Dominic Cummings has ordered government advisers to read a 350-page book on Superforecasting ahead of a weekend boot camp where they will be tested on their ability to predict the future.
The PM’s special adviser told those ordered to end the away-day that they must read Philip Tetlock’s Superforecasting book.
They have also been ordered to read High Output Management by Andrew Grove, who claims ‘only the paranoid survive’.
Dominic Cummings has ordered government advisers to attend a special bootcamp once they have read two books on predicting the future
The government has faced criticism over the decision to install political appointee David Frost, Boris Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator, as his National Security Adviser
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction is a book by Canadian-American political science writer, Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner – a journalist and New York Times best-selling author.
The book, released in 2015, details findings from the Good Judgement Project, which was co-created by Tetlock.
The study employed several thousand ordinary people as volunteer world event forecasters, who were pitted against each other in contests to create the most accurate forecast.
The results showed the top forecasters in GJP are ‘reportedly 30% better than intelligence officers with access to actual classified information.’
The book Superforecasting, analyses these results.
American business-focused newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, called the book ‘the most important book on decision making’ since the 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate.
Cummings believes reading both books will enable people to make better decisions.
According to The Times, Cummings dismissed suggestions that the PM wanted a Brexiteer installed as cabinet secretary as ‘totally and utterly stupid’ and ‘a dumb idea’.
Cummings claimed he was uninterested in how people voted in 2016 and only wanted those who could deliver results.
During the away day, which is expected to take place on a Saturday, each adviser will be expected to deliver a list of issues that were preventing progress on Government policies in their own department and across Whitehall.
Number 10 has faced criticism over the decision to replace National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwell, with a political appointee, David Frost, who is currently Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator.
Former PM Thersea May questioned Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in the Commons yesterday.
Mr Johnson has been criticised for the appointment as, unlike previous holders of the post, Mr Frost is a political adviser rather than a career civil servant – who also lacks security experience.
Sir Mark is also stepping down as Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service, amid reports of clashes with Mr Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings.
Speaking during an urgent question in the Commons, Conservative MP Mrs May said: ‘I served on the National Security Council for nine years – six years as home secretary and three as prime minister.
‘During that time, I listened to the expert independent advice from national security advisers.
‘On Saturday (Mr Gove) said: ‘We must be able to promote those with proven expertise.’
Former Prime Minister Theresa May, pictured, attacked the government’s decision to replace Sir Mark Sedwell with a political appointee
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove yesterday tried to defend the attack by Theresa May
‘Why then is the new national security adviser a political appointee with no proven expertise in national security?’
Mr Gove responded: ‘We have had previous national security advisers, all of them excellent, not all of them necessarily people who were steeped in the security world, some of whom were distinguished diplomats in their own right.
‘David Frost is a distinguished diplomat in his own right, and it is entirely appropriate that the prime minister of the day should choose an adviser appropriate to the needs of the hour.’