Yes. If the median interval is 20 years, then the median date is not 20 years from today (modulo weird hypothetical data sets which I don't think we actually have).

I think Gary's aware that the median interval has always been 20 years. But when he says this:

what they found is, the central prediction, I believe it was the modal prediction, close to the median prediction, was 20 years away. But what's really interesting is that they then went back and divided the data by year

It sounds like he's saying that the median date is 20 years from today. I guess another interpretation would be something like "the median interval is 20 years, and you might think that that's because in the 1950s they were saying maybe 40 years, and the interval's been reducing, and now they're saying maybe 5 years, and the median is 20 - but actually, when you do divide it up by year, you see that they've always been saying 20". But that would be kind of forced.

This is just minor nitpicking, I think that he misspoke rather than misunderstood, hence the parentheses.

Actually, I think your "other interpretation" is almost certainly what he meant; it seems to me the most natural reading of his words. So I don't think he even misspoke.

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments

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