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Paul’s legacy lives on – skill

Paul may have died but his legacy lives. Here is a serious post by a policy analyst that usually concerns himself with disaster forecasts and their relationship with climate change, but talks about Paul’s predictive powers. I posted on the cultural significance of Paul during the world cup, connected to some philo-Emersonian form of knowledge, you can see that post here. This is some of what Roger explains:

Another implication of the Paul phenomena is that in some instances, it may not be possible to rigorously evaluate a forecast methodology.  With an octopus, it is easy to assert that whatever methods he employed, they probably were not very rigorous.  But what if it had been JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs with the remarkable record based on their lengthy quantitative analyses?  Then it would be more difficult to assess whether their results were the consequence of a true forecasting ability, or just luck.

Beyond comparing Paul with JP Morgan, Roger also digs deeper at the widespread phenomenon of animal prediction. As usual Roger is careful with his research and unveils Paul’s own wikipedia page, with details of his life, work and legacy. There is also more background on Paul’s fellow (not so successful) predictors of the animal kingdom,:

Some other oracles did not fare so well in the World Cup. The animals at the Chemnitz Zoo in Germany were wrong on all of Germany’s group-stage games, with Leon the porcupine picking Australia, Petty the pygmy hippopotamus spurning Serbia’s apple-topped pile of hay, Jimmy the Peruvian guinea-pig and Anton the tamarin eating a raisin representing Ghana. Mani the Parakeet of Singapore,[55][56] Octopus Pauline of Holland,[57] Octopus Xiaoge of Qingdao China,[58] Chimpanzee Pino and Red River Hog Apelsin in Tallinn zoo Estonia[59] picked the Netherlands to win the final.[60] Crocodile Harry of Australia picked Spain to win.[61]

 

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