Will Kavanaugh Be Confirmed?

In this episode (recorded 9/18/18), we discuss Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in light of allegations that he tried to rape a fifteen-year-old girl when he was in high school. We talk about the PredictIt market for how many votes Kavanaugh will get in the Senate by October 31; the nature of the allegations against Kavanaugh; how hearings might affect midterm elections in the US; the altercation at an Emmy party between Mark Burnett and Tom Arnold about the rumored Trump Apprentice tapes; and a also few Things Scott Cares About.

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.

Scared Money

In this episode (recorded 9/4/18), Atief and Robert discuss the upcoming midterm elections in the US. We talk about what information we use to forecast the midterms; whether the median voter theorem still holds; local races in Missouri and Hawaii as well as other races we find interesting; and the importance of voter turnout.

Listeners who are interested in trying PredictIt to make real bets on political events like the midterm elections—check out our interview with PredictIt’s Will Jennings here—can get up $20 of their first deposit matched by using this promotional link:

www.predictit.org/promo/NONPROPHETS20

Don’t forget to submit your interesting forecasting questions to us at (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com) for a chance to win a genuine collectible Korea Singapore Summit coin.

You can find NonProphets on BlubrryiTunesStitcher and Google Play. The intro music for this episode is a clip from “Midnight” by A Tribe Called Quest. 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.

Space Force and Star Child

We’re back!

In this episode (recorded 8/17/18), we talk briefly about what we were up to all summer while we weren’t podcasting. We discuss the anti-terrorism conference sponsored by Iran that Scott attended; the politicization of the administrative state; the use of pretexts in political debates; how Robert lost money by bailing out of a bet about Hawaii politics too early; how low expectations are eroding norms; how cute Atief’s baby is; Robert’s news fatigue; corruption and political protests in Romania; and what news stories we’re each following.

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.

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.

Darkness Rises

In this episode (recorded 12/22/17), we give our thoughts about what will happen in 2018. We start by talking about how we’ve been able to make money forecasting on PredictIt before looking back briefly back at our 2017 forecasts.

Next we make some predictions about 2018: where Amazon will put its second headquarters, whether there will be more disclosures about the US government’s UFO program, the implications of the Mueller investigation, whether Anthony Kennedy will retire, whether Democrats will retake Congress in 2018, whether Bitcoin prices will keep going up, the prospects for bipartisanship in the US, the future of autonomous vehicles, whether we should expect more “doughnut politics”, and where the Star Wars franchise is going.

Our thanks to the superforecasters who talked about 2018 with us. 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.