Relevant college topic teaser
Lehrer: Can non-experts do anything to encourage a more effective punditocracy? Should I feel bad about watching Meet the Press?
Tetlock: Yes, non-experts can encourage more accountability in the punditocracy. Pundits are remarkably skillful at appearing to go out on a limb in their claims about the future, without actually going out on one. For instance, they often “predict” continued instability and turmoil in the Middle East (predicting the present) but they virtually never get around to telling you exactly what would have to happen to disconfirm their expectations. They are essentially impossible to pin down.
If pundits felt that their public credibility hinged on participating in level playing field forecasting exercises in which they must pit their wits against an extremely difficult-to-predict world, I suspect they would be learn, quite quickly, to be more flexible and foxlike in their policy pronouncements.