Friday Thread: What makes for a reliable economic/political superpredictor?

To quote the blurb…

You don’t have to be a mystic to tell the future. Or at least that’s what political scientists would have you believe. But actually they’re not very good at it, as Tim Harford, the FT’s undercover economist, explains.

This is relevant how? Well, we know broadly that we cannot predict the future in any absolute terms.

Some people did warn the Celtic Tiger was going to come to a nasty end, but most did not, or did not want to look. You could argue that guilt over that is driving some pretty nasty and irrational behaviours.

Harford’s top three tips for good predictions are

  • Use feedback to learn/know what it is you can and what you cannot predict…
  • Work in teams in order to challenge each other…
  • Prove yourself wrong, try to see the other side of any argument probing their own side for weaknesses.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty