Dan Gardner on Predictions

9 08 2011

I mentioned Dan Gardner’s book Future Babble, which exposes the prediction industry for being full of nonsense. I did so in a recent blog post on the S&P US debt rating downgrade.

Gardner was recently a participant in an online roundtable on expert predictions. Check out his piece, which was co-authored by Phillip Tetlock, and the response essays.

In my view, this is the key sentence of Gardner’s piece.

Despite massive investments of money, effort, and ingenuity, our ability to predict human affairs is impressive only in its mediocrity. With metronomic regularity, what is expected does not come to pass, while what isn’t, does.