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November 20, 2013

Stuff you may have missed: November 20, 2013

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S., and Illinois is the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Lincoln is from Illinois. Coincidence? We think not.

Welcome to the District: A freshman member of congress got mugged in D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Adam Levine is People’s sexiest man alive. We showed up on the list, too—our rank was 3,323,212th.

"Father of the internet" Vent Cerf says that “privacy may actually be an anomaly,” historically speaking.

The New York Times thinks it can replace Nate Silver internally. Good luck, David Leonhardt.

21:57 // 10 months ago
July 19, 2013
Nate Silver—and by extension his FiveThirtyEight brand—is leaving the New York Times and going to ESPN. Sucks to be the Times, which scored big during the last election because they had him on staff. He’s expected to work closely with this guy on the telly.

Nate Silver—and by extension his FiveThirtyEight brand—is leaving the New York Times and going to ESPN. Sucks to be the Times, which scored big during the last election because they had him on staff. He’s expected to work closely with this guy on the telly.

20:57 // 1 year ago
January 19, 2013
(M)embers of Congress, who often gain access to inside information about a company while they are lobbied and who also have some ability to influence the fate of companies through legislation, return a profit on their investments that beats market averages by 5 to 10 percent per year, a remarkable rate that would make even Bernie Madoff blush.

Nate Silver, “The Signal and the Noise,” page 342. (via joshsternberg)

The STOCK Act, passed by a heavy margin to hopefully curtail congressional insider trading, has encountered legal challenges since last year’s passage, and full implementation won’t occur until April 2013

15:39 // 1 year ago
December 1, 2012
Politico is … it’s like ‘Who won the day?’ kind of thing, right? They’re trying to cover it like it’s sports, but not in an intelligent way at all, right? And they want to create noise, basically, right? Their whole thing is, you have to have a lead story about some gaffe that some candidate made on the campaign trail.
Nate Silver • Taking down Politico, which attempted a takedown of Silver just before the election, during an interview with ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Silver, who suffered a pretty solid rip at the hand of Dylan Byers just before the election, now won’t give Byers, who wants an interview with the FiveThirtyEight founder, the time of day. Silver, by the way, knows a thing or two about sports — he spent years devising a baseball-statistics system before moving into politics.
19:08 // 1 year ago
November 29, 2012

Nate Silver took part in an Authors@Google interview/Q&A and covered a variety of topics including his book, the FiveThirtyEight blog, faulty polling, and whether pro football teams should be going for it in “4th & 2” scnearios. The whole session lasts just under an hour, but we definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a way to kill some time this afternoon.


13:57 // 1 year ago
November 18, 2012
I was looking for something like baseball, where there’s a lot of data and the competition was pretty low. That’s when I discovered politics.
Nate Silver • Discussing his move into the political realm after years as a baseball statistics nerd. The Guardian’s piece on Silver is super-fascinating.
13:04 // 1 year ago
November 7, 2012

Evidence Jonah Goldberg has the worst timing

Top: Conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg’s hit piece on Nate Silver, published one hour ago. Bottom Left: The current map on the New York Times home page. Bottom Right: Nate Silver’s map.

1:22 // 1 year ago
November 6, 2012
It’s a little early to know exactly what we can learn from social media metrics. I think the way we’ll be looking at this stuff will be very different in four years, in eight years, in twelve years. For right now, we’re kind of in an awkward adolescent age … we’re out of the classical innocent era of our youth where you could just call someone on the phone. But we’re not sure what the substitute for that is yet.
With all the recent brewhaha about Nate Silver’s controversial projections for tonight’s outcome, and while we’re all waiting for some legit data to come back from the polls, it seems like a good time to revisit our exclusive interview with Mr. Silver back in September. Enjoy! (via election)

Nate Silver is hiding in a dimly-lit room with an iPad and a MacBook Air, hoping his projections are right. 

(via gov)

19:22 // 1 year ago
November 2, 2012

Why people don’t get Nate Silver



Probability is counterintuitive.

The idea that the chance of something happening doesn’t change is hard for us to wrap our heads around. Understandably so—if I tell you that you have a 70 percent chance of making a putt, most people would expect that after ten putts, seven will have gone in the hole. This, however, is not the case. 

That’s what’s hard to grasp about probability, the idea that one result has no effect on what happens in the future.

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Related to this great piece (a topic which Stefan totally beat me to, because I had a half-written, not-as-good take hiding in my drafts) is the rebuke he got from his public editor on Thursday. If you ask me, the New York Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, totally should have run a statistical model on whether that column was a good idea.

— Ernie @ ShortFormBlog

A very smart take on the political journalism topic du jour.

(via gov)

9:17 // 1 year ago
October 27, 2012
13:56 // 1 year ago