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

3.97 (38,352 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The International Bestseller by 'The Galileo of number crunchers' (Independent)

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 financial crisis to ecological disasters, we routinely fail to foresee hugely significant events, often at great cost to society. The rise of 'big data' has the potential to help us predict the future, yet much of it is misleading, useless or distracting.

In The Signal and the Noise, the New York Times political forecaster Nate Silver, who accurately predicted the results of every 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 all learn to detect the true signals amid a noise of data.

'Remarkable and rewarding' Matthew D'Ancona, Sunday Telegraph

'A lucid explanation of how to think probabilistically' Guardian
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 372g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141975652
  • 9780141975658
  • 6,088

Review Text

Outstanding... I was hooked Tim Harford Financial Times
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Review quote

A 34-year old Delphic Oracle * Daily Beast * The Galileo of number crunchers * Independent * A surprisingly accessible peek into the world of mathematical probability -- Daily Telegraph Fascinating... our age's Brunel -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * Is there anything now that Nate Silver could tell us that we wouldn't believe? * Jonathan Freedland * The inhabitants of Westminster are speed-reading The Signal and the Noise... They will find the book remarkable and rewarding * Sunday Telegraph * A lucid explanation of how to think probabilistically * Guardian * One of the more momentous books of the decade * The New York Times Book Review * Outstanding... I was hooked -- Tim Harford * Financial Times *
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About Nate Silver

Nate Silver is a statistician and political forecaster at The New York Times. In 2012, he correctly predicted the outcome of 50 out of 50 states during the US presidential election, trumping the professional pollsters and pundits. He was named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the world, and one of Rolling Stones' top Agents of Change. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Rating details

38,352 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 31% (11,911)
4 43% (16,424)
3 20% (7,839)
2 4% (1,668)
1 1% (510)

Our customer reviews

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'.show more
by ross armstrong
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