International Culinary Center, formerly known as the French Culinary Institute. 33 Also the serial restaurateur “Z” from the Introduction. ‡ Atul Gawande, “Personal Best,”New Yorker, October 3, 2011, (accessed September 16, 2012). 34 Though, in 2011, YC was twice as hard to get into. ‡ W. A. Johnson and others, “Attention Capture by Novel Stimuli,” Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 119 (1990): 397–411. 35 Some might criticize this bar, calling me a jack-of-all-trades.

pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, post-work, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

Used by blanket permission. [Mouseover text: “Dad, where is Grandpa right now?”] Identify yourself as an organ donor and let your family know that you want to have your body parts distributed to someone who needs them after you die. Learn more at or search for a similar resource in your country if you're outside the United States. Think and talk about your preferences in life and death. As Dr. Atul Gawande reported in his 2010 article “Letting Go: What Should Medicine Do When It Can’t Save Your Life?” in The New Yorker, “People have concerns besides simply prolonging their lives. Surveys of patients with terminal illness find that their top priorities include, in addition to avoiding suffering, being with family, having the touch of others, being mentally aware, and not becoming a burden to others.”

pages: 280 words: 75,820

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Build a better mousetrap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, fundamental attribution error, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, music of the spheres, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

., “Consequences of Nonconscious Goal Activation.” To appear in J. Shah and W. Gardner (eds.), Handbook of Motivation Science. New York: Guilford, 2007. p.183. In an experiment on how best to deal: T. L. Webb and P. Sheeran, “How Do Implementation Intentions Promote Goal Attainment? A Test of Component Processes.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43, 2007. p.183. Concerned about the high incidence: Atul Gawande, “The Checklist.” The New Yorker, December 10, 2007. p.184. Some intriguing new research: George Ainslie, Breakdown of Will. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. CHAPTER 13: HEALTH p.189. Exhibit A for attention’s power: “Larry Stewart, a Businessman Known for a Santa-Size Generosity, Dies at 58.” Associated Press, January 15, 2007. p.190. His discovery that attention’s selective nature: Aaron T.

pages: 301 words: 78,638

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice,, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

CHAPTER 15 over nine million people called it home: “Population Size and Growth of Major Cities, 1998 Census,” Population Census Organization, Over 60 percent of Karachi’s residents: Sabiah Askari, Studies on Karachi: Papers Presented at the Karachi Conference 2013 (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2015). It was this public health crisis that had brought Stephen Luby to Pakistan: Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Gurgaon, India: Penguin Random House, 2014). “In Pakistan, Safeguard was a premium soap”: All quotes in this section are from an email conversation with Stephen Luby on May 28, 2018. The rate of diarrhea fell by 52 percent: Stephen P. Luby et al., “Effect of Handwashing on Child Health: A Randomised Controlled Trial,” Lancet 366, no. 9481 (2005), doi:10.1016/s0140–6736(05)66912–7.

pages: 266 words: 86,324

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Atul Gawande, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, feminist movement, forensic accounting, Gerolamo Cardano, Henri Poincaré, index fund, Isaac Newton, law of one price, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pepto Bismol, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Kunal Kapoor, “A Look at Who’s Chasing Bill Miller’s Streak,” Morningstar, December 30, 2004, 28. Michael Mauboussin and Kristen Bartholdson, “On Streaks: Perception, Probability, and Skill,” Consilient Observer (Credit Suisse–First Boston) 2, no. 8 (April 22, 2003). 29. Merton Miller on “Trillion Dollar Bet,” NOVA, PBS broadcast, February 8, 2000. 30. R. D. Clarke, “An Application of the Poisson Distribution,” Journal of the Institute of Actuaries 72 (1946): 48. 31. Atul Gawande, “The Cancer Cluster Myth,” The New Yorker, February 28, 1998, pp. 34–37. 32. Ibid. 33. Bruno Bettelheim, “Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 38 (1943): 417–52. 34. Curt P. Richter, “On the Phenomenon of Sudden Death in Animals and Man,” Psychosomatic Medicine 19 (1957): 191–98. 35. E. Stotland and A. Blumenthal, “The Reduction of Anxiety as a Result of the Expectation of Making a Choice,” Canadian Review of Psychology 18 (1964): 139–45. 36.

The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison

Atul Gawande, crowdsourcing, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, land reform, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, Slavoj Žižek

I find that most people at the conference understand the disease as an “us versus them” of some kind—“us” meaning patients, aligned against either the “them” of the disease itself, its parasitic agency, or else the “them” of those doctors who don’t believe in it. The notion that Morgellons patients might be “making it up” is more complicated than it seems. It could mean anything from intentional fabrication to an itch that’s gotten out of hand. Itching is powerful: the impulse that tells someone to scratch lights up the same neural pathways as chemical addiction. In a New Yorker article titled “The Itch”—like a creature out of sci-fi—Atul Gawande tells the story of a Massachusetts woman with a chronic scalp itch who eventually scratched right into her own brain, and a man who killed himself in the night by scratching into his carotid artery. There was no discernible condition underneath their itches; no way to determine if these itches had begun on their skin or in their minds. It’s not clear that itches can even be parsed in these terms.

pages: 394 words: 85,252

The New Sell and Sell Short: How to Take Profits, Cut Losses, and Benefit From Price Declines by Alexander Elder

Atul Gawande, backtesting, buy and hold, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, double helix, impulse control, paper trading, short selling, systematic trading, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

If a pilot thinks he smells smoke in the cockpit, he does not just wrinkle his nose and say “Geez, smoke. I wonder what I should do....” Instead of scratching and thinking, he opens his manual to the Smoke page and, with his co-pilot, goes through clearly defined “if-then” questions and answers, which lead to specific actions. An excellent recent book on developing a checklist is The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande. Still, even a printed decision-making tree, approved by the best airline, can never be complete. In his fascinating book The Black Box, Malcolm MacPherson serves up dozens of transcripts from the black boxes of crashed airliners. A trader can learn a great deal from watching how some pilots fall apart under pressure while others rise up to the challenge. My favorite chapter is the recording of the black box of a plane whose tail engine had exploded, cutting all hydraulic lines.

pages: 237 words: 82,266

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch

Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Donald Trump, Donner party, Exxon Valdez, Joan Didion, Mahatma Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Yogi Berra

It was maybe 1:00 a.m. when Jeff stormed into the bedroom, waking me from a life-extending good sleep, triumphantly waving a printed-out page from the sole death-clock site that had him outliving me. I had to explain that the result was suspect because he’d entered erroneous information to the effect that I have a negative attitude about my life. I’m not negative about my life; I’m negative about life in general. In fact, if there’s anything positive about my psychology, it’s my negativity. One of my favorite writers at the New Yorker, Dr. Atul Gawande of the Harvard School of Public Health, has written about the importance of critical thinking, which, he argues, leads toward improving systems. “In the running of schools, businesses, in planning war, in caring for the sick and injured, negative thinking may be exactly what we need.” It isn’t a stretch to see that these same skills are exactly what are needed to run a family.* In fact, numerous credible sources see a direct correlation between a reliance on positive thinking, which lulls people into optimistic complacency and overconfidence, and lack of oversight, fueling everything from the housing downturn, the stock market debacle, and the Bernie Madoff scandal.

pages: 301 words: 85,126

AIQ: How People and Machines Are Smarter Together by Nick Polson, James Scott

Air France Flight 447, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, basic income, Bayesian statistics, business cycle, Cepheid variable, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Charles Pickering, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Flash crash, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index fund, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, late fees, low earth orbit, Lyft, Magellanic Cloud, mass incarceration, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Moravec's paradox, more computing power than Apollo, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, North Sea oil, p-value, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, survivorship bias, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

That change was made only after a team of 19 experts conducted a massive synthesis of all available data and concluded that the new recommendations were likely to prevent 11 false positives out of every 500 women screened, with no discernible impact on the number of deaths from breast cancer.41 Medical checklists are great, and the manner in which they’re created and updated represents a triumph of data over anecdote—something that Florence Nightingale, were she still around, could take immense pride in. Checklists save lives by helping doctors catch subtle clues when making complex decisions. Inspired by his experiences as a surgeon, the medical writer Atul Gawande has even written The Checklist Manifesto, about how checklists can help in making complex decisions everywhere, not just in medicine. He makes a good case. But checklists can fail—especially when they rely on what Katherine Heller calls “threshold thinking.” To see this, let’s return to the trend that’s so obvious from the scatter plot of Joe’s kidney readings that we showed you earlier. Heller surmises that each doctor along that sad trail of dots was thinking about Joe’s case in terms of a binary threshold on a checklist.

pages: 348 words: 83,490

More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places (Updated and Expanded) by Michael J. Mauboussin

Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Brownian motion, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, complexity theory, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dogs of the Dow, Drosophila, Edward Thorp,, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, framing effect, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Laplace demon, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, Murray Gell-Mann, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, statistical model, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, traveling salesman, value at risk, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Siegel, Stocks for the Long Run, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002), 13. 5 Michael J. Mauboussin and Kristen Bartholdson, “Long Strange Trip: Thoughts on Stock Market Returns,” Credit Suisse First Boston Equity Research, January 9, 2003. 6 See chapter 3. 6. Are You an Expert? 1 J. Scott Armstrong, “The Seer-Sucker Theory: The Value of Experts in Forecasting,” Technology Review 83 (June-July 1980): 16-24. 2 Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science (New York: Picador, 2002), 35-37. 3 Paul J. Feltovich, Rand J. Spiro, and Richard L. Coulsen, “Issues of Expert Flexibility in Contexts Characterized by Complexity and Change,” in Expertise in Context: Human and Machine, ed. Paul J. Feltovich, Kenneth M. Ford, and Robert R. Hoffman (Menlo Park, Cal.: AAAI Press and Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997): 125-146. 4 R.J.

pages: 340 words: 94,464

Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World by Andrew Leigh

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Atul Gawande, basic income, Black Swan, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Netflix Prize, nudge unit, offshore financial centre, p-value, placebo effect, price mechanism, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, Steven Pinker, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty

Surgeon Ian Harris gives the example of spine fusion surgery for back pain: an operation now performed on 1 in 1000 Americans each year, even though randomised trials show no better results than for intensive rehabilitation.64 Harris notes that ‘the more you know, the harder it gets . . . a conflict develops between what you understand to be true, based on scientific research . . . and what everyone else is doing.’65 Surgeon and author Atul Gawande argues that ‘pointless medical care’ costs hundreds of billions of dollars annually.66 Each year, one in four Americans receives a medical test or treatment that has been proven through a randomised trial to be useless or harmful.67 An Australian study identified over 150 medical practices that are commonly used despite being unsafe or ineffective.68 The randomistas not only need to produce more evidence, they also need to do a better job at publicising what they know already. 3 DECREASING DISADVANTAGE, ONE COIN TOSS AT A TIME The first time Daniel’s mum threw him out of home, he was thirteen.1 He’d grown up around drugs, alcohol and dysfunction, and thought it was ‘fun . . . a big adventure’.

pages: 347 words: 90,234

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction--From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind

airport security, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Columbine, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Mark Zuckerberg, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, out of africa, personalized medicine, publish or perish, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, working poor, Year of Magical Thinking

You could say he doesn’t care about his responsibility as a writer to tell a story and enlighten his readership, or even the people about whom he is writing. You could say—and I would agree—that D’Agata is downright arrogant. The writer, through history, has always tried to make a difference, to touch readers, to make them aware of what is going on around them. We have learned that information, enhanced by story, can be ammunition: our weapon for change. President Obama made his entire staff read a New Yorker essay by Atul Gawande about ways to control the rising costs of health care. Gawande spotlighted the health care system in McAllen, Texas, where patients suffer through twice as many cardiac surgeries as the national average, ambulance spending is four times higher and health care costs during the end of life are eight times higher, and compares health care costs in similar size towns in order to spotlight unnecessary waste and mismanagement.

pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

Richard Selzer's book Letters to a Young Doctor (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982) is a wonderful collection and worth reading for both the general reader and professionals. Dr. Sherwin Nuland writes beautifully about the experience of the seasoned surgeon in How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter (New York: Knopf, 1994), and How We Live (New York: Vintage, 1998). For those interested in the perspective of a surgical resident in training, see a book by my colleague at The New Yorker Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2002). Dr. Light's comments about every patient coming in with a story might strike the reader as unusual, since surgeons are often depicted as being interested only in working with their hands. But as Roter and Hall said, the best ones have the full package. Satisfaction of search as a cognitive error is well described in Pat Croskerry, "Achieving quality in clinical decision making: Cognitive strategies and detection of bias," Academic Emergency Medicine 9 (2002), pp. 1184–1204.

pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation,, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

RUBY ON RAILS David Heinemeier Hansson, “Good Programming is Like Good Writing,” BigThink, August 3, 2010, PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES Miriah Meyer, “Gamer cracks code, finds jewel,” The Chicago Tribune, August 28, 2006. Chapter 16. How connected companies learn You can’t make a recipe for something as complicated as surgery. Instead, you can make a recipe for how to have a team that’s prepared for the unexpected. — Atul Gawande Connected companies grow and learn over time. Like all life forms and complex systems, their growth is governed by natural rhythms and patterns. As individuals and teams learn, they must find ways to share their knowledge with the larger community. As communities learn, platforms must learn how to support them. The Growth Spiral All learning and improvement begins with action. For example, as a child, you might touch a hot stove.

pages: 417 words: 103,458

The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions by David Robson

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, cognitive bias, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, deliberate practice, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, lone genius, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Mamede moved to the Netherlands from Ceará, Brazil, more than a decade ago, and she immediately offers me a strong cup of coffee – ‘not the watery stuff you normally get here’ – before sitting opposite me with a notebook in hand. ‘You organise your ideas better if you have a pencil and paper,’ she explained. (Psychological research does indeed suggest that your memory often functions better if you are allowed to doodle as you talk.45) Her aim is to teach doctors to be similarly reflective concerning the ways they make their decision making. Like the medical checklist, which the doctor and writer Atul Gawande has shown to be so powerful for preventing memory failures during surgery, the concept is superficially simple: to pause, think and question your assumptions. Early attempts to engage ‘system 2’ thinking had been disappointing, however; doctors told to use pure analysis, in place of intuition – by immediately listing all the alternative hypotheses, for instance – often performed worse than those who had taken a less deliberative, more intuitive approach.46 In light of the somatic marker hypothesis, this makes sense.

pages: 332 words: 100,601

Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations by Nandan Nilekani

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Edward Snowden,, energy security, financial exclusion, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, informal economy, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, law of one price, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, more computing power than Apollo, Negawatt, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, price stability, rent-seeking, RFID, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software is eating the world, source of truth, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

Today, the average person’s medical history is usually encapsulated in a bulging file full of doctor’s notes, test results, X-rays and scan reports stretching back several years. Medical service providers usually have their own internal data storage systems, which operate completely independent of each other, so it is impossible to track the progression of a particular patient through the medical system. The surgeon and author Atul Gawande describes an interesting experiment carried out by Jeffrey Brenner, a physician in Camden, New Jersey.10 Brenner started monitoring the flow of patients into Camden’s hospitals, and focused his attention on those patients who cost insurers the most money. As it turns out, these were not people having complex medical procedures or being given expensive medicines—they were people whose illnesses were not being managed correctly, like the man who wasn’t taking his blood pressure pills and was headed for kidney failure as a result.

pages: 309 words: 100,573

Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections by Patrick Smith

Airbus A320, airline deregulation, airport security, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collective bargaining, inflight wifi, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Maui Hawaii, Mercator projection, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, race to the bottom, Skype, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, zero-sum game

It has vastly improved their capabilities, but it by no means diminishes the experience and skill required to perform at that level and has not come remotely close to rendering them redundant. A plane is able to fly itself about as much as the modern operating room can perform an operation by itself. “Talk about medical progress, and people think about technology,” wrote the surgeon and author Atul Gawande in a 2011 issue of The New Yorker. “But the capabilities of doctors matter every bit as much as the technology. This is true of all professions. What ultimately makes the difference is how well people use technology.” That about nails it. And what do terms like “automatic” and “autopilot” mean anyway? The autopilot is a tool, along with many other tools available to the crew. You still need to tell it what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

pages: 409 words: 105,551

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, Chris Fussell

Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Black Swan, butterfly effect, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chelsea Manning, clockwork universe, crew resource management, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, job automation, job satisfaction, John Nash: game theory, knowledge economy, Mark Zuckerberg, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nate Silver, Pierre-Simon Laplace, RAND corporation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Carty explains: “It was usually one guy—usually a man—who came in and kind of ruled everything and everybody bowed to that person’s will.” Medicine—and especially surgery—has a reputation for fostering large egos. “There are a lot of aggressive assholes,” admits Dr. Carty. “That’s the industry norm.” Medical school is fiercely competitive, compensation structures in private practices can incentivize fighting for every patient, and turf battles are common and usually come at the expense of the patient. As doctor and writer Atul Gawande put it, “We have trained, hired, and rewarded physicians to be cowboys, when what we want are pit crews for patients.” Emergency care, however, is different. During the Vietnam War military surgeons discovered that moving the lead surgeon away from the patient and having him stand at the foot of the bed during resuscitation and evaluation allowed for more actions to occur simultaneously.

pages: 406 words: 109,794

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional

Our best-known icons of success are elevated for their precocity and their head starts—Mozart at the keyboard, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the other kind of keyboard. The response, in every field, to a ballooning library of human knowledge and an interconnected world has been to exalt increasingly narrow focus. Oncologists no longer specialize in cancer, but rather in cancer related to a single organ, and the trend advances each year. Surgeon and writer Atul Gawande pointed out that when doctors joke about left ear surgeons, “we have to check to be sure they don’t exist.” In the ten-thousand-hours-themed bestseller Bounce, British journalist Matthew Syed suggested that the British government was failing for a lack of following the Tiger Woods path of unwavering specialization. Moving high-ranking government officials between departments, he wrote, “is no less absurd than rotating Tiger Woods from golf to baseball to football to hockey.”

pages: 350 words: 109,379

How to Run a Government: So That Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don't Go Crazy by Michael Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, deliberate practice, facts on the ground, failed state, fear of failure, full employment, G4S, illegal immigration, invisible hand, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, North Sea oil, obamacare, performance metric, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, school choice, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

This is self-deception. The opposite of ‘diligent’ is not ‘creative’, it is ‘shoddy’. The opposite of ‘reliable’ is not ‘brilliant’, it is ‘unreliable’. And standards, once set, change the lives of citizens only if they are diligently applied. This requires a cultural shift in the professions, as set out in Table 12. In its school system, Singapore comes close to illustrating what this shift looks like. Atul Gawande, the wonderful writer on largely medical issues, puts it this way: The Required Cultural Shift Table 12 People underestimate the importance of diligence as a virtue. No doubt this has something to do with how supremely mundane it seems … There is a flavour of simplistic relentlessness to it. And if it were an individual’s primary goal in life, that life would indeed seem narrow and unambitious.

pages: 316 words: 106,321

Switched On: My Journey From Asperger's to Emotional Awakening by John Elder Robison

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, cognitive dissonance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Minecraft, neurotypical, placebo effect, zero-sum game

It all made such an impression on her that she founded a nonprofit organization called Clearly Present to promote the development of TMS as a therapy for autism. Last year she held her first conference, just before the annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). I hope she is successful at raising awareness among the folks who fund medical research because I fully agree that TMS has tremendous potential. When we talked, she reminded me of Atul Gawande’s thought-provoking New Yorker piece called “Slow Ideas.” In it, Gawande says that we all want useful medical innovations to spread virally, and in a few cases they do. But for the most part, for large numbers of people to benefit from a new medical discovery, it takes twenty to forty years between the original inspiration and widespread deployment. Gawande’s article spoke to both of us. If others could share our experiences, there would be a lot more interest in supporting this work.

pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

active measures, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, twin studies, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor

Like most stereotypes the description I have just given is not completely wrong, it is simply inadequate and misleading. It does not capture the rich variety in the lives of older people as they are actually lived in different countries and, given my central theme, in people living in different social circumstances. The inevitable declines that come with age pose challenges for health and social care. It can be done well, and it can be done badly. The Harvard surgeon and writer Atul Gawande asks, in a sensitive way, what the appropriate response of a caring, compassionate health-care system should be – neither neglect nor heroic over-treatment in attempting futilely to stave off the inevitable.1 Important as it is, health and social care for the elderly is not my topic here. I want to explore what happens before people need their final episodes of care. Consistent with my general theme, I will look at inequities in the conditions that lead to health and effective functioning.

pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Wedel, Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market (New York: Basic Books, 2009); Frank Pasquale, “Reclaiming Egalitarianism in the Political Theory of Campaign Finance Reform,” University of Illinois Law Review 45 (2008): 599– 660. 62. See Michael Abramowicz, “Perfecting Patent Prizes,” Vanderbilt Law Review 56 (2003): 115–236. 63. Here, again, the health sector is ahead of reputation, search, and finance fi rms, adopting a raft of pi lot programs via the Affordable Care Act. Atul Gawande, “Testing, Testing,” The New Yorker, December 14, 2009, http:// /reporting /2009 /12/14 /091214fa _fact _gawande ?currentPage=all. 64. Nicola Jentzsch, Financial Privacy: An International Comparison of Credit Reporting Systems (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007), 62. 65. Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010). 66.

pages: 542 words: 132,010

The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner

Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Doomsday Clock, feminist movement, haute couture, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), lateral thinking, mandatory minimum, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Y2K, young professional

Finally, a third group was given the average rating earned by each course in a survey of students who had taken the courses previously: In sharp contrast with the personal anecdotes, the data had no influence at all. 95: “. . . mattered less than the profile.” Kahneman and Tversky dubbed this “base-rate neglect.” 99: “. . . more about the power of Gut-based judgments than they do about cancer.” For a good overview, see Atul Gawande, The Cancer-Cluster Myth, The New Yorker, February 8, 1998. CHAPTER SIX 109: “. . . go along with the false answers they gave.” Robert Baron, Joseph Vandello, and Bethany Brunsman, The Forgotten Variable in Conformity Research: The Impact of Task Importance on Social Influence, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71:915-927. 111: "The correct rule is actually ‘any three numbers in ascending order.’ ” There are other rules that would also work.

pages: 483 words: 141,836

Red-Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street by Aaron Brown, Eric Kim

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Basel III, Bayesian statistics, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, financial innovation, illegal immigration, implied volatility, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market clearing, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, special drawing rights, statistical arbitrage, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Bayes, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

Good examples are To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design by Henry Petroski, Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology by James R. Chiles, Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies by Charles Perrow, The Limits of Safety by Scott Douglas Sagan, The Upside of Turbulence: Seizing Opportunity in an Uncertain World by Donald N. Sull, and The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. I have four recommendations if your interest is game theory. All are technical but readable. I went to Harvard with Drew Fudenberg, who wrote (with David Levine) A Long-Run Collaboration on Games with Long-Run Patient Players. A few years later, Colin Camerer was in the University of Chicago PhD program with me. He wrote Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction. Many years later I argued over some of the ideas in both our books with Colin at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize

Source: “That’s Where the Money Is,” The Economist, May 31, 2014, Surgery creates another opportunity for waste when complications occur, as complications lead to higher reimbursement in the American medical system. Complications include infections, problems with wound healing, blood clots, heart attacks, and pneumonia. Atul Gawande and colleagues published a report in 2013 on over thirty-four thousand surgeries, of which over 5 percent had at least one complication.41 The difference in cost was striking. For the uncomplicated operations, the average reimbursement was $16,936, compared with $39,017 for the complicated procedures.41 A reward incentive for complications is not a rational approach in medicine. And it’s not just profligate surgeries.

pages: 500 words: 145,005

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler

"Robert Solow", 3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, impulse control, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, late fees, law of one price, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market clearing, Mason jar, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, More Guns, Less Crime, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, New Journalism, nudge unit, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, presumed consent, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

If no one in your organization knows how to go about running a proper experiment, hire a local behavioral scientist. They are cheaper than lawyers or consultants. Speak up. Many organizational errors could have been easily prevented if someone had been willing to tell the boss that something was going wrong. One vivid example of this comes from the high-stakes world of commercial aviation, as chronicled by Atul Gawande, a champion of reducing Human error, in his recent book The Checklist Manifesto. Over 500 people lost their lives in a 1977 runway crash because the second officer of a KLM flight was too timid to question the authority of the captain, his “boss.” After mishearing instructions about another plane still on the same runway, the captain continued to speed the plane forward for takeoff. The second officer tried to warn him but the captain dismissed his warning, and the second officer remained quiet from then on—until the two planes collided.

pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

Even pilots with decades of flying experience always use Checklists to make sure everything is done right and in the proper sequence. As a result, plane crashes are extremely rare—statistically, it’s safer to fly commercially than to drive. Even simple processes can benefit from Systemization and the use of Checklists. In 2001, a study on the effects of Checklisting was conducted by Dr. Peter Pronovost, which was described in detail in Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto and in an article Gawande published in the New Yorker. 2 The study was conducted in a hospital in Detroit that had the highest rate of ten-day IV line infections (a costly and life-threatening condition) in the country. Pronovost’s objective was to determine whether or not using Checklists would reduce the rate of infections. Here’s the entirety of the intervention: whenever a doctor inserted an IV line, they were instructed to use the following Checklist.

pages: 476 words: 134,735

The Unpersuadables: Adventures With the Enemies of Science by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, full employment, George Santayana, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Simon Singh, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

, Washington Post, 20 January 2008. 122 the moment they discovered the job was related to Morgellons: Randy Wymore, presentation, fourth Annual Morgellons Conference in Austin, Texas, 2 April 2011. 128 I find a 2008 paper on Morgellons: Robert E. Accordino et al., ‘Morgellons Disease?’, Dermatologic Therapy, vol. 21, issue 1, pp. 8–12, January 2008. 129 In 1987 a team of German researchers found: Atul Gawande, ‘The Itch’, New Yorker, 30 June 2008. 135 ‘No parasites or mycobacteria were detected,’ it reports: M. L. Pearson, J. V. Selby, K. A. Katz, V. Cantrell, C. R. Braden et al., ‘Clinical, Epidemiologic, Histopathologic and Molecular Features of an Unexplained Dermopathy’, PLoS ONE 7(1) (2012): e29908. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029908. 135 Commenting on the work, Steven Novella: ‘Morgellons, Creating a New Disease’,, 6 February 2012. 9: ‘Top Dog wants his name in’ page 145 In his book Doctoring the Mind: Richard Bentall, Doctoring the Mind, Allen Lane, 2009, p. 131. 145 A typical example is a 2004 paper: P.

pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman,, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional

fta=y. 30 “Every new scene” Alexander Hamilton, “Report on Manufactures,” December 5, 1791, University of Chicago Press, The Founders’ Constitution, 31 He believed in using government Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (New York: Penguin Press, 2004). 32 “I hold the value of life” Abraham Lincoln, Speech to Germans in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 12, 1861, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 4 (Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1990), 203. 33 “The true function of the state” Theodore Roosevelt, “Social Evolution,” in American Ideals, and Other Essays, Social and Political, vol. 2 (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), 154. 34 “In political activity” Michael Oakeshott, “Political Education,” in Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays (London: Methuen, 1977), 127. 35 Milton wrote Paradise Lost Thomas Sowell, Marxism: Philosophy and Economics (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1985), 14. CHAPTER 21: THE OTHER EDUCATION 1 the muscles around the jaw Atul Gawande, “The Way We Age Now,” The New Yorker, April 30, 2007, 2 40 percent end up Gawande, “The Way We Age Now.” 3 While many neurons die Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz and Cindy Lustig, “Brain Aging: Reorganizing Discoveries About the Aging Mind,” Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15 (2005): 245–51, 4 air traffic controllers Louis Cozolino, The Healthy Aging Brain: Sustaining Attachment, Attaining Wisdom (New York: W.W.

pages: 467 words: 154,960

Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets by Michael W. Covel

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, backtesting, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, fiat currency, fixed income, game design, hindsight bias, housing crisis, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, survivorship bias, systematic trading, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, William of Occam, zero-sum game

. • Let the hype, crowd emotion, and “I must be right attitude” be someone else’s problem. 209 We know of “traders” whose public image “looks pristine,” but their personal lives, mental health, and balance are in such dire straights— they are not capable of any type of real success or achievement. They might get “the numbers,” but their problematic mental health keeps them back. Bottom line—they never get to where they want to go. Life becomes one big rationalization (or excuse) for them. • Winners take responsibility. Losers place blame. • You have to believe from the start that you can do it. It takes courage to do what the majority is not doing. • Who is John Galt? • Atul Gawande speaks directly to the importance of practice: “There have now been many studies of elite performers— concert violinists, chess grandmasters, professional ice-skaters, mathematicians, and so forth—and the biggest difference researchers find between them and lesser performers is the amount of deliberate practice they’ve accumulated. Indeed, the most important talent may be the talent for practice itself…the most important role that innate factors play may be in a person’s willingness to engage in sustained training.” • Online personality testing can be purchased at

pages: 593 words: 189,857

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Buckminster Fuller, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Doomsday Book, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, implied volatility, Kickstarter, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, Northern Rock, obamacare, paradox of thrift,, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, selection bias, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tobin tax, too big to fail, working poor

We got to see the effect of our decisions in real time, and I hope the policymakers who have to confront the next crisis can learn from our successes as well as our mistakes. Because there will be a next crisis, despite all we did to improve the resilience of the system. Perhaps my experience can help future policymakers prepare for it, react to it, and try to defuse it before it does too much damage. Y. V. REDDY, India’s central banker, gave me a book during the crisis called Complications: Notes from the Life of a Young Surgeon, by Atul Gawande. He told me it was the best book I would ever read about central banking, and the parallels with financial crisis management really are striking. It’s about making life-or-death decisions in a fog of uncertainty, dealing with the constant risk of catastrophic failure. It’s not a coincidence that after the crisis wound down and I started watching some TV again, I got into House M.D., the series about a misanthropic doctor who leads a team focusing on mysterious medical cases.

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Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Atul Gawande, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, kremlinology, market fundamentalism, McMansion, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart meter, statistical model, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

Colleagues at the New America Foundation contributed to the research and writing of this book in many ways, especially by challenging and refining my understanding of geopolitics, and by generously allowing me the time to travel and interview abroad. Thanks in particular to Simone Frank, Eric Schmidt, and Rachel White; the book would not have been possible without them. Thanks also to Liaquat and Meena Ahmed, Amjad Atallah, Peter Beinart, Peter Bergen, David Bradley, Steve Clemons, Jeannette Clonan, Reid Cramer, Michael Crow, Boykin Curry, Patrick Doherty, James Fallows, Sheri Fink, Brian Fishman, Frank Fukuyama, Joel Garreau, Atul Gawande, Bill Gerrity, Tom Glaisyer, Tim Golden, Eliza Griswold, Lisa Guernsey, Ted Halstead, Rita Hauser, Laurene Powell Jobs, Fred Kaplan, Zachary Karabell, Chip Kaye, Andrew Lebovich, Jeffrey Leonard, Flynt Leverett, Daniel Levy, Michael Lind, Maya MacGuineas, Lisa Margonelli, Andres Martinez, Kati Marton, Danielle Maxwell, MaryEllen McGuire, Walter Russell Meade, Sascha Meinrath, Lenny Mendonca, Evgeny Morozov, Bob Niehaus, Amanda Ripley, Nicholas Schmidle, Troy Schneider, Bernard Schwartz, Sherle Schwenninger, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Katherine Tiedemann, Laura Tyson, Robert Wright, Tim Wu, Dan Yergin, Fareed Zakaria, and Jamie Zimmerman, as well as the many other staff and fellows who saw to my continuing education.