Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, and You Can Do Better

Dan Gardner, Dutton, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-95205-3
Gardner, a columnist and senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen (The Science of Fear), examines the misguided trust people place in media forecasters and "legions of experts" who make meaningless predictions about the future. He reviews the findings of psychologist Philip Tetlock, who had 284 experts from a range of disciplines make 27,450 predictions on political and economic trends, concluding they produced about the same results as random guesses. Biologist Paul Erhlich is one of his main targets. In 1968's The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted mass famines. In fact, Gardner points to America's "epidemic of obesity" and growing calorie intake worldwide. Gardner also probes economic and environmental worries, and warnings of wars, climate change, the Y2K hysteria, and the weather, which he says can be forecast with accuracy only at most two days out. Successful predictions are celebrated, Gardner says, while the wrong ones are forgotten. Yet he might have done well to remember more of those accurate predictions, and to focus more on Tetlock's conclusions about those experts who show greater accuracy and on how the public might recognize them. Instead, he writes off accurate predictions as "likely... a coincidence." (Mar. 17)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7710-3513-5
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-47609-3
Paperback - 305 pages - 978-0-7535-2236-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-452-29757-9
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7710-3521-0
Hardcover - 305 pages - 978-0-7710-3519-7
Paperback - 305 pages - 978-0-7535-2237-0
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7535-4452-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.