Streams

Success and Failure

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Monday, October 08, 2012

Nate Silver looks at what makes some predictions accurate while others fail. Sociologist Vivian Louie on how Latino immigrants are adapting to American schools, jobs, and culture. John Banville discusses his latest novel, Ancient Light. And the former President of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Velez, talks about leading the country’s transformation from what some called a “failed state” to a stable, modern democracy.

Nate Silver on Making Predictions

Nate Silver looks at how predictions are made, and why experts and laypeople both mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. He explains that overconfidence is often the reason for failure, and if our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can too. In The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—but Some Don’t Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA.

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The Immigrant Bargain

Sociologist Vivian Louie examines whether today's immigrants, especially Latinos, are integrating into American society as well and as successfully as their European counterparts did in the 19th and 20th centuries. Louie’s book Keeping the Immigrant Bargain examines the lives of 37 foreign-born Dominican and Colombian parents and their 76 young adult offspring, looking at how they are adapting to American schools, jobs, neighborhoods, and culture.

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John Banville's Ancient Light

Man Booker Prize-winning author John Banville discusses his new novel, Ancient Light, about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career. It’s a meditation on love and loss, on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives, on how invention shapes memory and memory shapes the man.

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Álvaro Uribe Velez

Álvaro Uribe Velez, president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, talks about leading the country’s transformation from a “failed state,” besieged by drug kingpins, terrorist groups, and extreme poverty into a far more peaceful, stable, modern democracy. His book No Lost Causes  reveals how President Uribe dealt with the FARC, restored the rule of law across the country, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at dealings with various world leaders.

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