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Dude: Nate Silver

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Dude: Nate Silver

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Total votes : 45

Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Wed May 11, 2016 5:12 pm

Dave, I really recommend that you take stats class in which you do hands-on modeling. What Silver does has limitations and, yes, some biases, but it's nothing like astrology. And yes, you can remove a lot of the political bias when you build the poll aggregation model.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Wed May 11, 2016 5:21 pm

I guess my question, then, is how are people like Silver and Wang not an improvement over the punditry of the past? How are they not a HUGE improvement?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Johnny C on Thu May 12, 2016 2:51 am

Data journalism in general is fine and even 538's wonky bullshit caveat-coated model is ultimately fine, in the end, because it offers potential ways of parsing unwieldy data points that are a natural byproduct of material/political/historical circumstances but Nate Silver is a fucking dorkus who ought to be run out on a rail.

Wood Goblin wrote:Dave, I really recommend that you take stats class in which you do hands-on modeling. What Silver does has limitations and, yes, some biases, but it's nothing like astrology. And yes, you can remove a lot of the political bias when you build the poll aggregation model.


Silver has sophisticated methodology that turns out to be less effective, overall, than the gut biases of people operating on a basis of horrendously crude racial "science" and, literally, "sexual pathology." This is why Diggler is so funny; purestrain data journalism and/or explainer types aren't actually much of an improvement on your average bumbling political columnist because they just put all of their gut urge and mystical nonsense into an entirely different basket with the legitimising sheen of numbers. No need to wait ten years to settle accounts on Diggler; he's correctly called 89 per cent of primaries, including ones Silver hasn't called, and "Nate Silver (loser)" has called 59. There aren't even enough primaries left for Silver to bridge that gap. It's over. In terms of the accuracy of the model on a granular level, he's lost.

Guys like Silver also get extremely thin-skinned about the authoritative nature of their methodology; as soon as you point out that the FiveThirtyEight uses very little in the way of shoe-leather reportage in its work (which is also imperfect, but could at least give an infinitely better impression than the current, Silver-pioneered adjusted model that includes endorsements no ordinary alive person has given a single shit about in the history of modern electoral politics and is thus wrong any time voters are rejecting the type of people who professionally endorse political candidates) he gets so apoplectic that he has to pause to take a deep breath, on mic.

I hate these guys. The Canadian equivalent is Eric Grenier, this peeled potato-looking motherfucker who never adequately explains his model, refuses to use his position as Canada's essentially single high-profile data pundit to call for better or more sophisticated polling methodology, is forever writing columns about (and having columns written about) how his model was wrong, gets paid for this shit, and also looks like a white Grimace in a cheap suit. I want to leave him tied up in the Bay of Fundy during low tide. With him gone, the CBC might be able to afford hiring two better journalists instead.

That's the problem with them, at the end of the day. If their predictive model isn't actually much of an improvement in its weird online media vacuum over punditry of the past and it is also hoovering up money that its parent companies could be sinking into overall better reportage, what's the utility of them, anyway?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Johnny C on Thu May 12, 2016 2:53 am

"Well, see, my ocean god is fundamentally superior to YOUR ocean god, because my ocean god religion factors in common maritime occurrences over an eight-year spread and assigns probabilities to ship capsizing, typhoons, etcetera. Really sophisticated stuff."
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby the finger genius on Thu May 12, 2016 6:30 am

Auntie Ovipositor wrote:
the finger genius wrote:TL:DW

I think the criticism is more that there were polls indicating trump could win the nomination and silver didn't really buy many of those polls.


Links to those polls? Because they do show their work at 538, and show why they weight them the way that they do. Which does not mean they cannot be wrong in their forecasts or in their weighting of polls (far from it), but does show the statistical analysis that they are using to structure those forecasts.

There's a difference between being wrong and having your thumb on the scale.


No (to links.) I have been listening to the 538 election podcast from the beginning, and they did reference polls suggesting Trump had the best path to the nomination, and especially early on they seemed to not really believe those polls. I am not going to comment on whether they had good scientific reason to do so (I will say that I was also a bit incredulous about his chance until it happened.)
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby steve on Thu May 12, 2016 11:27 am

Johnny C wrote:Silver has sophisticated methodology that turns out to be less effective, overall , than the gut biases of people operating on a basis of horrendously crude racial "science" and, literally, "sexual pathology." This is why Diggler is so funny; purestrain data journalism and/or explainer types aren't actually much of an improvement on your average bumbling political columnist because they just put all of their gut urge and mystical nonsense into an entirely different basket with the legitimising sheen of numbers.

The bold part is demonstrably, categorically false.

Yes the Diggler thing is funny, but it's about the same as the autistic kid who drew a perfect NCAA bracket. The whole reason Silver (and the quant crowd in all fields from baseball to sports betting) have any sway is that they have been, on aggregate, much more successful in prediction than seat-of-the-pants "gut" pundits.

Jimmy the Greek died broke, Haralabos Vulgaris is approaching billionaire. Nate Silver had a "bad" year, and that lowers his batting average down to something merely astronomical. It's true for essentially everything; counting things is the best way to determine how many of them there are.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Johnny C on Thu May 12, 2016 1:25 pm

I had a longer post written up but Dave covered most of the big points. The only thing I'd want to add is that the overall utility of Silver and his team as pundits is as much the point as anything. If their hit rate is literally half that of a fictional guy whose in-article screenshots always have some kind of absurd reference to Jim Webb's physical fitness, it's kind of irrelevant whether that's a better hit rate, overall, than a guy like Ross Douthat, who commands a similar salary and was last seen tied to a train caboose receding into the distance while shouting "TRUMP HAD A CEILING I TOLD YOU HE HAD A CEILING". Nate Silver's salary for using numbers to have a lower failure rate than people who are paid to be even more publicly clueless is likely in the $200k/year range, if not far higher. Meanwhile, the FiveThirtyEight's parent company shuttered Grantland. Why should pundits have any sway at all, in an environment like this?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby steve on Thu May 12, 2016 1:26 pm

big_dave wrote:Nate Silver becomes wrong when he allows himself to be persuaded that what he does is apolitical or free from subjectivity and then passes that delusion on to his audience.

He doesn't do that. He looks for data, tries to sort it and weigh it. The inference that it is or pretends to be "apolitical" is your own.

Of course there's a subjective vector or two, he says as much. But he can say, "this seems high to me," and present the quant material without negating that the data suggest a result.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby matthew on Sat May 14, 2016 1:39 am

.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby matthew on Sat May 14, 2016 1:41 am

big_dave wrote:
steve wrote:
big_dave wrote:Nate Silver becomes wrong when he allows himself to be persuaded that what he does is apolitical or free from subjectivity and then passes that delusion on to his audience.

He doesn't do that. He looks for data, tries to sort it and weigh it. The inference that it is or pretends to be "apolitical" is your own.


He claims he doesn't care about politics. I say that what he does is politics.


Look, you dorks (mostly big_dave, but also steve)....he has a staff and a crew which posts articles, commentary and editorial-sorts of things on 538 which are clearly political. Yes, I check in fairly regularly...it's mostly boring calculus with a rather particular agenda when it comes to the "politics" part of his site.

Nate Silver clearly has some political notions. Sheesh. Why else would he have a link on his site's homepage entitled "Politics"?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Gramsci on Mon May 16, 2016 4:43 am

Nate Silver has a Donald Trump problem: Where does data journalism go now?
The press either abetted Trump's rise or got it all wrong. But the stakes seem higher for one-time oracles at 538


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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby J Temperance on Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:55 pm

It's hilarious how badly Silver misjudged the Trump phenomenon. Literally every fucking step of the way, Nate's been wrong. By a lot.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Edward on Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:07 am

J Temperance wrote:It's hilarious how badly Silver misjudged the Trump phenomenon. Literally every fucking step of the way, Nate's been wrong. By a lot.

What paper/site/etc. didn't misjudge the Trump phenomenon?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby matthew on Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:32 pm

J Temperance wrote:It's hilarious how badly Silver misjudged the Trump phenomenon. Literally every fucking step of the way, Nate's been wrong. By a lot.


Well what's to be expected from a guy who seems to interpret so much in the world as a mere mathematical problem to be solved?
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby yard barf on Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:03 pm

matthew wrote:
J Temperance wrote:It's hilarious how badly Silver misjudged the Trump phenomenon. Literally every fucking step of the way, Nate's been wrong. By a lot.


Well what's to be expected from a guy who seems to interpret so much in the world as a mere mathematical problem to be solved?


Here we go again with FM matthew's "magic is real" gibberish. He believes that people who study odds shouldn't use math.

Unbelievable.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Me Again on Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:31 pm

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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby prowler on Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:09 am

yeah the only good part i can see right now is watching how Nate&co will explain themselves out of this one.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby pldms on Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:16 am

prowler wrote:yeah the only good part i can see right now is watching how Nate&co will explain themselves out of this one.

After the 2015 UK election result surprise - polls were 6 points out - (and perhaps the Scottish referendum) the National Council for Research Methods did a proper investigation which you can read here.

I think that's the right and classy way to explain yourself out of something.

(We in the UK hope the explanation is silent Trumpers, purely for entertainment value)
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby matthew on Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:31 am

yard barf wrote:
matthew wrote:
J Temperance wrote:It's hilarious how badly Silver misjudged the Trump phenomenon. Literally every fucking step of the way, Nate's been wrong. By a lot.


Well what's to be expected from a guy who seems to interpret so much in the world as a mere mathematical problem to be solved?


Here we go again with FM matthew's "magic is real" gibberish. He believes that people who study odds shouldn't use math.

Unbelievable.


It is one thing to study probability and use mathematics in doing so.

It is quite another thing to dishonestly manipulate one's study of probability for the end of aiding the campaign of a political candidate whom one supports.

It has been quite clear to me for months that Mr. Silver has been doing just this all year long. Based on the outcome of the general election here in the U.S. it would seem his ploy has bitten him hard in the ass.

I think he ought to stick to divining about pro sports and stuff like that. Maybe he should even take up predicting Powerball drawings for a fee. It's a pretty good racket from what I hear, and at least in that case he'd get more acquainted with the deplorables.
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Re: Dude: Nate Silver

Postby Wood Goblin on Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:06 am

You realize that Silver was giving Trump between a one-in-four and one-in-three chance at winning, right? And that he was also writing about how Trump was within a normal polling error's margin of winning, right? Silver was more bullish on Trump than every other poll aggregator and modeler. He though Hillary would win but also published his concerns and caveats while the general public shouted about Hillary's GOTV operation (which truly was good, if not good enough). And it turns out that there was a decent polling error.

Sam Wang, on the other hand, is done.
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