Can Game Theory Predict When Iran Will Get the Bomb?
August 16th, 2009 by analyticjournalism

Good NYTimes profile of NYU/Hoover Institute professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, who has spent 40+ years developing predictive models of socio-political activity. (Also a nice bit of promo for “The Predictioneer’s Game,” Bueno de Mesquita's book scheduled to come out next month.)

“Of course, a somewhat high profile always proves to be an attractor.  For example, see “The New Nostradamus.” 

“Can a fringe branch of mathematics forecast the future? A special adviser to the CIA, Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S. Department of Defense certainly thinks so.

“If you listen to Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and a lot of people don’t, he’ll claim that mathematics can tell you the future. In fact, the professor says that a computer model he built and has perfected over the last 25 years can predict the outcome of virtually any international conflict, provided the basic input is accurate. What’s more, his predictions are alarmingly specific. His fans include at least one current presidential hopeful, a gaggle of Fortune 500 companies, the CIA, and the Department of Defense. Naturally, there is also no shortage of people less fond of his work. “Some people think Bruce is the most brilliant foreign policy analyst there is,” says one colleague. “Others think he’s a quack.”

Still, we think the articles and approach are well-worth your reading time.



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