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(Five Thirty-Eight)   There's a new "Fox News," and this time it's actually fair and balanced   (fivethirtyeight.com) divider line 144
    More: Spiffy, Fox News, FiveThirtyEight, producers' goods, Robert Caro, counterdemonstrations, Peggy Noonan, intersections, swing states  
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7472 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Mar 2014 at 5:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



144 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-17 03:51:14 PM  
He's baaaaack....
 
2014-03-17 04:02:48 PM  
Excellent!
 
2014-03-17 04:26:22 PM  
Yes!!

Digging around the site, and it looks pretty good so far
 
2014-03-17 04:28:45 PM  
Happy to have Nate back, but I really don't like the fox/hedgehog analogy. It's not obvious what it means or how it relates to what he does.
 
2014-03-17 04:33:17 PM  

DamnYankees: Happy to have Nate back, but I really don't like the fox/hedgehog analogy. It's not obvious what it means or how it relates to what he does.


He's taking it back?
 
2014-03-17 04:34:30 PM  
Neat, hopefully we'll be hearing more from this site.
 
2014-03-17 04:46:07 PM  
I've been waiting for this to come back. Excited that it really looks bigger and better.
 
2014-03-17 04:58:11 PM  
It will be interesting to see how he does with the NCAA- I always thought there were far too many variables to make any serious prediction about a college hoops game, unless there was a vast disparity in the teams.
 
2014-03-17 05:39:48 PM  
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

blogs.villagevoice.com

He sure does.
 
2014-03-17 05:47:35 PM  

DamnYankees: Happy to have Nate back, but I really don't like the fox/hedgehog analogy. It's not obvious what it means or how it relates to what he does.


He talks about it in his book; and the essay which inspired the idiom is a pretty classic piece of modern philosophy.

I suspect sticking with the idiom says something about the audience he's targeting.
 
2014-03-17 05:50:42 PM  

abb3w: DamnYankees: Happy to have Nate back, but I really don't like the fox/hedgehog analogy. It's not obvious what it means or how it relates to what he does.

He talks about it in his book; and the essay which inspired the idiom is a pretty classic piece of modern philosophy.

I suspect sticking with the idiom says something about the audience he's targeting.


I read his book and the idiom. I think don't like it. Neener neener.
 
2014-03-17 05:52:08 PM  
Un-fudged numbers have a liberal bias. This will never fly with conservatives.
 
2014-03-17 05:53:11 PM  
Good.  Partnering with the NY Times during the last election cycle was a stupid stupid mistake; it almost seemed as if the Times didn't actually want anyone to see what Nate was doing (can't imagine why).
 
2014-03-17 05:53:36 PM  
Who is this now?
 
2014-03-17 05:53:48 PM  
i65.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-17 05:54:59 PM  

AntiNerd: Un-fudged numbers have a liberal bias. This will never fly with conservatives.


Oh is this the statistician that predicted the last election's website?
 
2014-03-17 05:55:34 PM  
I'm OK with this.
 
2014-03-17 06:00:36 PM  
They should hire this guy....for the lulz.

static5.businessinsider.com
 
2014-03-17 06:04:38 PM  
Pfft, who needs that pansy Nate Silver and all his 'thinking' and stuff. I prefer my polls unskewed like a real american!
 
2014-03-17 06:05:13 PM  

Dinki: It will be interesting to see how he does with the NCAA- I always thought there were far too many variables to make any serious prediction about a college hoops game, unless there was a vast disparity in the teams.


It would be amusing to see him win the $1,000,000,000 Buffet prize.
 
2014-03-17 06:05:44 PM  

Dinki: It will be interesting to see how he does with the NCAA- I always thought there were far too many variables to make any serious prediction about a college hoops game, unless there was a vast disparity in the teams.


Like Villanova and Seton Hall.
 
2014-03-17 06:05:51 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: AntiNerd: Un-fudged numbers have a liberal bias. This will never fly with conservatives.

Oh is this the statistician that predicted the last election's website?


This is the website of the guy that probably got the most press for predicting the presidential election last time around.

He was only one of a handful of guys that had extensive statistical models that were predicting the presidential elections correctly.
 
2014-03-17 06:06:05 PM  
His blog's layout sucks.
 
2014-03-17 06:07:07 PM  

Dinki: It will be interesting to see how he does with the NCAA- I always thought there were far too many variables to make any serious prediction about a college hoops game, unless there was a vast disparity in the teams.


There's charts and numbers. Not necessarily a "who would I pick?" bracket but all the odds for winners.
 
2014-03-17 06:07:15 PM  
If this is true, it's good news. But color me skeptical.
 
2014-03-17 06:08:13 PM  

DeaH: If this is true, it's good news. But color me skeptical.


Wow, that's what I get for not reading the article.
 
2014-03-17 06:12:51 PM  

AntiNerd: Un-fudged numbers have a liberal bias. This will never fly with conservatives.


You're saying conservatives like there numbers packed with fudge?
/ the way they like a lot of things.
 
2014-03-17 06:17:03 PM  

theknuckler_33: Pfft, who needs that pansy Nate Silver and all his 'thinking' and stuff. I prefer my polls unskewed like a real american!


I don't know how often I'll visit the site, but the fact Silver and his crew's consistent presence will essentially be pissing off the anti-intellectual crowd in both sports and politics automatically makes him a good bloke in my book.
 
2014-03-17 06:18:36 PM  

libranoelrose: I'm OK with this.


Hey, thanks for the TF sponsorship, BTW.
 
2014-03-17 06:23:43 PM  
Commentators as prestigious as George F. Will and Michael Barone predicted not just a Mitt Romney win, but a Romney sweep in most or all of the swing states.

BWA-hahahahahahaha
 
2014-03-17 06:35:23 PM  

Close2TheEdge: They should hire this guy....for the lulz.

[static5.businessinsider.com image 400x300]


Every good rag needs a humour column. They just need to figure out a way to keep him producing without letting him know that he's the butt of an amazing joke.
 
2014-03-17 06:40:26 PM  

buckler: Dinki: It will be interesting to see how he does with the NCAA- I always thought there were far too many variables to make any serious prediction about a college hoops game, unless there was a vast disparity in the teams.

It would be amusing to see him win the $1,000,000,000 Buffet prize.


It would but it's not magic. Where there is uncertainty there is uncertainty. Him getting Florida "right" was pure luck - Him knowing it was about a coin flip was  scientific analysis and not luck.
 
2014-03-17 06:41:56 PM  
I read that entire article in the voice of Will Macavoy.
 
2014-03-17 06:45:47 PM  
For those who dislike reading a WOT, let me bring you this from the announcement.

It's time for us to start making the news a little nerdier.


:D
 
2014-03-17 06:48:41 PM  
I am a fan of Nate Silver but after thinking about it I realized something - He actually didn't do a perfect job.

Why? - Because the test was not him getting 50 out of 50 - His test was calculating the probability of the outcomes - which he didn't get all right.

What am I talking about? If your predicting a 80% chance of situation A to happen and it happens 10 out of 10 times did you get it right? or if you get 8 out of 10? Well Nate made many sub 100% predictions including ones close to 50% but all of them were correct. They actually didn't match his outcome percentages. Sure for the small amount of contests it could have just been luck or I could mean he is understating the percentages. Which to me seems more likely.
 
2014-03-17 06:56:33 PM  

DamnYankees: Neener neener.


Well, pbbbbbbt then.
 
2014-03-17 07:00:10 PM  
FTFA: "Students who enter college with the intent to major in journalism or communications have  http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d12/tables/dt12_173.asp" target=_blank>above-average test scores in reading and writing, but below-average scores in mathematics. Furthermore, young people with strong math skills will normally have more alternatives to journalism when they embark upon their careers and may enter other fields. This is problematic."

Couldn't agree more Nate. It's amazing the lack of basic math and science in modern Journalism--The excuse is "Speak in layman's terms so that the rubes can understand". But when you aren't experienced in math and science, politicians can throw out all kinds of BS and nobody catches their fuzzy numbers quickly...Until a day or two later when the newsroom finally catches up with internet factcheckers, but by then the derp is now a narrative.
 
2014-03-17 07:04:28 PM  

AntiNerd: Un-fudged numbers have a liberal bias. This will never fly with conservatives.


I've included this in my little group of news thingies to watch--you know, squeezed between FOXNews and the Wall Street Journal. Lets see if it contaminates er, transforms me into an angry liberal. :-)
 
2014-03-17 07:05:18 PM  
 
2014-03-17 07:10:12 PM  

Wessoman: FTFA: "Students who enter college with the intent to major in journalism or communications have  http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d12/tables/dt12_173.asp" target=_blank>above-average test scores in reading and writing, but below-average scores in mathematics. Furthermore, young people with strong math skills will normally have more alternatives to journalism when they embark upon their careers and may enter other fields. This is problematic."

Couldn't agree more Nate. It's amazing the lack of basic math and science in modern Journalism--The excuse is "Speak in layman's terms so that the rubes can understand". But when you aren't experienced in math and science, politicians can throw out all kinds of BS and nobody catches their fuzzy numbers quickly...Until a day or two later when the newsroom finally catches up with internet factcheckers, but by then the derp is now a narrative.


Honestly, it doesn't take much.

I got taught stats by a not-actively-serving Marine, who had a sense of humor but who drilled stats and critical thinking of presented data and interpretations of it into our heads.  Years upon years later, I'm still using those skills on a daily basis.  It really should be a required high school course on its own, considering it brings in math/science as well as critical thinking and reading, at the *very* least.

Snowball's chance in hell, I know.  But damn if it isn't important.
 
2014-03-17 07:11:34 PM  

Corvus: I am a fan of Nate Silver but after thinking about it I realized something - He actually didn't do a perfect job.

Why? - Because the test was not him getting 50 out of 50 - His test was calculating the probability of the outcomes - which he didn't get all right.

What am I talking about? If your predicting a 80% chance of situation A to happen and it happens 10 out of 10 times did you get it right? or if you get 8 out of 10? Well Nate made many sub 100% predictions including ones close to 50% but all of them were correct. They actually didn't match his outcome percentages. Sure for the small amount of contests it could have just been luck or I could mean he is understating the percentages. Which to me seems more likely.


The weather.  There are other unforeseen circumstances (earthquake, terrorist attack, late-breaking news) which force statisticians to understate their percentages.

A 65% chance that Obama will win the district is really more like 70% Obama, 20% Romney, and 10% something unexpected happens which throws everything into disarray.  It's why they never say 100% for anyone.
 
2014-03-17 07:12:13 PM  

Corvus: What am I talking about? If your predicting a 80% chance of situation A to happen and it happens 10 out of 10 times did you get it right? or if you get 8 out of 10? Well Nate made many sub 100% predictions including ones close to 50% but all of them were correct. They actually didn't match his outcome percentages. Sure for the small amount of contests it could have just been luck or I could mean he is understating the percentages. Which to me seems more likely.


While this is a humorous criticism, it actually has a deeper point. The reality of Nate's predictive model is that its actually way more binary than he lets on. All his state-by-state probabilities are not independent.
 
2014-03-17 07:13:42 PM  

Corvus: I am a fan of Nate Silver but after thinking about it I realized something - He actually didn't do a perfect job.

Why? - Because the test was not him getting 50 out of 50 - His test was calculating the probability of the outcomes - which he didn't get all right.

What am I talking about? If your predicting a 80% chance of situation A to happen and it happens 10 out of 10 times did you get it right? or if you get 8 out of 10? Well Nate made many sub 100% predictions including ones close to 50% but all of them were correct. They actually didn't match his outcome percentages. Sure for the small amount of contests it could have just been luck or I could mean he is understating the percentages. Which to me seems more likely.


Your instincts are right, but they analyzed this using the more important metric of how many results fell in and out of Silver's confidence intervals.  96% of the states fell into 538's 95% confidence interval for the final poll margin (note that the guy in the article does it wrong the first time and corrects it).  Since it isn't possible to get exactly 95% with 50 states, this is basically ideal from a model-validation perspective.
 
2014-03-17 07:14:15 PM  
This is the best political news of the year.  538 is what political journalism should be about.
 
2014-03-17 07:14:37 PM  

Destructor: Lets see if it contaminates er, transforms me into an angry liberal. :-)


Facts tend to do that to people.
 
2014-03-17 07:15:06 PM  

antidisestablishmentarianism: AntiNerd: Un-fudged numbers have a liberal bias. This will never fly with conservatives.

Oh is this the statistician that predicted the last election's website?


And 08.

I almost wish he got a few states 'wrong'.  He didn't say with absolute certainty which way each state would go (99% certainty in some states... eh, probably).  He gave probabilities.  They happened to fall in line with how things turned out because he's a witch, but it's gonna be JUST LIKE this goddamn winter when he's wrong about something.

Oh look at all the snow outside!  Ha ha, and you said there was global warming!!@!!@#131!.  You said Nate Silver was awesome, but he predicted X would win in this race (55% probability with a margin of error), and Y won!  Haha, math is stupid and he's a liberal!

I'm not looking forward to it.
 
2014-03-17 07:16:11 PM  

Captain Dan: This is the best political news of the year.  538 is what political journalism should be about.


Seriously.  I'm just happy as hell he's got a dedicated site again.  The New York Times crap was annoying as hell.
 
2014-03-17 07:16:26 PM  
So... what does the fox say?
 
2014-03-17 07:16:58 PM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: It really should be a required high school course on its own, considering it brings in math/science as well as critical thinking and reading, at the *very* least.


Um, no. Maybe in college, if you're majoring in something related.

I love this "let's turn our kids into financial geniuses" paradigm I keep running into here.
 
2014-03-17 07:18:42 PM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Oh look at all the snow outside!  Ha ha, and you said there was global warming!!@!!@#131!.  You said Nate Silver was awesome, but he predicted X would win in this race (55% probability with a margin of error), and Y won!  Haha, math is stupid and he's a liberal!


I'd rather these people openly identify as cretins by mocking Nate Silver/538/math.  It's easier to disregard everything else they say.
 
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