Category Archives: prediction

Notes on the Next War

There have been major populist movements in every century since the Reformation. The English Civil War was essentially populist, or part of a general populist upheaval with oddball hangers on like the Levelers and Diggers. The American Rebellion was likewise … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, life, prediction, war | Comments Off on Notes on the Next War

Statistical Effect of Block Voting

Will block voting result in poor election predictions? The left-wing political organization LeadNow is running what appears to be a pretty effective campaign to organize voter blocks in swing ridings, where Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are at risk of winning due … Continue reading

Posted in politics, prediction, probability | Comments Off on Statistical Effect of Block Voting

There was only one catch…

The civil service is the permanent government of Canada. This is why senior civil service positions have titles like “Permanent Undersecretary for Whatever”. The purpose of Parliament is to exercise political control over the civil service. This is the foundation … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, politics, prediction, technology | Comments Off on There was only one catch…

Narrative Predictions

The human brain is a machine for leaping to conclusions in a single bound. Activists and political agitators of every stripe use this to promote their nonsense by putting together narratives that appeal to our conclusion-jumping reflex. “Chemicals” are frequently … Continue reading

Posted in epistemology, politics, prediction, probability, psychology, science | Comments Off on Narrative Predictions

Many Interacting Worlds

There’s a quite clever spin on the Many Worlds Interpretation that’s just been published that solves some of the big problems but remains implausible to my jaundiced eye. The idea is disarmingly simple and inherently non-local: suppose that there exist … Continue reading

Posted in physics, prediction, quantum | Comments Off on Many Interacting Worlds

A Closed-Form Argument about Climate Change

I’ve been a critic of over-sold climate models for many years now. I am a computational physicist, and therefore–unlike climate scientists–am professionally qualified to judge the predictive quality of climate models. I mention this because apparently many people think it … Continue reading

Posted in economics, physics, politics, prediction, science, software, technology | Comments Off on A Closed-Form Argument about Climate Change

What a Difference a Data-Point Makes

I just recently found out about a nice bit of work from a few years ago, involving the tracking down, digitizing and processing of Nimbus satellite images from 1964 that include the poles, so sea-ice estimates could be made. I … Continue reading

Posted in physics, politics, prediction, science | Leave a comment

Guns, Drugs and Laws

What is the role of law in a free and democratic society? Consider the data in the following areas: Drugs Alcohol Firearms Prostitution Abortion In each case, there is a clear argument to be made that laws restricting popular activities … Continue reading

Posted in economics, history, politics, prediction, psychology | Leave a comment

Explanation vs Prediction

The name of my consulting company is Predictive Patterns Software Inc, and as the name suggests, a lot of my work has been writing algorithms (software) that finds patterns in data that are predictive of outcomes. I’ve worked mostly in … Continue reading

Posted in bayes, economics, epistemology, history, life, politics, prediction, probability, psychology, war | 1 Comment

Market Predictions

You may have seen that “scary chart” that some idiot is promoting as the presaging the possible end of the world. It’s so spectacularly stupid I figured I’d do a few minutes of actual analysis of the “argument” and how … Continue reading

Posted in economics, epistemology, history, prediction, probability, psychology, religion, science, software | Leave a comment