What Can’t Math Predict?

Solar eclipses are fairly predictable, but the behavior of the stock market over the next couple days…not so much. But why? Is any given problem simply a matter of having a big enough computer and a complex enough algorithm to solve it, or are there certain things that lie beyond the realm of mathematical prediction? Watch mathematician Steven Strogatz, financial engineer Andrew Lo, social scientist James Fowler, and mechanical engineer Seth Lloyd discuss the uncertainty of soothsaying with numbers in this clip from “Go Figure,” a program from the Big Ideas series at the 2014 World Science Festival.

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7 comments
Iokarlo
Iokarlo

@WorldSciFest I am sure Math is the best underestanding mean our mind ever shall have; though I should not conclude it is a predicting tool.

Iokarlo
Iokarlo

@WorldSciFest Predictive assertion should be done as a function of Probability which following Keynes, rests on the subject's understanding.

Iokarlo
Iokarlo

@WorldSciFest Probability would also rest upon assertions about the subject's beliability. Unfortunatelly we resort on Statistics instead.