Yearly Focus

2022 Focus: Quarter Year Update

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that though focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me.
With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention.

I detailed my 2022 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing.

2022 Theme: Forecasting

I’ve gotten a good start to the year and have had a chance to make some solid progress here. I read Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and am now working on Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke. I’ve got a few more books lined up that were on my reading list that relate to this topic, so I’m excited to mow through a lot of paper.

  1. “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction” Philip Tetlock
  2. IN PROGRESS – “Thinking in Bets” by Annie Duke
  3. Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki
  4. “The Signal and the Noise” by Nate Silver
  5. “Noise” by Daniel Kahneman
  6. “How to Measure Anything” by Douglas Hubbard
  7. “Super Crunchers” by Ian Ayre
  8. “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
  9. “Think Again” by Adam Grant
  10. “Data Detective” by Tim Harford
  11. “How not to be wrong” by Jordan Ellenberg

2022 Challenge: Become a Superforecaster

I’ve gotten off to a good start making predictions. On GJOpen.com I’m currently participating in 22 questions. Before this year my Brier score was 0.357 – which is pretty good, but not Superforecaster good. For reference, I’m looking to improve it by learning some better techniques.

I scored pretty well on one question that recently finished about the MLB lockout. Out of 109 participants, I was the 8th most accurate with a Brier score of 0.0544, and a relative score of -0.2804. That score is within superforecaster range, if I can get my average close to that. We’ll see how well I do at the other 20 questions.

2022 Habit: Spend an Hour A Week Managing Forecasts

I’ve been doing great at this, and haven’t missed a week since I got started in mid-Jan. I find it is hard to manage more than ~20 questions on an hour a week. Every question has a an expected amount of movement, signal and noise that determines how often you should check back . For a while I had two that were updating daily as they came down to the wire – one about COVID numbers in New Zealand and one about the MLB lockout. Now that those have settled down, most of my questions are more capable of being left alone.

2022 Exemplar: Steve Jobs

So far I’ve watched two things about Steve Jobs. I watched the 2015 Steve Jobs movie that Aaron Sorkin wrote and Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, a 2012 release of an interview from 1995. The former is dramatic and fills me with questions about how much is real vs dramatized, but it was gripping nonetheless. The latter is fascinating – especially given the distance in time between when it was recorded, released and now.

Even in 1995 it seems Steve Jobs wasn’t excited about desktop publishing, which, at the time was pretty cutting edge. He imagined a connected work environment that we didn’t really have hints of until the 200s and which, even now, has a long way to go. Learning more about him, he was wrong a lot more than he was right when it came to product releases in his early days. The Apple ][ was successful, but the LISA and first Macintosh weren’t really, and NeXt was a bit of a joke from what I can tell. It seems like he was right about very long predictions but wrong about shorter term ones. Perhaps his strategy was correct but it was diluted by others. But his longer term predictions and principles have proven to be remarkably accurate. In many ways, he was just living 20 years in the future.

2020 Bucket List Item: Finish the Cascade Crest 100

I got back into the race via the lottery, so I get another chance to attempt to finish it. I’ve adjusted my training plan some based on things I learned last year. The biggest difference will be more of an emphasis on vert. Last year, by race day I had run 692 miles, covered 51k ft of vert and spent 265 hours walking on my treadmill desk. This year, the race is five weeks earlier in the year, but my plan has me hitting; 731 miles, 211k ft of vert (4x) and 440 treadmill hours (almost 2x). I should be in much better trail shape if I can get this training in.

So far I’m feeling strong, I did a 25 mile run at 8 minute pace the other morning before walking 15 on the treadmill. I’ve done a day at 10k ft and I’m testing some new fuels to see if anything works better with my body.