Something very very old is being called something very very new. Predicting the future. It was a thriving industry all the way back to the tribal shamans, witch doctors, oracles, and other assorted crazies whose unimaginative peers deemed them god-like.
Latelyor our official predictors don't gut animal entrails nor slip into Delphic trances to get the job done. They mostly write and speak their predictions in esteemed media outlets like the New York Times and MNSBC.
These folks [George Will, Karl Rove, David Brooks, Peggy Noonon, Dick Morris, etc] got their academic butts whipped this last election. How? Who? The how was statistical models; the who was the wundki Nate Silver. Think of t this way: Moneyball goes to Washington!
But everything good thing has something bad about it. My worry is that this will be a Pyrrhic victory for the empiricists. A win for statistically probing and predicting voters and consumers, but If these new Quant experts replace the old Gut experts, does this dazzlingly accurate empirical mindset migrate from simply predicting people to progamming them...?
Sounds like sci-fi hysteria. Or does it...?
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