The Signal and the Noise: why most predictions fail – but some don’t by Nate Silver

The signal and the noiseAs the statician daugher of an electrical engineer whose favorite sport is baseball, Nate Silver’s book is right up my alley. It also speaks to the writer in me, and it is beautifully written. Even though the material is dense and packed with facts, it flows.

He starts reveiwing the status of statistical prediciton models, some that work like weather forecasting and some that do not – like earthquake forecasting. He goes on to suggest ideas to make prediction better. I could tell you more, but I want everyone who can to actually read this book, so I won’t.

But as a person with an avocation for neuroscience, I bet he is right-handed, you see this is a left brain book. He isn’t an artist and is not well-rounded. If he added intution to the study of science and engineering, I predict, or “forecast” to use his preferred word, that his precications would be more accurate, but then who am I?

“I am nobody, who are you?

Are you nobod, too?”

Written by Emily dickenson in the 19th century and still true today.

Reviewed by Marianna Cathryn Glenday, MPH, MA

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