Physicist, Startup Founder, Blogger, Dad

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Perils of Prediction

Highly recommended podcast: Tim Harford (FT) at the LSE. Among the topics covered are Keynes' and Irving Fisher's performance as investors, and Philip Tetlock's IARPA-sponsored Good Judgement Project, meant to evaluate expert prediction of complex events. Project researchers (psychologists) find that "actively open-minded thinkers" (those who are willing to learn from those that disagree with them) perform best. Unfortunately there are no real "super-predictors" -- just some who are better than others, and have better calibration (accurate confidence estimates).


Hamish Johnston said...

I'm a big fan of Tim Harford's statistics show on BBC Radio 4. You can listen to it here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd

kalimancer said...

And Tim Hartford - while speaking about the merits of encouraging minority opinion - while demonstrating in experiment the merits of being willing to engage with dissent - while gushing profusely about both the genius of both Fisher and Keynes - then offers his only point of open condemnation for those whose intellects he admires: for their engaging in any kind of entertainment of eugenics.

No argument is necessary. The audience smugly laughs. And so, Tim's talk continues, to elaborate on examples of cognitive dissonance in the past.

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