by Philip E. Tetlock · read June 29, 2022


This oft-cited book did not disappoint — it was a readable account of a research project to determine what makes someone good at forecasting, or making predictions about the future. Since I'm interested in psychology, cognition, and mathematics, especially probability, I especially enjoyed reading about how Tetlock's research relates to other thinkers like Laplace, Kahneman, Duke, and Taleb — the topic of how we can apply good judgment, in the face of cognitive biases, to the non-intuitive process of assigning probabilities to future events is so multi-layered that every step to unraveling it is fascinating. This book definitely leaves me feeling like I should get onto Metaculus and start putting what I've learned into action!

The human brain demands order. The world must make sense, which means we must be able to explain what we see and think. And we usually can—because we are creative confabulators hardwired to invent stories that impose coherence on the world.

Julia Cooke © 2023