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Can We Predict the Future?

Most so-called pundits are terrible at it (but we have some GOOD ones).

But some people know how to do it right --(NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to ALL these wonderful shows).

In he March 22nd edition of the New York Times, David Brooks writes: "In the fall of 2011, (Philip E. Tetlock) asked (a group of people) a series of short-term questions about foreign affairs, such as whether certain countries will leave the euro, whether North Korea will re-enter arms talks, or whether Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev would switch jobs.

"Five teams entered the tournament, from places like M.I.T., Michigan and Maryland," but Tetlock and his wife, the decision scientist Barbara Mellers, "bested the competition and surpassed the benchmarks by 60%."

Tetlock's secret? Brooks writes: "They were taught to alternate between taking the inside view and the outside view. Suppose you’re asked to predict whether the government of Egypt will fall. You can try to learn everything you can about Egypt. That's the inside view. Or you can ask about the category of all Middle Eastern authoritarian governments, what percentage fall in a given year? That outside view is essential."

One person who had a knack for predicting the future was the Master of the Key, who burst into Whitley Strieber's Toronto hotel room in1998 and told him all about climate change, which led to his bestselling book "Superstorm."



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