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 30. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters.
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. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. 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.
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. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good - or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary - and dangerous - science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential listen.
©2012 Nate Silver (P)2012 Penguin Audio
"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." (Rachel Maddow, author of Drift)
too much water. overall this book lacks organization. there would be a single point made and then that point would be supported by an example in baseball, weather or market forecasting for the next 2 hours. as much as I love stories there's way more trivia in this book than it reasonably should allow. points are reiterated *a lot*. everything that the book says could be said and shown in a 20 pages essay.
It is a great book and the data is well laid out.
I would recommend it to anyone looking for some clarity on world events.
The issue is the equations, charts and graphs described in the book. I don't know how you can fix that for an audio book
I love the concept and the introduction of Bayes Theorem
He did a good job
I thought the examples were a little long and over discussed
I plan to return the audiobook and buy a hard copy.
Psychology and Biology nerd. Chemistry enthusiast. Fan of good research-based science books, comedies and crime.
Nate gives a great view of how big data can and should work (or not). I particularly liked that while some case studies had clear central messages, he avoided reductionism and reapplied lessons from other chapters.
This is a must read for any one interested in being correct about the world we live in.
The way the book ties together so many different threads with a single consistent hypothesis is praiseworthy
I now understand part of the reason I kept seeing Bayes' Theorem referenced everywhere when this book was released.
I like how the focus is on confronting priors. not eliminating them, but seeing the effect they have on your view. I confess I will be doing some basic calculations in the coming days.
this does make the second book read by Chamberland that basically slams you with data. much more approachable than Gig Calories, Bad Calories.
Not for everyone and some of the chapters were a bit long, but still a great book dealing our ability to see into the future.
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