When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure

Date created: 2022-05-19

This is Goodhart’s law, named after British economist Charles Goodhart.

It’s very often in action when we evaluate academics, and resort to bean counting number of 1st author articles or h-index. But it’s hard to Measure what is meaningful, not what is easy because the meaningful measures are not readily available. And maybe we shouldn’t have targets for “number of new ideas”, “number of meaningful studies”?

I have resorted to process measures like the number of Pomodoro technique sessions I get in, because then I can fill it with some more vague activity like “Writing” which obviously has many steps.


  • Link to website, bibtex from Zotero or note with book/blog/etc summary