NYTimes article seeks imprecision

Brian M. Schott (dscbms@panther.gsu.edu)
Tue, 13 Oct 1998 21:58:14 +0200 (MET DST)

http://search.nytimes.com/search/daily/bin/fastweb?getdoc+site+site+18331+0+wAAA+%22when%7Escientific%7Epredictions%7Eare%7Eso%7Egood%22

On September 28, 1998 the NYTimes ran an article
entitled, "When Scientific Predictions Are So Good They're
Bad." The URL is above. An excerpt is below.

The excerpt seems to be begging for fuzziness in
prediction; a feature I have been advocating for some time.

"The problem, the experts said, was that more precision was
assigned to the forecast than was warranted. Officials and
citizens tended to take as gospel an oft-repeated National
Weather Service prediction that the river would crest at a
record 49 feet. Actually, there was a wider range of
probabilities; the river ultimately crested at 54 feet,
forcing 50,000 people to abandon their homes fast."

"The 49-foot forecast had lulled the town into a false sense
of security, said Dr. Roger A. Pielke Jr. of the National
Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., a
consultant on a subsequent inquiry by the weather service."

(B=)

Brian Schott/Decision Sciences Dept. (404) 651-4070 bschott@gsu.edu
J Mack Robinson College of Business Administration / Georgia State Univ
Atlanta, Georgia USA 30303-3083 interests: approx. reasoning,
http://www.Gsu.EDU/~dscbms/ (B=) decision support systems

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