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Meghan McDonough

Meghan McDonough

Video journalist at Quartz
  • Risk models are by no means limited to the world of finance. We all rely on them, sometimes too much. In researching this story, I came across a clear illustration of the problem: You buy a highly sensitive microphone to optimize your concert experience. But then you begin hearing sounds from the audience

    Risk models are by no means limited to the world of finance. We all rely on them, sometimes too much. In researching this story, I came across a clear illustration of the problem: You buy a highly sensitive microphone to optimize your concert experience. But then you begin hearing sounds from the audience over the symphony. You mistake noise for signal, and that's where your optimized experience derails. We're all guilty of "overfitting," which is basically using new information, or "noise," to bolster our risk models, when we should really be using it to pivot. Heuristics– which allow us to toss the model and simply go with our gut– are a good solution. But you have to know what to look for. And when it comes to uncertainty, there's no substitute for experience. And we can't get that experience without taking risks...

  • Putting together this story has focused my day-to-day thinking around risk in a very tangible way. Now while navigating New York, I’ll consciously decide to hedge– and walk, instead of taking the train or driving. I’ll think about insurance whenever I have to present an idea to others. These concepts

    Putting together this story has focused my day-to-day thinking around risk in a very tangible way. Now while navigating New York, I’ll consciously decide to hedge– and walk, instead of taking the train or driving. I’ll think about insurance whenever I have to present an idea to others. These concepts apply to everything we do, because all of it involves risk. As Quartz contributor Allison Schrager puts it in our video, “Risk isn't all bad. It's mostly good. And it is something that you can manage.”

  • The word "risk" is rooted in danger. But in practice, it's mostly a good thing. That's the underlying premise of our new show, RISK. This first episode took us to the world's first Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin and the flagship site of a now defunct criminal consumer electronics empire in New York

    The word "risk" is rooted in danger. But in practice, it's mostly a good thing. That's the underlying premise of our new show, RISK. This first episode took us to the world's first Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin and the flagship site of a now defunct criminal consumer electronics empire in New York. In my research, I was most surprised to learn that the smallest shift in the way we present information can have life-or-death consequences– and that it's not common knowledge. I'm interested to hear any questions this video prompted, as well as what you'd like to see more of in all of our future shows.