The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction

The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction

Hardback

By (author) Nate Silver

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  • Publisher: ALLEN LANE
  • Format: Hardback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 164mm x 236mm x 44mm | 821g
  • Publication date: 27 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846147522
  • ISBN 13: 9781846147524
  • Sales rank: 42,152

Product description

Every 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 global financial crisis to 9/11 to the Fukushima disaster, we often fail to foresee hugely significant events. In "The Signal and the Noise", the "New York Times'" political forecaster and statistics guru Nate Silver explores the art of prediction, revealing how we can all build a better crystal ball. In his quest to distinguish the true signal from a universe of noisy data, Silver visits hundreds of expert forecasters, in fields ranging from the stock market to the poker table, from earthquakes to terrorism. What lies behind their success? And why do so many predictions still fail? By analysing the rare prescient forecasts, and applying a more quantitative lens to everyday life, Silver distils the essential lessons of prediction. We live in an increasingly data-driven world, but it is harder than ever to detect the true patterns amid the noise of information. In this dazzling insider's tour of the world of forecasting, Silver reveals how we can all develop better foresight in our everyday lives.

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Author information

Nate Silver is a statistician and political forecaster at The New York Times who became a national sensation in the United States when his predictions during the 2008 presidential election trumped most mainstream polls. He is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and has appeared as a commentator on CNN and MSNBC. He has spoken at TED and SXSW, and was named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the world.

Review quote

Outstanding... fun to read... Silver has produced a signal that is a pleasure to follow -- Tim Harford Financial Times Engagingly written... wholly satisfying... one of the more momentous books of the decade The New York Times Book Review Fascinating... Statisticians are to our age what engineers were to the Victorians, the makers of the particular forms of truth we value and crave. Nate Silver, to pursue the analogy, is being tipped to be our age's Brunel -- Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times Balanced, intelligent and erudite Spectator Is there anything now that Nate Silver could tell us that we wouldn't believe? Jonathan Freedland In this important book, Nate Silver explains why the performance of experts varies from prescient to useless and why we must plan for the unexpected. Must reading for anyone who cares about what might happen next Richard Thaler, author of Nudge The inhabitants of Westminster are speed-reading The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, the New York Times statistician who called the election with cool accuracy. They will find the book remarkable and rewarding -- Sunday Telegraph Matthew d'Ancona The Galileo of number crunchers Independent A surprisingly accessible peek into the world of mathematical probability -- Daily Telegraph A whirlwind tour of the success and failure of predictions in a wide variety of fields... Mr. Silver's breezy style makes even the most difficult statistical material accessible. What is more, his arguments and examples are painstakingly researched Wall Street Journal Engaging... Silver displays a knack not just for mining data but for explaining his thinking in an accessible manner Bloomberg A supremely valuable resource for anyone who wants to make good guesses about the future, or who wants to assess the guesses made by others. In other words, everyone The Boston Globe Engaging and sophisticated... [An] entertaining popularization of a subject that scares many people off Slate Here's a prediction: after you read The Signal and the Noise, you'll have much more insight into why some models work well-and also why many don't. You'll learn to pay more attention to weather forecasts for the coming week-and none at all for weather forecasts beyond that. Nate Silver takes a complex, difficult subject and makes it fun, interesting, and relevant Peter Orszag, Bloomberg columnist and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama Nate Silver is a new kind of political superstar. One who actually knows what he's talking about...he's singlehandedly shown that most political punditry is about as effective a method of truth-seeking as the ducking stool Observer New Review