Bias vs. predictability

One MR reader writes in the comments:

I’m very interested to hear what you come up with for your paper.  I hope that I can’t guess what it says already.

I was a bit taken aback by this.  I’ve written about (guessing) 3500 blog posts over the last three years, on a wide variety of economic issues, plus earlier posts at  Plus many books and articles.

Wouldn’t it be odd if she couldn’t predict my views on most issues?

I understand procedural bias, which happens when a person throws out valuable information because he doesn’t like the conclusion.  And I understand ideological rigidity, which suggests that a person’s view on one issue predicts his view on most other issues far too readily.  I also understand that a curious and open-minded person should be absorbing enough information to change (how much?) percent of his views every (how many?) years or so.  (Is it worse if I am changing my views in predictable fashion, or should the change be a random walk?)  But is it so bad for the prolific to be predictable?  Am I not allowed to have a shelf life?

Here are my cards: Given previous investigations, I expect the United States to be a leader in global medical innovation.

On related topics, here is Jane Galt on bias.


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