Found in 9 comments on Hacker News
diehunde · 2020-04-19 · Original thread
True. Also, if you read Superforecasting[1] you'll learn about several experiments where "non-experts" beat experts by a lot by just being well informed. Even when the experts had access to confidential data.


MarkMc · 2020-01-01 · Original thread
Although Sam would have lost this bet, I respect that he had the courage to make a forecast with a specific number and a specific future date.

Too many pundits make grand but imprecise predictions like "AI will become dominant in the next decade". The book 'Superforcasting' tackles this problem in detail:

candiodari · 2018-03-20 · Original thread
Exactly. This is the typical business drivel. "Here's a problem A, which you have. We have a solution: let B solve it for you. blah blah. Approach. Example. Anecdote.".

Problem needs to be a convincing and preferably very common problem of some kind. In this article it's "forecasting". And, of course, standard HR/Management practice (surveys + "impartial" statistical analysis in this case) is the way to solve the problem, but of course nobody does it right.

How to solve it ? Buy book X or, if you've got at least 100kg of money to thrown down a hole, hire consultant Y. Only 10kg of money to burn ? Visit website Z, subscribe, buy video, whatever, and get colorful pictures stating the obvious, often with audio.

For this one it's :

A = "forecasting" (really deciding future direction)

B = "forecasting tournaments"

X =

Y = Philip Tetlock ( )

Z =

Now, don't get me wrong. Hiring organizational consultants CAN work, of course. Getting ideas from within an organization and being frank and fair about them can bring incredible results. Having someone else come in, see the organization and tell you what's wrong can at the very least give you an idea of what's happening from other people's perspective. Maybe it can help you improve things. If you can afford it, I would advise to do it.

I'm sure this person is a capable organizational consultant, but ...

jtraffic · 2017-06-24 · Original thread
SixSigma · 2016-08-11 · Original thread
People who make good forecasts are not polarized enough for punditry.

The authors of the book Superforecasting : The Science of Prediction have done research in this area. And a website [2]

Nate Silver also tells a similar story in his book. He proved it too, by turning pundit.



amasad · 2016-05-30 · Original thread
Tolerating some amount of cognitive dissonance is one of the best things that I was able to develop in myself recently. In coding for example, I used to suffer mental anguish over seeing inconsistencies in codebases I'm working on and have an OCD-like drive to fix them. Learning to live with those consistencies freed me up to work on what actually matters.

Furthermore the unforgiving drive for consistency is a reason why people don't update their beliefs when new evidence comes to light. Consider Superforcasting[1] (a book about people with an unusual ability in forcasting the future) the author says that one common trait among superforcasters is that they have a larger capacity for tolerating cognitive dissonance. The drive to avoid cognitive dissonance shackles you to your existing beliefs (see confirmation bias).


qwtel · 2016-03-28 · Original thread
If you are sure that the Ethereum project will fail, I'd be happy to take on bets 1 : infinity. I pay you $1 if the project is no longer around, say 10 years from now, you pay me everything you have otherwise. It would only be rational for you to take this bet, since I'm offering you a free dollar according to your beliefs.

EDIT: the intent here was to expose overconfidence and vague predictions, not pay fan service to ethereum or suggest an actual bet. if anybody is interested in how to make proper predictions, I recommend the books by Philip Tetlock, especially the latest called Superforecasting [1].

EDIT2: I wasn't aware my views are so controversial, so here is some more background: If somebody was convinced something couldn't happen, he'd assign a probability of 0 to that event. If that person wanted to act according to her believes, taking on bets, no matter the odds, would have positive expected utility. Since almost nobody takes on such bets, it suggests that we generally over-exaggerate when we say things like "impossible" or "sorry for you loss", hence we are being overconfident. The other is vagueness. By not being clear about what exactly we are predicting, we're leaving the door open to back out of it later. In fact, Tetlock has found that, by making vague predictions, experts could later convince themselves (and others) that they were "close", skewing their sense of accuracy. Unfortunately, when subject to a prediction tournament with strict rules, they would score no better than random [2].



drallison · 2015-12-23 · Original thread
There have been several editions of the Global Trends reports, all interesting both for what they got right and what they got wrong. Please note that the reports are not "predictions" but "forecasts". The methodology tries to identify trends and drivers that are thought to be significant in the evolving future. For a few of them, scenarios are created to explore how different interacting trends and drivers might create a future.

HN readers interested in learning more about forecasting might read Philip Tetlock's book, Superforecasting,, which has been justifiably on many must read lists.

bcroesch · 2015-10-19 · Original thread
For anyone who is interested in this topic, Dr. Tetlock just released a new book about it (

We're also hosting a public forecasting tournament for him and his team that focuses on geo-political forecasting:

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