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Freddie Sayers      

Executive Editor at UnHerd, CEO of UnHerd Ventures, Former Editor-In-Chief & Director of YouGov, Founder of PoliticsHome

Freddie Sayers is the Executive Editor of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.

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What does Brexit mean for the West?

Hillary Clinton has said she doesn’t think there’s much to be learned from Brexit. But she should take note. Brexit was the latest visible example of trends that are found across Europe and the US, where whole parts of society feel alienated and left out by globalization. New York, London and Los Angeles now have more in common with each other than with the towns just an hour outside of each. How to reconcile these divisions growing within most Western democracies is the great challenge of our age. The answers may change the future of nations.

Proud as a Peacock, Quiet as a Mouse

Did you know that people who particularly like peacocks really are more proud than most, and that people who think of themselves as quiet really are more likely to like mice? Or that the whole concept of romantic love is different in Asia to the West? Or why blue is the universal colour everywhere in the world except China? Studying profile data from over a million people across Europe and America reveals some surprising - and often humorous – aspects of human nature. The things that make us different, and the things that bind us all together.

Beware Big Data

In an era when we have more information than ever before, we are remarkably bad at predicting events. For all the promise of ‘big data’, every shiny new piece of information is still interpreted by a human being - and we can’t help but interpret data in a way that reinforces our instincts. Brexit took the whole world by surprise, in perhaps the biggest mispricing of risk in modern history, with consequences that will be felt across the West for years to come. Why? Because the financial markets, the media, experts and even the political campaigns themselves interpreted the data to fit in with what they wanted to believe. More numbers doesn’t yet mean more wisdom.

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