Odds and Ends

In this episode (recorded 5/31/18), we catch up on what we’ve been doing while we’re not podcasting. Atief talks about the importance of the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission for administrative law judges and for the administrative state. Robert talks about his experience as a delegate at the recent Hawaii State Democrats Convention. Then we talk with Atief about his experience as a new parent and his philosophy of parenting. We close with a discussion Atief’s purchase of the amazing commemorative Korea peace talks coins being sold by the White House Gift Shop.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

PredictIt (Will Jennings Interview)

In this episode (recorded 4/26/18), we talk to PredictIt Head of Public Engagement Will Jennings. We talk to Will about what PredictIt is and how it works; how prediction markets can be sources of news and information; which markets have been controversial; who makes money on PredictIt and how they do it; how PredictIt comes up with specific markets; and what lessons Will has learned from working on prediction markets.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

The Fourth Age (Byron Reese Interview)

In this episode (recorded 5/2/18), we talk to Byron Reese about The Fourth Age, his fascinating new new book on how artificial intelligence and robots will change the world. We talk about what motivated the book; what “the Fourth Age” is; the role of ideas and culture in history; whether automation will cause technological unemployment; whether automation will increase inequality; what skills we’ll need in the future; whether technological changes will be socially and politically disruptive; why computing and automation hasn’t had a larger effect on economic measures of productivity; what access to the internet is worth; where fears about AI come from: what consciousness and free will are; why Byron is optimistic about the future.

Our interview with Shahar Avin of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) about the prospects for the development of artificial intelligence is here.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Everything’s on the Table

In this episode (recorded 4/23/18), we play a game we call “Everything’s on the Table”. In this game, Robert suggests possible news items and Atief and Scott say whether or not they think those stories could plausibly happen in 2018. We weigh important questions ranging from whether North and South Korea might announce they are exploring reunification, to whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller might name President Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in money laundering and bank fraud, to whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions might have the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” destroyed.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. The intro music to this episode is a clip from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario”. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Straight Outta Chumptown

In this episode (recorded 4/4/18), we talk about “the backfire effect”—the fact that people sometimes seem to hold ideas even more firmly after being confronted with evidence they are wrong.

We discuss Andrew Gelman’s skepticism of a New England Journal of Medicine report—which we discussed in the previous podcast—finding that firearm injuries in the US drop 20% while NRA members are attending national meetings; how skeptical we should be of research that confirms our preconceptions; “The Debunking Handbook” techniques for changing people’s minds; research into how much contrary information it takes to change people’s mind; whether culture or economics determines elections; how we avoid bias in forecasting and decision-making; and how we can stay out of Chumptown,

The four episodes of the You Are Not So Smart podcast on the “backfire effect” are here, here, here, and here.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Calculations

In this episode (recorded 3/23/18), we talk about PredictIt questions we’ve lost money on; what things that come out of the Trump administration are worth paying attention to; the nerve agent assassination attempt in England; the Russian concept of vranyo; what public figures Americans trust; how and whether we can change other people’s minds; what the consequences of the recent crash of a self-driving Uber car will be; and the eternal conflict between K.I.T.T. and K.A.R.R.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. The intro music for this episode is a clip from “Calculate” by Del the Funky Homosapien. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Guns, Norms, and Democracy

In this episode (recorded 3/5/18), we talk about the impact of the Parkland shooting on US politics; the rapidly shifting Republican orthodoxy; whether democratic norms are weakening; Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index; whether there will be any material change US gun laws in the next six months; and which institutions in the US are seen as corrupt.

The New England Journal of Medicine finding that firearm injuries in the US drop 20% while NRA members are attending national meetings is here.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Toward the Year 2068

In this episode (recorded 2/23/18), we discuss a 1968 collection of essays speculating what the distant future of 2018 would be like called Toward the Year 2018. We start by talking about whether its really possible to predict the future fifty years out; the difficulty of forecasting changing norms and tastes; what the book got right and what it got wrong; how much our lives have actually changed since 1968; how technology is making it harder to know what’s real and what’s fake; how technology could make the problems of inequality worse; how technology is changing our ideas of privacy; what science fiction scenario is closest to what life will be like in 50 years; whether there will be more than 100,000 people in space in 50 years; the problem of technological unemployment; what country we would want to be born into in 50 years; and what people 50 years from now will judge us for doing.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Kathryn Cochran Interview

In this episode (recorded 1/23/18), we interview Good Judgment Chief Scientist Kathryn McNabb Cochran about forecasting question design. Dr. Cochran leads Good Judgment’s question development team and helped design Good Judgment’s new Future of Europe Index.

We talked with Dr. Cochran how forecasting can make organizations more agile; about how to design clear, meaningful forecasting questions; about how forecasting makes us smarter consumers of news; about the value of forecasting question clusters; about how we could improve the forecasting ability of US intelligence; and about the Nicaragua Canal and little green men.

You can read Dr. Cochran and Cdr. Tozzi’s Center for a New American Security essay, “Getting It Righter, Faster,” here. The announcement for Good Judgment’s Future of Europe Index is here.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Incoming Ballistic Missile Alert

We begin this episode (recorded 1/31/18) by talking about what it was like for Robert to wake up to a civil defense alert that a ballistic missile is on its way.

Next we discuss the recent heated forecasting debate on Twitter between Superforecasting author and Good Judgment Project mastermind Philip Tetlock and Black Swan author Nassim Taleb. From there we go on to discuss the famous bet between Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon about whether population growth and consumption would drive up commodity prices and the value of having “skin in the game”.

We close by reviewing the performance of our PredictIt bets on what Trump would say in his State of the Union speech and by speculating about the 2018 US midterm elections and future of the Mueller investigation.

Read superforecaster Roman Hagelstein’s profile in Welt am Sonntag here. Links to our interview with Roman are here. Read a separate profile of superforecasters Sander Wagner and Bruno Jahn in the German edition of Forbes here. Links to our interviews with Sander and Bruno are here and here.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, you can use our contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.