21 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 Climate Forecasts vs Projections

"Projections are essential for giving us information on long-term trends, but the timescale is beyond what many policy makers (and the public) consider to be relevant to their decision-making processes. Climate forecasts seek to address this issue by providing information on a shorter term (decadal) that can be used directly to inform policy," he said. "As climate forecasts improve, they will become more and more important in providing reliable information on what is likely to happen to the c...
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Forecasts are short-term predictions intended to inform policymakers because projections, which predict the long-term trend, are beyond political scope.

27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Why Economists Will Continue to be Wrong

Carter had initially used arbitrary parameters in his perfect model to generate perfect data, but now, in order to assess his model in a realistic way, he threw those parameters out and used standard calibration techniques to match his perfect model to his perfect data. It was supposed to be a formality--he assumed, reasonably, that the process would simply produce the same parameters that had been used to produce the data in the first place. But it didn't. It turned out that there were many ...
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They make models based on past data, and when they fail to predict the future, they adjust them to match the new past data. The problem is that so many models will match the past data, there could be no end to the number of models they throw out.

14 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Prediction Errors for the Information Age

Perhaps the best way to describe the flawed vision of fin de siecle futurists is to say that, with few exceptions, they expected the coming of an ''immaculate'' economy -- one in which people would be largely emancipated from any grubby involvement with the physical world. The future, everyone insisted, would bring an ''information economy'' that would mainly produce intangibles. The good jobs would go to ''symbolic analysts,'' who would push icons around on computer screens; knowledge, rathe...
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Economists misunderstood the value of information and material goods in the information revolutions.

13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 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
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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.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

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

20 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Evolution Predicts the Flowering of Mustard Plants

Here’s another prediction: under prolonged drought, natural selection will lead to the evolution of plants that flower earlier than their ancestors. This is because, during a drought, soils dry out quickly after the rains. If you’re a plant that doesn’t flower and produce seeds quickly in a drought, you leave no descendants. Under normal weather conditions, on the other hand, it pays to delay flowering so that you can grow larger and produce even more seeds. This prediction was tested ...
Folksonomies: evolution predictions
Folksonomies: evolution predictions
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Scientists predict how a drought will affect the flowering time of plants in California, and it comes true.

14 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 William Edward Ayrton Predicts the Cell Phone

Professor Ayrton said that we were gradually coming within thinkable distance of the realization of a prophecy he had ventured to make four years before, of a time when, if a person wanted to call to a friend he knew not where, he would call in a very loud electromagnetic voice, heard by him who had the electromagnetic ear, silent to him who had it not. “Where are you? ” he would say. A small reply would come, “I am at the bottom of a coalmine, or crossing the Andes, or in the middle of...
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And an important culture shift of always being in touch with our friends as we have with social networking.

06 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 1889 Prediction That Has Almost Come True

We may indeed live yet to see, or at least we may feel some confidence that those who come after us will see, such bodies as oxygen and hydrogen in the liquid, perhaps even in the solid state, and the question of their metallic or non-metallic nature thereby finally settled.
Folksonomies: prescience predictions
Folksonomies: prescience predictions
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Andrews predicts our seeing hydrogen as a liquid; although, I do not know if we have seen it as a solid yet.

30 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 A Solid Prediction About Science from the Early 1900s

Man has mounted science, and is now run away with. I firmly believe that before many centuries more, science will be the master of men. The engines he will have invented will be beyond his strength to control. Someday science may have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide, by blowing up the world. Not only shall we be able to cruise in space, but I'll be hanged if I see any reason why some future generation shouldn't walk off like a beetle with the world on ...
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Henry Brooks Adams predicts that human civilization will run away with science and it will consume everything in our society and contain the threat of our destruction.

29 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 Common Sense Doesn't Work With Science

Common sense … has the very curious property of being more correct retrospectively than prospectively. It seems to me that one of the principal criteria to be applied to successful science is that its results are almost always obvious retrospectively; unfortunately, they seldom are prospectively. Common sense provides a kind of ultimate validation after science has completed its work; it seldom anticipates what science is going to discover.
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Russell Lincoln Ackoff quote about how common sense makes no predictions and relies on hindsight for validity, while it rarely predicts what science will discover.