Episode 21: Did Trump Pivot?

In this episode (recorded 3/1/17), we talk about what Wikipedia is really good at, whether Trump’s joint address to Congress represents a meaningful pivot, the possibility of US military action against North Korea, and the theory that we’re all living in a simulation gone haywire.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes 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 (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 20: A Month in the Age of Trump

In episode 20 (recorded 2/20/17), we cover the first month of the Trump administration. We consider the odds that Trump will put his face on a trillion-dollar coin, debate the limits of presidential power, talk about how we each deal with information overload, and discuss whether Congress will pass a large infrastructure bill this year. We go on to discuss Trump senior counselor Steve Bannon’s theory of American history and the bizarre apparent assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother in Malaysia. We end by guessing that in the next podcast we’ll be talking about a revised executive order on immigration.

You can also find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes 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 (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 19: Trump Administration Best Bets

In episode 19 (recorded 2/12/17), we discuss the odds President Trump will be impeached, the odds that Trump will win the Nobel Peace Prize, which Trump administration official will be the first to leave office (and decide that at 12-1 odds National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is our best bet to leave office first), what’s wrong with New York Knicks management, whether compromising Russian footage of Trump will appear on RedTube, whether Trump and Melania will split up, whether the Affordable Care Act will be repealed or amended in 2017, who the next justice to leave the Supreme Court will be, and whether the Trump administration will withdraw from the Iran deal.

You can also find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunes 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 (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 18: Hitler’s Mac and Cheese

In episode 18 (recorded 2/1/17), we talk to friend of the podcast and small business owner James about Trump’s “two-for-one” executive order on reducing regulation and about how new technologies like real-time video manipulation might affect our ability to know what is real. Atief goes on to argue that Trump’s supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch is somehow like Hitler’s macaroni and cheese recipe. We close the podcast with a discussion of the recent corruption amnesty protests in Romania.

You can also find NonProphets on iTunes 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 the contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). And if you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 17: Michael Story Interview

In episode 17 (recorded 1/26/17), we interview Good Judgment director and friend of the podcast Michael Story. Michael is a British superforecaster with an MSc. in public policy research from the London School of Economics.

We talk with Michael about his approach to forecasting and about his experience training forecasters. We go on to discuss the class politics of Brexit, the rise of nationalism in Europe, what happens if the US support for NATO weakens, and who would win in a rematch between the UK and Argentina. We close by considering whether there is realistic chance that a country uses a nuclear weapon in 2017.

The article on training forecasters Michael mentioned is

Mellers, Barbara, et al. “Psychological strategies for winning a geopolitical forecasting tournament.” Psychological Science 25.5 (2014): 1106-1115.

You can also find NonProphets on iTunes 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 the contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). And if you enjoy this podcast, please rate us on iTunes and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 16: Information in the Trump Age

We kick off this episode (recorded on 1/11/17) by discussing effective charitable giving, the value of turkey hunting, and Hawaiian jungle fowl. We go on to talk about Donald Trump’s recent press conference and how we can gather and interpret information in light in the Trump era.

Then we play “Trump v. Obama” by trying to forecast how approval ratings, stock market growth, unemployment rates, and manufacturing employment will compare for the two. We close with by comparing our scores on controversial sociologist Charles Murray’s “bubble quiz”, which was devised as a rough measure of how connected you are to mainstream white American culture.

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

Episode 15: New Year Forecasts

We start our first podcast of 2017 (recorded on 1/4/17) by estimating the over/under on the number of times Donald Trump will mention Rosie O’Donnell on Twitter in 2017. We go on to talk about policy-making an era when people don’t trust scientific expertise. Roberts wonders if the fate of the European Union could turn on the presidential election in France. And we all agree that Trump is more likely to strike the North Korean nuclear program preemptively than Clinton would have been.

We finish by sharing our New Year’s resolutions: Robert wants to write a book; Scott wants to get his Ph.D. dissertation done; and Atief wants to have the hosts of the Atheist Community of Austin radio show that is our namesake (“The Non Prophets”)  come on our podcast as guests. The intro music for this episode is a clip from Death Cab for Cutie, “The New Year”.

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

Episode 14: Seth Baum on Trump Presidency Risk

In our last podcast of 2016 (recorded on 12/22/16), we talk for a second time to Global Catastrophic Risk Institute Executive Director Seth Baum (our first interview with Dr. Baum is here). We discuss Dr. Baum’s recent column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the risks associated with a Trump presidency. We discussed whether Trump believes in Nixon’s “Madman Theory”of foreign policy, how much damage Trump could do to the global climate change regime, and what ordinary citizens could do to mitigate the risk of catastrophe.

We also look back at our holiday-season predictions. The Pantone 2017 color of the year was “greenery”, which was the color that Scott thought was second most likely. Robert managed to come within $5 million of the opening weekend domestic box office of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We finish up by talking about our holiday plans and also about vampires. Happy New Year and thanks for listening to NonProphets!

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

Episode 13: Holiday Forecasts!

In Episode 13 (recorded on 12/7/16), we try to predict the 2017 Pantone color of the year (go here to read about how Pantone selects its color of the year). Robert and Scott guess primrose yellow while Atief bets it will be island paradise. The day after we recorded Pantone announced the color of the year will be greenery, which Scott had as his alternate choice.

We then try to forecast Amazon’s 10 top holiday best-sellers and the opening weekend domestic box office of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We close the podcast with a brief discussion of the chance that Democrats could push through Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court in the brief recess before the new Senate is sworn in.

The intro music for this episode is a clip from Hilo Hattie, “Santa’s Hula”. As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, use the contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). And if you enjoy this podcast, please rate us on iTunes and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 12: Fake News, Real Consequences

In Episode 12, we look at how “fake news” and affects politics and our ability to forecasting political events. We share how we go about figuring out what to trust in the news. We also recommend going to AllSides to see how stories are being covered by media outlets with different partisan orientations. Then we go on to talk about national elections in Austria and France in light of the the surge of far-right nationalism around the world. Next week we will be back with a special holiday forecasting podcast!

As always, if you have questions, ideas for future episodes, or would like to suggest a possible black swan event, use the contact page or e-mail us at (nonprophets [at] nonprophetspod.com). And if you enjoy this podcast, please rate us on iTunes and recommend us to your friends.