Cherry picking has its uses

July 13, 2011

“Ya know, perhaps it would be worthwhile taking a look at the presentations made to get funding for or sell stock in actual mining operations.

Do you suppose they would reveal similar misstatements, equally invisible to the mining industry people?”

Why foresight is harder than hindsight

June 26, 2011
The Hindsight Fallacy: The real reason it's so hard to predict bubbles.
Related to why the "experts" find it so hard to predict future events

Scott Adams’ Investment Advice

June 8, 2010

Makes about as much sense as anyone else:

Full of Shit Professions

January 28, 2010

  1. Sportswriting
  2. Weather forecasting [this one probably unfair]
  3. Criminal Profiling
  4. Art Critics
  5. Wine Tasters
  6. Stock market experts

Average out your own estimates for a better result

January 13, 2009

In current Psychological Science:

Wisdom of Many in One Mind:
Improving Individual Judgments With Dialectical Bootstrapping

Stefan M. Herzog and Ralph
Groups are better than individuals at making
judgments about the future and other unknowns, because individual errors tend
to cancel out. Can the power of averaging that underlies this “wisdom of
crowds” be harnessed to improve individual judgments too? This study
shows that averaging an individual’s first estimate with one made later
fosters accuracy. A single mind can thus simulate the wisdom of many.

Bayes & Climate Change

August 19, 2007

Gambling on tomorrow – provocative piece from The Economist on how climate models have to include something like Bayesian priors, and a difficult challenge to which this gives rise. 

Lets just hope the climate skeptics don’t seize on this as another pseudo-reason to dismiss climate modelling altogether. 

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Dice roll as good as expert advice

August 18, 2007

Yet more evidence that investment professionals have no competence in their core area of “expertise”.

The Age newspaper does its own survey of experts’ buy and sell recommendations in 2005.

A couple of years later, it turns out you would have done just as well purchasing their “sells” as their “buys”.

The article draws the wrong lesson however.  It claims that the moral is to pay as much attention to the sell recommendations as to the buy ones.

The proper lesson is – pay these “experts” no attention at all.  And certainly don’t allow them to make any money at your expense.

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