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The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't - Nate Silver
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't
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4.08 155
"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." —Rachel Maddow, author of Drift Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a... show more
"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." —Rachel Maddow, author of Drift Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future. In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science. Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise. With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781594204111 (159420411X)
Publisher: Penguin
Pages no: 544
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Ecletic Reader
Ecletic Reader rated it
4.0 The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't
Insightful, interesting, and filled with interesting discussions of how predictions can fail. I really enjoyed that Nate Silver stuck to his own advice when providing ways to make more accurate predictions. He was not overconfident and did settle for one simple and right answer. This should be requi...
katiewilkins186
katiewilkins186 rated it
5.0 The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't
I love data. I thought I should just get that geeky admission out of the way since my love of this book is largely based on my love of data and the cool things we can do with it. Nate Silver is an awesome statistician best known for his model that has done a great job predicting election winners. In...
Brick
Brick rated it
An excellent read, with very detailed insights into areas in which Silver has a wealth of personal experience, including limit Texas Hold'em, baseball statistics used in forecasting player performance, and political polling, combined with insights derived from extensive interviews with top practitio...
lisa's reviews
lisa's reviews rated it
1.0
Way too many numbers for me.
Kaethe
Kaethe rated it
First things first: skip the introduction. It's more boring than any other section, and all it tells is what the general outline of the book is. You can get that from the contents.This is a book which is very well-researched, and well-reasoned, with apt examples. The net result is that what Silver i...
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