“Because of all the stories we’ve absorbed, we vaguely imagine that our lives will take the shape of a narrative — the classic Aristotelian ramp diagram of gradual rising action (struggle and setbacks), climax (happy marriage, professional success), and a brief, cozy denoument (kicking back with family and friends, remembering the good times on a porch someplace pretty). But life is not shaped like a story; it’s an elongate and flattened bell curve, with an attenuated, anticlimactic decline as long as its beginning. Friends have described seeing their parents lose their faculties one by one, in more or less the reverse order that their young children are acquiring them.”
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Good book review:
“But in all these explorations Silver has a consistent theme. In making predictions, people need to think probabilistically, drawing on a wide range of evidence, continually asking hard questions, revising their estimates, recognizing the value of aggregated forecasts, and probing to see whether they may have mistakenly ruled out possibilities that were unfamiliar or arbitrarily left out of their research.”