Baseraters vs growthers

think about people with base-rate or growth perspective

The term growthers refers to the notion of exponential growth, and indeed the number of Covid-19 cases appears (by some accounts) to be following an exponential pattern.

The base-raters, when assessing the likelihood of a particular scenario, start by asking how often it has happened before. That is, they estimate its base-rate likelihood. And history shows that major pandemics have lately been rare.

Political scientist

, in his work on superforecasters, has shown that base-rate thinking is often more reliable than the supposed wisdom of experts.

That said, there are some cases where base-rate thinking clearly goes askew. Base-rate thinking obscured the ability to foresee the highly unusual 2008 financial crisis, for example. If applied in, say, 2014, base-rate thinking would not have predicted the election of Donald Trump.

Excerpts from the article