For fans of Blink, The Tipping Point, and Freakonomics, here is a brilliant, funny, and accessible exploration of our flawed quest for certainty.
In 2008, as the price of oil surged above $140 a barrel, experts said it would soon hit $200; a few months later, it plunged to $30. In 1967, they said the USSR would have one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in the year 2000; in 2000, the USSR did not exist. In 1911, it was pronounced that there would be no more wars in Europe.
Let’s face it: experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. And yet, every day, we ask them to predict everything from the weather to the likelihood of a terrorist attack. Future Babble is the first book to examine this phenomenon, demonstrating why our brains yearn for certainty about the future, why we are attracted to those who predict it confidently, and why it’s so easy for us to ignore the trail of outrageously wrong forecasts.
In this fast-paced, example-packed, sometimes darkly hilarious book, bestselling author Dan Gardner shows how pundits who are more famous are less accurate — and the average expert is no more accurate than a flipped coin. Gardner also draws on current research in cognitive psychology, political science, and behavioural economics to discover something quite reassuring: The future is always uncertain, but the end is not always near.