Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Beware of Experts

S&P rating the subprime mortgage backed securities at par with the best has come in for a lot of flak. This makes me remember about my annoyance with smug "experts" who use jargon to confuse and confound instead of making things clearer.
I also remember reading about a scam which follows the following mechanism:
Get a list of email addresses of people interested in sports
betting. Say you have 32,000. Email 16,000 of them to say that the home team
will win this week's big team, and 16,000 to say the home team will lose. Now,
half of the people will have gotten the correct prediction, and the next week,
you do the same thing with them. After 5 weeks, you'll have 1,000 email
addresses of people who have seen you pick the winner five times in a row!. Now
you pitch your 1-900 number or paid email list subscription to this amazed
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