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Dude: Nate Silver

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Dude: Nate Silver

Person who renders all pundits, talking heads, and self-proclaimed experts useless
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NEEEEEEEEEEERDD!!!!
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Total votes : 45

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:38 pm

warmowski wrote:I mean, here's seven months out from the caucus, from ol' Nate's former employers:

I imagine most FMs in this thread have probably seen this analysis of Sydney Ember's reporting on Sanders. After reading it, that incredible video clip of the interview for the "Bernie Brought the Cold War to Burlington" piece -- the one where he asks Ember point-blank whether she is aware of the history of Reagan-era US policy in Nicaragua (etc.), and she refuses to answer and responds, "What's your point?" -- made a lot more sense.

OK, back to The Fox and the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Andrew. on Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:41 pm

Thanks for these really informative posts and links, askii. Great stuff.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby tmidgett on Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:31 pm

warmowski wrote:It will be impossible to do the customary thing and ignore or triangulate to admit commercial media bias this time around; there is an actually viable candidate that is running on a platform that openly, directly attacks the business interests of the commercial media's advertisers and in the case of the WaPo, attacks ownership itself. You'd have to be thick to not expect these platforms to have their knives out for Bernie, and this bad-at-politics abacus named Nate and his 3.2M followers are no fucking exception.


100% true.

Punditry is one of the safest and laziest of professions. For that reason, I can't blame anyone too much for lapsing into it, particularly because people do it when they are told they are good at it and rewarded for doing it.

I'm aware enough of my own faults to know that I might well do the same thing.

But that doesn't mean it's not a lapse and indicative of a fault.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:37 pm

tmidgett wrote:I'm aware enough of my own faults to know that I might well do the same thing.

But that doesn't mean it's not a lapse and indicative of a fault.

You're also not drawing a salary for it, though, or being presented to the public as an authority (notwithstanding those of us who find your posts far more authoritative than any mainstream punditry!). If the Sydney Embers of the world want to limit themselves to expressing their bullshit opinions on aluminum-beard-rock message boards, I have zero problem with that.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby warmowski on Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:38 pm

Andrew. wrote:Thanks for these really informative posts and links, askii. Great stuff.


+1

Concerning Cathy "Mathbabe" O'Neil: everybody read her book ASAP. It delivers a practical, plain-english understanding of how the disciplines of data science and data journalism have so often been degraded, through utterly political misapplication and malpractice, into nothing but a toxic professional fad. We'll be paying to clean up the pollution from this forever.

-r
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:38 pm

Thanks, and thanks for highlighting O'Neil's book. I actually was not aware of her until recently, when an Andrew Gelman blog post led me to her review of Silver's book. Her post on the Vioxx shitshow is riveting too, especially because so much of Merck's research fraud consisted of statistical malpractice so artless a first-year biostat student could easily spot it. If it weren't so depressing, it would be hilarious that their (well-paid) biometricians didn't bother covering their tracks better.

Weapons of Math Destruction is on my list, for sure.

I'm all too aware that "in the real world politics often trump accuracy, and accurate mathematical models don’t matter as much as he hopes they would" applies to my own work a lot of the time, so it's not like I can't sympathize with that part of Silver's blind spot, at least. We don't have the luxury of denial, though.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby tmidgett on Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:50 am

askii wrote:
tmidgett wrote:I'm aware enough of my own faults to know that I might well do the same thing.

But that doesn't mean it's not a lapse and indicative of a fault.

You're also not drawing a salary for it, though, or being presented to the public as an authority (notwithstanding those of us who find your posts far more authoritative than any mainstream punditry!). If the Sydney Embers of the world want to limit themselves to expressing their bullshit opinions on aluminum-beard-rock message boards, I have zero problem with that.


Haha! That's funny.

I feel ok about offering people whatever i might think i know on the internet.

And thanks for the kind words.

I meant if someone wanted to pay me by the minute to blab on cable tv, likely I would be tempted to do it. I think it has about as rigorous a qualification process as music journalism, similar lack of real downside from being wrong, and it pays a lot better. Seems like a pretty good gig.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Boombats on Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:06 am

warmowski wrote:Fire back, absolutely, always and forever no matter how much it blows Andy's mind.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:52 pm

tmidgett wrote:I meant if someone wanted to pay me by the minute to blab on cable tv, likely I would be tempted to do it. I think it has about as rigorous a qualification process as music journalism, similar lack of real downside from being wrong, and it pays a lot better. Seems like a pretty good gig.

Fair enough. AOC has a funny line about how she's been a bartender and a talking head on cable news, and bartending is way more challenging.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby tmidgett on Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:22 pm

askii wrote:AOC has a funny line about how she's been a bartender and a talking head on cable news, and bartending is way more challenging.


Didn't know about that! Exactly what I was getting at!

You get on there, say almost anything, and if you're wrong, there's essentially no accountability.

If you fuck up too many drinks, you're going to have to find a new job.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Andrew. on Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:16 pm

New episode of the Citations Needed podcast devoted to Silver.

On Twitter and his in columns, high-status pundit Nate Silver has made a career reporting on the polls and insisting he’s just a dispassionate, non-ideological conduit of Cold Hard Facts, just channeling the holy word of data. Empirical journalism, he calls it. But this schtick is very ideological - a reactionary worldview that prioritizes describing the world, rather than changing it. For Silver - and data-fetishists like him - politics is a sport to be gamed, rather than a mechanism for improving people’s lives.


https://soundcloud.com/citationsneeded/ ... ndit-brain
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby placeholder on Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:47 pm

This was great, and I have to listen to more of this show now. Thank you for the recommendation!

Andrew. wrote:New episode of the Citations Needed podcast devoted to Silver.

On Twitter and his in columns, high-status pundit Nate Silver has made a career reporting on the polls and insisting he’s just a dispassionate, non-ideological conduit of Cold Hard Facts, just channeling the holy word of data. Empirical journalism, he calls it. But this schtick is very ideological - a reactionary worldview that prioritizes describing the world, rather than changing it. For Silver - and data-fetishists like him - politics is a sport to be gamed, rather than a mechanism for improving people’s lives.


https://soundcloud.com/citationsneeded/ ... ndit-brain
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Andrew. on Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:58 am

placeholder wrote:This was great, and I have to listen to more of this show now. Thank you for the recommendation!


Co-host Adam Johnson (a staff writer at FAIR, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) is great on Twitter https://twitter.com/adamjohnsonNYC

He once defined libertarianism as a brain disease that prevents people from being able to understand social power relations. Perfect.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:18 am

Silver’s pontificating has gotten stupider and stupider, and he should really just stop.

But his statistics work is still great and still has value.

If you scan through the Sanders thread, you’ll see two things:

1. Everybody cares about the horse race, whether or not they believe they do. And that’s fine! They should!
2. Nobody has a better model or approach than Silver. Not gonna name names here, because I’m guilty of it too, but again—look through that Sanders thread. Some of the horse-race stuff is as bad as Peggy Noonan’s “so many Romney yard signs!”
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Angus Jung on Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:34 am

I've made posts in the Sanders thread about polls and the horse race, but I also recognize that it's a bunch of crap that can and should be ignored.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:53 am

As I said, I do the same thing. If I’m excited about a candidate, I’m going to get excited about rally attendance and fundraising levels and everything else. It’s kinda crap, but I’m also kinda human. But 538 is still a good antidote to that way of thinking. For all of Silver’s faults, there’s not a better alternative.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby amar on Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:59 am

I pretty much thought he was crap after reading this turd.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tw ... essivisms/
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Clyde on Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:22 pm

Wood Goblin wrote:Silver’s pontificating has gotten stupider and stupider, and he should really just stop.

But his statistics work is still great and still has value.

If you scan through the Sanders thread, you’ll see two things:

1. Everybody cares about the horse race, whether or not they believe they do. And that’s fine! They should!
2. Nobody has a better model or approach than Silver. Not gonna name names here, because I’m guilty of it too, but again—look through that Sanders thread. Some of the horse-race stuff is as bad as Peggy Noonan’s “so many Romney yard signs!”


Pontificating is 90% of what he does now. Here is his most recent column There's a Better Case for a Top 2 Than a Top 3 in which he argues that Biden and Warren are the top candidates, and Sanders is second tier. Now, let's assume his stats are right, what purpose does any of this serve at all, other than a nakedly ideological one? The Iowa Caucuses are more than four months out and the numbers are constantly shifting*. Any asshole could make the same case he his making and, in fact, once again Silver has written the same column Chris Cillizza has. Silver's use of stats is akin to Carrot Top's use of giant sunglasses: a stupid prop to make you think what he saying is clever. More to the point, one of the main things I object to is his claim that what he does non-ideological when it is blatantly ideological. I don't even thinks he's being ideological and that makes it worse.

There is a certain amount of usefulness in following the horse race stuff but everybody--myself emphatically included--get way too invested in it.

*In Sept of 2015, Silver said that at this stage, polls wouldn't yield much accurate predictive information, a claim some political observers have cited as reason not to take Trump's poll numbers too seriously. "People haven't given [the candidates] more than two seconds' worth of attention ... Calm down — it's not a tennis match where you're going back and forth all the time," Silver said. "Keep calm." Silver cited recent history as proof that candidates in September didn't typically hold up: Hillary Clinton was leading the Democratic primary race in September 2007, but she went on to lose to then-Sen. Barack Obama. And Republican Rick Perry, then the governor of Texas, was dominating polls at this stage in 2011. https://www.businessinsider.com/nate-silver-donald-trump-wont-win-2015-9/
Although he got that one 100% wrong so double oops!
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Clyde on Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:23 pm

amar wrote:I pretty much thought he was crap after reading this turd.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tw ... essivisms/


Holy shit is that bad!
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby NewDarkAge on Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Wood Goblin wrote:But 538 is still a good antidote to that way of thinking. For all of Silver’s faults, there’s not a better alternative.


lmao
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