Barack Obama calls Nate Silver ‘A superstar… my rock, my foundation’. He correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states in the 2012 US Presidential election. His book, The Signal and the Noise, was a number one bestseller in 2012. We think we want information when we really want knowledge. We face danger whenever information growth outpaces our ability to process it, because humans are hardwired to read evidence selectively. And if the quantity of data in our world is increasing by 2.5 quintillion bytes per day, the amount of useful information certainly isn’t. So how do we tell the difference? Silver will explain how expert forecasters think and what lies behind their success, across a range of areas including the stock market, the poker table, politics, sports, earthquakes, the weather and disease control. With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our forecasts, we have much to learn from Silver’s investigation into how to distinguish the true insights from the noise of useless data. (Thruston)
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