May 23rd 2019

In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Carl Bialik and Jerry Muller discuss our society’s increasing obsession with quantifying performance in all walks of life: education, medicine, business and finance, government, the police and military, and philanthropy and foreign aid. Have we moved from measuring performance to fixating on measurement itself?

Carl Bialik is an American journalist, currently Data Science Editor of Yelp, working on Yelpblog. Formerly, he was the creator and writer of the weekly Numbers Guy column on the Wall Street Journal’s website, which addressed the use and (particularly) misuse of numbers and statistics in the news and advocacy. He is also a co-founder of the growing online-only Gelf Magazine and has written for

Jerry Z. Muller, a professor of history at Catholic University of America, is author of seven books, including most recently The Tyranny of Metrics. His research crosses borders among history, social science, philosophy, and public policy on a variety of historical and contemporary subjects, including capitalism; nationalism; conservatism; the history of social, political, economic, and religious thought; and modern German and Jewish history.

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