One of the major points in Supercrunchers is that experts seem to consistently lose out to simple algorithms when it comes to prediction. The efficient markets hypothesis* says that the available information is already “priced in” and so you can’t beat the market average, and indeed actively managed mutual funds seem to do worse than index funds (some perform badly enough that they posed something of a problem for the EMH). Now a company claims to have a predictor that outperforms both humans and software algorithms: rats. Perhaps they were inspired by the finding that humans stupidly try to do better than maximum entropy on random variables while rats stick with the optimal guess.

*That isn’t quite the same as saying they allocate capital efficiently. That’s the topic of Charles Davi’s The Not So Efficient Market (Theorem) Hypothesis.

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