Happy New Year!

New Year’s day is often a re-e-e-a-ll-y lethargic day for me. I had a slight hangover from my New Year’s Eve countdown, so I spent the day reading Superforecasting a pretty cool book on how to make better forecasts

The author, Philip Tetlock, organised a “forecasting tournament” where he recruited 3,200 volunteers – regular people like you and me – who signed up to make predictions like:

  • Will Serbia be officially granted European Union candidacy by 31 December 2011?
  • Will an outbreak of H4N1 in China kill more than ten people in the next six months?
  • Will the Euro fall below $1.20 in the next 12 months?

The tournament spanned several years. Along the way, Philip Tetlock discovered something interesting:

As a group, his superforecasters ended up performing even better than professional intelligence analysts. The superforecasters beat professionals in the CIA and NSA who had access to classified …