home studios equipment staff/friends booking/rates for sale forum contact

Dude: Nate Silver

Vote and debate.

Moderators: kerble, Electrical-Staff

Dude: Nate Silver

Person who renders all pundits, talking heads, and self-proclaimed experts useless
32
71%
NEEEEEEEEEEERDD!!!!
13
29%
 
Total votes : 45

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby P.J. Craven on Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:47 am

ty-lot wrote:Sick bro
P.J. Craven
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
Posts: 4049
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:55 am
Location: sedentary af

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby DrAwkward on Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:30 pm

Wood Goblin wrote:I'd say Silver did fairly well tonight, no?


http://www.buzzfeed.com/katienotopoulos ... re-tonight
Stinky Pete wrote:BDSM is a bit like Queens of the Stone Age in that it's basically fine to be into, but a bit worrying if you're obsessed with it.

Body Futures
IfIHadAHiFi
Martian Dance Invasion!
User avatar
DrAwkward
Master of Cunnilingus
Master of Cunnilingus
 
Posts: 12050
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:03 am
Location: SEWI

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Cranius on Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:31 am

Left economist Michael Roberts on Nate Silver, Bayesian techniques and voodoo economics:



Out of the one hundred studies comparing the accuracy of actuarial statistics (probability analysis) and intuition, there has not been one case humans doing better.


and:

What’s so great about Bayes’ theorem is that it can be used for reasoning about the physical universe. But I think Bayes law also shows two other things that are useful to remember in economic analysis. The first is the power of data or facts over theory and models. Neoclassical mainstream economics is not just voodoo economics because it is ideologically biased, an apology for the capitalist mode of production. But in making assumptions about individual consumer behaviour, about the inherent equilibrium of capitalist production etc, it is also based on theoretical models that bear no relation to reality: the known facts or priors. In contrast, a scientific approach would aim to test theory against the evidence on a continual basis, not just to falsify it (as Karl Popper would have it) but also to strengthen its explanatory power – unless a better explanation of the facts comes along. Newton’s theory of gravity explained very much about the universe and was tested by the evidence, but then Einstein’s theory of relativity came along and better explained the facts (or widened our understanding to things that could not be explained by Newton’s laws). In this sense, Marxist method is also scientific. Marx went from the abstract (theory) to the concrete (facts). The facts would strengthen the explanatory power of the theory or modify it.


Big data is something that those on the left should pay close attention to, since the right are already using it to steal elections and exclude voters.
User avatar
Cranius
World's Greatest Writer
World's Greatest Writer
 
Posts: 10334
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:29 am
Location: Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:14 pm

Pretty interesting piece, Cranius, and I'll comment on it more tomorrow. One bit that amused me: Roberts criticizes neoclassical mainstream economics pretty bluntly, but elsewhere, he actually endorses a major component of one of the most prevalent and popular neoclassical hypotheses: the efficient markets hypothesis. (And to his credit, he's correct, in this case, to do so.)

I'll try to explain more tomorrow.
User avatar
Wood Goblin
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6092
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:43 pm
Location: South Loop, Chicago

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Cranius on Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:33 pm

Apologies, I missed out the link: http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2 ... economics/

Roberts is decent commentator, usually very detailed and good inquisitor of other non-orthodox economists, such as Keen and Krugman.
User avatar
Cranius
World's Greatest Writer
World's Greatest Writer
 
Posts: 10334
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:29 am
Location: Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:33 pm

Cranius wrote:Big data is something that those on the left should pay close attention to, since the right are already using it to steal elections and exclude voters.


Now, if only they'd use it to construct sensible policies...
Anthony Flack
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9595
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:27 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:23 pm

Okay, some responses to that Roberts post:

1. While it's true that a lot of mainstream economists got lost in the clouds because of their adherence to poor models, it's ludicrous and ignorant to write, as Roberts does, "This approach using statistical methods like Bayes law is what mainstream economics does not do." What this says to me is that Roberts never actually reads mainsteam economics, or even reads about mainstream economics, which is chock full of statistical modeling--in fact, there's a whole subfield called econometrics that consists purely of statistical economic modeling. The Nobel in economics in 2011, for example, went to a pair of econometricians who developed vector autoregression models that are now standard in the field.

2. "In this sense, Marxist method is also scientific. Marx went from the abstract (theory) to the concrete (facts)." Granted, I haven't read a ton of Marx, but . . . no. The Marx I've read goes from the abstract to the anecdotal. The data set simply didn't exist in his time.

3. Here's the efficient markets bit:

Take the stock market. We are continually told in investment adverts by expensive investment advisers that they can make your money work for you more than just tracking a stock index, like the S&P-500. In other words, they can beat the market. But a host of statistical studies prove the opposite. Sure, some advisers can do better than the index for a few years, but eventually, they all come a cropper. It’s just so much snake oil voodoo investing."


You know who else could've written this? Gene Fama, Chicago School finance economist and inventor of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis. A quick primer: there are two components about the EMH: first, in an efficient market, all past and present public information about a company is baked into its stock price. (Short-term inefficiencies might exist, but they generally disappear quickly.) Second, an efficient market is rational. The second component is, of course, ridiculous and not worth discussing—it’s also not universally held among EMH people. (Also worth noting here: we’re talking about stock markets here. Other markets, like the MBS market, were very opaque and difficult to short; therefore, they were not efficient.)

While there’s evidence that the first component isn’t always true, it’s true enough of the time (meaning nearly all of the time) that only a fool would make investment decisions under the assumption that it’s false. And what is the evidence? It’s the bit Roberts writes: even the self-proclaimed experts can’t beat the market consistently. In other words, “experts” have no consistent expertise into the quality of the companies whose stocks they buy. They’re right some of the time and wrong some of the time.

Not sure if I have a point, but I did find it interesting that Roberts stumbled into a position held by a very vocal contingent of neoclassical economists.
User avatar
Wood Goblin
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6092
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:43 pm
Location: South Loop, Chicago

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby MWilke on Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:00 pm

I don't know much about Roberts, but it was extremely odd for him to sing praises of Silver, then take some words to criticize Taleb in contrast. He completely oversimplifies Taleb with this paragraph

But everything is not entirely random. If you were to read Nicholas Taleb’s book, Black Swan (see my book, The Great Recession, chapter 31), you would think that it was. Or to be more exact, even the most unlikely can happen under the law of chance. It was assumed that there were only white swans until Europeans got to Australia and found black ones. It was the ‘unknown unknowns’, to quote Bush’s neo-con Secretary of State, Donald Rumsfeld. The most unlikely can happen but you cannot know everything. For Taleb, the Great Recession was one such event that could not have been predicted and therefore bankers, politicians and above all, economists are not at fault. This was the excuse used by bankers when giving evidence to the US Congress and to the UK parliament.


This is almost a laughable mischaracterization and over-simplification of Taleb's assessments of randomness. Taleb's ideas stem from the fact that any time you deal with human psychology such as in the markets, elections, athletic performance, etc. you are compromising the scientific element of a field of study. This creates an element of randomness meaning even the unthinkable will always be possible. Therefore you have to constantly question and evaluate empirical evidence to determine whether information is noise or if it's signal. This is directly applied to Silver's election forecasting methods. Randomness can't just be eliminated through science. It'll exist no matter what. Silver will tell you that too. He's just trying to account for every possibility element of randomness conceivable, under the assumption that he'll never conceive of everything. That's why he had close to 10% of uncertainty that Romney could win the election this year. He was fairly certain of the outcome, but the outside possibilities were out there. Randomness is complex, simplifying it only leads to hubris. At fivethirtyeight, they are constantly re-evaluating and re-accounting to account to question Silver's own possibility of his own hubris creeping in to compromise the legitimacy of the data. Taleb has been doing this too with his hedge funds. It's bizarre and incorrect to juxtapose Silver and Taleb/Popper's teaching as at odds. Silver's book title of 'The Noise and The Signal' is directly discussed in Taleb's 'Fooled By Randomness.'

Cranius wrote:Big data is something that those on the left should pay close attention to, since the right are already using it to steal elections and exclude voters.


I don't understand what you mean by this. The left's understanding of 'big data' being keener than the right's is what allowed them to more effectively allocate their ground game and campaign dollars to win in 2008 and 2012. I just wish they hadn't slept on midterms in 2010 and I hope they don't again in 2014.
User avatar
MWilke
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
 
Posts: 2269
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: West Burbs

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Cranius on Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:18 pm

You both make some astute points. I'm not really big on EMH, but I need some time to explain why.

Taleb's account of radical contingency is very worthwhile, but happen to think Steve Keen has a sharper take. Taleb makes the good point that we need robust systems, which can withstand unexpected events, rather than super-fragile ones.

As far as I can tell, Roberts' criticism is that is it's not always a question radical contingency, since all systems have discernible regularities (predictable in an relatively instrumental fashion). And capitalism rises and falls in profitability with seeming regularity, as we see in the long-wave cycle observed by Keynes and Schumpeter. Chance doesn't seem to rule history as much Taleb would claim. The capitalist cycle isn't just randomness without cause. The collapse of Lehman's, whilst unexpected, isn't the original cause of the profitability crisis. And many of the symptoms of the crisis, such as food price spikes are man made, are not outside events. For a Marxist, the failure of profitability is wearingly all too predictable.

The radically unexpected doesn't prevent the effective modelling of a situation, as long as you update your expectations with new data (and here Roberts makes a nod to Marx's method -- although he leaves a step out of Marx's method, which instead should be concrete -> abstract -> concrete).


MWilke wrote:
Cranius wrote:Big data is something that those on the left should pay close attention to, since the right are already using it to steal elections and exclude voters.


I don't understand what you mean by this. The left's understanding of 'big data' being keener than the right's is what allowed them to more effectively allocate their ground game and campaign dollars to win in 2008 and 2012. I just wish they hadn't slept on midterms in 2010 and I hope they don't again in 2014.


I should explain really. Silver showed up a lot of right wing pundits and their gut-instincts. But Greg Palast in this interview explains how the Republicans are way ahead in their abuse of large data sets in order to exclude voters and rig the electoral process (here). Thankfully, demographics meant the theft of the election wasn't possible.
User avatar
Cranius
World's Greatest Writer
World's Greatest Writer
 
Posts: 10334
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:29 am
Location: Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:15 am

Cranius wrote:You both make some astute points. I'm not really big on EMH, but I need some time to explain why.


I should clarify that I'm not zealous about it myself. There are aspects of it, however, that I think are largely true and that the data verify-namely, that the stock price incorporates all past and present public information about a company. It's actually breathtaking how quickly stock prices react to news. But short-term inefficiencies definitely appear from time to time (behavioral economists have found several examples), and there's not a chance in hell that markets are rational.

But yeah, the findings of Roberts and Fama match perfectly--that active managers of stock funds can't beat the market over the long term. The only role I can see for active managers is in fixed income investments, because those are difficult to index.
User avatar
Wood Goblin
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6092
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:43 pm
Location: South Loop, Chicago

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:44 am

Incidentally, Paul Krugman writes a bit about modeling and why it matters today.

Some readers asked, what do I mean by a “model”? The answer is, I’m pretty generous on that front – it could be solved equations, it could be a computer simulation, it could be a physical apparatus like the Phillips hydraulic Keynesian model, or it could just be a carefully written verbal discussion like Hume’s essay on the balance of trade. What makes it a model is that however it’s presented, it involves a careful discussion of micromotives and macrobehavior – that is, it describes what individuals are doing (not necessarily out of perfect rationality), and how that individual behavior adds up to some aggregate outcome. Crucially, it’s not just a set of slogans.

Now, having a model is no guarantee of being right – real business cycle theory certainly fits my definition, but I believe that it offers a fundamentally wrong account of what recessions are all about. Still, writing down a model rules out certain kinds of error, the kind that come from not thinking about things add up. Most of the bad reasoning on the postwar situation comes from an almost ridiculous error – forgetting that not having competitors doesn’t help if you also don’t have any customers. Having a model lets you avoid that sort of thing.

What the Hicks analysis and later versions (notably Dornbusch-Fischer-Samuelson (pdf)) tells us is that technological progress in other countries can either help or hurt you, depending on which industries are affected; it also tells you to look at the terms of trade, which in practice means that it turns out to be a smaller issue than many people imagine.

What’s interesting about this analysis from a political point of view is that more or less the same model has served different causes at different times. In postwar Europe, Hicks-type analysis was a corrective people arguing against market economies open to trade; it was, if you like, a helpful support to free-marketeers. In the early 1990s, I and other used this kind of analysis to counter both left-of-center demands for protectionism and corporate-welfare arguments for subsidies to fight Japan and all that. Yet right now the analysis turns out to be useful mainly to counter right-wing claims that the experience of America in the 50s and 60s, when good wages and progressive taxation went hand in hand with rapid growth, can be dismissed by appealing to the lack of international competition.

The point is that a helpful economic model is not a propaganda slogan, to be discarded whenever the party line changes. It is, instead, a structure that can be used to improve your understanding in many contexts.

Oh, and the best answer to “gotcha” attempts to debunk economists – “Ha! You said just the opposite in 2003!” – is to ask whether and how the economist’s model has changed. If he is using the same model, but it’s one that has different policy implications in different situations, you’ve just done a gotcha on yourself. If he has changed his model, the question is why, and whether there were good reasons for the change.

And yes, I’ve changed my models, mainly in the face of experience. For example, I didn’t take either the liquidity trap or the possibility of self-fulfilling currency crises seriously until 1998, when events in Asia led me to change my views. And I’m proud, not ashamed, of showing that kind of intellectual flexibility. What I don’t believe I’ve done is change my models to support a predetermined political or policy position, which is a definite sin.

So you should try to think in terms of models; it will make you a better person.
User avatar
Wood Goblin
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6092
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:43 pm
Location: South Loop, Chicago

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:54 pm

I read The Signal and the Noise over vacation and heartily recommend it. The chapters on economic forecasting, poker, the efficient markets hypothesis, and global warming forecasting are especially great.
User avatar
Wood Goblin
Heaven-Sent Hero
Heaven-Sent Hero
 
Posts: 6092
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:43 pm
Location: South Loop, Chicago

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Carl on Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:25 pm

Headed to the Mouse:
Nate Silver, the statistician who attained national fame for his accurate projections about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, is parting ways with The New York Times and moving his FiveThirtyEight franchise to ESPN, the sports empire controlled by the Walt Disney Company, according to ESPN employees with direct knowledge of his plans.

At ESPN, Mr. Silver is expected to have a wide-ranging portfolio. Along with his writing and number-crunching, he will most likely be a regular contributor to “Olbermann,” the late-night ESPN2 talk show hosted by Keith Olbermann that will have its debut at the end of August. In political years, he will also have a role at ABC News, which is owned by Disney.
dvockins wrote:That is the most pretentious bullshit I have heard in the last three years and I live in Brooklyn.
User avatar
Carl
Best leader Who Realized Human Wisdom
Best leader Who Realized Human Wisdom
 
Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby dvockins on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:38 am

That paper is a train wreck.
dvockins
treaty of versailles
treaty of versailles
 
Posts: 1097
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:32 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby P.J. Craven on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:20 am

The Times?
ty-lot wrote:Sick bro
P.J. Craven
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
Posts: 4049
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:55 am
Location: sedentary af

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Jodi S. on Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:00 pm

If ESPN had kept The Schwab, think of the awesome pairing it could have been.

The Silver/Schwab Show.
User avatar
Jodi S.
Influential Poster
 
Posts: 21119
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:47 pm
Location: I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in.

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Get dog costumes on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:59 pm

dvockins wrote:That paper is a train wreck.
P.J. Craven wrote:The Times?

I am pretty sure JCDV is referring to ESPN: The Magazine.
User avatar
Get dog costumes
Saint Who Rules w/ Extensive Magnanimity
Saint Who Rules w/ Extensive Magnanimity
 
Posts: 2170
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:57 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Flaneur on Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:06 am

User avatar
Flaneur
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:01 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby jimmy two hands on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:00 pm

banjo.comics.pigfuck.stoner metal.rock operas.

AudioTruth wrote:Everything I buy from other brands break after a couple years, this is because they are only interested in making money. I'm only interested in long-lasting eargasms.
User avatar
jimmy two hands
King Shit of Fuck Mountain
 
Posts: 14622
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:20 pm
Location: Fortress Jimbotron

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby steve on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:07 pm

Big fan here, I've been reading the new Fivethirtyeight blog readily, but I can't seem to see any of the comment threads, historically an important part of reading 538. I click on the "comments" link, nothing. Click on the "add a comment" link and nothing. I'm running Firefox with Adblock+, is anybody else having this problem?
steve albini
Electrical Audio
sa at electricalaudio dot com
Quicumque quattuor feles possidet insanus est.
User avatar
steve
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9380
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 3:25 pm
Location: chicago

PreviousNext

Return to Crap / Not Crap

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andteater and 14 guests