Uncertainty And The Perils Of Prediction With William M Briggs

Uncertainty And The Perils Of Prediction With William M Briggs

Here’s an interview I did with Gene Tunny, who runs the Economics Explained podcast. Check out his book, too: BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY, BROKE THE NEXT: Queensland’s Public Finances since Sir Joh and Sir Leo.

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  1. Dean Ericson

    By the way, people, that’s Briggs in the natty hat, above, doing the radio show with The Blond Bombshell, and that’s me, laughing, on the left, while behind me is Sherri, on a tear as always. NBC studios, 30 Rock, Saturday night, while the rioters were shopping on 5th Avenue just outside. Good time.

  2. Chad Jessup

    At 30 minutes, I would add that politicians also selected that model, because following the implied protocols allowed them to assume dictatorial powers.

  3. brad tittle

    “p stands for Probability… “

  4. Brad Tittle

    Excellent try. Unfortunately, rational thought expands linearly. Irrational thought behaves non linearly.

    Teaching someone to panic isn’t that hard. Teaching them how to not panic, that usually requires experience and more experience.

  5. Joy

    Nothing has changed.
    Neither side seems to learn.
    Briggs still quotes false information about the UK and Sweden with regards to strategy.
    It’s a shame because it would illustrate his point better if those kinds of things were ironed out.
    The same for claiming panic about imperial’s model in the UK. That was the media reaction.
    NOT the same as the politicians involved in decision making. Who were trying, deliberately, as stated, to save lives.

    All science advisors do not agree, either. There is much heated disagreement to say the least, to quote Dr Whitty.

    When evidence is presented, all uncertainty is clearly described.

    So the media is having its way with some on the right who think everybody thinks the same simply because they agree with mitigation measures. It must mean they’re irrational and over reacting.

    They were right to do what they did. Given the information they had to hand.

    The so called naive predictions were never used in planning in the UK. I think it does the argument less weight that the commentary in the sound clip implies otherwise. This is what I mean about false information. People are repeating what mainstream media are reporting. Instead, look at what was actually said or claimed. Or maybe thinking,
    “ah they must be in a panic.”

    Since discussing this before and since John Carver’s post I’ve noticed the Johns Hopkins ‘mortality analysis’ graphic has altered completely. Just at a critical juncture, too.
    If you’re skeptical you don’t necessarily take everything on face value. MSM operates, it seems, as if most people do.

    Matt Hancock made your point today in parliament Briggs. About not needing the model because the numbers say it all and we just look at those.

  6. A.mouse

    Bless, after all that we now know and have seen they are still trying with the likes of @Joy to justify the panic. It’s quite adorable.

  7. Joy

    It’s from 8th May, so sorry it’s before most of the recent discussions.
    My mistake.
    A LOT has changed since then.
    I think Matt Hancock would have got 10/10 today from Briggs.

    The man in the hat’s the one who pretends to be Briggs. He’s not fooling anyone.

  8. Joy

    “A Mouse”
    Someone who has to give themselves a fake name is not brave.
    I take ti from your comment that you think I panic about the virus?
    You’d be very wrong. I’ve worked with more infectious and deadly diseases.
    Not tonnes, but enough. I wasn’t afraid then either.
    People don’t want their nearest and dearest to be victims of their own risk.
    If you want to joke and play about then that’s one thing but if it’s a proper conversation you want, it might be worth starting with who when and what you say is was and are panic stricken.

    I don’t see what difference it makes anyway. If people are unhappy about restrictive social distancing measures why do they care if people are afraid or not? How does that affect the outcome?

    Mice are cute though….

  9. John B()

    @Joy @A.Mouse

    “Someone who has to give themselves a fake name ”

    Without any additional data, John B() is just as fake – as is Joy (even though these names may be based in reality. What we glean from each other come from our comments … maybe … unless we’re trolls … even then
    Apparently, A.Mouse hasn’t “followed” you much and doesn’t understand where you’re coming from. I trust your “charges” are still well?


  10. Oldavid

    Poor Gene Tunny is a drongo who’s profile is entirely dependent on supporting fashionable opinions relentlessly proposed by a media and secretocracy subservient to an alien ideology… i.e. a Materialism, Rationalism, Relativism that assumes that Nothing is relentlessly turning itself into Everything and that everything is subservient to “government” megalomaniac controls that can alter even physical reality by decree.

    Orrite, Gene, diseases that may be a Divine warning or chastisement come and go but they are not a call to curtail all human activity. Likewise wars and the institutionalised debt/theft of usury are the result of “cultural perfidy”.

    The supposed “anthropogenic climate change” scenario is an example of completely irrational scare mongering for political purposes. It is entirely impossible that four as an increase from three, slightly heavier than air (density about 1.6 times the density of dry air), relatively inert, gaseous molecules mixed with 10,000 molecules of similar gasses in the air could float up and form a blanket to cook the whole Earth. Rooly stupid as one would expect from anyone who has achieved political “respectability”.

    One should never, ever, take notice of political pot plants as they’re invariably carnivorous and very likely cannibalistic.

    Anyhow, I am old enough and coherent enough to remember High School science from the 1960’s where it was demonstrated that plants had stomates in their leaves and the stomates were working in a bit of a trade-off… open enough to admit the CO2 necessary for photosynthesis and close enough to limit water loss. Even 100 years ago people growing plants in controlled environments knew that plants in enriched CO2 made better use of the available sunlight, water and minerals available.

    Statisticians, politicians, lawyers, psychologists, and all that don’t make the slightest difference to reality.

  11. Joy

    John B, I doubt A.Mouse minds what I think. Sorry A Mouse. It’s always a genuine surprise anybody reads ;my comments. I write for people who don’t comment at all, on occasion, on the basis that there must be others who think the same way SOMEWHERE!

    My charges? Better than how they were ‘found’ and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Just call me Mary Poppins. I miss home.
    Lockdown isn’t Ideal for anyone. Nobody ever said it was. People are sacrificing a lot because they are doing it for love of others, not for fear. People would never have sustained it so long otherwise.

    We can all wax lyrical about what we’re missing out on through this episode of temporary imprisonment, for some. I’ve been in virtual lockdown for about ten years. Welcome to my world.
    Has made e realise how strong I am since everybody else is falling apart.

  12. John B()


    Mary Poppins?

    OK. For some reason, I was thinking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    I thought the four you were locked up with or for were some elderly folk

    I always take a crack at trying to decipher your comments (just as you try to decipher what Briggs is saying in his posts)


  13. Joy

    Perhaps Charles Dickens.
    What I meant was of the nature of Mary Poppins. Last time I said fairy I got in trouble. It’s Wendy actually.
    I don’t think my comments are that hard to understand. When the full stop monster’s not on duty or the dodgy spellchecker
    See, I’m learning to leave them off

  14. Joy

    Dear Briggs, I presume you don’t have time for listening but the Q and A session from Matt Hancock gives context to what I was saying about the difference between what left wing media says and what the executives are saying. If you were in Parliament you could ask more constructive questions. Nobody can claim our government has shied away from scrutiny.

    (He did say randomised but I think it was okay.)

    Min 6 to 7 Matt Hancock tries to straighten the loaded question from his shadow opposite. Then others come along and repeat repeat repeat. They’ve been coached by media. Sometimes he breaks into laughing. It is comedy in one sense.

    Minute 17 he responds about surveys and “R rate” measure. One can tell he knows it’s falling on deaf ears as he speaks. It’s Brexit all over again but with a majority of eighty seats, this time. They are STILL saying the same falsehood, up to yesterday, despite being corrected countless times.

    *29th min: R number again. Then, another, straight after…This is what we’re up against. I lost count. It’s a war of attrition. Like Brexit…and it’s not over yet. The real battle lines are, of course, globalisation versus national sovereignty. So it’s just war by other means.


  15. Joy

    Please ignore me I’m being as ass.

  16. Joy

    I hit a nerve with someone who isn’t called Joy who posted the previous comment. Queer internet person, no doubt with long whiskers, bright eyes and a button pointy nose

    I think you meant ‘an ass’. I would never use that language. However it’s pronounced!

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