574 days since Hillary declared she would run, and 2 days left for the frontrunner and all of us till election day. While the world watches e.g. [Guardian] [RTE] [Denmark] [Russia] [Sweden (lonely)] and [France], analyses, reacts, or organizes election parties [Australia] [New Zealand], the polls bounce around but generally favor Hillary, the UK bookies, other odds and an increasingly angry Nate also still favor Hillary, and Politico only sees three narrow paths to victory for Donald. Meanwhile, the Democrats get the vote out, it's not been the best of years for Trump's New Jersey chum (also November 10th 2015), there are fears of an election "cyber attack", political phrases are becoming fatigued, celebrity social media remains divided, Mr Kaine duets with Mr Bongiovi, and Hillary and Donald (in Reno) near the end. [more inside]
As we stand four weeks to election day, we know more about the candidates, and it's not good. Things have also recently not been great for Donald; following the taped revelations of last week, involving yet another (and now dismissed) member of the Bush dynasty, a fiery and ugly debate ensued (MetaFilter). Since then, he has marched increasingly alone; Paul Ryan has all but unendorsed him, John McCain has had enough, a lot of other Republicans are doing their own thing, and his friends are mainly the apologist Ben Carson, Rudy Giuliani, a 'coward' in Florida, and Wikileaks and dubious Russian information services (leading perhaps to a campaign event cancellation). [more inside]
How I Acted Like A Pundit And Screwed Up On Donald Trump, by Nate Silver "...along with a couple of marginal ones." Data journalist Nate Silver soul-searches and course-corrects while defending data journalism. "Basically, my view is that putting Trump’s chances at 2 percent or 5 percent was too low, but having him at (for instance) 10 percent or 15 percent, where we might have wound up if we’d developed a model or thought about the problem more rigorously, would have been entirely appropriate. If you care about that sort of distinction, you’ve come to the right website!" [more inside]
Don't feel like using Nate Silver's new statistical prediction model CARMELO to figure out if your NBA team will be any good this season? Maybe this fact will help instead: The most important contribution an NBA basketball player can make to their team is no longer thought to be scoring points. Like, at all. [more inside]
Burritos provide a good way to experiment precisely because they represent a relatively narrow range of experience. There are different burrito styles across the country — more than you might gather if your burrito-eating ambitions have never ventured beyond Taco Bell. But there are fewer parameters to control for when rating burritos than when comparing movies, or doctors, or colleges.
Nathaniel Read ("Nate") Silver is launching a national, 64-restaurant Burrito Bracket
Nathaniel Read ("Nate") Silver is launching a national, 64-restaurant Burrito Bracket
The median living Brittany is 23 years old. Nate Silver (and Allison McCann) perform some pretty impressive data wrangling and graphical analysis on the age of living Americans with a given name.
Do movies that pass the Bechdel Test make more money than movies that don't? Walt Hickey, writing for Nate Silver's new fivethirtyeight site, examines the data.
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight re-launched this morning. Opening manifesto. Building an NCAA bracket. An article about a computer program to count how many lines each pair of characters in “Romeo and Juliet” spoke to each other. Toilet seat covers. 2014 midterms. And why this winter is so miserable. Among other gems.
Internet darlings Nate Silver and Public Policy Polling are feuding publicly this week, over PPP's decision not to release a polling result that they felt was probably inaccurate. Nate Silver tweeted "VERY bad and unscientific practice for @ppppolls to suppress a polling result they didn't believe/didn't like." And then the Twitter-based snipefest began, with PPP calling Silver's allegations 'absurd' and accusing him of 'jealosy,' while Silver called PPP's actions 'totally indefensible' and accused them of having their 'finger on the scale.' [more inside]
Nate Silver will move FiveThirtyEight to ESPN when his contract with the New York Times expires in late August. Silver's new site will look to Bill Simmons' Grantland as a model for existing under ESPN's umbrella. His new move could be "genius," with a role at ABCNews and a larger audience, but did the New York Times know what it had in Silver? ESPN press release & Nate Silver 2.0 quote
The New Inquiry: Just The Facts
With its emphasis on the empirical, conspiracism is uncomfortably similar to the technocratic mindset of mainstream political discourse. Technocratic pundits — typified by the likes of Ezra Klein, a journalist and blogger who runs the Washington Post's Wonkblog — are likewise driven almost exclusively by data sets and empirical studies. As Bhaskar Sunkara suggested in this piece for In These Times, such pundits operate under the assumption that the facts are so powerful that they might lead people of all ideologies to embrace a particular array of ideology-free policies.[more inside]
How Polling Firm PPP Won The Election With Its Hilarious And Infuriating Questions: "Public Policy Polling, the firm that correctly predicted all 50 states in the presidential election, is known for asking some weird, quirky and, sometimes, controversial questions in its polls... Here are some of the firm's best questions of the election cycle." [more inside]
Intrade is a Prediction Market, where you make predictions by buying and selling shares on the outcome of real-world events. These events are always defined on Intrade as a YES/NO proposition. Shares are bought at some point between $0.00 and $10.00, based on whether the buyer believes the event will or won't occur (which correspond to $10.00 and $0.00 respectively). Most popular propositions at the moment are election related, though this week the market for the Best Picture opened. [more inside]
According to a revision by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent more jobs were created over the 12-month period concluding with March 2012. The new numbers would increase the monthly pace of job creation during that period to about 194,000 a month, up from a pace of 162,000 jobs a month. [more inside]
Nate Siver of FiveThirtyEight.com (who prior to getting into political analysis invented the sabermetric analysis framework PECOTA) has published a detailed explanation of How We Made Our N.C.A.A. Picks. It goes well beyond the standard advice "don't just pick the favorites".
Veronique de Rugy, NRO contributor and George Mason fellow, says her research indicates that stimulus funding was disproportionately directed towards Democratic congressional districts. Nate Silver begs to disagree. De Rugy responds here; Silver responds here. Others say that this is a model "for the quick, effective peer-review that the internet facilitates." Perhaps this is a new model for peer review?
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up: After Strategic Visions refused to share the methodology behind some of their polling, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight analyzed the firm's poling results and found evidence of fraud. Strategic Visions responds to The Hill. More amusingly, Nate went on a look at an even more questionable study by the same company claiming that only 23 percent of Oklahoma students know that George Washington is the first president. [more inside]
He predicted a losing season for the White Sox in 2007 and foresaw that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the best team in the American League in 2008, although he wrongly predicted that the Rays would win the World Series. He also predicted Obama's 6-point victory over McCain. Now the stats guru Nate Silver is picking the Oscar winners and predicting an upset win for Taraji P. Henson in the Best Supporting Actress category.
You may have heard of John Ziegler. A former right-wing talk radio host turned right-wing documentarian, he was once the subject of a well-known David Foster Wallace essay about conservative talk radio. Ziegler later gained some notoriety by slamming Wallace heartlessly after the author committed suicide, calling him an overrated writer and criticizing the press for its coverage of his death. Now, Ziegler has once again made waves by going nuclear in an interview with pollster-watcher Nate Silver over the legitimacy of a commissioned Zogby poll. Silver questions the value of the poll, which contains leading questions, and which Ziegler plans on using in his upcoming documentary to "numerically prove" that Obama supporters are grossly misinformed idiots. [more inside]