Future Babble: Why Pundits Are Hedgehogs and Foxes Know Best

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PLUME, 2012 - Psychology - 320 pages
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"Genuinely arresting . . . required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and anyone who listens to them."
-Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works

We are awash in predictions. In newspapers, blogs, and books; on radio and television. Every day experts tell us how the economy will perform next year, if housing sales will grow or shrink, and who will win the next election. Predictions are offered about the climate, food, technology, and the world our grandchildren will inhabit. And we can't get enough of it.

Drawing on research in cognitive psychology, political science, and behavioral economics, award-winning journalist Dan Gardner explores our obsession with the future. He shows how famous pundits, "hedgehogs" who stick to one big idea no matter how circumstances change, become expert at explaining away predictions that are wrong while "foxes," who are more equivocal in their judgments, are simply more accurate.

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About the author (2012)

Dan Gardner is a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and has received numerous awards, including the Michener Award and the Amnesty International Canada Media Award. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.

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