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.
New ideas are sometimes found in the most granular details of a problem where few others bother to look.
People have different ways of interpreting history.
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.
We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty.
Success makes you less intimidated by things.
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.
When human judgment and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen
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.
We're living in a world where Google beats Gallup.
Racism is predictable. It's predicted by interaction or lack thereof with people unlike you, people of other races.
We want to get 80%-85% of predictions right, not 100%. Or else we calibrated our estimates in the wrong way.
Data scientist is just a sexed up word for statistician.
Not only does political coverage often lose the signal—it frequently accentuates the noise.
If I had a spreadsheet on my computer, it looked like I was busy.
One of the pervasive risks that we face in the information age, as I wrote in the introduction, is that even if the amount of knowledge in the world is increasing, the gap between what we know and what we think we know may be widening.
To my friends, I’m kind of sexually gay but ethnically straight,
I know it's cheaper to fund an op-ed columnist than a team of reporters, but I think it confuses the mission of what these great journalistic brands are about,
The quest for certainty in forecasting outcomes can be the enemy of progress.
If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can't acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.
We speak for them. We imbue them with meaning.
Plenty of pundits have really high IQs, but they don’t have any discipline in how they look at the world, and so it leads to a lot of bullshit, basically,
Economy is not baseball, where the game is always played by the same rules.
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