Sunday, October 2, 2011

Video Response to Freakonomics podcast on "The Folly of Prediction"

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

My thoughts on Freakonomics podcast on The Folly of Predictions. Television, the markets, intellectuals, so called "experts" are incentivized to make wild predictions. No one holds people accountable for when they are wrong. If you'll listen closely they'll use words like "may" or "could" or "should" as a defense from being held liable (as if they would be held liable).

Economists argue things like futures markets are good because it forces people to put their money where their mouth is. They say this controls speculation but that seems hard to believe when we see how volatile oil futures are. If you feel confident enough you can even put your knowledge and best guesses to the test by betting i.e. "investing" on a whole range of topics on InTrade. They also suggested policies or ways to track the accuracy of people's predictions might help.

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