(CNN) ” The Index of Self Destructive Acts ” — my favorite novel of 2020 to date — is about a lot of things: Baseball, journalism, nostalgia and politics, to name a few. But at its heart sits the idea of prognostication. What can numbers and data tell us about the future? And, as importantly, what can’t they tell us?
These questions seemed particularly relevant in our current moment, as virtually every political pundit is in the business of making predictions about who will win the presidency on November 3. Some of these predictions are based purely on the numbers — figures are placed into a model and a result is spit out — while others are based on a blend of numbers and, for lack of a better word, gut instinct.
So, who’s right? Or is there even a right in all of this?
I asked those questions — and a few more — of Christopher Beha , the author of ” The Index of Self-Destructive Acts ” and also the editor of Harper’s magazine . Our conversation, conducted via email and lightly edited for flow, is below.
CIllizza: The novel’s main character — […]
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