What's going on here is ambiguity between median date and median interval. (And I'm fairly sure Gary Marcus is talking about the median interval rather than the median date.)

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 ... (read more)

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

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments


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