The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Author . Random $27 (248p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6787-9

Mesquita (The Strategy of Campaigning ) purports to show how we can “predict... and engineer the future” with applied game theory in this provocative tutorial. Mesquita has spent 30 years refining his approach to “the science of predictioneering,” and claims a 90% accuracy rate for his mathematical model that predicts choices based on the self-interest of decision makers. Although he argues that “accurate prediction relies on science,” he cannot escape the reality that the numbers in his model are based on human, i.e., fallible, assumptions and estimates. The author admits to a few mistakes—he predicted that former first lady Hillary Clinton's health-care reform would become law—but blames any missteps on unforeseen events and uses his model to boldly predict that President Obama is unlikely to quash the terrorist influence in Pakistan and that global warming will prove immune to government prescriptions but will produce “its own solutions.” Mesquita claims perhaps too much for his game theory model, but his cogently argued and fascinating brief will appeal to anyone interested in complex national-security issues. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 212 pages - 978-1-58836-908-6
Paperback - 262 pages - 978-0-8129-7977-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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