Meanwhile, in the Grammar Crisis room....

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More unpredictability

Last post, I mentioned the likelihood of predictions from experts being, well, spectacularly wrong. I found another interesting piece relating to predictions, written by Michael Crichton, a lecture called "Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century" (it's on his webpage). In it, he notes the more entertaining "doomsday scenarios" of the 20th century (global cooling, cancer caused by power lines, world overpopulation), and how wrong they were. "Experts" say fascinating things, and bring up interesting points, but I wouldn't like to wager on their success. It's odd that, no matter how often these pundits and experts are wrong, they continue their employment (imagine if surgeons succeeded less than 33% of the time).
By the way, the New Yorker article I mentioned last post can be found here.
I mentioned in the last post that a monkey, picking randomly, has more chance of being right than a expert in a particular field. To put my money where my mouth is (I believe somewhere on my face), I have employed a monkey, Bonzo, to act as an expert for this blog.
Utter Lack of Cleverness: So, Bonzo, how's the stock market going to do this year?
Bonzo: (looks uninterested, peels a banana, obviously indicating that the market will be flat.)
ULC: Bonzo, how will the state of politics fare this year?
Bonzo: (throws own feces, indicating mudslinging to come.)
ULC: Who will win the Super Bowl, Bonzo?
Bonzo: Colts 35, Seattle 17


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