checkout local library thru Kindle.
We need to stop, and admit it: we have a prediction problem. We love to predict things—and we aren’t very good at it.
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Note: 1297 highlights as of 20150625. It's not something I would quote.
...suppose instead that there is some common factor that ties the fate of these homeowners together. For instance: there is a massive housing bubble that has caused home prices to rise by 80 percent without any tangible improvement in the fundamentals. Now you’ve got trouble: if one borrower defaults, the rest might succumb to the same problems.
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Note: the common factor is a global recession or depression
passage attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
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Note: fox clan. 1285 highlights as of 2015.06.30
Foxes, Tetlock found, are considerably better at forecasting than hedgehogs.
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“They look at this probabilistic information and they’ve got to translate that into a decision. A go, no-go. A yes-or-no decision.
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Note: But in an emergency, you need an alpha leader to make go, no-go decision for the group. It's a trade off. Leaders are usually hedgehog and make poor predictions but in a crisis they don't get confused analyzing. They make executive decisions. GO LEFT!
What happens in systems with noisy data and underdeveloped theory—like earthquake prediction and parts of economics and political science—is a two-step process. First, people start to mistake the noise for a signal. Second, this noise pollutes journals, blogs, and news accounts with false alarms, undermining good science and setting back our ability to understand how the system really works.
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I give you three locks to practice on—a red one, a black one, and a blue one.
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Note: This is an example of Overfittng that I should remember. I wrote a poem about it.
To borrow the title of another book, they play into our tendency to be fooled by randomness.
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Note: I've read it. Is it on my stream?
the theory suggests that very simple things can behave in strange and mysterious ways when they interact with one another.
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Note: I'm fairly simple and so is JoJoBrand3! How we three simpleton interact might be very complex. Theory of complexity with Per Bak.
Bak’s favorite example was that of a sandpile on a beach.
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The more fundamental problem is that we have a demand for experts in our society but we don’t actually have that much of a demand for accurate forecasts.”
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Note: Robin Hansen at George Mason Univ.
crucial to develop a better understanding of ourselves, and the way we distort and interpret the signals we receive, if we want to make better predictions.
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Scottish philosopher David Hume, who argued that since we could not be certain that the sun would rise again, a prediction that it would was inherently no more rational than one that it wouldn’t.26 The Bayesian viewpoint, instead, regards rationality as a probabilistic matter.
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Healthy skepticism needs to proceed from this basis. It needs to weigh the strength of new evidence against the overall strength of the theory, rather than rummaging through fact and theory alike for argumentative and ideological convenience,
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Armstrong and Green critique of model complexity thus looks pretty good here. But the success of the more basic forecasting methods suggests that Armstrong’s critique may have won the battle but not the war.
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since the simple methods correctly predicted a temperature increase in line with the rise in CO2, they are also evidence in favor of the greenhouse-effect hypothesis.
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we’re wasting our time debating a proposition that is very much accepted within the scientific community, when we could be having a good-faith discussion about the uncertainties that do exist.”Read more at location 6667
Note: Michael Mann at Penn State Univ.
But at least this flawed type of thinking would have involved some thinking. If we had gone through the thought process, perhaps we could have recognized how loose our assumptions were.
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When a possibility is unfamiliar to us, we do not even think about it. Instead we develop a sort of mind-blindness to it. In medicine this is called anosognosia:
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Aaron Clauset, a professor at the University of Colorado with a background in physics and computer science, has published papers on the mathematics of everything from the evolution of whales42 to the network dynamics of multiplayer role-playing games.
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Clauset’s insight, however, is actually quite simple—or at least it seems that way with the benefit of hindsight. What his work found is that the mathematics of terrorism resemble those of another domain discussed in this book: earthquakes.
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Clauset’s method gives us reason to believe that attacks that might kill tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people are a possibility to contemplate as well. The mechanism for such an attack is unpleasant but easy enough to identify. It would most likely involve weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.
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world in which there are dangerous terrorist groups, vulnerable nuclear materials at many places around the world, and a lack of focus on the problem from U.S. policy makers.
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Note: Obama team again has correct policy, esp with recent diplomacy with Iran~20150714
Allison’s concern stems primarily from two nuclear states: Russia and Pakistan.
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We must always accept a certain amount of risk from terrorism when we want to live in a free society, whether or not we want to admit it.
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In many walks of life, expressions of uncertainty are mistaken for admissions of weakness.
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