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(Salon)   Nate Silver: Politico is dumb   (salon.com) divider line 107
    More: Amusing, Bill Simmons, politicos, passive-aggressive  
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8341 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Nov 2012 at 4:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-30 06:32:25 PM

TofuTheAlmighty: Nate Silver and everyone else with double-digit numbers of functioning neurons: Politico is dumb

Edited for accuracy


Hey, my number of functioning neurons is all the way into the triple digits, man!
 
2012-11-30 06:47:30 PM

timujin: The Stealth Hippopotamus: 14:59

Damn Poe's Law. I can't tell anymore if someone is being facetious or if they're just stupid.


Judging by the rest of TSH's posts, the latter.
 
2012-11-30 06:50:04 PM
Yeah..... dumb like Fox.
 
2012-11-30 06:51:33 PM
The bottom line is political punditry is nothing more than commentary -- it's just opinion, no facts.

Nate Silver threatens everyone who makes a living by offering their "expert" intuition on politics because he points out how they are objectively wrong.

I also love how Politico doesn't even do its own analysis of polling data -- they just reprint RCP's averages.
 
2012-11-30 07:16:15 PM

Lionel Mandrake: The Stealth Hippopotamus: 14:59

[i159.photobucket.com image 600x450]

Buy a few cases - Nate Silver will be around for a looooooong time.


Which means we have to remember: When the GOP comes up with a candidate who can beat the Democratic candidate (hopefully after my lifetime . . .), Nate will report on that event just as accurately as he has in the past two elections. In which case, we can depend on the conservatives to chortle, but I do hope the liberals will have more sense -- and class -- than to bad-mouth the messenger.
 
2012-11-30 07:41:40 PM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: goatleggedfellow: Nate Silver is a prophet of reality. He may fail eventually, but the advantages of objective analysis will live on.

He's not a freaking prophet.

I get your point ("of reality") but if NOTHING else, if maybe a few people can start to simply understand the work that he (and a few others) did, maybe, just maybe, those people will also start to question BS punditry, forced black and white debates devoid of any nuance, talking heads never being held accountable for their no better than a coin flip "analysis" (on the contrary, having their opinions still sought out...), etc.

He's not a witch either.

/probably not a witch


FTFY
 
2012-11-30 07:41:47 PM

mksmith: Lionel Mandrake: The Stealth Hippopotamus: 14:59

[i159.photobucket.com image 600x450]

Buy a few cases - Nate Silver will be around for a looooooong time.

Which means we have to remember: When the GOP comes up with a candidate who can beat the Democratic candidate (hopefully after my lifetime . . .), Nate will report on that event just as accurately as he has in the past two elections. In which case, we can depend on the conservatives to chortle, but I do hope the liberals will have more sense -- and class -- than to bad-mouth the messenger.


Judging by what we saw after the debates this year, I don't think that'll be a problem.

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2012-11-30 07:42:13 PM

mrshowrules: He didn't call them "dumb". He called them "noise" which is much worse I think.


www.enterpriseirregulars.com
 
2012-11-30 08:01:31 PM

MrEricSir: Politico is still around? Why?


MSNBC seems to like to quote them a lot. Not sure why. But I bet its employees and Politicos co-mingle a bit.

If I cared enough to care I'd figure out the web of crap, but whenever MSNBC quotes Politico I just tune out mentally til they're done talking.
 
2012-11-30 08:08:54 PM

Tremolo: I agree. They recently hired a high school classmate of mine; this myopic "Israel should be at the forefront of America's foreign policy" girl whose writing has not improved since the high school paper, even after 4 years at Northwestern.


To be fair, many of us did not improve after 4 years at Northwestern.
 
2012-11-30 08:31:20 PM

GAT_00: Politico never really has recovered from Hillary losing.


I NEED FREAKING CHEESECAKE
JUST WHEN I MANAGED TO LOOSE 5 POUNDS FROM MY BUTT

I AM SICK OF THIS STUPID MEN WORLD,,DNC,,AND OBAMAS FEVER
 
2012-11-30 08:36:03 PM

bmongar: Nate Silver is correct again.


What makes this funny is that he's basically a baseball fan. Guys like him have been making baseball statisticians look stupid for the last few decades.
 
2012-11-30 09:00:56 PM

roc6783: Now could his model be a basis for further analysis to help direct a campaign earlier in the process and on a much more targeted scale? Sure, but what the hell good does it do a candidate to know a week before the election, who is going to win? If that doesn't help anything, why would Silver have any interest in trying to skew the results, rather than have the most accurate model possible?


Because Republicans/Conservatives assume that Nate Silver is an operative of the Democratic Party, a Liberal, a Communist, ect. because he reported figures that said Obama was in the lead by a healthy margin and Democrats would keep the Senate.

They assumed this was automatically Democratic propaganda, paid for and coordinated by the DNC for purely partisan reasons.

The idea that an independent pollster would produce polls based on observable reality and not a specific partisan agenda was something they couldn't comprehend. Their rebuttal to Nate Silver was just to point to UnSkewed Polls and go "see, we have numbers that say WE'RE going to win!" and act like that was a perfectly acceptable and valid rebuttal.

They are so detached from reality it's scary. Nothing short of the massive drubbing in the polls they took on November 6th could have possibly got through to them, and even then a lot of them seen reality-immune (see the conspiracy theories about Black Panthers intimidating voters, or the ludicrous idea that President Obama won over 100% of the registered voters in some states due to blatant voter fraud). The idea they actually just outright fairly lost an election doesn't even cross their minds. They assume it must be fraud, because they can NEVER lose an election, since they believe that they are chosen by God and reflect what the vast majority of Real Americans wants.
 
2012-11-30 09:07:46 PM
Again, I question: As his fame of accuracy grows, his own data has the potential to skew the election since people behave differently when the outcome seems certain. How can he ethically continue to do what he does?
 
2012-11-30 09:17:00 PM

starsrift: Again, I question: As his fame of accuracy grows, his own data has the potential to skew the election since people behave differently when the outcome seems certain. How can he ethically continue to do what he does?


I don't see how aggregating poll data and reporting the results is in any way unethical.
 
2012-11-30 09:30:13 PM

qorkfiend: starsrift: Again, I question: As his fame of accuracy grows, his own data has the potential to skew the election since people behave differently when the outcome seems certain. How can he ethically continue to do what he does?

I don't see how aggregating poll data and reporting the results is in any way unethical.


That is a reductionist argument of operating a mechanism without considering the effects, otherwise known as the logical fallacy of composition.
 
2012-11-30 09:31:46 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: StreetlightInTheGhetto: goatleggedfellow: Nate Silver is a prophet of reality. He may fail eventually, but the advantages of objective analysis will live on.

He's not a freaking prophet.

I get your point ("of reality") but if NOTHING else, if maybe a few people can start to simply understand the work that he (and a few others) did, maybe, just maybe, those people will also start to question BS punditry, forced black and white debates devoid of any nuance, talking heads never being held accountable for their no better than a coin flip "analysis" (on the contrary, having their opinions still sought out...), etc.

He's not a witch either.

/probably not a witch

FTFY


Oh, fail on my part. I hung that up next to my desk at work the day after the election too. "See? When it was 8 PM and you all were freaking out and no one knew who Nate Silver was? Yeah, math and sorcery. That's why I kept telling you folks to STFU and wait for more results to come in before freaking out."
 
2012-11-30 09:34:01 PM

starsrift: How can he ethically continue to do what he does?


Do you prefer the ethics of, say, unskewedpolls.com which flat out lied to people?
 
2012-11-30 09:35:40 PM

starsrift: Again, I question: As his fame of accuracy grows, his own data has the potential to skew the election since people behave differently when the outcome seems certain. How can he ethically continue to do what he does?


when presenting reality is considered unethical, you've bent ethics to a point of absurdity.
 
2012-11-30 09:37:05 PM

qorkfiend: starsrift: Again, I question: As his fame of accuracy grows, his own data has the potential to skew the election since people behave differently when the outcome seems certain. How can he ethically continue to do what he does?

I don't see how aggregating poll data and reporting the results is in any way unethical.


The question also assumes that a large portion of the population follows politics (they don't) and has any idea who Nate Silver is (even fewer).

I'd speculate that if Nate has any actual effect, the folks on both sides who see a Silver report will be equally inclined to not go to the polls - "why bother, Nate says my guy's going to win" vs "why bother, Nate says my guy's going to lose."

But it's not an ethics issue.
 
2012-11-30 09:39:41 PM

The Why Not Guy: starsrift: How can he ethically continue to do what he does?

Do you prefer the ethics of, say, unskewedpolls.com which flat out lied to people?


Unskewed didn't lie, he just used an inappropriately small dataset.

But to address your point more holistically, yes. If a quantitive prediction of the future is highly unreliable, then caveat emptor is in play.

As Silver continues to make correct predictions, his analysis will be proven to be more and more reliable, which, as I originally posted, can have an effect of its own on the election. "Meh, I don't need to vote, I already 'know' what the results are gonna be."
 
2012-11-30 09:40:21 PM
Politico isn't always dumb. Some writers on the site are decent, sometimes.

However, the fact that I can usually get better reporting at Buzzfeed is sad.

/OK, it's only Chris Geidner, at Buzzfeed
 
2012-11-30 09:42:13 PM

heap: starsrift: Again, I question: As his fame of accuracy grows, his own data has the potential to skew the election since people behave differently when the outcome seems certain. How can he ethically continue to do what he does?

when presenting reality is considered unethical, you've bent ethics to a point of absurdity.


That's precisely the ethical issue involved. Silver is not presenting reality, he's making a statistical prediction. And people, like you just admitted, might take it to be reality.
 
2012-11-30 09:44:56 PM

starsrift: Silver is not presenting reality


a statistical analysis of polling data is exactly that.

the numbers exist. they will continue to exist whether you consider anyone compiling and modeling them to be ethical or not - that is a reality. presenting it is no more unethical than taking the poll to begin with.
 
2012-11-30 10:22:07 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: 14:59


*checks watch*

No, it's currently 22:22.
 
2012-11-30 10:26:23 PM
I see why Nate's pissed. You could see the beltway media winding up for a chorus of "Haw haw!! Silver blew it! Now we never have to take him seriously again!! That'll teach you to harsh our horserace buzz!".

My thought at the time was, "Oh, now you guys believe in accountability? That's new". I remember there being a pretty strong inverse relationship between a pundit's rightness on the Iraq war and the number of appearances that said pundits got on TV. I mean, Bill Kristol, Tom Friedman, and John McCain pretty much had a cot and hot plate set up for them in network green rooms. Meanwhile, the people who had suggested from the start that the war was a bad idea couldn't get on TV if their life depended on it.
 
2012-11-30 10:29:39 PM

ilambiquated: bmongar: Nate Silver is correct again.

What makes this funny is that he's basically a baseball fan. Guys like him have been making baseball statisticians look stupid for the last few decades.


Yeah, and the Tigers winning the World Series when he was six was what turned him into a stats nerd.
 
2012-11-30 10:30:41 PM

starsrift: The Why Not Guy: starsrift: How can he ethically continue to do what he does?

Do you prefer the ethics of, say, unskewedpolls.com which flat out lied to people?

Unskewed didn't lie, he just used an inappropriately small dataset started with the mistaken assumption that Nate Silver was biased, then made a "correction" to the data based on said assumption.


Is it lying if you believe in your delusion?
 
2012-11-30 10:32:23 PM
I asked if you prefer the ethics of a liar. Your answer:

starsrift: But to address your point more holistically, yes


You're welcome to him. I'll stick with the truth.

Oh, and as for unskewedpolls not lying, note that their EV projection went from an overwhelming Romney victory to a narrow Romney victory overnight. The data didn't change that drastically in such a short period of time. He lied.
 
2012-11-30 11:04:13 PM

starsrift: That's precisely the ethical issue involved. Silver is not presenting reality, he's making a statistical prediction. And people, like you just admitted, might take it to be reality.


He isn't doing anything unethical. All he says is "I think Candidate X will win, and I think the probability of this being correct is Y%" People can choose to vote as they will. He isn't forcing people to vote a certain way. If they choose to vote base don his analysis, that is their choice. A campaign surrogate urging you to vote for his guy is doing more to actually influence your vote, and I seriously doubt anyone accuses a campaign speech of being an unethical attempt to sway the election - unless you are suggesting that all campaigns should studiously avoid any attempt to sway the electorate, up to and including giving out the name, gender, political party, and age of the candidate.
 
2012-11-30 11:07:45 PM

WizardofToast: The Stealth Hippopotamus: 14:59


14:59/538. Lots of bites. But Nate will be Big Nate more or less forever.
 
2012-11-30 11:12:05 PM

The Why Not Guy: I asked if you prefer the ethics of a liar. Your answer:

starsrift: But to address your point more holistically, yes

You're welcome to him. I'll stick with the truth.

Oh, and as for unskewedpolls not lying, note that their EV projection went from an overwhelming Romney victory to a narrow Romney victory overnight. The data didn't change that drastically in such a short period of time. He lied.



Good point.
 
2012-11-30 11:22:13 PM

Bacontastesgood: GAT_00: Politico never really has recovered from Hillary losing.

I NEED FREAKING CHEESECAKE
JUST WHEN I MANAGED TO LOOSE 5 POUNDS FROM MY BUTT

I AM SICK OF THIS STUPID MEN WORLD,,DNC,,AND OBAMAS FEVER


Loose? Loose? You loosened 5 pounds from your butt? Did you loosen it with a wrench? If you turned it in the other direction would you have tightened it? Just wondering.
 
2012-11-30 11:24:32 PM

starsrift: Unskewed didn't lie, he just used an inappropriately small dataset.



No, he skewed datasets to say what he thought they should say. That's as close one gets to lying with statistics.
 
2012-11-30 11:34:08 PM

starsrift: Unskewed didn't lie, he just used an inappropriately small dataset.


If you ignore unskew the fact that he then adjusted that dataset using variables based on nothing, this is true.
 
2012-12-01 12:15:35 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: 14:59


upload.wikimedia.org

??? 

/hot
 
2012-12-01 12:28:15 AM

TimonC346: SilentStrider: SnakeLee: Hell of a podcast episode

Just got done listening to it, and I must agree.

Simmons probably holds the record for the best podcast I've ever heard when he did a two part episode breaking Down the best moments on 90210. I'd never seen much of the show, but I laughed harder than I've ever laughed. I kept turning to my wife and asking "Did that really happen on that show?"

Some of the basketball stuff goes too deep for me, but Simmons is a damned podcast legend.

/just finished the ep


This; I love Simmons, he'll have a dud every once in a while but when he gets a good interview it's great to listen. Hell, he got an hour-long podcast with the President which was pretty awesome!
 
2012-12-01 12:44:40 AM

impaler: starsrift: Unskewed didn't lie, he just used an inappropriately small dataset.


No, he skewed datasets to say what he thought they should say. That's as close one gets to lying with statistics.


I believe the technical term is "massaging the numbers". Because they were very sore and achey and tense.
 
2012-12-01 01:12:57 AM

Kevin72: Bacontastesgood: GAT_00: Politico never really has recovered from Hillary losing.

I NEED FREAKING CHEESECAKE
JUST WHEN I MANAGED TO LOOSE 5 POUNDS FROM MY BUTT

I AM SICK OF THIS STUPID MEN WORLD,,DNC,,AND OBAMAS FEVER

Loose? Loose? You loosened 5 pounds from your butt? Did you loosen it with a wrench? If you turned it in the other direction would you have tightened it? Just wondering.


It's a sad day for Fark that HillaryIs44 has passed into obscurity.
 
2012-12-01 02:38:40 AM

common sense is an oxymoron: Is it lying if you believe in your delusion?


Apparently it is if you're the UN ambassador.
 
2012-12-01 03:08:43 AM

GAT_00: Kevin72: Bacontastesgood: GAT_00: Politico never really has recovered from Hillary losing.

I NEED FREAKING CHEESECAKE
JUST WHEN I MANAGED TO LOOSE 5 POUNDS FROM MY BUTT

I AM SICK OF THIS STUPID MEN WORLD,,DNC,,AND OBAMAS FEVER

Loose? Loose? You loosened 5 pounds from your butt? Did you loosen it with a wrench? If you turned it in the other direction would you have tightened it? Just wondering.

It's a sad day for Fark that HillaryIs44 has passed into obscurity.


No it's not. Cheer up. Even though Hillary loosed to Obama in 2008, look forward to 2016. HillaryWillBe45.com.
 
2012-12-01 04:18:57 AM

The Why Not Guy: I asked if you prefer the ethics of a liar. Your answer:

starsrift: But to address your point more holistically, yes

You're welcome to him. I'll stick with the truth.

Oh, and as for unskewedpolls not lying, note that their EV projection went from an overwhelming Romney victory to a narrow Romney victory overnight. The data didn't change that drastically in such a short period of time. He lied.


You're being too generous with your statement. He didn't just lie, he scammed THOUSANDS into viewing his BS website. He preyed on the confused and lost conservative voters who were reading up on Nate Silver's website and were conveniently pointed to his own website. He had massive ad revenues as a result. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out he was actually a democrat.
 
2012-12-01 04:39:52 AM
Nate is pretty awesome. Smart guy.

Also he mentioned the turnout would be slightly less but not enormously so and as the vote continues to trickle in through december we are now right at 3 million less votes than in 2008.

THe biggest difference is in New York 1.3 million less than in 2008 but the rest of the country right now it is a slight downturn state to state except in the swing states where more voters turned out.

New York being 1.3 million less is interesting of course being that a major storm went through. In New Jersey they are only about 200,000 less.

So of the 3 million less votes half are from 2 states.

Still votes to count. Obama right now with a 4.6 million vote lead.
 
2012-12-01 05:28:42 AM
Anyone else read that as Potatico?


(a blog you can count on)
 
2012-12-01 06:32:23 AM

Wretschko: To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out he was actually a democrat.


Yeah, because no true Republican would ever lie or scam the public or be overweight. He must be a secret Democrat.
 
2012-12-01 09:33:38 AM
Wretschko:
You're being too generous with your statement. He didn't just lie, he scammed THOUSANDS into viewing his BS website. He preyed on the confused and lost conservative voters who were reading up on Nate Silver's website and were conveniently pointed to his own website. He had massive ad revenues as a result. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out he was actually a democrat lying welching potato.

Fixed.
 
2012-12-01 09:53:11 AM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: I didn't really understand that criticism either (I mean, other than a you're making it hard for us to ignore the facts on the ground, dammit!!! stance).

If you need more volunteers, last minute fundraising pushes, if you want people to work their ass off in the last push to the election... how is releasing information that you have a 90%+ chance of winning going to motivate them? I guess saying "the guy who says we're gonna lose is a liberal tool" could motivate your troops, but... not if you follow it up with "we know we're all set and everything is awesome".

Talking about general elections here, not primaries, whole different ball game there...


I actually think it can be useful, because (general) Election Day is never about one race. If you've for all purposes wrapped the presidency up in mid-to-late October (as Obama basically had done), you can spend the next week or two doing heavier outreach in the close House and Senate races, of which there will always be more than a handful. That can be the difference between Heidi Heitkamp going to the Senate or not.
Of course the last few days, you need to stress the "NO SERIOUSLY EVERYONE VOTE FOR OBAMA" message.
 
2012-12-01 11:57:42 AM
Nater's gonna Nate.
 
2012-12-01 01:09:36 PM

redqueenmeg: Tremolo: I agree. They recently hired a high school classmate of mine; this myopic "Israel should be at the forefront of America's foreign policy" girl whose writing has not improved since the high school paper, even after 4 years at Northwestern.

To be fair, many of us did not improve after 4 years at Northwestern.


You must have been in the wrong department. (Checks, smiles knowingly.) I wrote more as a history major than any English majors I knew.

But it's not just the amount, it's the material: the Medilldoes cranked out more lines per year, but 200-word news briefs are not the same thing as 50-page papers.
 
2012-12-01 01:34:11 PM

Krieghund: common sense is an oxymoron: Is it lying if you believe in your delusion?

Apparently it is if you're the UN ambassador.



That's so 2006...

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
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