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Jun 15th, 2016
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  1. Again, the original proposition I'm critiquing is that "modeling questions <em>can't</em> have correct, known answers." I'm not arguing that the prediction is more or less important than the model itself. Me, I'm happy to accept that they are both answers. I'm also happy to finally understand that we're just negotiating the definition of "answer" and I don't think there's much value in continuing to elaborate mine.
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  3. But even if I accept the premise that "the model alone is the answer," for given contexts and questions, I'm still unsatisfied. There <em>are</em> correct, known models.
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  5. For instance, I have a fixed-rate mortgage. If I want to check my bill and make sure I'm not getting ripped off, or if I want to calculate the total cost of ownership of my home, there is a correct, known exponential model to help me answer that question.
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  7. See also <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY&feature=youtu.be&t=15m2s">Sunday's Last Week Tonight</a>, in which John Oliver's team caught his 401k broker using an incorrect model in an Excel spreadsheet. The correct model resulted in a net savings of ten million dollars.
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  9. How am I supposed to square these instances with your insistence that there aren't correct, known models?
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