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New blog: It's the ignorance, stupid

Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

News - New blog: It's the ignorance, stupid

On February 20th, a group of Philip Tetlock’s superforecasters said the probability that one month later the WHO would report more than 200,000 cases of Coronavirus was 3%. That’s about as low as you’d go without claiming certainty. Two weeks later, they saw nothing to revise that opinion. Guess what happened.

Superforecasters are the best in the business. No one knows more about optimizing judgement under uncertainty than Philip Tetlock. So 3% from this lot should humble us all.

Daniel Kahneman famously said that of all cognitive biases the greatest is overconfidence. This is our affliction: a kind of epistemic arrogance, as we bluff our way out of uncertainty, or observe how we don’t seem to be on top of things — and in the next breath or on the next subject assert the old supremacy.

So what should we do in this time of great uncertainty? Read Michael Blastland's new blog, that's what!