Just as swallows in Capistrano signal spring, the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Olympic Medal Prediction signals the coming of asshat season.
Is there any other way to explain how this “modeling” (which consists of some moron making stuff up based on population and GNP) can be so badly off, yet get so much coverage? Who’s more to blame: the accounting company that can’t count, or the Journalism major with a short memory and no math knowledge whatsoever?
I blame George Bush.
This year PWC predicts that China will win more medals than the US. Maybe so, maybe not. But if we jump in the wayback machine, we can see what this same crew of cretins predicted for 2004 in Athens.
Why is this important? Because we hear about mathematical models all the time, and how we’re supposed to trim carbon emissions or prepare for the end of the world or pay more taxes or whatever, and the fact is that a lot of them are fucking wrong! If J-school majors could get this through their thick heads, the world would be a better place.
Pardon my vehemence, but science is to charlatans today what medicine-shows were once upon a time: a tool to fool the uninitiated rubes and get backing for otherwise cockamamie plans that aren’t even worth a snort of derision.
We really ought not be making major, society-changing, future-altering decisions on models with an accuracy rate under 10%. Just sayin’. And if you think predicting the Olympics is harder than forecasting the climate in 100 years, just consider that there are a finite number of Olympic events with well-defined rules and you more or less know everyone who will participate in them and how well they generally do.
Except Figure Skating, where the only rules are don’t club Nancy Kerrigan and be sure to pay off the French judge.
In 2004, PWC predicted 70 medals for the US in Athens. In actuality, the US won 102. If they’d just voted for a repeat of 2000, then they’d have predicted 97 medals. Why would the US win 27 fewer medals? PWC didn’t bother to try to explain; they just accepted what the model told them. Just don’t question their patriotism.
Hey, dipshit, if the model also tells you to bend over and stick a Bunsen burner up your ass, you gonna do that, too?
PWC further predicted 64 medals for Russia (who won 92), 50 for China (who won 63), and 29 for Greece (who won 16). Overall, they were 30% off the actual medal count.
There’s a word for this, and it isn’t “close.”
PWC predicted India would take 10 medals in 2004. In actuality? 1. This is why this year the PWC hack says that “India remains a ‘significant underperformer’” and then gives some BS reasons why it’s so, then goes on to forecast 6 medals for them in 2008.
I guess the same reasoning applied in 2004 to Mexico (11 predicted, 4 won), Indonesia (11 predicted, 4 won), and Switzerland (10 predicted, 5 won). So maybe the whole blah-blah they do about cricket doesn’t work for all those nations, but I’m sure it’s something like that.
Maybe PWC just sucks at predicting. Is that not possible?
Here’s my bargain-basement medal prediction: every country will win more or less the same number of medals that the won last year. And in 4 years, the dicks from Pricewaterhouse Coopers Dumbass will once again issue a medal prediction that will be totally wrong.
Seriously, why would you hire these jerkoffs? Somebody, somewhere, receives money from PWC for this idiocy. That means that if you hire them, you’re paying for this.
I predict that it’s money poorly spent.