Joe Edelman on Designing Meaningful Things

youtube: https://youtu.be/Sjennrn5LNA

episode page: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/11585772

Why did I do this show?

I am looking for a way that we might be able to design a new insurance system. By “insurance system” I mean a way for us to make decisions about what kinds of risks we want to face and what we want to ignore. The amount of information we need to process to make these decisions is too much for an individual to handle so we make them socially. Social decision making is another way of saying “politics” and “regulation”. Does Joe open the door to a better way of regulation?

What did I learn?

In preparing for this and in doing this interview I learned how incredibly powerful it is to have your values identified and named and discussed. There really is something to this!

What was my favorite part?

Hearing about what the most common values are in people. I had thought that there was a lot of similarity and I think that’s right. “contributing” “showing up”. Interesting!

Joe Petrelli on Trouble with Insurance in Florida

episode link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/11547382

youtube: https://youtu.be/Cd9JpHsjDr8

Why did I do this show?

Insurance companies operate based on trust. Probably the single most important gatekeepers of trust of insurance companies are rating agencies. Some will find that surprising! Rating agencies are a dominant force in insurance especially in supremely dysfunctional markets like homeowners insurance in Florida where Joe’s company, Demotech, is the dominant rating agency. Florida is a mess and then that mess got hit with the largest hurricane in its long history of hurricanes!

What did I learn?

That litigation reform is very, very hard!

What was my favorite part?

I learn again and again, entrepreneurs are pretty similar everywhere, even those in the weird business of rating agencies!

Clips:

Brian Nosek on The Gap Between Values and Practice

podcast link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/11461396

youtube link: https://youtu.be/NkKuF–5V60

Why did I do this show?

Brian has been at the center of two massive social shifts in the last 20 years, first the investigation of implicit bias and second the replication crisis in social sciences.

What did I learn?

Incredibly, I had underestimated Brian Nosek! His real contribution was to build technology that massively reduced the cost of conducting empirical studies, paving the way to increased power for studies and massively easier efforts at replication.

What was my favorite part?

“People aren’t happy to get an email from me” he says. Mostly if you are a researcher and get a cold email from Brian it means he’s about to put your research to the replication test. Better be real!

Clips

Why should insurance people watch this episode?

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/david-wright-73661214_brian-nosek-has-been-at-the-forefront-of-activity-6985586967119863808-Z1F7

Jen Brady Gives us Hope

episode page: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/11087306

youtube: https://youtu.be/aWS7tSIe68Q

Why did I do this show?

Jen Brady (https://oasisnj.org/) is a tremendously successful executive in an industry (non-profit) that I know virtually nothing about but which has a very many links to my insurance.

What did I learn?

A very many things. One that nearly everyone who enters these programs drops out. Working with that fact in a graceful way to bring people in and out is a cornerstone of succeeding at the very difficult work Oasis does.

What was my favorite part?

I was delighted to hear about all the experiments they’r running at Oasis and generally how similar the problems of delivering organizational impact (Learn as a team! Don’t create bureaucracy! Move fast! Focus on the customer!) are no matter what kind of organization you run.

Chris Blattman on Why We Fight

episode page: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/10773529

youtube link: https://youtu.be/H-bcj1LJy80

Why did I do this show?

There are a lot of social problems in the world and Chris combines a track record of discovering ways to meaningfully and persistently change very poor societies on some of the most important dimensions. This is very important stuff!

What did I learn?

One of the great things about talking to Chris is a discrete separation of analyzing morality from violence. Sometimes we must sacrifice morals to eliminate violence. Historically, our societies have often had to choose between peace or justice.

What was my favorite part?

In our discussion for how to persistently encode social transformation Chris mentioned the congressional testimony of Fred (Mr.) Rogers. Holy cow.

Clips:

Tyler Cowen on *Talent*

episode page: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/10628363

youtube link: https://youtu.be/mr2jrM0fkt0

Why did I do this show?

Tyler is an intellectual hero of mine. He’s now a three-time guest! He’s pretty much guaranteed to teach you something every day.

What was my favorite part?

I went 0 for 2 on Straussian readings. Tyler isn’t disagreeing with me, he just thinks I’m being obvious. I shall work harder for the next one!

What did I learn?

The the most important academic result, the one that drives a lot of Tyler’s own work, is that the market test is the most important test of truth. It’s kind of the end of history for academics! At least for those that ignore markets of various kinds.

Clips


Howard Kunreuther on Behavioral Economics of Risk

episode page: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/10485147

youtube link: https://youtu.be/wxSsddUAIFU

Why did I do this show?

Howard is the foremost expert on behavioral economics of insurance. I mean… I still can’t get over how it took me 20 years in this business to learn his work exists. I’m embarrassed this wasn’t my first episode!

What did I learn?

Howard has a lot of ideas for ‘hacking’ our lives to overcome cognitive biases and bring about a better world.

What was my favorite part?

Our discussion of hope. Howard’s bet is that we have genuinely learned things about how humans work that can translate into action and ways to improve the world. Very hard!

GA Bartick on How to Sell

Episode link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/9658359

youtube link: https://youtu.be/TK0ZNnK-od0

Why did I do this show? Sales is underrated! I love thinking deeply about sales and I have learned quite a lot studying GA’s work.

What did I learn? My favorite lesson was in thinking about how sales has changed over time (or not!).

What was my favorite part? I loved GA’s story about how he named his book. What is the silver bullet for sales?

Doug Hubbard on How To Measure Anything

Episode Link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/episodes/8425601

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/3S2KtvqyBKU

Why did I do this show: Doug’s work is an astounding depth of highly practicable advice on how to make decisions. Quantifying the value of information (you can do that!), overcoming cognitive bias (you can do that!), using actuarial techniques to apply to any decision making process (you can do that!), and on and on. Read Doug Hubbard!

What did I learn: Ok, here’s the real thing about Doug’s work: nobody has heard of Doug Hubbard. The implications of that are mind boggling to me. We have in our hands the way to really improve the world if we all respected and admired Doug the way I do. Yet we don’t! Figuring out why is becoming an obsession of mine.

What was my favorite part: Doug dropped a great phrase on me, analysis placebos. Love it

Bryan Caplan on the Myth of the Rational Voter

Episode Link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/126848/8862288

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/x6hT6d2qP30

Why did I do this show: I have been studying politics of all things to better understand how we make decisions under uncertainty. Anthropologists that study risk make the link between decision making under uncertainty and the political decision making process. Bryan is such a fantastic person to study because he is an incredibly thorough researcher. You get an integration of almost all thinking in a field with you read one of his books and I wanted to understand politics.

What did I learn: I learned about Bryan’s concept of irrationality and how that captures the real political decision making process that underpins all decisions about uncertainty. There is much to continue learning here!

What was my favorite part: I think my favorite part was linking the organizational political process to Bryan’s work which isn’t something he’d thought about.