October 27, 2010

World Series predictions

The 2010 World Series starts this evening, and many pundits are making their predictions on who will win (a sample: The Baseball Analysts, New York Times, and Sports Illustrated.

But perhaps the best way to think about evaluating the pundits is contained in this article "Slick talkers and bad forecasters" by Dan Gardner. Gardner's article is about economic forecasting, but the point is relevant -- when it comes to predicting the outcome, a nuanced understanding of all of the influencing factors produces the best forecast. Or as Gardner puts it, "experts who gathered information from many sources, who were comfortable with complexity and uncertainty, and were more prepared to admit mistakes and adjust conclusions accordingly -- these were the experts worth listening to."