Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Silver , Nate (2012-09-27), The Signal and the Noise, Penguin Press, Retrieved on 2013-04-09
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    Memes

    12 APR 2013

     The Early Days of the Printing Press was Like the Early WWW

    As was the case during the early days of the World Wide Web, however, the quality of the information was highly varied. While the printing press paid almost immediate dividends in the production of higher quality maps,10 the bestseller list soon came to be dominated by heretical religious texts and pseudoscientific ones.11 Errors could now be mass-produced, like in the so-called Wicked Bible, which committed the most unfortunate typo in history to the page: thou shalt commit adultery.12 Meanw...
     2  2  notes

    The glut of books produced a situation of "too much information" similar to the one produced by the world wide web.

    12 APR 2013

     A Biased Explanation of Foxes and Hedgehogs

    How Foxes Think Multidisciplinary: Incorporate ideas from different disciplines and regardless of their origin on the political spectrum. Adaptable: Find a new approach—or pursue multiple approaches at the same time—if they aren’t sure the original one is working. Self-critical: Sometimes willing (if rarely happy) to acknowledge mistakes in their predictions and accept the blame for them. Tolerant of complexity: See the universe as complicated, perhaps to the point of many fundament...
    Folksonomies: metaphors cognition
    Folksonomies: metaphors cognition
      1  notes

    Nate Silver provides a very negative portrayal of those who think like hedgehogs, settling down in one field of expertise, compared to those who think like foxes, darting from field to field.

    12 APR 2013

     Hedgehogs Do Worse the More Information They Have

    Academic experts like the ones that Tetlock studied can suffer from the same problem. In fact, a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing in the hands of a hedgehog with a Ph.D. One of Tetlock’s more remarkable findings is that, while foxes tend to get better at forecasting with experience, the opposite is true of hedgehogs: their performance tends to worsen as they pick up additional credentials. Tetlock believes the more facts hedgehogs have at their command, the more opportunities they ...
      1  notes

    They selectively take in the information to reaffirm their biases.

    12 APR 2013

     Origin of the National Weather Service

    The public at large became more interested in weather forecasting after the Schoolhouse Blizzard of January 1888. On January 12 that year, initially a relatively warm day in the Great Plains, the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees in a matter of a few hours and a blinding snowstorm came.26 Hundreds of children, leaving school and caught unaware as the blizzard hit, died of hypothermia on their way home. As crude as early weather forecasts were, it was hoped that they might at least be able...
      1  notes

    In 1888 when a sudden snowstorm on a warm day killed hundreds of school children on their way home.

    12 APR 2013

     Prediction VS Forecast

    The official position of the USGS is even more emphatic: earthquakes cannot be predicted. “Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake,” the organization’s Web site asserts.24 “They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future.” Earthquakes cannot be predicted? This is a book about prediction, not a book that makes predictions, but I’m willing to stick my neck out: I predict that there will...
      1  notes

    One is a definitive statement, the other a probabilistic one.

    12 APR 2013

     Autism as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

    Diseases and other medical conditions can also have this self-fulfilling property. When medical conditions are widely discussed in the media, people are more likely to identify their symptoms, and doctors are more likely to diagnose (or misdiagnose) them. The best-known case of this in recent years is autism. If you compare the number of children who are diagnosed as autistic64 to the frequency with which the term autism has been used in American newspapers,65 you’ll find that there is an a...
      1  notes

    As the illness gets more attention, more people are diagnosed with it.

    13 APR 2013

     Bayes and Richard Price on Predictions

    Bayes’s much more famous work, “An Essay toward Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances,”24 was not published until after his death, when it was brought to the Royal Society’s attention in 1763 by a friend of his named Richard Price. It concerned how we formulate probabilistic beliefs about the world when we encounter new data. Price, in framing Bayes’s essay, gives the example of a person who emerges into the world (perhaps he is Adam, or perhaps he came from Plato’s cave) ...
    Folksonomies: statistics predictions
    Folksonomies: statistics predictions
      1  notes

    Giving the example of someone who watches the sun rise each day, increasing the probability that it will rise again the next day, but that probability never reaching 100 percent.

    13 APR 2013

     Bayes' Theorem Means Scientific Consensus Should Converge

    One property of Bayes’s theorem, in fact, is that our beliefs should converge toward one another—and toward the truth—as we are presented with more evidence over time. In figure 8-8, I’ve worked out an example wherein three investors are trying to determine whether they are in a bull market or a bear market. They start out with very different beliefs about this—one of them is optimistic, and believes there’s a 90 percent chance of a bull market from the outset, while another one i...
      1  notes

    As more and more tests are carried out, scientific opinions should converge around the truth.

    13 APR 2013

     The Three Phases of a Chess Game

    A chess game, like everything else, has three parts: the beginning, the middle and the end. What’s a little different about chess is that each of these phases tests different intellectual and emotional skills, making the game a mental triathlon of speed, strength, and stamina. In the beginning of a chess game the center of the board is void, with pawns, rooks, and bishops neatly aligned in the first two rows awaiting instructions from their masters. The possibilities are almost infinite. W...
      1  notes

    And how computers do in processing them versus a human's intuition.

    13 APR 2013

     The Difference Between Average and Great Chessmasters

    Great players like Kasparov do not delude themselves into thinking they can calculate all these possibilities. This is what separates elite players from amateurs. In his famous study of chess players, the Dutch psychologist Adriaan de Groot found that amateur players, when presented with a chess problem, often frustrated themselves by looking for the perfect move, rendering themselves incapable of making any move at all. Chess masters, by contrast, are looking for a good move—and certainly...
    Folksonomies: thinking chess
    Folksonomies: thinking chess
      1  notes

    The great do not overthink, but rely on intuition to guide them. They do not look for a perfect move, but an advantageous move.

    13 APR 2013

     Freestyle Chess

    In fact, the best game of chess in the world right now might be played neither by man nor machine.47 In 2005, the Web site ChessBase.com, hosted a “freestyle” chess tournament: players were free to supplement their own insight with any computer program or programs that they liked, and to solicit advice over the Internet. Although several grandmasters entered the tournament, it was won neither by the strongest human players nor by those using the most highly regarded software, but by a pai...
    Folksonomies: games chess
    Folksonomies: games chess
      1  notes

    Similar to correspondence chess, where computer programs are allowed to offer suggestions and the players act like coaches directing the moves.

    13 APR 2013

     Conclusions of the IPCC

    This IPCC finding makes several different assertions, each of which is worth considering in turn. First, it claims that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases like CO2 are increasing, and as a result of human activity. This is a matter of simple observation. Many industrial processes, particularly the use of fossil fuels, produce CO2 as a by-product.18 Because CO2 remains in the atmosphere for a long time, its concentrations have been rising: from about 315 parts per million (ppm) wh...
    Folksonomies: global warming
    Folksonomies: global warming
      1  notes

    The organization concludes that Global Warming, which is a very simple theory, is true.

    13 APR 2013

     The Difference Between Science and Politics

    In science, one rarely sees all the data point toward one precise conclusion. Real data is noisy—even if the theory is perfect, the strength of the signal will vary. And under Bayes’s theorem, no theory is perfect. Rather, it is a work in progress, always subject to further refinement and testing. This is what scientific skepticism is all about. In politics, one is expected to give no quarter to his opponents. It is seen as a gaffe when one says something inconvenient—and true.113 Part...
      1  notes

    With science, the truth will eventually come out, in politics, this is not so assured.

    13 APR 2013

     The Problem with Occam's Razor

    In climate forecasting, the situation is more equivocal: the theory about the greenhouse effect is strong, which supports more complicated models. However, temperature data is very noisy, which argues against them. Which consideration wins out? We can address this question empirically, by evaluating the success and failure of different predictive approaches in climate science. What matters most, as always, is how well the predictions do in the real world. I would urge caution against reducin...
      1  notes

    Not all models can be simple.

    12 APR 2013

     All Models are Wrong, but some models are useful

    As the statistician George E. P. Box wrote, “All models are wrong, but some models are useful.”90 What he meant by that is that all models are simplifications of the universe, as they must necessarily be. As another mathematician said, “The best model of a cat is a cat.”91 Everything else is leaving out some sort of detail. How pertinent that detail might be will depend on exactly what problem we’re trying to solve and on how precise an answer we require. Nor are statistical models...
      1  notes

    All models are simplifications of the universe, this includes language as a form of modeling.

    12 APR 2013

     The Origin of Chaos Theory

    Lorenz and his team were working to develop a weather forecasting program on an early computer known as a Royal McBee LGP-30.21 They thought they were getting somewhere until the computer started spitting out erratic results. They began with what they thought was exactly the same data and ran what they thought was exactly the same code—but the program would forecast clear skies over Kansas in one run, and a thunderstorm in the next. After spending weeks double-checking their hardware and t...
    Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
    Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
      1  notes

    Weather modeling produced two widely different results when a few thousandths of a decimal point went missing.