Assorted Links

Thanks to Casey Manion, Phil Alexander, Viorel Tulica, Melody McLaren, Christian Pekeler, Donna Warnock and Tom Passin.

3 Replies to “Assorted Links”

  1. I have issues with the Ignored Expert site, real life examples.

    There are three models of The Prophet.

    The first is Cassandra, the accurate forecaster who gets repeatedly ignored by stupid and greedy Suits, who often work for oil companies. Cassandra likes to feel superior when the forecasted disaster finally happens; often the Suits get killed. Al Gore likes to think of himself as Cassandra.

    The second model is the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The boy dishonestly makes oppportunistic forecasts for his own agenda. The result is no one believes him when the wolf actually arrives.

    The third model is Chicken Little. There are those who are always in an hysterical model, forecasting catastrophes which never arrive.

    Which category do global warming advocates belong in?

    Instead of Ignored Expert, I see the Stopped Clock fallacy. A flawed clock is always wrong, but can still be useful because it may give the approximate time. A Stopped Clock is almost always wrong, but it is right exactly two times per day. Unfortunately, someone looking at the Stopped Clock cannot know if that is one of the right times. A Stopped Clock is utterly useless even though it is sometime right.

    There are always Cassandras forecasting, for example, a stock market crash or an earthquake. Like a stopped clock, they are almost always wrong. Sometimes, the disaster will happen. Then they will congratulate themselves on being geniuses, and everyone will ask why were they ignored. They were ignored because they are almost always wrong.

    Did Elizabeth Warren, a lawyer, really make a forecast in the 1980s that the stock market would crash in 2008? She could have become very wealthy investing on that basis. I wonder if she forecasted the crash in 1987, in 1990, in 1998, and in 2000-2002 along the way. Did she also forecast the stock market booms of the 1990s, the mid-2000s, and 2009 to 2012? Did she also forecast that the “affordable housing” initiatives she has long advocated helped create the subprime mortgage bust?

    I want to be an Ignored Expert also. I forecast that the stock market will suffer a major crash sometime in the next 30 years. I can’t tell you when, where, how, or why. When the market crash comes, I expect to be called a Genius. I forecast a recession will start sometime in the next 15 years. Finally, I forecast a really hot Summer sometime in the next 10 years.

    Yes, I am being sarcastic. There is a world of difference from an engineer discovering a potentially dangerous flaw in the Shuttle using valid testing procedures, and someone making a forecast.

    For every Ignored Genius you can find who wasn’t listened to, I can find an Expert who made a prediction that turned out ridiculous, like a prediction that man could never fly faster than sound. How are we supposed to separate experts who make foolish predictions from those who are Cassandras?

    1. “For every Ignored Genius you can find who wasn’t listened to, I can find an Expert who made a prediction that turned out ridiculous.”

      I’d go much further. For every Ignored Genius you can find a thousand Experts who made a prediction that turned out to be ridiculous.

      Global warming experts who predict disaster are the Boy Who Cried Wolf (the prophecy involves self-interest) except that they don’t know there isn’t a wolf. The models on which they base their prediction are likely to be wrong but they don’t understand this.

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