Financial Experts' Failures

Why are experts so bad at making predictions? The world is a messy place with countless intervening variables and confounding factors, which our brains are not equipped to evaluate.

We evolved the capacity to make snap decisions based on short-term predictions, not rational analysis about long-term investments, and so we deceive ourselves into thinking that experts can foresee the future. This self-deception among professional prognosticators was investigated by University of California, Berkeley, professor Philip E. Tetlock, as reported in his 2005 book Expert Political Judgment. After testing 284 experts in political science, economics, history and journalism in a staggering 82,361 predictions about the future, Tetlock concluded that they did little better than "a dart-throwing chimpanzee."

Why American history lives between the cracks

The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?

Videos
  • History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
  • In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
  • Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
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Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
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Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

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Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
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