The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction

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Penguin Books Limited, Sep 27, 2012 - Mathematics - 544 pages
32 Reviews

Every time we choose a route to work, decide whether to go on a second date, or set aside money for a rainy day, we are making a prediction about the future. Yet from the global financial crisis to 9/11 to the Fukushima disaster, we often fail to foresee hugely significant events. In The Signal and the Noise, the New York Times' political forecaster and statistics guru Nate Silver explores the art of prediction, revealing how we can all build a better crystal ball.

In his quest to distinguish the true signal from a universe of noisy data, Silver visits hundreds of expert forecasters, in fields ranging from the stock market to the poker table, from earthquakes to terrorism. What lies behind their success? And why do so many predictions still fail? By analysing the rare prescient forecasts, and applying a more quantitative lens to everyday life, Silver distils the essential lessons of prediction.

We live in an increasingly data-driven world, but it is harder than ever to detect the true patterns amid the noise of information. In this dazzling insider's tour of the world of forecasting, Silver reveals how we can all develop better foresight in our everyday lives.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - timspalding - LibraryThing

As a devotee of 538, website and especially podcasts, I was looking forward to this book. I wanted to love it. It was enjoyable, certainly, and I learned a few things. But after opening the door, it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

Anyone who can make statistics interesting deserves five stars for that talent alone. Silver not only does that, but he writes in a fun,style, covering sports, gambling, weather, poker, stocks ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Nate Silver is a statistician and political forecaster at The New York Times who became a national sensation in the United States when his predictions during the 2008 presidential election trumped most mainstream polls. He is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and has appeared as a commentator on CNN and MSNBC. He has spoken at TED and SXSW, and was named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the world.

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