Tips from the Top (of the Leaderboard)

We’re looking for forecasting tips from our top SciCasters to include in our training lessons and we would love to hear from you. What tips can you share with fellow forecasters? Possible topic areas include:

  • Question Selection
  • Background Research
  • Keeping up with News
  • Estimation & Calibration
  • Trading Rules
  • Safe Mode or Power Mode Tips
  • Website Tips

and more…

Feel free to comment here or send a message to [email protected]. Thank you!


8 thoughts on “Tips from the Top (of the Leaderboard)

  1. Ted Sanders

    Tip #1: Profit comes from fish, not sharks. Fish congregate on questions where it’s easy to hold an opinion that takes no research (for example, a fish is more likely to trade on whether Amazon will fly drones than the exact week that the flu will peak in Minnesota). So to find fish, ignore technical questions and just look for questions that ask about brand name products.

    Tip #2: The more lines you drop, the more fish you’ll catch. Programming a robot to catch fish is even better than doing it by hand. (I hear that in the NYSE ocean, most fish are caught with automated trawlers, but in our quaint pond here we are fortunate to have only a couple of ships trawling around.)

    Tip #3: Fish need water. If you want to profit from fish, you need liquidity. Don’t bother baiting hooks that you have to cast out a year or more.

    Tip #4: Fish school. Where you find one fish, you’ll usually find others. Finding the fishing hotspots and stay there.

    Tip #5: If you can’t identify the fish at the table, you are the fish.


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    1. sflicht

      The administrators release a small school of minnows every time a new question is introduced. Sometimes these fish swim in ways that logically imply more will swim into than out of your net. If you have enough water to accommodate the traffic, this fishmeat is risk-free. But you have to understand the concept of conditional fishing.

  2. Ted Sanders

    Tip #6: The best way to attract other fish is to disguise yourself as another fish. But be careful to not disguise yourself too well. Otherwise @dvasya will earn 600 risk-free while you scrape by with scraps.

  3. Ted Sanders

    Tip #7: If you find yourself deep underwater, you are probably a fish. Or else Nate Silver misled you and all your lines were more correlated than your naive risk model led you to believe (even with your safety line!) and then they all simultaneously pulled you over the rail of your boat.

    (Tip #7b: If this happens to you, keep your eyes peeled for a beloved billionaire with a lifebuoy. You may yet be saved.)

    ((Tip #7c: But don’t delude yourself. You’re probably a fish.))

  4. Ted Sanders

    Tip #8: Go fish. You’ll never win if you don’t put hooks in the water. And with asymmetric incentives where bait is costless but fishmeat can be spent at Amazon, you really have no excuse not to go fishing.

  5. Ted Sanders

    Tip #9: If you’re going to make significant money from fish, they need to betting a significant number of their chips (i.e., you won’t get rich if the fish are stingy or non-fish are spendy). Hence the expression, “Fish ‘n’ Chips.”


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