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The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't
  • Author Image
    Nate Silver
  • Publisher Logo
    Penguin Press

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't

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  • Nate Silver
  • Penguin Press
  • Hardcover
  • 9781594204111
  • 9.4 X 6 X 1.2 inches
  • 1.8 pounds
  • Mathematics > Probability & Statistics - General
  • English
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Book Description

UPDATED FOR 2020 WITH A NEW PREFACE BY NATE SILVER

One of the more momentous books of the decade.--The New York Times Book Review

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. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight.

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 to global pandemics, 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.

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't

Author Bio

Nate Silver is a statistician, forecaster, entrepreneur, and journalist. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Five ThirtyEight and a special correspondent for ABC News. 

The Signal and the Noise made it to the The New York Times best seller list for nonfiction, and was named by Amazon.com as the No. 1 best nonfiction book of 2012. 

The Signal and the Noise won the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. 

The book has been translated into eleven languages: Chinese (separate editions in traditional and simplified characters), Czech, Finnish, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish.

 

Source: pbk.org and fivethirtyeight.com

 

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