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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Two scientists using the New York Times archives to predict the future
2013-02-03
[GIGAOM] SUMMARY: Researchers are creating software that analyzes 22 years of New York Times archives, Wikipedia and about 90 other web resources to predict future disease outbreaks, riots and deaths -- and hopefully prevent them.
You can use the Rantburg archives to predict certain behaviors as well.

For instance, we know with 99 percent certainty that there will be a Karachi Korpse Kount on any particular day. The numbers might vary, but we can be sure the deaders will be stacked. Give it maybe a 90-95 percent chance that a portion of them (not just the heads, either) will be in Lyari.

We can predict that there will be no arrests of anyone associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistain. Give that a fat 99 percent, as well.

We can predict that in the course of a year at least one, maybe more than one, Saudi holy man will come out with a fatwa that's so abysmally stupid as to take your breath away. That's another 99 percent.

We can predict with similar 99.44 percent certainty that any country going through an Arab Spring will be targeted for takeover by the Moslem Brüderbund and by Salafists, 99 percent for either or, maybe 90 percent for both. And, yes, I include Yemen in that group. AQAP are Salafists.

How about economics? We can predict that any country that's going broke and needs to cut the dole will see people in the streets, hollering for their subsidies. Certainly a better than 95 percenter, I'd say.
Posted by:Fred

#6  Whatever happens, women, minorities will be hardest hit.
Posted by: tu3031   2013-02-03 21:21  

#5  Alaska Paul,

I was taught in my very first Statistics course some 44 years ago that there are 3 classifications of Statistics:
1) Lies, damn lies and statistics
2) Figures don't lie, liars figure
3) Garbage in, garbage out.

Keep that trinity in mind and always demand to see the data and the alogrithms used to manipulate it.
Posted by: AlanC   2013-02-03 20:20  

#4  Ouch. Y'all have been sharpening your scalpels again.
Posted by: trailing wife   2013-02-03 18:06  

#3  I hope they're not predicting crop yields in the Ukraine.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain   2013-02-03 14:32  

#2  Rantburg predictions are within least two standard deviations of certainty.

The scientists using the NYT, how many sigma certainty are their predictions? How to lie with Statistics.
Posted by: Alaska Paul   2013-02-03 13:53  

#1  if they're using the NYT archives, you can also be 99% sure that Republicans are at fault.
Posted by: Frank G   2013-02-03 13:08  

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