djcb's Reviews > Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - and Why We Believe Them Anyway

Future Babble by Dan Gardner
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really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

This book can be considered as a long introduction to Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction; the latter book is about trying to find people / techniques to make the best possible predictions of future socio-econo-political events, while this book is mostly a cautionary tale about people being really bad at predicting, and the book has many examples of people being very confident yet spectacularly wrong.

Gardner discusses many of the classic predictions (that typically didn't pan out), and how many of the pundits are incentivized to be extremely (over)confident in their predictions, often following one single underlying principle (ie., the "hedgehog strategy") rather than looking at things from different sides, taking into account probabilities etc.; the latter are rarely seen on tv-shows, even while having a much better track record; at same time, the "hedgehogs" seldomly are confronted with their earlier predictions.

Also, Gardner discusses the various cognitive biases that cause people to be such bad predictors. Thankfully, there is still hope - but for that we need the Forecasting book (that I read a few monts back).

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Reading Progress

March 30, 2016 – Started Reading
March 30, 2016 – Shelved
April 2, 2016 – Shelved as: non-fiction
April 2, 2016 – Finished Reading

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