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Future Babble

Author: Dan Gardner
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 0771035217
Size: 25.14 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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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; we all know how that turned out. Face it, experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. And yet every day we ask them to predict the future — everything from the weather to the likelihood of a catastrophic terrorist attack. Future Babble is the first book to examine this phenomenon, showing 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, journalist Dan Gardner shows how seminal research by UC Berkeley professor Philip Tetlock proved that 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 behavioral economics to discover something quite reassuring: The future is always uncertain, but the end is not always near. From the Hardcover edition.

Investing The Last Liberal Art

Author: Robert G. Hagstrom
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153101X
Size: 32.36 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Robert G. Hagstrom is one of the best-known authors of investment books for general audiences. Turning his extensive experience as a portfolio manager at Legg Mason Capital Management into valuable guidance for professionals and nonprofessionals alike, he is the author of six successful books on investment, including The Warren Buffett Way, a New York Times best-seller that has sold more than a million copies. In this updated second edition of Investing: The Last Liberal Art, Hagstrom explores basic and fundamental investing concepts in a range of fields outside of economics, including physics, biology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and literature. He discusses, for instance, how the theory of evolution disrupts the notion of the efficient market and how reading strategies for literature can be gainfully applied to investing research. Building on Charlie Munger's famous "latticework of mental models" concept, Hagstrom argues that it is impossible to make good investment decisions based solely on a strong knowledge of finance theory alone. He reinforces his concepts with additional data and a new chapter on mathematics, and updates his text throughout to reflect the developments of the past decade, particularly the seismic economic upheaval of 2008. He has also added a hundred new titles to the invaluable reading list concluding the book. Praise for the first edition: "I read this book in one sitting: I could not put it down."—Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk "Elegant and irresistible. Robert G. Hagstrom makes the complex clear as he confidently crisscrosses through the disciplines of finance, biology, physics, and literature. The only way to understand investing better, [Investing] shows, is to understand the world better. Ideas spark off the page at every turn. This is simply a gem of a book."—James Surowiecki, New Yorker "Investing is a brisk and engaging read, and it is a pleasure to be in the presence of Hagstrom's agile mind."—International Herald Tribune

Superforecasting

Author: Philip Tetlock
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448166594
Size: 52.38 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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