30 October 2011

Meno della media statistica

In one of his many experimental surveys, Kahneman shows that six in ten forecasts made by pundits tend to be wrong. A nonexpert would be wrong only half of the time, according to the laws of statistics. Why are “experts” apparently less reliable than the common man? As Kahneman explains, the experts are often prisoners of rigid theories that prevent them from absorbing new information and understanding global changes that don’t fit into the framework. Yet the authentic media-savvy pundit, says Kahneman, possesses a unique talent to rationalize and survive his own errors. The true culprits, he adds, aren’t the experts but the media, which expect prophecies. The truth is that the economic world is too complex for prediction. This is why central government planning can’t work: too many parameters are in play, more than any theory or any thinker can control. The “spontaneous order” of the free market—as Friedrich Hayek described it—brings far better results.

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