Is it Possible to Make Predictions?: don’t ask an Actuary or statistician


Probability and Measure
Probability and Measure (Photo credit: John-Morgan)

I don’t consider myself particularly clever but I understand that, when it comes to matters of finance and insurance, we CANNOT predict the future. So, why is it that extremely clever, highly educated, people don’t appear to understand OR are prepared to feign ignorance?

“…contemporary “predictive machinery” is based on statistics – looking back in time, building some model of what has actually happened, extrapolating into the future. The concept of probability plays a central role here. Bertrand Russell is known to have said, back in 1929, that “probability is the most important concept in modern science, especially as nobody has the slightest notion what it means”. In fact, probability is not a physical entity and it is not subjected to any laws in the strict scientific meaning. As a matter of fact, there are no laws of probability. If a future event will take place, it will do so irrespective of the probability that we may have attached to it. If an extremely  unlikely event will happen, it’s probability of occurrence is already 100%”

via Ontonix S.r.l.: Is it Possible to Make Predictions?.

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