by: Iqbal Mohammed

Paul Saffo writes that the fastest way to make an effective forecast is often through a sequence of lousy forecasts.

He continues "Instead of withholding judgment until an exhaustive search for data is complete, I will force myself to make a tentative forecast based on the information available, and then systematically tear it apart, using the insights gained to guide my search for further indicators and information. Iterate the process a few times, and it is surprising how quickly one can get to a useful forecast."

The mantra of the process he reveals is "strong opinions, weakly held." Take a definite stance and prove yourself wrong. Repeat until you can no longer do the latter.

As I was reading the post, the picture that came to my mind was of an eddy - the prediction not as a single do-or-die point, but as a whirlpooling series of points - a line - seemingly taking a tangential and misguided route to its destination but continually course-corrected by its own momentum and willingness to change direction at every point.

Not surprising then that a prediction usually may end up being wrong.

A 'prediction eddy', on the other hand, is compelled towards success by its very own nature.

[Original pic by nino**]

Original Post: www.misentropy.com/2008/08/dont-just-make-a-prediction-set-yourself-up-on-a-prediction-eddy.html

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