Happy Summer Forecasts

In this episode (recorded 5/3/17), we take a little break from politics to make some summer forecasts. We start by talking about climate change and whether catastrophe losses are likely to increase this year.

Next we make our forecasts for the movies and songs of the summer. Robert says the biggest movie will be either “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” or “Despicable Me 3”. Atief guesses it will be “Spiderman: Homecoming” and  that “It Comes at Night” could be a sleeper hit, but thinks that “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” will be a major flop. Robert thinks that either Kyle’s “iSpy” featuring Lil Yachty or Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” has a chance to be this summer’s jam. Robert and Atief agree that there are about even odds that the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 1 will have the word “featuring” in the artist line and also that there are close to even odds that one of the top two songs will feature Drake in some way.

Then we return to politics. We talk about the acrimonious debate between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen and Scott gives Macron a 97% chance of winning the French presidential election. We also discuss whether FBI Director James Comey swung the US presidential election to Donald Trump. We end the podcast—which was recorded the night before the revised Republican health care bill did pass in the House—by giving it a roughly 50% chance of passing in the House.

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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com. If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Rare Birds

We start this episode (recorded 4/26/17) by talking about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s leadership and giving our analysis of the first round of the French election. We go on to speculate about what President Trump might do to to make his first 100 days in office look more impressive—would he retaliate against Venezuela for seizing a General Motors’ factory? or withdraw from NAFTA? or simply send someone to Mars? We end the episode by wondering whether Trump’s wall is real or figurative, before briefly considering the March for Science and Romanian pop music.

The opening audio clip is from this video of comedian Stephen Fry narrating as zoologist Mark Carwadine is shagged by a rare parrot. 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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Trump Bets and the French Election

We start this episode (recorded 4/20/17) by discussing Atief’s application to be Paddy Power’s new Head of Trump Betting. We consider possible Trump bets Atief could propose—how many rounds of golf will Donald Trump play in 2017? will Trump appoint Bill O’Reilly to an position in the executive branch? We go on to talk about what it means that House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz announced that he won’t seek reelection, the prospects for the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington’s (CREW) suit alleging Trump is violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, and whether Trump will invite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the White House.

In the second part of the episode, we talk about the probability of a North Korean nuclear test in the near future, the first round of the French election and the possibility of a Frexit, the influence of corporate shareholders on politics and the importance of labor unions, and the deconstruction of the administrative state. We end the episode by talking about what kind of meat they eat in Romania and wondering what kind of person eats expensive steaks well-done with ketchup.

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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us and recommend us to your friends.

Episode 22: Sander Wagner on European Elections

In this episode (recorded 3/7/17), we interview superforecaster and “citizen of nowhere” Sander Wagner. Sander is an assistant professor of quantitative sociology in at Ensae ParisTech.

We start by talking with Sander about his research on intergenerational mobility. We then talk about the upcoming elections in France, the Netherlands, and Germany. We end with a discussion of future of Europe now that Trump is the president of the US.

The closing music is a clip from Wu-Tang Clan, “Clan in Da Front”. 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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). If you enjoy this podcast, please rate us 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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com). And if you enjoy this podcast, please rate us on iTunes and recommend us to your friends.

The NonProphets Podcast Is Live

The NonProphets Podcast is available for download on iTunes and Blubbry! In the first episode, we introduce ourselves, discuss the probability that National Front Leader Marine Le Pen will advance to the second round of the upcoming French presidential election, debate Donald Trump’s chances in the November US election, and conduct our inaugural Black Swan Hunt. 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 (nonprophetspod [at] gmail.com).