Kjirste Morrell Interview

In this episode (recorded 5/14/21), we interview superforecaster Kjirste Morrell. Kjirste is a mechanical engineer and was interviewed for Adam Grant’s recent bestseller Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.

We talk with Kjirste about what it was like coming to forecasting as an engineer; the value of comments on a forecasting question; what she meant by the phrase “the joy of being wrong”; how to combat bias in forecasting; a couple of long-term Metaculus questions (on when global economic growth will radically accelerate and how many people will and on the Moon by 2030); and her experience working on the Segway at Dean Kamen’s DEKA Research. Kjirste flatly refused to help us remove the speed restrictions on our Segways.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, 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.

Forecasts Inherently Have No Value

In this episode (recorded 4/30/21), we interview John Bravender, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warning coordination meteorologist at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. We talk to John about what they forecast at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center; how they forecast hurricanes; what a “spaghetti plot” is; how they evaluate the accuracy of hurricane forecasts; how they make sure they communicate their forecasts in a useful way; how to communicate low-probability-high-impact events; why they don’t use the term “vivid lightning”; why forecasts inherently have no value; and how to prepare communities to be resilient.

The paper we discussed in the podcast is Allan H. Murphy (1993), “What Is a Good Forecast? An Essay on the Nature of Goodness in Weather Forecasting,” Weather and Forecasting 8(2), 281-293.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, 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.

Get the Damn Vaccine

In this episode (recorded 3/20/21), we talk about our experiences with the vaccine rollout; when we think things are likely to return to normal; the prospects for bipartisan legislation in US politics; and whether it depends on filibuster reform in the US Senate.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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.

Illuminating the Final Days

In this episode (recorded 1/10/21), we talk about the final days of the Trump presidency and the aftermath of the attack on the US Capitol. We start by congratulating ourselves for predicting that Illuminating would probably be the 2021 Pantone color of the year, although we didn’t anticipate that it would be paired with Ultimate Gray. We go on to look back at our 2016 Trump administration forecasts; look forward at how the Biden administration will compare; speculate about the possibility of a serious crisis during the Biden administration; consider whether there will be violence before Joe Biden’s inauguration; and discuss the future of the Republican Party and Trumpism.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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.

This Podcast About the Election Is Disputed

In this episode (recorded 11/21/20), we talk about the US election and forecast the 2021 Pantone color of the year. We discuss what happened in the US election; what will happen in the Senate special elections in Georgia; whether polls are any good; the paranoid style in American politics; whether Joe Biden can govern a divided country; who Donald Trump will pardon (this podcast was recorded before President Trump pardoned Michael Flynn); how American democracy performed in the election; and what the 2021 Pantone color of the year will be (Scott and Robert predict the 2021 color will be Illuminating or possibly Marigold, although Atief bets it won’t be either color).

UPDATE 12/9/20: The Pantone 2021 Color of the Year is Ultimate Gray and Illuminating together.

The Vox interview of David Shor is here. The most recent Pantone color trend reports are here. The Metaculus Pantone color of the year forecast question is here. Our podcast on the 2020 Pantone color of the year is here.

The intro music is a clip from Scandal’s “Goodbye to You”. You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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 Election

In this episode (recorded 10/24/20), we talk about the political advertising we’ve been seeing; the likelihood that Joe Biden wins the vote; the role of QAnon in US politics; the chance that there will be post-election violence; and the possible effect of the pandemic on election results. We close by giving our predictions for the number of electoral votes Biden will win (Atief 323, Scott 348, Robert 354).

The poem at the end of the podcast is “Keeping our Small Boat Afloat” by Robert Bly. Don’t give up hope that the door of mercy may still be open.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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.

Old Is New Again

In this episode (recorded 9/27/20), we go over the breaking news from the New York Times from Trumps tax returns; debate the probability that there will be substantial violence related to the November election; and consider whether the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court means that Roe v. Wade will be overturned or that we will return to the Lochner Era. Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free is here.

The intro music is a clip from Jae Millz’ “Bring It Back”. You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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.

Doing the Wrong Thing

In this episode (recorded 7/18/20), we catch up on what we did during our hiatus. We talk about why people aren’t doing more to fight the spread of the COVID-19; the role of resentment and grievance in US politics; the lack of empathy in American governance; the prospects of attaining “herd immunity” to COVID-19; how the history of epidemics repeats; our attempts to get COVID-19 tests; and when the US might return to semi-normalcy.

The article we discussed about the West’s “resentment epidemic” is here. “The Good Judgment dashboard with superforecaster forecasts for the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths is here. Metaculus’ infectious disease prediction markets are here. Youyang Gu’s US COVID-19 projections are here.

The intro music is a clip from Kaki King’s “Doing the Wrong Thing”. You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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.

Superforecasting and Social Epidemiology (Justin Crow Interview)

In this episode (recorded 4/5/20), we interview superforecaster Justin Crow. Justin is a social epidemiologist in the Virginia Department of Health. We talk with Justin about what social epidemiology is; the work he’s doing on the COVID-19 pandemic; how the efforts to fight the pandemic in Virginia are going; why COVID-19 case numbers can be misleading; the prospect of COVID-19 spreading to rural areas; when things can begin to return to normal; and his recommendations for taking care of oneself. Justin’s remarks are his private opinions and do not represent the official views of the Virginia Department of Health.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, 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.

Third Time’s the Plague

In this episode (recorded 3/22/20), we discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We talk about the Good Judgment/Open Philanthropy dashboard of COVID-19 forecasts; the situations in Missouri, Romania, and Hawaii; travel restrictions and stay-at-home-orders; whether red states will be impacted to a greater degree than blue states; and which of us will be the first to contract the coronavirus.

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 map is here. The Good Judgment dashboard with superforecaster forecasts for the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths is here. Metaculus’ infectious disease prediction markets are here.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes, Spotify, Stitcher 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.