We forget most failed predictions quickly. If you make a bad one, you just say “let’s move on,” and you’re as good as moved on. But sometimes you meet the kind of guy I say hello to near my office—the kind professional forecasters hope they never meet.
“Black swans” are the anti-gravity of predictive analytics. These events are so far off the charts that we dismiss the possibility out of hand. But when one occurs, it’s a doozy.
The Panic of ’08 may lead us straight into one of these, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness among other works. He and his mentor, mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, told NewsHour’s Paul Solman last week that what’s coming might make the Great Depression and the Long Depression of the 1870s seem small.
But before you lose sleep, mind this caveat: Taleb himself calls predictions “bullshit.”… Read the rest “Off the charts: “black swan” ahead?”
Last January, I surveyed BI consultants to see what the season’s recession was doing to BI. Things were going fine, most reported. This week I’m following up with them on the Panic of ’08.