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Forecasting world events

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by tochatihu, Apr 2, 2011.

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  1. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    To read some recent news blogs, one gets the idea that the CIA is unpleased by their inability to anticipate many recent events. Middle east national uprisings being one example.

    So they are asking you and me to help!

    You would go here

    About the Project « Forecasting World Events

    begin to sign up, and maybe later they will ask you for advice.

    My advice is that if you do push the button, look up your old SAT and ACT scores first, if you took those exams. You will be asked.

    I though it looked interesting so I did the questionnaire. Perhaps it won't work out, with me working for the Chinese Academy of Sciences and all. But we can sort that out later.

    Now the IARPA web site does not appear to say CIA anywhere. But the newsbloggers do, so I wll assume that this is in service of the American Intelligence Community.

    Plenty of smart cookies at PriusChat, witches, etc. We ought to be able to fix them right up.

    :cool: <- closest thing to a spy smiley?
  2. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Indeed. The only requirement I see listed is that participants be over 18. I assume this is a legality rather than an indicator of intelligence. And I read that it's a federally funded national study, yet I saw nothing relating to residence or nationality requirements. Curious.



    The sunglasses, definitely. But the smirk implies a sense of humour, and that's not accurate. Plus it needs a little curly wire to the ear.

    Maybe this one?: :ph34r:
  3. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    In the questionnaire, nothing about name, SSN, residence or citizenship. Date of birth and gender. But hey it's the CIA, I gave them my email so if they are interested they can find out lots of stuff. IOW if they don't want somebody who lives over here, I'm out. Or, if they want some spying done, I won't do it.

    I understand also that IARPA is federally funded, but it might not be easy to find out its budget.

    To tease further with the questionnaire, many questions concern 'about you' and how you deal with uncertainty. A few math and probability questions, but far from what one would face from MENSA. I'm not providing Cliff notes.

    My interpretation of the 18+ was that maybe, some of their topics will deal with 'adult subjects. Anyway, here's hopin'

    It is not my intention to inform PC whether or not I am selected, what the questions are etc. Youse guys can zip yer lips or not, at your own choice.
  4. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Wet black birds don't fly at night
  5. caffeinekid

    caffeinekid Duct Tape Extraordinaire

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    You get what you pay for.
  6. priuscritter

    priuscritter I am the Stig.

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    not sure how they could have not predicted this. a lot of us regular people knew this would happen. once the taste of freedom reached the ground in afghanistan and iraq it was just a matter of time before other oppressed people in the region would go "hey wait a minute, their daughters can go to school, why can't mine" and "hey he can vote for his leader, why can't i?" while war is tragic, at least these people might get rid of some dictators and come into a new age of democracy.
  7. caffeinekid

    caffeinekid Duct Tape Extraordinaire

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    "Oppression" comes in different forms:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFGQN2-oS3Q"]Shock Doctrine - The Rise of Disaster Capitalism[/ame]
  8. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Bumping my own thread to share some things the spooks have just emailed me:

    "
    • At this time, over 600 people are being invited to participate. Please note that we expect that new participants will be joining the panel on a rolling basis for years to come.
    • Around 85% of these 600+ participants have at least a Bachelor's degree, and over 60% of them have advanced degrees.
    • In terms of background training, participants represent a range of academic fields. Around 40% report a Social-Behavioral Science background, but there is also significant representation from those with backgrounds in Business (15%), the Humanities (13%), Engineering (12%), and the Natural Sciences (10%), among others.
    • The average participant age is 43 years-old, with a standard deviation of 15 years.
    • The panel's gender composition is 75% men / 25% women, and this closely mirrors the gender ratio for all FWE registrants.
    • In addition to participation from individuals overseas, we are pleased to have eligible participants representing 44 of the 50 United States.
    "
    They are still taking applications. Hint hint. For some reason I hope for a high representation of Prius-oriented people in this, so please consider applying.

    [​IMG]

    www.forecastwe.org
  9. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    I received my selection email today. Wow, one of ~600. Here it is:

    =================
    Dear Participant,
    You have been selected to participate in the Forecasting World Events Project, sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). We also are pleased to report that you will be joining a large and diverse panel of forecasters, including substantial representation from government, academia, “think tanks,†and industry. Here are a few other details concerning your fellow participants:

    • At this time, over 600 people are being invited to participate. Please note that we expect that new participants will be joining the panel on a rolling basis for years to come.
    • Around 85% of these 600+ participants have at least a Bachelor's degree, and over 60% of them have advanced degrees.
    • In terms of background training, participants represent a range of academic fields. Around 40% report a Social-Behavioral Science background, but there is also significant representation from those with backgrounds in Business (15%), the Humanities (13%), Engineering (12%), and the Natural Sciences (10%), among others.
    • The average participant age is 43 years-old, with a standard deviation of 15 years.
    • The panel's gender composition is 75% men / 25% women, and this closely mirrors the gender ratio for all FWE registrants.
    • In addition to participation from individuals overseas, we are pleased to have eligible participants representing 44 of the 50 United States.
    We are currently scheduled to begin the core forecasting study in late summer, a few months later than we initially anticipated. In the meantime, we will be readying our web-based forecasting environment and assembling our initial set of forecasting questions. As our formal launch date approaches, we will be contacting you with a link to the forecasting website and any other information you'll need to get started. Between now and then we may reach out to you with other related announcements.

    Finally, registration remains open, and we encourage you to “spread the word†by sharing our registration homepage link with your friends and colleagues.

    Thanks once again for your interest in Forecasting World Events. We look forward to you joining us this summer.

    Sincerely,
    The Forecasting World Events Team
    www.forecastwe.org
    info@forecastwe.org

    E-mail is not a secure form of communication.
    The confidentiality of this message cannot be guaranteed.
  10. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    Received today . . .

    Dear Participant,

    We’re pleased to announce that the FWE interactive Prediction Center
    is open, and an initial batch of forecasting questions is awaiting
    your predictions!

    - The present message is being sent in batches over the next few days.
    If you are contacted by any anxious colleagues who have been accepted
    into the study but have not yet received this e-mail, please encourage
    them to sit tight for a few days.


    Away we go! I'm off to enter my predictions. No, I will not post all the questions.
  11. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    It was nice knowing you Mark. Could you will me your Prius? :)
  12. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    LOl, I always wear my tin foil hat inside a Faraday cage when answering those questions. Oh, oh, there goes a black helicopter flying over. I better get back to answering questions. ;)

    Did I mention my Faraday cage IS my Prius?:D So, yeah, if you can find it and pry/crowbar me out of it, you can have it.

    I like this section of the agreement:

    Risks and Discomforts
    Beyond the confidentiality limits listed above, there should be no significant risks or discomforts associated with your participation in this study.


    Now, where does this cattle prod accessory go again?:p
  13. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Egads! That must be leftover from their water-boarding experiments. ;)
  14. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    Gurgle, gurgle, um whaaaat?;)

    It's kind of interesting. There's a member community. They submit questions relating to categories like Economics/Business, Politics/Elections/Government, Public Health/Disease, and Security/Geopolitics.

    For example: Will media reports indicate that a foreign or multinational military force has fired on, invaded, occupied, or entered* Syria before 1 October 2011?

    You then enter your yes/no prediction on a scale of 0-100 and provide a comment as to why if you like. You also rate your confidence level on your answer (not at all, not very, somewhat, very, or extremely confident)

    Then you get a consensus perdition that shows how the community voted. Your accuracy is also tracked as the question time frames mature.
  15. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Quite interesting. But I wonder how this will impact our nations war policy...
    President: well we invaded Syria because 51.3% of the 75% or better accuracy pool said we would. :D
  16. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    LOL, not very likely (let's not get this thread moved to FHoP). ;) I picked a poor example question to post.
  17. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    Here's a better, more representative question:

    Will Facebook hold an initial public offering before 1 February 2012?

    It's not about the questions but it's about how the group predictions match the outcome and the confidence level of that prediction. That's what the study is about.
  18. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    Update. So far I have 87% accuracy out of 400+ predictions. All the questions fall into these major categories: Economics and Business; Public Health and Disease; Security and Geopolitics; Politics, Elections and Government; Society and Culture.
  19. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Not bad... will I win the next lottery if I buy a ticket?
  20. Mark57

    Mark57 Active Member

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    Prediction hat (tin foil) placed fully on on my head . . . am raaam, ammm rammm, YES, you will win the next lottery if you purchase the winning ticket.;)
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