Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail ---- but Some Don’t.
A star of the 2012 elections, having called all 50 states accurately, Nate Silver was already celebrated by everyone from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal (and, of course, people living in the hinterlands outside the New York area). This is a useful, clear, and interesting read about the nature of evaluating data, recognizing the particular inadequacies of our own minds, and becoming “less wrong” as we go along. There is now a version of this book that claims to be readable in 30 minutes. I have read them both so I can tell you that the 30-minute version is legit, but you’ll miss out on a lot of basketball stories, advice on finding a stranger’s underwear in your drawer, and some personal details of Garry Kasparov’s private relationship with Deep Blue, the first version of the computer chess program successfully designed to beat him. I still remember a newspaper article about that single loss: The machine just sat there humming while “the human being complained, made excuses and vowed revenge.”
Both versions of this book are available in hard or soft cover, new or used, or digital, i.e. can be downloaded to your computer. Even if you haven’t finished reading, join us for the discussion. The book club is free and open to all.