December 22, 2020 @ 4:27 pm - posted by Aleksey

Specifically, how we’re mostly really bad at it, with a few notable exceptions. He talks about his own experiences with predicting elections, baseball performance, and poker . And he also talks about the history of prediction in all sorts of other areas–the weather, hurricane tracks , earthquakes, computer chess, the stock market, the economy, gambling on sports, climate change, terrorist attacks, and more.

  • For instance, political scientist Virginia Eubanks argues that the tendency to monitor and police poor people has led governments to gather more data about low-income families.
  • It would probably also come with a litany of transcription errors, since it would be a copy of a copy of a copy, the mistakes having multiplied and mutated through each generation.
  • In the beginning I did not want the book to end; by 2/3 of the way through, I was more than ready.
  • When the technology fails, you have a “bad connection”, and you can literally hear the noise.
  • At first this work appeared on the political blog Daily Kos, but in March 2008 Silver established his own website,
  • Silver runs the numbers to show that the past few decades of data are still highly consistent with the hypothesis of man-made global warming.

The researchers didn’t realize how important neighborhood interactions were for spreading disease. When a problem is complex and not well understood, it’s tempting to simplify the situation. After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018 left 17 people dead, The White House promoted the idea of arming teachers as a potential solution for school shootings. However, because federal funding aimed at studying gun violence has been limited What is the economic calendar and how to start working by legislation and politics for decades, there isn’t much evidence that providing teachers with weapons or firearm training will lead to a decrease in school shootings. In fact, an analysis conducted by RAND Corporation showed that there isn’t enough research available on which gun policies among popularly promoted ones in American politics might lead to a decrease in gun violence. Economists don’t fully understand why the economy fluctuates.

Ebook Details

In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary-and dangerous-science. Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger-all by the time he was thirty. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of “A serious treatise about the craft of prediction-without academic mathematics-cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver’s coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism.” Admittedly, A lot of what Silver wrote went over my head , but I came away with a much better appreciation about deciphering signal and noise– it is hard for everyone, even the experts.

Martin Luther’sNinety-five Theseswere not that radical; similar sentiments had been debated many times over. It required heroic effort to prevent the volume of recorded knowledge from actuallydecreasing,since the books might decay faster than they could be reproduced. Various editions of the Bible survived, along with a small number of canonical texts, like from Plato and Aristotle.

Perhaps the most difficult challenge when working with data is not the data collection process. Collecting data is tedious and forex analytics needs to be done with meticulous attention to detail; however, it’s not necessarily imaginative, creative, or insightful.

The Signal and the Noise Review

It’s well-researched, mostly objective , but it rarely covers anything I didn’t already know. If you’ve read Michael Lewis’s The Big Short and Moneyball you can skip chapters 1 and 3 and if you’ve ever had a class that proves pundits are not any more accurate forecasters than the population at large you can skip chapter 2. In addition, Silver loses his way with the climate change chapter as subjectivity overcomes math and the piece covering his online poker career in lifeless, as I expect it would be for anyone who’s not a fan of the game. At any rate, I think the chapters on the financial collapse and global warming should be required reading for everyone, and the rest of it for those who are interested. Book about prediction by the author of the 538 political blog, which became particularly famous in the 2012 presidential election due to the author’s high confidence in an Obama victory due to polling evidence in marginals.

Books Related To The Signal And The Noise

Holding it in the bookstore (the what?), flipping through its 450+ pages, one (okay, me… maybe not you) pauses to wonder if such a book can be comfortably consumed in a reasonable amount of time. Take all that out, it’s like reading a whitepaper over a cup of coffee. Silver makes the mistake, unfortunately all too common among certain sorts of Bayesians, of identifying “frequentist” with “mistaken or unhelpful applications of classical frequentist null hypothesis tests”. That is, he identifies all of frequentist statistics with the worst examples of it.

The Signal and the Noise Review

If he had even kept on for five more pages he would have found that Hume was defending the very type of probabilistic arguments that Silver said Hume was ‘too daft’ to understand. I had read most of this book with a fair degree of equanimity – finding some faults, but also a lot of good information in it. Then I’m jarred out of complacency by a sudden shot from nowhere, in which he says that David Hume, one of the greatest philosophers of the 18th century, is simply too ‘daft to understand’ probabilistic arguments. Without any introduction to the subject, he claims Hume is stuck in some ‘skeptical shell’ that prevents him from understanding the simple, elegant solutions of Bayes.

Nate Silver

If Silver’s political predictions can be characterized as “computer-assisted reporting,” you might say he sees a future for human-assisted computing. As Silver notes, the tension between risk and uncertainty is especially present in the finance industry because it involves a vast amount of data and an unlimited budget for computing power to churn through it. The core of Silver’s approach is what’s known as probabilistic thinking. Rather than predicting an outcome outright, this strategy crunches through the odds of many possible outcomes. As more information accrues, the forecaster updates those predictions accordingly, taking special care to weigh the estimates before more new information arrives.

At the heart of both successful clinical diagnosis and medical research is the ability to distinguish the useful from the extraneous-the signal from the noise. Medicine has long labored with the difficulties this distinction demands and has continuously searched for better tools to optimize this task. I acknowledge the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation as the traditional custodians of our region and pay my respects to Cammeraygal elders past and present. He also talks about the importance of understanding how good your prediction is; giving the example of a town where the predicted maximum flood was 49 feet; so they built the retaining wall to 50 feet. So the chances were around 30% that the retaining wall wouldn’t be good enough. Israel seems to have found a successful way of negating the upper end of Clauset’s curve by focusing almost all of its efforts on preventing large-scale attacks, while treating smalls-scale attacks as something almost akin to mere crime. The result has been that, since 1979, no attacks have claimed more than 200 people at once.

The Signal and the Noise Review

I don’t bet on sports teams, and I’m even skeptical about the weather forecast. With the polls and the media thinking they had the most recent election forecasted, I think people are warier than ever. That may be why there has been a renewed interest in this book. The book focuses on predictions in a wide variety of topics; economics, the stock market, politics, baseball, basketball, weather, climate, earthquakes, chess, epidemics, poker, and terrorism! Each topic is covered lucidly, in sufficient detail, so that the reader gets a good grasp of the problems and issues for predictions. It may be true that if a weather forecaster is too confident in their predictions, it could hurt the credibility of the forecast. This is because confidence makes people more likely to take action on what they hear from those confident speakers.

The Signal And The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail

Weather forecasts issued by the National Weather Service are unbiased in a probabilistic sense. But weather forecasts by the TV weatherman are very strongly biased–the weatherman over-predicts precipitation by a significant amount. The book is filled to the brim with diagrams and charts that help get the points across. The first part is an examination of all the ways that predictions go wrong. The second part is about how applying Bayes Theorem can make predictions go right. But what Silver doesn’t analyze, here or anywhere else in the book, is how the aspect of risk should be accounted for in making predictions, or in acting on the predictions that we do make. I suppose this may be a bit off the track of what he’s addressing in the book.

Third, perhaps most importantly of all, I contextualize authors’ points with points from other books that either serve to strengthen, or weaken, the arguments made. I also point out how specific examples tie in to specific mental models, which you are encouraged to read, thereby enriching your understanding and accelerating your learning. Combining two and three, I recommend that you read these notes while the book’s still fresh in your mind – after a few days, perhaps.

The Signal and the Noise Review

Hypertext links to posts which transfer readers to our website are also welcome. However, the authors retain all other rights to the posts including the rights to republish elsewhere and to charge for access. The authors also prohibit other uses including copying or republishing entire or substantial portions of posts without the author’s permission, but do allow quoting small sections as allowed by fair use law for purposes of commentary and criticism. I think one of the main points he was trying to make is that there is healthy debate among climate scientists about the strengths and weaknesses of the climate models and their specific predictions. He is trying to communicate to the layman that climate scientists are not a bunch of sheep just reinforcing their group beliefs.

Predicting the future performance of baseball players with well-documented pasts is more conducive to predictive accuracy than trying to understand previously anonymous fanatics. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox” The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future. The first thing to note about The Signal and the Noise is that it is modest – not lacking in confidence or pointlessly self-effacing, but calm and honest about the limits to what the author or anyone else can know about what is going to happen next.

Hurricanes, Weather And Climate Change

All that information in all those books ought to have helped us to plan our lives and profitably predict the world’s course. The most enthusiastic early customers of the printing press were those who used it to evangelize.

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