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(Five Thirty-Eight)   So this is what Nate Silver is doing with his expanded staff and funding at 538.com: A statistical analysis of the work of Bob Ross   (fivethirtyeight.com) divider line 69
    More: Amusing, statistical analysis, percentage change, deciduous trees, happy tree  
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4891 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2014 at 2:24 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-14 12:36:14 PM
538 continues to be really disappointing. In what world does Nate Silver think "let's just pull together some random stats about a quirky subject" is either (i) his expertise or (ii) something which sets him apart from the rest of the internet commentariat?

Not good.
 
2014-04-14 12:40:36 PM

DamnYankees: 538 continues to be really disappointing. In what world does Nate Silver think "let's just pull together some random stats about a quirky subject" is either (i) his expertise or (ii) something which sets him apart from the rest of the internet commentariat?

Not good.


It works for Malcolm Gladwell.

Nate should have stuck w/his politics blog, not hired anyone for a while and slowly grown over time to include insightful and less controversial stats people.
 
2014-04-14 01:02:41 PM
I for one am outraged that Nate Silver not doing the stuff that we think he really ought to be doing.

What ever that is.
 
2014-04-14 01:03:19 PM

bdub77: less controversial stats people


Because nothing stirs up controversy quite like Bob Ross!
 
2014-04-14 01:15:01 PM
You can spot a Bob Ross painting from miles away. Snobs don't like him because it shows you how easy it is to make a simple but still deep painting. In fact, people who hate his art are just bitter assholes.
 
2014-04-14 01:20:48 PM
ESPN must be thrilled
 
2014-04-14 01:26:32 PM
Surprising that while 91% had at least one tree, only 85% had at least two. As Bob was fond of saying, every tree needs a little friend! Must have been some dark times for him to paint those lonely trees.
 
2014-04-14 01:32:50 PM

Tr0mBoNe: You can spot a Bob Ross painting from miles away. Snobs don't like him because it shows you how easy it is to make a simple but still deep painting. In fact, people who hate his art are just bitter assholes.


I can't decide what's more surprising.  That there are Bob Ross haters or that there are Bob Ross hater haters.
 
2014-04-14 01:49:35 PM
If everyone involved would just watch a Bob Ross show by the end they'd all share a manly hug and go for ice cream.

If Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers had teamed up they'd have conquered the world with niceness...and inadvertently created Reavers.
 
2014-04-14 02:03:24 PM

tallguywithglasseson: Surprising that while 91% had at least one tree, only 85% had at least two. As Bob was fond of saying, every tree needs a little friend! Must have been some dark times for him to paint those lonely trees.


Now that is a depressing thought.  Alomst as depressing as having people and animals at a complete zero.  There's not even a damn bird on Bob's horizon.
 
2014-04-14 02:04:10 PM
Sadly, it seems to me that 538 has reached the end of its useful life.
 
2014-04-14 02:08:25 PM
And now we're going to take our #2 brush....there we go.  And paint a happy little Republican right next to that tree.  Take the fan brush now...put some sunlight sparkles on his brow...
 
2014-04-14 02:26:09 PM

tallguywithglasseson: Surprising that while 91% had at least one tree, only 85% had at least two. As Bob was fond of saying, every tree needs a little friend! Must have been some dark times for him to paint those lonely trees.


But how many of said trees were happy, little trees?
 
2014-04-14 02:28:43 PM
Jesus, we needed Nate Silver to point out what Bob Ross painted? Trees, clouds, mountains, and some lakes.

Christ, what a waste of farking bandwidth. Now I need to watch an episode of Joy of Painting so that I can get a contact high and relax.
 
2014-04-14 02:29:55 PM
bdub77: Nate should have stuck w/his politics blog, not hired anyone for a while and slowly grown over time to include insightful and less controversial stats people.

I concur generally, the sudden "Ha-ha!  Lots of random stats-based sillyness!"  is over the top.  But things like this, while silly, can help create an understanding of basic statistics and create examples of using math to model things one wouldn't typically consider to be mathable.
 
2014-04-14 02:32:51 PM

Delay: Sadly, it seems to me that 538 has reached the end of its useful life.


Their article from Friday on which cities had the most librarians was particularly terrible.  It was basically, "here's a bunch of numbers we collated about librarians.  We don't know what they mean, we don't know what we want to say, and we're not going to even try to figure it out, but here are the numbers."

I'll give them a hint, any reasonably intelligent person could look at the list of cities with the highest percentage of librarians and come to the conclusion that small cities with huge universities will have a lot of librarians.
 
2014-04-14 02:33:51 PM

Tr0mBoNe: You can spot a Bob Ross painting from miles away. Snobs don't like him because it shows you how easy it is to make a simple but still deep painting. In fact, people who hate his art are just bitter assholes.


This right here.  Also; watching him paint is a great cure for insomnia.  Not hating because I was a fan of his show.
 
2014-04-14 02:36:06 PM

Marcus Aurelius: I for one am outraged that Nate Silver not doing the stuff that we think he really ought to be doing.

What ever that is.


Outraged?  No.  Disappointed?  Yes.

Nate Silver's previous 538 work was unique, enjoyable and very needed (especially in politics).  His current site is...meh.  I'm hoping it improves once election season comes around again, personally.  Until then, I guess his site is okay, but it's nothing out of the norm.  It's just random stories with a bit of data analysis in some of them.
 
2014-04-14 02:39:28 PM
I feel like the new 538 is out of their depth and desperately splashing around for some solid ground.

Stats are great for sports and horse races (political or otherwise), but once you start applying them to policy and economic decisions the tracks get muddy and deep real quick.

Krugman's beef with Silver's new direction was spot on.  Stick to what you know, kid.
 
2014-04-14 02:41:05 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: If everyone involved would just watch a Bob Ross show by the end they'd all share a manly hug and go for ice cream.

If Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers had teamed up they'd have conquered the world with niceness...and inadvertently created Reavers.


"About a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Joy of Painting. Their aggressor response increased beyond madness. They have become... Well, they've killed most of us. And not just killed... they've done things... I won't live to report this, but people have to know. We meant it for the best... to make people happy... like the little trees."
 
2014-04-14 02:41:12 PM
Everyone will come back to 538 for the midterms, and then heavy in 2016 for the midterms.

But, even Nate is writing some pretty silly articles on there:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-if-an-evil-commissioner-tur ne d-hank-aarons-homers-into-singles/

And I'm sure we're awaiting the follow up "What if David Stern had turned all of Reggie Miller's 3 pointer's into 1 pointers?"
 
2014-04-14 02:41:54 PM
Hey, you guys, Nate Silver didn't write this. It's a story featured on his site, Fivethirtyeight.com.

Here are Nate's own contributions to the site.
 
2014-04-14 02:41:59 PM

dletter: Everyone will come back to 538 for the midterms, and then heavy in 2016 for the midterms.


Meant in 2016 for the Presidential election
 
2014-04-14 02:42:51 PM
Factoid:  Bob Ross hated his hairstyle and wanted to change it, but felt it had become his trademark and was professionally concerned about changing it.  This was stated on a PBS documentary that aired a few years ago.
 
2014-04-14 02:43:24 PM

JerseyTim: Hey, you guys, Nate Silver didn't write this. It's a story featured on his site, Fivethirtyeight.com.

Here are Nate's own contributions to the site.


1. I don't think anyone claimed that Nate wrote it.... Subby said "What is Nate doing with his expanded staff...." , the answer being, his expanded staff is writing articles about the odd's Bob Ross would paint 2 trees.

2. As I showed, Nate's stuff isn't much better lately.
 
2014-04-14 02:43:30 PM
According to the statistical analysis, Bob Ross never painting......people.

You know who else never liked painting people?
 
2014-04-14 02:44:08 PM
^ "painted"
 
2014-04-14 02:44:32 PM

rugman11: Delay: Sadly, it seems to me that 538 has reached the end of its useful life.

Their article from Friday on which cities had the most librarians was particularly terrible.  It was basically, "here's a bunch of numbers we collated about librarians.  We don't know what they mean, we don't know what we want to say, and we're not going to even try to figure it out, but here are the numbers."

I'll give them a hint, any reasonably intelligent person could look at the list of cities with the highest percentage of librarians and come to the conclusion that small cities with huge universities will have a lot of librarians.


Data Analysis can be pretty interesting if there is a model. Your implied model is, "the number of skilled persons employed in a city reflects job opportunities." Yeah, you're right, the model is too dull to be worth the number crunching.
 
2014-04-14 02:44:37 PM

DrBrownCow: Factoid:  Bob Ross hated his hairstyle and wanted to change it, but felt it had become his trademark and was professionally concerned about changing it.  This was stated on a PBS documentary that aired a few years ago.


Yeah, I heard about that too.   I'm guessing like some other people with their body "features" that are key to why they are famous, he may have even had his perm "insured".
 
2014-04-14 02:45:35 PM

Corn_Fed: According to the statistical analysis, Bob Ross never painting......people.

You know who else never liked painting people?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK6D7iK_cUk
 
2014-04-14 02:47:36 PM
I think the object of the exercise was to demonstrate elementary probabilities for the innumerate while using a comprehensible, non-controversial subject.

You know -- like a teacher.

/But I could be wrong.
//Bob Ross ... bad hair.
 
2014-04-14 02:48:06 PM

DrBrownCow: Factoid:  Bob Ross hated his hairstyle and wanted to change it, but felt it had become his trademark and was professionally concerned about changing it.  This was stated on a PBS documentary that aired a few years ago.


Ross was a really interesting dude. He spent 20 years in the Air Force where he described himself as something of a hardass. He didn't make money from the show, but from all the sales of his books and videos and painting kits that the show generated. Best of all, he loved squirrels.
 
2014-04-14 02:48:53 PM
He always had a perfect painting then decided to paint in a giant tree near the end of the show. Why Bob, why.
 
2014-04-14 02:51:31 PM
Better paintings than that Thomas Kincaide guy, but NONE of them are a Velvet Elvis's.  That is some true art

But of course...why not both

a1.s6img.com
 
2014-04-14 02:52:48 PM

Marcus Aurelius: I for one am outraged that Nate Silver not doing the stuff that we think he really ought to be doing.

What ever that is.


if only there was someone who could do some sort of statistical analysis to determine what we want Nate Silver to be doing.
 
2014-04-14 02:55:31 PM

kbronsito: Marcus Aurelius: I for one am outraged that Nate Silver not doing the stuff that we think he really ought to be doing.

What ever that is.

if only there was someone who could do some sort of statistical analysis to determine what we want Nate Silver to be doing.


Someone needs to buy this site off of the apparent site hoarder and do a parody site where all the analysis is of porn films:

http://www.fivesixtynine.com/
 
2014-04-14 02:57:11 PM

uncleacid: He always had a perfect painting then decided to paint in a giant tree near the end of the show. Why Bob, why.


It's called a bravery test! Only the brave would do something like that.

"The majority of people who watch Bob Ross have no interest in painting," she said. "Mostly it's his calming voice." Absolute truth for me. My favorite thing on Sunday morning is to watch Bob paint.
 
2014-04-14 02:59:54 PM

dletter: Everyone will come back to 538 for the midterms, and then heavy in 2016 for the midterms.

But, even Nate is writing some pretty silly articles on there:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-if-an-evil-commissioner-tur ne d-hank-aarons-homers-into-singles/

And I'm sure we're awaiting the follow up "What if David Stern had turned all of Reggie Miller's 3 pointer's into 1 pointers?"


I think it's a discussion worth having.  Joe Posnanski basically wrote the same thing last week with a little less statistical manipulation and a stronger thesis.  The basic idea is that, while people remember Aaron's home run record and call him the Home Run King, his talent went way beyond just hitting the ball over the fence.  He was an awesome hitter in all facets for almost twenty years.  The point of articles like this is to point out that even if he had never hit a single home run, Aaron would still have put up a Hall of Fame career.  So to call him merely the Home Run King is actually to diminish his ability as an all-around hitter.
 
2014-04-14 03:00:59 PM

Corn_Fed: According to the statistical analysis, Bob Ross never painting......people.

You know who else never liked painting people?


Auric Goldfinger?
 
2014-04-14 03:03:31 PM

dletter: kbronsito: Marcus Aurelius: I for one am outraged that Nate Silver not doing the stuff that we think he really ought to be doing.

What ever that is.

if only there was someone who could do some sort of statistical analysis to determine what we want Nate Silver to be doing.

Someone needs to buy this site off of the apparent site hoarder and do a parody site where all the analysis is of porn films:


Heh. There's a huge number of real  data analysis studies that do just that. Examples:

Brown, J. & L'Engle, K. 2009, Communications Research, 36(1), 129-151, X-Rated: Sexual attitudes and behaviors associated with U.S. early adolescents' exposure to sexually explicit media

Carroll, Jason S., et al. "Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults.  Journal of Adolescent Research 23.1 (2008) 6-30.
 
2014-04-14 03:04:21 PM

Abner Doon: Marcus Aurelius: I for one am outraged that Nate Silver not doing the stuff that we think he really ought to be doing.

What ever that is.

Outraged?  No.  Disappointed?  Yes.

Nate Silver's previous 538 work was unique, enjoyable and very needed (especially in politics).  His current site is...meh.  I'm hoping it improves once election season comes around again, personally.  Until then, I guess his site is okay, but it's nothing out of the norm.  It's just random stories with a bit of data analysis in some of them.


Ah.  I see.

I expected nothing, and now I have new insights into Bob Ross, plus the wonderful chart.
 
2014-04-14 03:10:22 PM
Nate Silver has an expanded staff?

/gidgity!
 
2014-04-14 03:14:08 PM

DamnYankees: 538 continues to be really disappointing. In what world does Nate Silver think "let's just pull together some random stats about a quirky subject" is either (i) his expertise or (ii) something which sets him apart from the rest of the internet commentariat?

Not good.


What ever set him apart when it wasn't the middle of a political season?
 
2014-04-14 03:18:01 PM

Savage Bacon: Mr. Coffee Nerves: If everyone involved would just watch a Bob Ross show by the end they'd all share a manly hug and go for ice cream.

If Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers had teamed up they'd have conquered the world with niceness...and inadvertently created Reavers.

"About a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Joy of Painting. Their aggressor response increased beyond madness. They have become... Well, they've killed most of us. And not just killed... they've done things... I won't live to report this, but people have to know. We meant it for the best... to make people happy... like the little trees."


www.splinteredstudios.com
You can see our Malcolm Reynolds underneath... but you can also see... the madness. The squiggles, they're just too much. He can't reach out and touch us through the painting anymore.
 
2014-04-14 03:28:24 PM

Lost Thought 00: DamnYankees: 538 continues to be really disappointing. In what world does Nate Silver think "let's just pull together some random stats about a quirky subject" is either (i) his expertise or (ii) something which sets him apart from the rest of the internet commentariat?

Not good.

What ever set him apart when it wasn't the middle of a political season?


Sports. He's a great, great baseball analyst.
 
2014-04-14 03:36:06 PM

Savage Bacon: Mr. Coffee Nerves: If everyone involved would just watch a Bob Ross show by the end they'd all share a manly hug and go for ice cream.

If Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers had teamed up they'd have conquered the world with niceness...and inadvertently created Reavers.

"About a tenth of a percent of the population had the opposite reaction to the Joy of Painting. Their aggressor response increased beyond madness. They have become... Well, they've killed most of us. And not just killed... they've done things... I won't live to report this, but people have to know. We meant it for the best... to make people happy... like the little trees."


This needs to get more love. Excellent post, sir.
 
2014-04-14 03:40:10 PM

rugman11: dletter: Everyone will come back to 538 for the midterms, and then heavy in 2016 for the midterms.

But, even Nate is writing some pretty silly articles on there:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-if-an-evil-commissioner-tur ne d-hank-aarons-homers-into-singles/

And I'm sure we're awaiting the follow up "What if David Stern had turned all of Reggie Miller's 3 pointer's into 1 pointers?"

I think it's a discussion worth having.  Joe Posnanski basically wrote the same thing last week with a little less statistical manipulation and a stronger thesis.  The basic idea is that, while people remember Aaron's home run record and call him the Home Run King, his talent went way beyond just hitting the ball over the fence.  He was an awesome hitter in all facets for almost twenty years.  The point of articles like this is to point out that even if he had never hit a single home run, Aaron would still have put up a Hall of Fame career.  So to call him merely the Home Run King is actually to diminish his ability as an all-around hitter.


I'm not saying it isn't a discussion worth having, but, that NBC article was much better than "Imagine a world where the evil commissioner made HRs a single!".   Only because, ANY sport would be different if you put fundamentally different rules in place.  That hardly even needs analysis..... balls over the fence are a single?  Then NOBODY is trying to hit for power, EVERYTHING would be "positional" hitting (trying to hit the gaps, or down the baseline's)... whether you did that for everyone, or just for Aaron, for whomever it was, their game would change to fit that.
 
2014-04-14 03:47:56 PM

DamnYankees: Lost Thought 00: DamnYankees: 538 continues to be really disappointing. In what world does Nate Silver think "let's just pull together some random stats about a quirky subject" is either (i) his expertise or (ii) something which sets him apart from the rest of the internet commentariat?

Not good.

What ever set him apart when it wasn't the middle of a political season?

Sports. He's a great, great baseball analyst.


Not to mention a great coach for the San Diego Chargers.
 
2014-04-14 03:51:50 PM
I'm a productive, predominantly law-abiding citizen.  I have to admit, though, very few things in life make me happier than a couple of bong hits and an hour of Bob Ross.
 
2014-04-14 03:56:49 PM
I suspect Sliver is channeling Freakonomics -- they do some serious analsis alternating with silly stuff.
 
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