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“the truth is that prediction is hard, often impossible.”

Philip Tetlock, author of Expert Political Judgment, co-authors an interesting article in foreign policy.

Academic research suggests that predicting events five years into the future is so difficult that most experts perform only marginally better than dart-throwing chimps.

The best way to become a better-calibrated appraiser of long-term futures is to get in the habit of making quantitative probability estimates that can be objectively scored for accuracy over long stretches of time. Explicit quantification enables explicit accuracy feedback, which enables learning. This requires extraordinary organizational patience — an investment that may span decades — but the stakes are high enough to merit a long-term investment.

Still curious? Expert Political Judgment explores what constitutes good judgment in predicting future events, and looks at why experts are often wrong in their forecasts.