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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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71%
NEEEEEEEEEEERDD!!!!
13
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Total votes : 45

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:07 pm

So what’s the better alternative?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Angus Jung on Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:57 am

Image

Harry Enten works at 538 and calls himself "Forecaster Enten."
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby MJongo on Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:45 am

Angus Jung wrote:Image

Harry Enten works at 538 and calls himself "Forecaster Enten."


Wow, combined with Chris Cillizza they managed to make a worse take than either of them could have made on their own lol
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:53 am

(Vomits in own mouth.)
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Angus Jung on Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:45 pm

Hey did everybody catch old Nate referring to the people of color that support Bernie Sanders as "residue?"

Gotta love our guy Captain Numbers.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Andrew. on Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:10 pm

Angus Jung wrote:Hey did everybody catch old Nate referring to the people of color that support Bernie Sanders as "residue?"

Gotta love our guy Captain Numbers.


Yeah, the guy cannot help himself. I saw it because celebrated historian Greg Grandin (now at Yale) retweeted w a comment expressing surprise that Stormfront is now tweeting for 538.

It's fun to see Silver fans trying to peel away the value of his "empirical journalism" from his politics, when the major criticism of him is that his horse-race number-crunching simply reinforces the status quo (not that his predictions are off). There is ideology in his methodology.

Back when Zizek wasn't a total embarrassment, he helped popularize a Marxist analytical understanding of "ideology" as the unconscious biases and assumptions, rooted in social relations and class position, that undergird people's opinions and behavior. Zizek noted the irony that the most obvious sign that one is firmly embedded in ideology is when you claim to be free of ideology.

Silver is just giving you the numbers.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:03 pm

Just listened to that Citations Needed episode. Excellent discussion, even if occasionally frustrating because (I gather) no one involved actually knows much about statistical modeling. Like, it's silly to claim that it is impossible in principle to estimate the effect of candidates' ideological positions on electoral outcomes because the candidates would have to be perfectly matched otherwise. But it's much sillier for Silver to claim that "the political science research" supports the thoroughly discredited spatial model of voter ideology, or to use terms like "moderate" or "centrist" without scare quotes. And OMFG am I sick of the talking point about Justice Democrats' win percentages, as if the prior odds were 50/50. A 7% general election success rate for outsider candidates challenging every aspect of the political and media establishment seems pretty encouraging to me; hopefully they do even better this time.

I increasingly feel like the CRAP that is Silver's punditry (which I do my best to ignore, TBH) outweighs his Not Crap contributions to rigorous electoral forecasting. As someone who generally wants to see science and evidence play a greater role in public discourse, this bums me out. I still haven't voted in the poll, but maximum waffles either way.

The kicker is that it's totally possible to do rigorous public-opinion research while overtly taking sides on the issues you study -- Data for Progress and Demos are great examples -- just as it's possible for Howard Zinn or Greg Grandin to do rigorous historiography while being transparent about their value systems. It's also possible to make a good-faith effort to stay firmly in the descriptive lane, as loads of practicing political scientists do all the time, or at least to acknowledge when you've entered normative mode. But I suppose the NYT and Disney don't pay the big bucks for that.

It almost makes it worse that Silver still claims to recognize when he's speaking as an analyst vs. as a bullshitter (which is not necessarily the same as descriptive vs. normative, but certainly related). The other day he opined that Ukrainegate would be a net negative for Trump,

But I’d also say you shouldn’t take that guess very seriously. Our track record when using statistical models is pretty darn good, but when I’m in guess mode, I don’t claim to be much better than a replacement-level pundit.

So he's saying we should ignore 90% of everything he says*, and only go to 538 to read the graphs and tables? OK, cool, that's pretty much what I do anyway (when I bother at all).

Andrew. wrote:Zizek noted the irony that the most obvious sign that one is firmly embedded in ideology is when you claim to be free of ideology.

Well, Silver is a Chicago-trained neoclassical economist, after all, so this is pretty on-brand, historically speaking. To paraphrase noted Marxist philosopher Kyra Sedgwick, I think that (A) Silver has an act, and (B) not having an act is his act.

*This figure is a replacement-level-pundit guess. The real percentage is probably higher.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Clyde on Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:57 am

Nate Silver continues to embarrass himself as a guy with some thoughts: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 3174137856

Okay, that may be bad, but what about all the stellar work he and the team at 538 are doing with their rigorously scientific...um...scientifically rigorous data journalism of assigning a number to an endorsement so that, for example an endorsement from Tim Walz (I didn't know who he was either) is worth almost three times as much as an endorsement from AOC?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/20 ... c-primary/
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Angus Jung on Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:17 pm

Clyde wrote:Nate Silver continues to embarrass himself as a guy with some thoughts: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 3174137856

Fookin' 'ell.

A lot of people need to log off, but Nate Bronze really needs to log off.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:58 pm

Clyde wrote:Okay, that may be bad, but what about all the stellar work he and the team at 538 are doing with their rigorously scientific...um...scientifically rigorous data journalism of assigning a number to an endorsement so that, for example an endorsement from Tim Walz (I didn't know who he was either) is worth almost three times as much as an endorsement from AOC?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/20 ... c-primary/

Killer Mike = 0 points
AOC = 3 points
Walter Mondale = 10 points

CRAP.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Andrew. on Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:15 pm

askii wrote:
Clyde wrote:Okay, that may be bad, but what about all the stellar work he and the team at 538 are doing with their rigorously scientific...um...scientifically rigorous data journalism of assigning a number to an endorsement so that, for example an endorsement from Tim Walz (I didn't know who he was either) is worth almost three times as much as an endorsement from AOC?

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/20 ... c-primary/

Killer Mike = 0 points
AOC = 3 points
Walter Mondale = 10 points

CRAP.


Lol. It's an objective rating scale based on one's role in government. How could one argue. Criteria like popularity or name recognition or charisma or credibility or having a measurable pulse would be unscientific, unlike this extremely useful and important empirical guide to primary endorsements.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:53 pm

Once again, I'm struck by Silver's apparent ignorance of a large body of actual research on the topic that he's claiming to contribute to. I'm no political scientist, but a few seconds on Google Scholar turned up this edited volume that includes a 2015 review paper titled "The persuasion effects of political endorsements". Just skimming it, I see plenty to criticize (1-D spatial models of ideology, etc.), but I also see loads of empirical studies identifying various factors that contribute to the impact of endorsements, none of which are captured in any meaningful way by 538's stupid Scala Officiae.

(Also, I hate hate hate these kinds of ostensibly quantitative but ultimately arbitrary weighting schemes in general. RED PEN.)

If it were really this easy to do something worthwhile in a quantitative field, a shitload of grad students could spend a shitload less time in the library.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Andrew. on Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:04 pm

"Nate Silver is just astrology for centrists."
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Angus Jung on Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:15 pm

Clyde wrote:Nate Silver continues to embarrass himself as a guy with some thoughts: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 3174137856

After getting roasted for this tweet to the point where he was trending on Twitter yesterday, Nate went with the old "I was just doing an irony" shuck:
Not everything I tweet is meant to be taken literally; a lot is sarcastic, contextual, trollish, etc., or is spitballing ideas in real-time. But I can't really expect you all to know which things are in which categories. So think I need to stick to more literal-minded tweets TBH.

Please go away dude.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Clyde on Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:54 pm

Angus Jung wrote:
Clyde wrote:Nate Silver continues to embarrass himself as a guy with some thoughts: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 3174137856

After getting roasted for this tweet to the point where he was trending on Twitter yesterday, Nate went with the old "I was just doing an irony" shuck:
Not everything I tweet is meant to be taken literally; a lot is sarcastic, contextual, trollish, etc., or is spitballing ideas in real-time. But I can't really expect you all to know which things are in which categories. So think I need to stick to more literal-minded tweets TBH.

Please go away dude.


538 becomes a pretty fun read if you assume they're all doing ironic shitposting.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby askii on Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:59 pm

Clyde wrote:
Angus Jung wrote:
Clyde wrote:Nate Silver continues to embarrass himself as a guy with some thoughts: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 3174137856

After getting roasted for this tweet to the point where he was trending on Twitter yesterday, Nate went with the old "I was just doing an irony" shuck:
Not everything I tweet is meant to be taken literally; a lot is sarcastic, contextual, trollish, etc., or is spitballing ideas in real-time. But I can't really expect you all to know which things are in which categories. So think I need to stick to more literal-minded tweets TBH.

Please go away dude.


538 becomes a pretty fun read if you assume they're all doing ironic shitposting.

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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Clyde on Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:30 pm

When you don't mean to be taken literally because you are being sarcastic, contextual, trollish, etc., but can't really expect other people to know
https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 8188226560
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Clyde on Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:44 pm

Nate Silver once described Peggy Noonan, apparently without irony, as someone who is “very good at rhetoric and argument.”

And

Though he later dressed it up as a noble transparency initiative, Silver initially saw data-driven political forecasting as a business opportunity, and nothing about that transactional view of politics has left him in the years since. This is why, for example, Silver has characterized the financial crisis as a failure of prediction rather than a failure of policy, regulation, or political imagination—a claim as bold as it is myopic. And it is why FiveThirtyEight, which Silver conceived in 2008 while drunk on Cajun martinis waiting for a flight out of New Orleans, remains, to this day, a political website with no politics—or rather, no politics beyond a mute approval of the status quo.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby seanurban on Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:01 pm

I have to wonder why anyone would care about Nate Silver's politics unless they previously bought into the idea that he might be on their side for no other reason than he was good at math.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:15 pm

Silver’s slide into a pundit cliche is dispiriting, to say the least.

But I agree with him on Noonan. She’s a force for evil, and yes, you can find plenty of idiotic positions and comments that came from her, but she was a masterful speechwriter when she worked for Reagan. I used to teach some of those speeches when I taught freshman comp and speech. Rhetorically, they really were brilliant. Evil, but brilliant.

And you can’t blame Noonan for HW’s reversal on taxes, come on. You can credit her for phrasing something in a manner that people remember decades later.
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