It’s impossible to predict the future, but humans can’t help themselves. From the economy to the presidency to the Super Bowl, educated and intelligent people promise insight and repeatedly fail by wide margins. These mistakes and misses go unpunished, both publicly and in our brain, which has become trained to ignore the record of those who make them. In this hour of Freakonomics Radio, we’ll dream of the day when bad predictors pay – when the accuracy rate of pundits appear next to their faces on TV, when the weatherman who botches the 5-day forecast by 20 degrees has to make his next appearance soaking wet. We’ll also look at the deep roots of divining what tomorrow brings, from the invention of religion to new understandings of how we make decisions about the future.
There’s a more extensive blog post with background research, photos, and links coming shortly. For now, you can listen or download via the link above, or read a transcript here. This episode and four more hours will be airing on public radio stations across the country this summer at various times, so check out your local station’s website. And you can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast on iTunes or via RSS.