Telling The Future

by Patrick Appel

Philip Tetlock' ponders the prediction makers. He classifies himself a "moderate skeptic." Interesting throughout:

A good deal of research indicates that some ways of thinking (“cognitive styles”) do translate into somewhat more correct forecasts. When we score the accuracy of thousands of predictions from hundreds of experts across dozens of countries over twenty years, we find the best forecasters tend to be modest about their forecasting skills, eclectic in their ideological and theoretical tastes, and self-critical in their analytical styles. Borrowing from philosopher Isaiah Berlin, I call them foxesexperts who know many things and are not finicky about where they get good ideas. Paraphrasing Deng Xiaoping, they do not care if the cat is white or black, only that it catches mice.