Martin Vander Weyer

Future Perfect

The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 534pp £25 order from our bookshop

This is one for my desert-island longlist – a book to re-read section by section for as long as it takes until I’m sure I have grasped the whole of Nate Silver’s thesis on ‘the art and science of prediction’. If that opportunity arises I will do so with pleasure, because Silver unravels the complexities of his specialism with elegance, wit and a range of entertaining examples, from baseball and poker to earthquakes and hurricanes. On first diving in, however, The Signal and the Noise is like the kind of sermon from the pulpit that brilliantly illuminates as you listen to it, yet somehow evaporates in the mind a few minutes later. So my advice is to go slowly – and look closely at the diagrams. It’ll be worth the effort.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,