Prediction

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A quick and dirty estimate of Hurricane Harvey's recovery cost

I was born and raised in Houston. Besides 4 years as an undergraduate student in Austin, Texas, and 7 years as a graduate student in Pasadena, California, I’ve lived in Houston my whole life. As a result, my personal focus has been on Hurricane Harvey nearly exclusively for a week now. On Thursday, I started
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Working backward helps you solve problems and create forecasts

Justin Bariso published a fun article in Inc. He wrote about chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley’s favorite approach to problem-solving: working backward. In other words, Ashley recommends envisioning what you want the chess board to look like near the end of the game. Then, you choose moves that steer you toward that destination. Note, this approach
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The Black Swan tells you why network television sucks

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Sunday about how networks test new TV series. Basically, they pick fifty or so people, ask them to watch an episode of a new show, then have them rate the show as they watch it. And then network executives are surprised that their shows suck? Here’s a
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A great quote showing the human struggle with prediction

Yahoo! Finance ran an article on Saturday showing how stock analysts struggle to understand Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway. Here’s the quote that hit me like a freight train: Mr. Buffett is very good at investing but you never know what he’s going to buy next. I never would have thought he’d buy Precision Castparts
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The psychology of precise numbers

The Harvard Business School published a cool article last week. It’s titled “When Negotiating a Price, Never Bid with a Round Number”. The premise is that precise numbers communicate intelligence. What is precise? Asking for a raise of $4,100, rather than $4,000, for example. The added precision subconsciously tells your boss that you’ve really done
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Emotion explains some of our crappy predictions

I took my son to the store on Sunday, partly because we needed things, and partly to get him out of the house. He had a bit of cabin fever. A quick trip to the store means he can be a maniac somewhere besides our house. I took the freeway on the way home. As
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