Self Publishing Case Study: Shelby Wilde is an editorial client of mine from earlier this year.
Posted on February 4, by Scott Alexander Philip Tetlock, author of Superforecastinggot famous by studying prediction. Although this was generally true, he was able to distinguish a small subset of people who were able to do a little better than chance.
Tetlock found that the hedgehogs did worse than the chimp and the foxes did a little better.
Cut to the late s. The US intelligence community has just been seriously embarrassed by their disastrous declaration that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
They set up an Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency to try crazy things and see if any of them worked. IARPA approached a bunch of scientists, handed them a list of important world events that might or might not happen, and told them to create some teams and systems for themselves and compete against each other to see who could predict them the best.
Tetlock was one of these scientists, and his entry into the competition was called the Good Judgment Project. The plan was simple: This worked pretty well. This suggests a discontinuity, a natural division into two groups. Two percent of forecasters were in the top two percent.
Anyway, the Good Judgment Project then put these superforecasters on teams with other superforecasters, averaged out their decisions, slightly increased the final confidence levels to represent the fact that it was 60 separate people, all of whom were that confidentand presented that to IARPA as their final answer.
Having established that this is all pretty neat, Tetlock turns to figuring out how superforecasters are so successful.
First of all, is it just luck? Superforecasters one year tended to remain superforecasters the next. The year-to-year correlation in who was most accurate was 0. This is definitely a real thing. Are superforecasters just really smart?
The superforecasters whom Tetlock profiles in his book include a Harvard physics PhD who speaks 6 languages, an assistant math professor at Cornell, a retired IBM programmer data wonk, et cetera.
But the average superforecaster is only at the 80th percentile for IQ — just under And there are a lot of people who are very smart but not very good at predicting. Are superforecasters just really well-informed about the world? The correlation between well-informedness and accuracy was about the same as the correlation between IQ and accuracy.If you print or download from this site, please consider making at least a $ donation through PayPal.
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