Archive for February, 2012:

Oscar Predictions: Bienvenue a Hollywood!

February 26, 2012

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After predicting – against many pundits – the triumph of The Hurt Locker in 2010, and after predicting – before the first game was even played – Spain’s victory in the World Cup, I’m ready for the Oscars again. Last year’s success was 100%, so regression to the mean is possible (even Jeremy Lin isn’t immune).

Why predicting the Oscars is so much fun? Because it’s all about predicting human behavior. So after polishing my crystal ball, consulting the stars (and the moon), interviewing insiders, observing all eight tentacles of my proverbial octopus, and careful analysis of all available information, I predict:

Best PictureThe Artist

DirectingMichel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Actor in Leading RoleJean Dujardin for The Artist
And if I had to make a second prediction, it would be George Clooney in The Descendants

Actress in Leading RoleViola Davis  for The Help

Actor in Supporting RoleChristopher Plummer  for Beginners

Actress in Supporting RoleOctavia Spencer for The Help

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Alexander Payne et al for The Descendants
Hugo is a serious contender, too

Best Original Screenplay Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
Or even Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, but what’s certain – the French win again!

These are my predictions. If you think otherwise, speak now or forever hold your peace…

 

 

Academy Award Predictions are Coming…

February 19, 2012

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After predicting – against many pundits – the triumph of The Hurt Locker in 2010, and after predicting – before the first game was even played – Spain’s victory in the World Cup, I’m ready for the Oscars again.

Why predicting the Oscars is so much fun? Predicting the World Cup winner is about assessing each team’s chances. Predicting the Academy Awards is about assessing each picture’s chances in the eyes of the voters: the members of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rather than asking “which picture I like” or “which picture should win”, I ask “which picture are Academy members likely to vote for?” Economist John Maynard Keynes has written that to succeed in the stock market an investor ought to figure out “what average opinion believes average opinion to be” (here’s why), and the Oscars are like that.

My success in discovering the Academy members’ was perfect last year – 100% success. I can’t promise the same this year, but I will put my money where my mouth is… Anyone for betting?

Academy Award predictions are coming on Sunday, February 26.

 

Our Research on Cooperation & Culture: Thursday afternoon at Harvard University

February 18, 2012

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Our research on cooperation and culture will be featured this Thursday at the Harvard Social Network and Social Capital workshop. Student and faculty discussion will follow. Please join us at 4:00-5:30 at William James Hall 601, Harvard University.

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