[FoRK] Fwd: Hey, big spender...

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Aug 28 19:19:19 PDT 2008


On Aug 28, 2008, at 8:46 PM, Lucas Gonze wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 10:28 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>> That's the thing about Black Swan events.  They may not be very  
>> likely ---
>> indeed, you'll note that the high water mark for my prediction of a  
>> GD given
>> Obama influence is "only" 1/3 --- but the impact is severe enough  
>> that you
>> have to weight accordingly.
>
> The impact is also unlikely enough that you have to weight
> accordingly.  Your 1/3 estimate is less likely than your 29% estimate,
> which is itself less likely than your 20% estimate.

By the way, just to show you how silly this is, let's say I say "I  
believe that the likelihood of the sun coming up tomorrow is  
approaching 100%."  Your claim is that this would be "less likely" ---  
i.e., that the accuracy of the estimate would be less --- than were I  
to claim "I believe the likelihood of the sun coming up tomorrow is  
approaching 90%."  Similarly 80%, 70%, etc.

In analyzing any given prediction, there are several things to take  
into account:  the input data, the method, any biases in the predictor  
or any of the inputs, the relationships captured, conditional  
probabilities and priors, and so on.  You can't tell anything just  
because of the size of the p that comes out of the predictor *by  
itself.*

The worst thing you can say about my estimate is that I haven't really  
given you much information to judge it by.  And that's true, I  
haven't.  OTOH, it should be clear historically that I tend to be  
pretty good at this.  Go figure. ;-)

jb




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