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The bizarre thing about the anthropocene is that never has humanity been more powerful and never have individual humans felt so powerless. This is because so much that drives the circumstances of the anthropocene is the aggregation of apparently negligible acts, often amplified by technology, rather than decisive acts by autonomous decision-makers.
The modern joint stock firm is the outcome of innumerable decisions made by individual entrepreneurs, owners and managers. For these decision makers the choices among alternatives were limited and the outcomes uncertain, but almost always there were choices. Despite the variability of these individual decisions, taken cumulatively they produced clear patterns of institutional change
Islamist-jihadist terrorism-a plague that has spread to almost every corner of the world-creates painful dilemmas for the peoples and decision makers who confront it. Its rapid, shape-shifting advance has sometimes confounded efforts to comprehend its origins, motives, and aims. Its sophistication in exploiting liberal values poses challenges and difficulties for the Western world, and for liberal democratic states in general, in attaining effective and balanced counter-terrorism policies.
How you staff, particularly the chief of staff, the national security adviser, your White House counsel, how you set up a process in the system to surface information and generate options for a president, understanding that ultimately the president is going to be the final decision-maker. That’s something that has to be attended to right away.
I understand we have, you know, a very unique situation, a very volatile election, two very high-profile candidates. You want to be very careful about what you do. But, you know, my sense is always – this is with respect to any decision maker – and that is you have procedures in place, when you follow those procedures, you’re more likely to get the right outcome and you’re less likely to be second guessed simply because you have the procedures and you take away the argument that there are politics involved if you follow the procedures.
Given our inevitably incomplete knowledge about key structural aspects of our ever-changing economy and the sometimes asymmetric costs or benefits of particular outcomes, a central bank… need to consider not only the most likely future path for the economy but also the distribution of possible outcomes about that path. They then need to reach a judgment about the probabilities, costs, and benefits of the various possible outcomes under alternative choices for policy.
A hundred years ago-even 20 or 30 years ago-it was possible, if not always easy, to close major business by calling on and satisfying a key decision-maker. Today, every piece of business entails multiple decisions, and those decisions are virtually never made by the same person. Not only do you have to contend with multiple decisions, but the people who make those decisions may not even work in the same place.