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View Diary: A supposedly objective take on Nate Silver; worth the read (56 comments)

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  •  This. (1+ / 0-)
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    kyril

    Cosh's article only goes into the presidential race, but if he is going to compare Silver's political predictions to his baseball prediction matrix (PECOTA) he should be looking at his predictions for governors and the senate.

    Does anyone have a link that summarizes  Silver's record on predictions for senate and governors vs those of other number crunchers, prediction markets, etc?

    One thing I do like about Cosh's article is that he brings up comparing against a "trained monkey" system - one that uses a minimum of intelligence to process the data set. It's like comparing your investment counselor's performance to that of an index fund, and a good way to set a baseline. I'd say Silver summarized the "trained monkey" for the presidential prediction a few days ago:

    Mr. Obama is leading in the polls of Ohio and other states that would suffice for him to win 270 electoral votes, and by a margin that has historically translated into victory a fairly high percentage of the time.
    •  what Cosh overlooks is the context of our media (5+ / 0-)

      Yes, Silver's model is basically just a poll aggregator with some additional adjustments. If our media was based around simpler but similarly objective assessments of polls, the "fuss" over Silver would be unwarranted, but as it stands, our media environment is based largely on neglecting and misrepresenting data that doesn't fit the "narrative." There was an enormous demand for someone who would cut through the bullshit, look at the facts in an objective manner and state the obvious in a detailed, yet easily understandable way.

      This is what makes Silver a refreshing voice amidst the greater punditocracy. Below, I compared those who deride him for "not doing anything special" to those who resented the guy who made a fortune by inventing that singing fish. Yes, anyone could have done it, but ultimately, you didn't. Silver did.

      And that kind of "it coulda been me" resentment seems to be driving Cosh's, frankly, weird personal beef with Silver.

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