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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Expert tease

By Jim Mullen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Paul, the Genius German Octopus correctly picked the last eight winners of the recent World Cup soccer finals. I am hoping that my stockbrokers will offer the cephalopod a job. Paul certainly couldn't do worse than their "experts," and they wouldn't have to pay him nearly so much. The only difference between Bernie Madoff and my broker is that Bernie Madoff was a crook. My guy loses the same amount of money; he just doesn't steal it. I was planning on using that money for food and medicine during my declining years, which have already started, according to my friends. I know that they are my friends because total strangers wouldn't say such hurtful things.

Paul the Octopus picked the winners by pulling food out of containers marked with the flags of one team or another. I have not figured out how my money managers pick the losers, but they have been on an uncanny streak for almost three years now. Maybe they hide random company logos in expensive Wall Street restaurants, and whichever one the stockbroker eats on his expensed lunch that day becomes his pick. It replaces the system they used before, which was racing cockroaches. For this they take a 2-percent management fee.

It's not just stocks; experts who predict all manner of things fill up huge hunks of TV time. Like my stockbroker, they are usually wrong. Paul the Octopus could replace them and the thousands of people who make a career out of picking things before they happen. Who will win the best actress Oscar? Who will the candidate pick for vice president?

Who will win the World Series? Who will win the Super Bowl? Who will the Bachelorette pick? Who will win the Kentucky Derby? Someone even prognosticated how many correct predictions Paul the Octopus would make. Can he do it one more time? Sure, we could just wait until these events happen and then we would know the results, but that seems to be out of fashion.

For months people will debate who will win the Oscars. The day after we know for sure who won, the discussion is over. We hear the predictions ten times more than we hear the facts. It's no wonder that some people probably still believe Barack Obama picked Hillary Clinton or Osama bin Laden to be his vice president, as it was often predicted that he would.

It's kind of odd that when a human predictor makes a mistake, he or she gets to keep predicting. Yet if Paul the Octopus missed his first two predictions, he'd be back in the tank where he came from, hiding in an ink cloud of shame. If an expert is always wrong, is he still an expert? Shouldn't there be some minimum standard for predicting -- like getting something right every once in a while? Even a flipped coin can get things right five out of ten times, so if you're an expert and you can't get one out of ten things right, you lose your License to Predict and should stop making TV appearances. You should stop managing stock portfolios and stop talking about politics. If you have no track record, get off the track.

When a politician does something unsavory, when an actor is taped making a racist phone rant, when an athlete is caught cheating, they pay a price. Don't believe the old saying, because there is such a thing as bad publicity. Don't take my word for it? Then talk to Tiger Woods' accountant. But experts never pay a price for being wrong. Because who knows more about being wrong than the experts? They're experts at it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."


Previously:


The mysteries of Jersey
‘You are a toilet, where am I?’
Don't we all cheat at the game of life?
What happens when I forget where Google is?
Don't let the doorman hit you on the way out
Picasso fiasco
Purple (hair) ‘Daze’
Let me hear your body talk
Working from work
Babies deserve clean restrooms, too
3-year-old bear-killers are a thing of the past
Money-making ideas on the fly
Collecting and hoarding
Chain of fools
Please come pick up your acting awards, ESPN commentators, you've earned them
You've been superpoked by the U.S. gov't
e-Readin', e-Writin' and e-Rithmatic
A pose by any other name
Warning: Column contains 2010 spoilers
‘He loves only gold, only gold’
Think about direction, wonder why …
Flushing your money down a diamond-studded toilet
More like ‘wack’ Friday
The good, the ad and the ugly
The desert of the real
Let books be large and in charge
I was insulting people way before the Internet
GPS drill sergeant: Left, right, left!
Butterfly in the sky, you make winds go twice as high
Music to my ears it's not
You don't light up my life
Fair or not: Country living is far from ‘Little House’
A parable for the ‘ages’
Top 100 Cable news stories of the century
Green dumb
A developing story
Thinking outside the lunch box
What's good for the goose is good for the scanner
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
A really big show of generation gaps
When pigs flu
The reports of our decline have been greatly exaggerated
Mergers and admonitions
Invest in gold: little, yellow, different
Stuck in Folsom Penthouse
Collecting karma
Setting loose the creative ‘juice’
It's all in the numbers
You're damaging your brain with practical skills
The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
Gross-ery shopping



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