Predictions and Experts: Maybe Ignore Them or Just Punish Them?

May 13, 2019

I read “The Peculiar Blindness of Experts” with this subtitle:

Credentialed authorities are comically bad at predicting the future. But reliable forecasting is possible.

The write up reminded me of an anthologized essay in freshman English 101. I suggest you take a look at the original. There is a subtext chugging along in this lengthy write up. To whet your appetite, consider this passage which I circled in True Blue marker:

Unfortunately, the world’s most prominent specialists are rarely held accountable for their predictions, so we continue to rely on them even when their track records make clear that we should not.

Is the message “Get it wrong and get punished.” Outputs from Recorded Future or horse race touts could possibly be altered.

There is a bit of hope for those who can learn:

The best forecasters, by contrast, view their own ideas as hypotheses in need of testing. If they make a bet and lose, they embrace the logic of a loss just as they would the reinforcement of a win. This is called, in a word, learning.

Is smart software like a hedgehog or a fox?

I won’t predict your response.

Stephen E Arnold, May 13, 2019


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