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Strong opinions, weakly held

The value of predictions

I’ve been wondering if there isn’t some value in making predictions as a form of exercise for the brain. I have hypothesized that making predictions and then going back and revisiting those predictions later should improve your ability to think about the future. I think it’s the post mortem that provides the value, and that’s where most prognosticators fail. You see this a lot in sports — people make all sorts of predictions before the season but they never go back and really take a close look at how accurate thos predictions were and why the ones that were busts failed to come to fruition. If nothing else, such analysis should give you an idea whether your biases generally tend to be too pessimistic, optimistic, or otherwise out of line with reality, or if you just tend to say things without really thinking about them.

Anyway, I’m going to try to come up with a list of predictions for 2006 and post them here, and then this time next year I’ll go back and see how I did.

As far as recent predictions go, it will be interesting to see whether I was right about the Motorola RAZR V3i becoming available not long after Christmas.

2 Comments

  1. there was actually a recent New Yorker article that looked at professional prognosticators and found out that (a) they were never held to account for their accuracy (by themselves or others) and (b) that level of expertise was inversely correlated with accuracy of analysis — that the “man on the street” had better perspective than the “connected insider” on many important events and trends…

    one would like to think that reality-checking would improve things, if only by puncturing one’s bubble in some needed places and narrowing your focus to those things that your instincts seem better on…

    good luck! :))

  2. I’ll take a crack at this…

    I predict that NC State will win the ACC Tournament.

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