Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - And Why We Believe Them Anyway by Dan Gardener
Might be good...might not. You often get books like this, and they end up not having much real content. I might be interested to find out more though....just not very sure.
http://reviews.wikinut.com/A-Review-...0%9D/4ctev05m/In 2008, as the price of oil surged above $140 a barrel, experts said it would soon hit $200; a few months later it plunged to $30. In 1967, they said the USSR would have one of the fastest-growing economies in the year 2000; in 2000, the USSR did not exist. In 1911, it was pronounced that there would be no more wars in Europe; we all know how that turned out. Face it, experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. And yet every day we ask them to predict the future - everything from the weather to the likelihood of a catastrophic terrorist attack. Future Babble is the first book to examine this phenomenon, showing why our brains yearn for certainty about the future, why we are attracted to those who predict it confidently, and why it's so easy for us to ignore the trail of outrageously wrong forecasts.
In this fast-paced, example-packed, sometimes darkly hilarious book, journalist Dan Gardner shows how seminal research by UC Berkeley professor Philip Tetlock proved that pundits who are more famous are less accurate - and the average expert is no more accurate than a flipped coin. Gardner also draws on current research in cognitive psychology, political science, and behavioral economics to discover something quite reassuring: The future is always uncertain, but the end is not always near
Gardner turns to the work of Philip Tetlock a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. Over a 20-year period, Tetloch collected and evaluated 82,361 predictions by 284 experts. What he found was that pundits, by and large, were no more accurate at prediction than if they had just guessed. Some pundits were better than others, and he notes that the more popular a pundit was, the more likely he was to be wrong. Tetlock also found that the more confident a pundit was in their prediction, the more likely the prediction would turn out to be wrong.While in general predictions are usually no better than chance guesses, Tetlock’s research revealed that some people are better than others. Tetlock identified two types of predictors: Foxes and Hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs look for a single grand design and once they have found it, they look no further. They feel that they can predict with confidence, and they do.
Foxes, on the other hand, are sceptical of grand theories. They continually incorporate new information into their understanding, and as a result, are less confident about their predictions.
Tetlock found that Foxes, although much less confident of their predictions, were more likely to be correct in their predictions.