One simple change to forecasters' standard operating procedure could boost forecast accuracy, increase accountability, reduce misunderstandings and miscalculations, and generally make the world a wealthier and safer place. The change? Use numbers. No more saying "it is likely," or "improbable," or "to be expected" or "all but certain." Instead, say there is a 60 percent, 23 percent, 78 percent or 95 percent chance. That's it. If pundits, journalists, economists, intelligence analysts, geo-strategists and others who prognosticate for a living switch to numbers, they would do nothing less than improve humanity's collective foresight.
By Dan Gardner