Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge: the serenity to accept the things we cannot predict, the courage to predict the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
There's always the risk that there are unknown unknowns.
On average, people should be more skeptical when they see numbers. They should be more willing to play around with the data themselves.
People have different ways of interpreting history.
New ideas are sometimes found in the most granular details of a problem where few others bother to look.
Well the way we perceive accuracy and what accuracy is statistically are really two different things.
We need to stop, and admit it: we have a prediction problem. We love to predict things—and we aren’t very good at it.
We're not that much smarter than we used to be, even though we have much more information - and that means the real skill now is learning how to pick out the useful information from all this noise.
Every day, three times per second, we produce the equivalent of the amount of data that the Library of Congress has in its entire print collection, right? But most of it is like cat videos on YouTube or 13-year-olds exchanging text messages about the next Twilight movie.
Success makes you less intimidated by things.
We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty.
Data-driven predictions can succeed-and they can fail. It is when we deny our role in the process that the odds of failure rise. Before we demand more of our data, we need to demand more of ourselves.
When human judgment and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen
Whenever you have dynamic interactions between 300 million people and the American economy acting in really complex ways, that introduces a degree of almost chaos theory to the system, in a literal sense.
You can build a statistical model and that's all well and good, but if you're dealing with a new type of financial instrument, for example, or a new type of situation - then the choices you're making are pretty arbitrary in a lot of respects.
I was looking for something like baseball, where there's a lot of data and the competition was pretty low. That's when I discovered politics.
People don't have a good intuitive sense of how to weigh new information in light of what they already know. They tend to overrate it.
I prefer more to kind of show people different things than tell them 'oh, here's what you should believe' and, over time, you can build up a rapport with your audience.
The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth.
The thing that people associate with expertise, authoritativeness, kind of with a capital 'A,' don't correlate very well with who's actually good at making predictions.
Voters memories will fade some.
We speak for them. We imbue them with meaning.
Shakespeare's plays often turn on the idea of fate, as much drama does. What makes them so tragic is the gap between what his characters might like to accomplish and what fate provides them.
I don't play fantasy baseball anymore now because it's too much work, and I feel like I have to hold myself up to such a high standard. I'm pretty serious about my fantasy football, though.
If I had a spreadsheet on my computer, it looked like I was busy.
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