The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction (Paperback)
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DescriptionEvery time we choose a route to work, decide whether to go on a second date, or set aside money for a rainy day, we are making a prediction about the future. Yet from the financial crisis to ecological disasters, we routinely fail to foresee hugely significant events, often at great cost to society. In "The Signal and the Noise", the "New York Times" political forecaster Nate Silver, who accurately predicted the results of every single state in the 2012 US election, reveals how we can all develop better foresight in an uncertain world. From the stock market to the poker table, from earthquakes to the economy, he takes us on an enthralling insider's tour of the high-stakes world of forecasting, showing how we can use information in a smarter way amid a noise of data - and make better predictions in our own lives.
- Published: 18 April 2013
- Format: Paperback 544 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780141975658 ISBN 10: 0141975652
- Sales rank: 2,551
Reviews for The Signal and the Noise
Too much noise and too little signal in this book
This book suffers from not being edited by someone who knows more about the topic than Silver. It is too long and too often Silver strays into areas way out of his ken and naively thinks he has something worthwhile and original to offer on topics such as global warming and earthquakes. He doesn't.
His discussion of conditional probability and Fisher is deeply flawed. It is a good example of a core problem with this book which is Silver's reluctance or inability to go deeply into technical subjects. He skims the wave tops technically then rushes to making profound pronouncements. The message is 'I know a lot about this topic, I'm and expert, I'm really sciency but still cool, so just trust me and know what I'm saying is right'.
Some of the stuff is laughable eg his baseless extrapolation of earthquake data and terrorist attack data.
He often unknowingly makes the same mistakes he solemnly points out in others.
The book is clearly an aggregation of blog commentaries etc , it is clumsily assembled, self-referential and often confused.
I wouldn't recommend this book. If you are mathemtaically and statistically literate there are much better books. If you're not you won't see the flaws and will finish it thinking you know a lot about prediction, you won't. This is about as useful and worthwhile as a book on 'brain surgery for beginners'. by ross armstrong