It’s a complex world, and we are constantly making decisions. Just imagine the number of decisions we make about breakfast: How big a breakfast should I have? Should I have coffee? If so, how much? Should I have toast? Should I use butter? Should I have one piece or two? Should I cut the toast? If so, should they be cut into rectangles or triangles? Should I keep the crust? Should I have juice? Should it be apple juice or orange juice? How about milk? I haven’t even gotten to the pancakes, waffles, syrup, sausage, cereal, bacon… (mmm, bacon…)
Imagine a guy with glasses who used to model baseball stats and play online poker nailing the outcome of the 2012 elections. And when I say “nailing”, I mean that he correctly predicted the U.S. Presidential contest in every one of the 50 states (and nearly every U.S. Senate race, too). He even performed better than some of the most widely-used polling firms. Now imagine that he gives his thoughts on making these types of predictions. That’s exactly what Nate Silver does in his new book The Signal and the Noise.