Predicting the Emmies, “Psychic” vs. Journalist.

The folks at Salon.com have an interesting article called Psychic aims to foresee Emmy winners in which “psychic” Linda Georgian (supposedly voted the #1 psychic in the world according to her website) applies her ability to foresee the future against a mere journalist, Lynn Elber’s, best guesses in forecasting who would walk away with an Emmy the other night. In the past Elber has managed a 60% accuracy rate for her Emmy predictions where as Georgian claims a 90% accuracy. Unfortunately the article only contains their guesses for seven of the various categories, but at least this includes the big ones. Let’s tally up the score and see how they both did. I’ll list Elber’s guess with an E, Georgian’s with a G and the actual winner with a W. OK? Here we go:

Drama Series:
E: The Sopranos
G: Six Feet Under
W: The West Wing

Comedy Series:
E: Curb Your Enthusiasm
G: Sex and the City
W: Everybody Loves Raymond

Actor, Drama Series:
E: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
G: Michael Chiklis, The Shield
W: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos

Actress, Drama Series:
E: Edie Falco, The Sopranos
G: Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under
W: Edie Falco, The Sopranos

Actor, Comedy Series:
E: Tony Shalhoub, Monk
G: Tony Shalhoub, Monk
W: Tony Shalhoub, Monk

Actress, Comedy Series:
E: Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle
G: Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City
W: Debra Messing, Will & Grace

Variety, Music or Comedy Series:
E: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
G: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
W: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

And at the end we have 4 right guesses by the Journalist and 1 right guess for the “Psychic” out of a total of 7 awards. Looks like the journalist manages to stick pretty close to her 60% accuracy whereas the “psychic” manages around 15% accuracy which is worse than pure chance (randomly picking winners) would have been. Alas it doesn’t appear that Salon.com has bothered to run a followup article comparing the results, but that’s OK as I’ve provided one for you. So, kids, what have we learned today?

UPDATE: Incidentally, for those of you who are curious, Linda only charges $3.49 a minute for a phone call where you can apply her “psychic” abilities to your own meager existence. That means a good half-hour of your time spent learning about your future via her amazing powers would only set you back about $104.70. Or you could just send half that money to me and I’ll call you at my own expense and tell you how wonderful you are and all the wonderful things you’ll get in the future.

2 thoughts on “Predicting the Emmies, “Psychic” vs. Journalist.

  1. I once wanted to create a scam where I would advertise a psychic hotline, and then have authentic counselors on the other end of the call. 

    The counselors, after explaining that YOU CAN’T PREDICT THE FUTURE but you can predict results based on behavior, would ask the person’s problem and help them try to deal with it using, well, psychologically healthy methods.

    Like if you want something, you have to make decisions that move you in that direction.  You know, offer some sound advice plus offer a bit of motivation. That sort of thing.  All for $5.95 a minute.  I thought it was a sound business plan, but my co-workers said it was nonetheless deceptive and I would get in trouble.  I still doubt it but I never followed up.  My not following through was predictable, I suppose.

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