This week our goal is to expand our prediction and forecasting skills by attacking more complex problems, and practicing the specific narrow mental abilities that will sharpen our predictive powers.
Lectures (16 minutes total)
Watch these two short lectures. Prediction and Calibration will convey the best practices for making complex and confusing predictions under uncertainty. Expected Value discusses a fundamental technical concept we will be using for the remainder of the course.
(20 minutes) Make a free account on Guesstimate. Try your hand at estimating the mass of the largest elephant ever recorded. Use the thought process described in the videos, and factor in any additional angles or information you want to include in your estimate.
(20 minutes) Collect everyone’s estimate for the weight of the largest elephant ever recorded. Discuss your own thoughts on Fermi estimates, and share your own strategies on approaching this specific question.
(10 minutes) Look up whatever lottery is most popular in your area and attempt to calculate the expected value of buying a ticket using the information that you have available to you. If the rules are complex or unclear, just do your best. Remember the EV calculation requires that you subtract the cost of the ticket!
(5 minutes) Share your findings with the group. Who in the group has access to the "best" lottery?
(10 minutes) Share the last time you made a bet with someone to resolve a disagreement. If you can't remember a time you've made a bet, then share a past occasion when a bet would have been a good idea. What are the qualities of a good bet?
Prediction and Calibration(transcript) will convey the best practices for making predictions under uncertainty.
Expected Value(transcript) discusses a fundamental technical concept we will be using for the remainder of the course.