If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Talking Points Memo)   It's Paul Krugman v. Nate Silver in a battle of liberal intellectuals   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 138
    More: Followup, Paul Krugman, Krugman v., High IQ, Ross Douthat, intellectuals, FiveThirtyEight, battles  
•       •       •

2226 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Mar 2014 at 5:07 PM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



138 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-03-24 03:51:24 PM
I feel like Krugman has the better of the argument here. Nate isn't really responding to the basic criticism of his new endeavor.
 
2014-03-24 03:58:47 PM
Since when is Nate Silver a liberal intellectual?
 
2014-03-24 04:00:01 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Since when is Nate Silver a liberal intellectual?


Well, he's a liberal and he's pretty intellectual. Not enough?
 
2014-03-24 04:03:11 PM

DamnYankees: I feel like Krugman has the better of the argument here. Nate isn't really responding to the basic criticism of his new endeavor.


Krugman wants Silver to give him an opinion as to the basic underlying meanings of his analyses.  To draw one big conclusion, if you will.  Just like a hedgehog.
 
2014-03-24 04:04:41 PM

DamnYankees: Nate isn't really responding to the basic criticism of his new endeavor.

The criticism is really bizarre and I'm not sure how one is supposed to respond to it. How do you respond to things like saying that Five Thirty Eight doesn't understand their mission? Or that it needs more thoughtfulness? If Krugman had some specific criticisms, I could understand, but he's basically just waving his hands and saying "doooooom".
 
2014-03-24 04:04:58 PM

DamnYankees: he's a liberal


I have not heard him espousing liberal ideologies.  And he claims to be a centrist.

I'm willing to believe him.
 
2014-03-24 04:06:39 PM

exick: DamnYankees: Nate isn't really responding to the basic criticism of his new endeavor.
The criticism is really bizarre and I'm not sure how one is supposed to respond to it. How do you respond to things like saying that Five Thirty Eight doesn't understand their mission? Or that it needs more thoughtfulness? If Krugman had some specific criticisms, I could understand, but he's basically just waving his hands and saying "doooooom".


^ This.
 
2014-03-24 04:09:05 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Krugman wants Silver to give him an opinion as to the basic underlying meanings of his analyses.


I don't think that's Krugman's main criticism, or the one Silver is responding to. The main criticism I saw from Krugman was as follows.

Nate Silver has followed a method whereby he applies statistical and empirical models to areas of life which have previously been dominated by conjecture and tradition. For Nate, this has 98% of the time been baseball and politics. And he's done great in it, mainly because baseball and politics are two areas where there has simply been a dearth of good empirical analysis. It's not hard to look great using statistics if you're arguing against Joe Morgan and Politico.

The problem is that Silver seems to have over-learned the lesson here in thinking you can apply this to all other areas of life. Krugman is an economic, for example. So if Silver tries to use his models on economics, Krugman actually knows what he's talking about. And economics, as a discipline, is very, very different than baseball and electoral politics, in that very smart people have been doing very disciplined, evidence-based analysis of economics for a very long time. There simply isn't the same vaccuum. So Silver needs to try to figure out what the hell 538's value-add is in economics. Same for all sorts of things 538 wants to cover. Climate change? Yeah, science has studied that pretty well, and when you hure someone that the scientific community thinks is an idiot, you're not being contrarian, you're being stupid.

That's the criticism, for me, that is most potent.
 
2014-03-24 04:10:34 PM

Marcus Aurelius: I have not heard him espousing liberal ideologies.  And he claims to be a centrist.

I'm willing to believe him.


He's claimed to be liberal in the past. Unfortunately I can't find him saying that, because if you search for "Nate Silver liberal" you get no useful results. I would point out that Silver got his start by blogging at DailyKos.
 
2014-03-24 04:12:43 PM

DamnYankees: The problem is that Silver seems to have over-learned the lesson here in thinking you can apply this to all other areas of life


Given Silver's past successes (which various other pundits also assured us would fail miserably), I think I will withhold judgement until I actually see the analyses.
 
2014-03-24 04:13:46 PM

DamnYankees: Silver got his start by blogging at DailyKos.


I thought he started out as a baseball analyst.
 
2014-03-24 04:14:28 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Given Silver's past successes (which various other pundits also assured us would fail miserably), I think I will withhold judgement until I actually see the analyses.


Maybe, but you could similarly cite Krugman's past successes as evidence for him. I don't think anyone is doubting that Silver has great talent in the areas he's previously succeeded in - baseball and electoral politics - but that doesn't make him an expert in everything.
 
2014-03-24 04:15:27 PM

Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: Silver got his start by blogging at DailyKos.

I thought he started out as a baseball analyst.


Yes, correct, I should have said 538, not Silver. The 538 website began as a series of blog posts at Daily Kos which got so good and detailed he turned it into a website for political analysis.
 
2014-03-24 04:17:22 PM

DamnYankees: Marcus Aurelius: Given Silver's past successes (which various other pundits also assured us would fail miserably), I think I will withhold judgement until I actually see the analyses.

Maybe, but you could similarly cite Krugman's past successes as evidence for him. I don't think anyone is doubting that Silver has great talent in the areas he's previously succeeded in - baseball and electoral politics - but that doesn't make him an expert in everything.


And I'd chalk Krugman's criticism up to sour grapes as much as anything else.  Paul's still stuck at the NYT.
 
2014-03-24 04:17:31 PM

I honestly find this criticism by Krugman pretty hard to refute:

But you can't be an effective fox just by letting the data speak for itself - because it never does. You use data to inform your analysis, you let it tell you that your pet hypothesis is wrong, but data are never a substitute for hard thinking. If you think the data are speaking for themselves, what you're really doing is implicit theorizing, which is a really bad idea (because you can't test your assumptions if you don't even know what you're assuming.)

I feel bad about picking on a young staffer, but I think this piece on corporate cash hoards - which is the site's inaugural economic analysis - is a good example. The post tells us that the much-cited $2 trillion corporate cash hoard has been revised down by half a trillion dollars. That's kind of interesting, I guess, although it's striking that the post offers neither a link to the data nor a summary table of pre- and post-revision numbers; I'm supposed to know my way around these numbers, and I can't figure out exactly which series they're referring to. (Use FRED!)

More to the point, however, what does this downward revision tell us? We're told that the "whole narrative" is gone; which narrative? Is the notion that profits are high, but investment remains low, no longer borne out by the data? (I'm pretty sure it's still true.) What is the model that has been refuted?

"Neener neener, people have been citing a number that was wrong" is just not helpful. Tell me something meaningful! Tell me why the data matter!

 
2014-03-24 04:18:45 PM

Marcus Aurelius: And I'd chalk Krugman's criticism up to sour grapes as much as anything else.  Paul's still stuck at the NYT.


Sour grapes? Stuck? He's one of the most high profile public intellectuals writing at one of the most high profile papers in the world? Let's not go about attributing things to malice or bad faith unnecessarily - Krugman has made actual arguments. If you want to refute them, lets do that, instead of making up motivations which aren't in evidence.
 
2014-03-24 04:19:19 PM

DamnYankees: Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: Silver got his start by blogging at DailyKos.

I thought he started out as a baseball analyst.

Yes, correct, I should have said 538, not Silver. The 538 website began as a series of blog posts at Daily Kos which got so good and detailed he turned it into a website for political analysis.


Only time will tell.  Having ESPN own the thing is just very weird to me.  I don't see the angle, unless Sportcenter is going to cover elections now.
 
2014-03-24 04:20:52 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Only time will tell.  Having ESPN own the thing is just very weird to me.  I don't see the angle, unless Sportcenter is going to cover elections now.


I feel like its under ESPN for corporate culture reasons, rather than substantive reasons.
 
2014-03-24 04:21:08 PM

Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: he's a liberal

I have not heard him espousing liberal ideologies.  And he claims to be a centrist.

I'm willing to believe him.


Anyone who bases thing on facts, numbers and math, are inherently Liberal.
 
2014-03-24 04:26:26 PM

DamnYankees: I honestly find this criticism by Krugman pretty hard to refute:

But you can't be an effective fox just by letting the data speak for itself - because it never does. You use data to inform your analysis, you let it tell you that your pet hypothesis is wrong, but data are never a substitute for hard thinking. If you think the data are speaking for themselves, what you're really doing is implicit theorizing, which is a really bad idea (because you can't test your assumptions if you don't even know what you're assuming.)


I THINK that Krugman is saying that if you simply present data you are "implicitly theorizing"?  Which is a "really bad idea"?  And implies that you ALWAYS need an analysis?

That assumes you are presenting an opinion, and not a set of facts.  Paul is so caught up in his world consisting almost entirely of opinions, that "uninterpreted" facts are "bad ideas" now.

Paul appears to be incapable of accepting data as simply data.  Which is absurd.
 
2014-03-24 04:27:39 PM

Marcus Aurelius: I THINK that Krugman is saying that if you simply present data you are "implicitly theorizing"?  Which is a "really bad idea"?  And implies that you ALWAYS need an analysis?


Come on now - just keep reading below the quoted text. He goes on to give a specific example of what he's talking about, and you just ignored it.

The problem is that 538 is not merely presenting data. They are drawing conclusions. As evidenced by the article Krugman cites, and you ignored.
 
2014-03-24 04:32:22 PM

DamnYankees: Marcus Aurelius: I THINK that Krugman is saying that if you simply present data you are "implicitly theorizing"?  Which is a "really bad idea"?  And implies that you ALWAYS need an analysis?

Come on now - just keep reading below the quoted text. He goes on to give a specific example of what he's talking about, and you just ignored it.

The problem is that 538 is not merely presenting data. They are drawing conclusions. As evidenced by the article Krugman cites, and you ignored.


No, I did not ignore it.  Krugman seems to be saying that conclusions need to be draw from this information.  That without the conclusions and an  analysis of the data that it is in fact a "bad idea".  He insists on being told why the data matters.

Sometimes data is just data.  But I guess not in Paul;'s world.  Good thing the guy hasn't seen the old double rainbow, his head would explode.
 
2014-03-24 04:35:02 PM

DamnYankees: The problem is that 538 is not merely presenting data. They are drawing conclusions


I read your post again and it sounds like Krugman is complaining that they DON'T draw enough conclusions.

More to the point, however, what does this downward revision tell us? We're told that the "whole narrative" is gone; which narrative? Is the notion that profits are high, but investment remains low, no longer borne out by the data? (I'm pretty sure it's still true.) What is the model that has been refuted?

Paul wants to be "told" something.  That's not Silver's style.
 
2014-03-24 04:35:07 PM

Marcus Aurelius: rugman seems to be saying that conclusions need to be draw from this information.  That without the conclusions and an  analysis of the data that it is in fact a "bad idea".  He insists on being told why the data matters.


I'm not trying to be mean here, but are you being serious right now? It's like you're being willfullly obtuse. The 538 article in question literally says "The revision didn't just change the numbers-it undermined the whole narrative."

If that's not 538 drawing a conclusion and telling it to the reader, I don't know what is. 538 is literally saying "here's revised data, therefore the prior assertion is false". That's a conclusion, and it was poorly done. Hence the criticism.
 
2014-03-24 04:40:12 PM

DamnYankees: I'm not trying to be mean here, but are you being serious right now? It's like you're being willfullly obtuse. The 538 article in question literally says "The revision didn't just change the numbers-it undermined the whole narrative."

If that's not 538 drawing a conclusion and telling it to the reader, I don't know what is. 538 is literally saying "here's revised data, therefore the prior assertion is false". That's a conclusion, and it was poorly done. Hence the criticism.


Now I'm going to have to read the damned 538 article myself.

If I have the gist so far, Silver's crew drew a conclusion, but not enough of a conclusion, and certainly not in enough detail for Krugman to give them a gold star.

What I am certain of, is that of all the pundits and prognosticators out there, if one of them told me the sky was blue, I would have to go outside and check.
 
2014-03-24 04:40:55 PM

Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: he's a liberal

I have not heard him espousing liberal ideologies.  And he claims to be a centrist.

I'm willing to believe him.


There is being a liberal/centrist/conservative, and there's being a professional pundit.  Silver for the most part does non-partisan presentation of his research and data analysis.  That he is a liberal doesn't change his data nor (from what I've seen) his conclusions, but I'm not a regular reader.  Krugman, whose columns I read fairly regularly, is obviously partisan liberal, but I'll give him credit in that I can't easily see through most of what he writes as easily-debunked BS or feel-good crap.  Which I'd hope, since I'm neither an economist nor a political scientist, would be the norm but holy crap columnists these days just aren't even trying to out-think us.
 
2014-03-24 05:10:41 PM
Google doesn't seem to know how tall Nate Silver is, but Krugman is 5' 7", so he probably doesn't have a height advantage. Given that Krugman is 61 and Silver is 36 I'm going to have to put my money on Silver.
 
2014-03-24 05:13:31 PM
Krugman coming off a little whiny
 
2014-03-24 05:19:02 PM
Nice to hear an intelligent argument for a change, no matter whom you happen to agree with. Too bad political discourse in the US is usually far below this level.
 
2014-03-24 05:23:11 PM
i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com
 
2014-03-24 05:24:05 PM

Headso: Krugman coming off a little whiny


I do wonder if this is pundit-Krugman talking, or if it's academic-Krugman.

The academic sees a study that draws no conclusions ("conclusions" being academic-speak for "Where do we go from here?") as flawed, as it only presents part of the answers, and does not point out the flaws in itself (a bit mid-bendy, that).

The pundit sees a position different from their own and says "That's wrong, because reasons."
 
2014-03-24 05:24:06 PM

Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: Silver got his start by blogging at DailyKos.

I thought he started out as a baseball analyst.

Yes, correct, I should have said 538, not Silver. The 538 website began as a series of blog posts at Daily Kos which got so good and detailed he turned it into a website for political analysis.

Only time will tell.  Having ESPN own the thing is just very weird to me.  I don't see the angle, unless Sportcenter is going to cover elections now.


538 is doing a fair amount of sports analysis (which, of course, was how Nate made it big in the first place).  But it is mildly odd that ESPN specifically owns it as opposed to ABC News (both owned by Disney-although Disney only owns 80% of ESPN while they own 100% of ABC), considering the wide variety of topics they seem to be aiming to cover.  Maybe Nate simply had old sports contacts at ESPN from back when he was doing the baseball thing.
 
2014-03-24 05:26:05 PM

Dr Dreidel: Headso: Krugman coming off a little whiny

I do wonder if this is pundit-Krugman talking, or if it's academic-Krugman.

The academic sees a study that draws no conclusions ("conclusions" being academic-speak for "Where do we go from here?") as flawed, as it only presents part of the answers, and does not point out the flaws in itself (a bit mid-bendy, that).

The pundit sees a position different from their own and says "That's wrong, because reasons."


I think its pundit-Krugman, but you're being a bit unfair. Krugman's argument isn't that their arguments are drawing no conclusions, but rather that the conclusions being drawn are implicit and not being stated and backed up properly. See the discussion above about how 538 drew a conclusion about corporate cash, but did so in a haphazard and unhelpful way.
 
2014-03-24 05:29:13 PM

Marcus Aurelius: I thought he started out as a baseball analyst.


Actually running stats for a gay "dating" site on the best nights for hookups ....

/wednesdays and thursdays if you are interested
 
2014-03-24 05:29:23 PM
Krugman is being biased here, no big surprise.

Nate Silver thinks Douthat is original? Vomit.
 
2014-03-24 05:30:05 PM

MachineHead: Krugman is being biased here, no big surprise.


In what way is he being biased?
 
2014-03-24 05:30:11 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Since when is Nate Silver a liberal intellectual?


I agree. Sure Krugman definitely is but I am not aware of Nate pushing for a liberal agenda in his articles or pushing for liberal ideals.
 
2014-03-24 05:30:36 PM

DamnYankees: Marcus Aurelius: I have not heard him espousing liberal ideologies.  And he claims to be a centrist.

I'm willing to believe him.

He's claimed to be liberal in the past. Unfortunately I can't find him saying that, because if you search for "Nate Silver liberal" you get no useful results. I would point out that Silver got his start by blogging at DailyKos.


On Charlie Rose he said he's "somewhere between a libertarian and a liberal."
 
2014-03-24 05:32:24 PM

MachineHead: Nate Silver thinks Douthat is original? Vomit.


Yeah that cracked me up. Ross Douthat, the guy who blamed the Catholic church's molestation scandal on - wait for it - liberalism.

Stick to statistics, Nate.
 
2014-03-24 05:33:00 PM

DamnYankees: And economics, as a discipline, is very, very different than baseball and electoral politics, in that very smart people have been doing very disciplined, evidence-based analysis of economics for a very long time


There's a joke amongst economists:

A business analyst, a statistician and an economist are asked to analyze the likelihood that the company's latest market venture will be successful.

The business analyst does a case study, gathering comparable ventures and presents it to management.

The statistician collates a wide range of variables in order to present management with the various likelihoods that variants on their venture will succeed.

The economist enters the room, closes the curtains, turns off the lights, sits down and scoots right up to the head manager before whispering, "What do you WANT the likelihood to be?"

Economics is an interesting discipline, but let's not kid ourselves by saying that it's hard science. It's a bunch of people attempting to find models that fit a man-made, ad-hoc system.  These models work sometimes, and not others, and many of the models only continue to exist because they happen to fit with particular political philosophies in spite of their repeated inability to produce the results they claim to be able to facilitate (*cough cough* Chicago School)
 
2014-03-24 05:33:14 PM
I clearly remember Nate Silver saying he was left of center but not way left of center. That's really not all that relevant to his work, which really is based entirely on the data points, which he cleaves to as a point of pride. As I remember, Silver's hero is an Asian Stats guy from Princeton who also had very accurate numbers back in  2008 2010 2012. Krugman probably hangs with him down in the basement of the Economics Building, where all the big pipes run and strange metal boxes give off heat and hum ominously and guys like Silver, Krugman and the Asian guy (Chan or Chang or Chuan) probably go to chill, play some ping pong or pool, maybe swill some beers.
 
2014-03-24 05:34:47 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Economics is an interesting discipline, but let's not kid ourselves by saying that it's hard science


No one said it was. But the question still remains - what is 538's value-add when it comes to economics, and in what way do they advance the knowledge of the subject?
 
2014-03-24 05:35:33 PM

DrD'isInfotainment: As I remember, Silver's hero is an Asian Stats guy from Princeton who also had very accurate numbers back in  2008 2010 2012.


Sam Wang, who indeed has been more accurate than Silver. It's also worth pointing out that Sam Wang is really not impressed at all with the new 538 - you can see his criticisms in his twitter feed.
 
2014-03-24 05:36:18 PM
FTFA: Since FiveThirtyEight's launch a week ago, Krugman has been unsparing in his criticism. First, he argued that Silver and company "have misunderstood their mission" by "letting the data speak for itself."

"You use data to inform your analysis, you let it tell you that your pet hypothesis is wrong, but data are never a substitute for hard thinking," Krugman wrote last week. "If you think the data are speaking for themselves, what you're really doing is implicit theorizing, which is a really bad idea (because you can't test your assumptions if you don't even know what you're assuming.)"


I disagree with Krugman's analysis from this point. It seems like all political punditry tries to give you statistics and then tell you what to think about them, usually slanting in the world view of the pundit/analyst. I like having the raw data out there to dissect yourself, and formulate your own view before you discuss it with others who have done the same. A better understanding will come of the data after the discussion when everyone discusses it from their perspective rather than the author's.

I think that made sense. But my premise is that pretty much every political site does what Krugman criticizes 538 for not being. Just maybe that is Nate Silver's intentions and why I find it refreshingly different.
 
2014-03-24 05:37:14 PM
Just because he is liberal doesn't make him a "liberal intellectual". If your not pushing liberal concepts you're not a "liberal intellectual". Someone who is a liberal but is a top anthropologists who writes intellectual article about anthropology isn't a "liberal intellectual".

Silver's writing is not about liberalism. Krugman does sure, but not Silver.
 
2014-03-24 05:37:43 PM

heavymetal: I think that made sense. But my premise is that pretty much every political site does what Krugman criticizes 538 for not being. Just maybe that is Nate Silver's intentions and why I find it refreshingly different.


I don't think Krugman would disagree that everyone does this. His problem with 538 is that they are pretending the don't.

What makes Nate Silver good isn't that he's using statistics and other people aren't. It's that he's better at it.
 
ecl
2014-03-24 05:37:46 PM
I've never seen a video clip of Krugman where he doesn't ooze smugness.  His punchability is simply off the charts.
 
2014-03-24 05:38:22 PM
i1079.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-24 05:38:54 PM

Marcus Aurelius: DamnYankees: he's a liberal

I have not heard him espousing liberal ideologies.  And he claims to be a centrist.

I'm willing to believe him.


He uses facts instead of faith. That's a very liberal thing to do.
 
2014-03-24 05:39:28 PM
Sid: You want subversion on a massive level. You know what one of the greatest farking scripts ever written in the history of D.C. is? 538-gate.

Duane: Oh, come on.

Sid: 538-Gate is farking great. What is 538-Gate? You think it's a story about a bunch of politcal pundits.

Duane: It's about a bunch of guys waving their dicks around.

Sid: It is a story about a man's struggle with his own homosexuality. It is! That is what 538-Gate is about, man. You've got Krugman, all right? He's on the edge, man. He's right on the farking line, all right? And you've got Silver, and all his crew. They're gay, they represent the gay man, all right? And they're saying, go, go the gay way, go the gay way. He could go both ways.

Duane: What about Janet Yellen?

Sid: Janet Yellen, she's heterosexuality. She's saying: no, no, no, no, no, no, go the normal way, play by the rules, go the normal way. They're saying no, go the gay way, be the gay way, go for the gay way, all right? That is what's going on throughout that whole movie... He goes to her house, all right? It looks like they're going to have sex, you know, they're just kind of sitting back, he's takin' a shower and everything. They don't have sex. He gets on the motorcycle, drives away. She's like, "What the fark, what the fark is going on here?" Next scene, next scene you see her, she's in the elevator, she is dressed like a guy. She's got the cap on, she's got the aviator glasses, she's wearing the same jacket that the Silver wears. She is, okay, this is how I gotta get this guy, this guy's going towards the gay way, I gotta bring him back, I gotta bring him back from the gay way, so I'll do that through subterfuge, I'm gonna dress like a man. All right? That is how she approaches it. Okay, now let me just ask you - I'm gonna digress for two seconds here. I met this girl Amy here, she's like floating around here and everything. Now, she just got divorced, right? All right, but the REAL ending of the movie is when they fight the GOPs at the end, all right? Because he has passed over into the gay way. They are this gay fighting farking force, all right? And they're beating the Republicans, the gays are beating the Republicans. And it's over, and they farking land, and Silver's been trying to get Krugman the entire time, and finally, he's got him, all right? And what is the last farking line that they have together? They're all hugging and kissing and happy with each other, and Sil comes up to Krugman, and he says, "Man, you can ride my tail, anytime!" And what does Krugman say? "You can ride mine!" Swordfight! Swordfight! farkin' A, man!
 
Displayed 50 of 138 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report