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Future Babble

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: Scribe Publications
ISBN: 9781921753718
Size: 75.81 MB
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For fans of Blink, The Tipping Point, and Freakonomics, here is a brilliant, funny, and accessible exploration of our flawed quest for certainty. 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 world’s 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. Let’s face it: experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. And yet, every day, we ask them to predict everything from the weather to the likelihood of a terrorist attack. Future Babble is the first book to examine this phenomenon, demonstrating 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, bestselling author Dan Gardner shows how 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 behavioural economics to discover something quite reassuring: The future is always uncertain, but the end is not always near.

Future Babble

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0753522365
Size: 46.51 MB
Format: PDF
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'The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of millions of people will starve to death despite any crash programs embarked upon now.' So goes the famously stark - and completely inaccurate - introduction to renowned scientist Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book The Population Bomb. In his new book, Dan Gardner investigates this fascinating phenomenon of false predictions. Why are expects so bad at predicting the future? Indeed, why are most 'expert predictions' actually worse than random guesswork?The Fox and the Hedgehog, like Gardner's previous book Risk, looks at the psychology of our fears. How do people - experts and laypeople alike - make predictions? How likely are they to be accurate and what are the psychological traps that produce mistakes? And most importantly, why do people put so much faith in experts and the scary stories they tell? These are some of the fascinating questions that Gardner sets out to answer in his compelling new book.

Future Babble

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: Scribe Publications
ISBN: 1921640855
Size: 38.11 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 430
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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. Let's face it: experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. And yet every day we ask them to predict everything from the weather to the likelihood of a terrorist attack. Future Babble is the first book to examine this phenomenon, demonstrating 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, bestselling author Dan Gardner shows how 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 behavioural economics to discover something quite reassuring: The future is always uncertain, but the end is not always near.

The Hedgehog And The Fox

Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846633
Size: 23.79 MB
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"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Leo Tolstoy and the philosophy of history, the subject of the epilogue to War and Peace. Although there have been many interpretations of the adage, Berlin uses it to mark a fundamental distinction between human beings who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system. Applied to Tolstoy, the saying illuminates a paradox that helps explain his philosophy of history: Tolstoy was a fox, but believed in being a hedgehog. One of Berlin's most celebrated works, this extraordinary essay offers profound insights about Tolstoy, historical understanding, and human psychology. This new edition features a revised text that supplants all previous versions, English translations of the many passages in foreign languages, a new foreword in which Berlin biographer Michael Ignatieff explains the enduring appeal of Berlin's essay, and a new appendix that provides rich context, including excerpts from reviews and Berlin's letters, as well as a startling new interpretation of Archilochus's epigram.

Risk

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 1551992108
Size: 48.87 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Gardner explores a new way of thinking about the decisions we make. We are the safest and healthiest human beings who ever lived, and yet irrational fear is growing, with deadly consequences — such as the 1,595 Americans killed when they made the mistake of switching from planes to cars after September 11. In part, this irrationality is caused by those — politicians, activists, and the media — who promote fear for their own gain. Culture also matters. But a more fundamental cause is human psychology. Working with risk science pioneer Paul Slovic, author Dan Gardner sets out to explain in a compulsively readable fashion just what that statement above means as to how we make decisions and run our lives. We learn that the brain has not one but two systems to analyze risk. One is primitive, unconscious, and intuitive. The other is conscious and rational. The two systems often agree, but occasionally they come to very different conclusions. When that happens, we can find ourselves worrying about what the statistics tell us is a trivial threat — terrorism, child abduction, cancer caused by chemical pollution — or shrugging off serious risks like obesity and smoking. Gladwell told us about “the black box” of our brains; Gardner takes us inside, helping us to understand how to deconstruct the information we’re bombarded with and respond more logically and adaptively to our world. Risk is cutting-edge reading.

Future Babble

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: Plume
ISBN: 9780452297579
Size: 62.57 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Genuinely arresting . . . required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and anyone who listens to them." -Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works We are awash in predictions. In newspapers, blogs, and books; on radio and television. Every day experts tell us how the economy will perform next year, if housing sales will grow or shrink, and who will win the next election. Predictions are offered about the climate, food, technology, and the world our grandchildren will inhabit. And we can't get enough of it. Drawing on research in cognitive psychology, political science, and behavioral economics, award-winning journalist Dan Gardner explores our obsession with the future. He shows how famous pundits, "hedgehogs" who stick to one big idea no matter how circumstances change, become expert at explaining away predictions that are wrong while "foxes," who are more equivocal in their judgments, are simply more accurate.

Superforecasting

Author: Philip Tetlock
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448166594
Size: 61.93 MB
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE CMI MANAGEMENT FUTURES BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 'A manual for thinking clearly in an uncertain world. Read it.' Daniel Kahneman What if we could improve our ability to predict the future? Everything we do involves forecasts about how the future will unfold. Whether buying a new house or changing job, designing a new product or getting married, our decisions are governed by implicit predictions of how things are likely to turn out. The problem is, we're not very good at it. In a landmark, twenty-year study, Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed that the average expert was only slightly better at predicting the future than a layperson using random guesswork. Tetlock's latest project – an unprecedented, government-funded forecasting tournament involving over a million individual predictions – has since shown that there are, however, some people with real, demonstrable foresight. These are ordinary people, from former ballroom dancers to retired computer programmers, who have an extraordinary ability to predict the future with a degree of accuracy 60% greater than average. They are superforecasters. In Superforecasting, Tetlock and his co-author Dan Gardner offer a fascinating insight into what we can learn from this elite group. They show the methods used by these superforecasters which enable them to outperform even professional intelligence analysts with access to classified data. And they offer practical advice on how we can all use these methods for our own benefit – whether in business, in international affairs, or in everyday life. 'The techniques and habits of mind set out in this book are a gift to anyone who has to think about what the future might bring. In other words, to everyone.' Economist 'A terrific piece of work that deserves to be widely read . . . Highly recommended.' Independent 'The best thing I have read on predictions . . . Superforecasting is an indispensable guide to this indispensable activity.' The Times

Risk

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: Emblem Editions
ISBN: 0771032595
Size: 45.12 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 1020
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In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Gardner explores a new way of thinking about the decisions we make. We are the safest and healthiest human beings who ever lived, and yet irrational fear is growing, with deadly consequences — such as the 1,595 Americans killed when they made the mistake of switching from planes to cars after September 11. In part, this irrationality is caused by those — politicians, activists, and the media — who promote fear for their own gain. Culture also matters. But a more fundamental cause is human psychology. Working with risk science pioneer Paul Slovic, author Dan Gardner sets out to explain in a compulsively readable fashion just what that statement above means as to how we make decisions and run our lives. We learn that the brain has not one but two systems to analyze risk. One is primitive, unconscious, and intuitive. The other is conscious and rational. The two systems often agree, but occasionally they come to very different conclusions. When that happens, we can find ourselves worrying about what the statistics tell us is a trivial threat — terrorism, child abduction, cancer caused by chemical pollution — or shrugging off serious risks like obesity and smoking. Gladwell told us about “the black box” of our brains; Gardner takes us inside, helping us to understand how to deconstruct the information we’re bombarded with and respond more logically and adaptively to our world. Risk is cutting-edge reading. From the Hardcover edition.