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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 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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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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