View Full Version : Nate Silver on political punditry

Paul Pless
10-11-2012, 05:22 AM
I heard a interesting interview with Nate Silver yesterday on Fresh Air.

The interview can be heard here: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/10/162594751/signal-and-noise-prediction-as-art-and-science

Actually very little of the interview had to do with politics, thankfully. But, covered a wide range of topics from early statistical theory, to baseball to data (90% of the world's data was created in the last two years) to poker to infidelity. . .

Anyways at the end of the interview he dropped this, of all the professions that he has dealt with in some manner with regards to making predictions, political pundits have the worst record. Worse than baseball, scientist, poker players, worse even than meteorologists. His conclusion , that those pundits that make predictions do so for entertainment purposes and they shouldn't be listened to seriously. . .:d

John Smith
10-11-2012, 05:31 AM
He's right. As I've posted, most shows only show you that the two parties disagree with each other and, immediately following any event, they go to the spin room.

When no one's feet are held to the facts, how can we get anything but entertainment?

That's what Stewart pointed out on Crossfire

10-11-2012, 05:35 AM
Worse than economists?

Paul Pless
10-11-2012, 05:37 AM
Worse than economists?Its an entertaining interview, give it a listen. . .

John Smith
10-11-2012, 05:54 AM
Worse than economists?

I think the problem with pundits and politicians is that ideology or party loyalty makes it okay to make up or distort facts and the voter suffers.

It should be illegal to take things out of context so they seem to mean something quite different than they actually meant.

It's easy to find Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and others making up facts to support their ideology or party loyalty.

It's a great deal more difficult to find Maddow getting her facts wrong. She does occassionally, but she comes back and corrects her own error the next night.

I have to admit that I am puzzled that it is so well documented that Romney has held so many different positions on so many issues yet so many people don't care that they can't trust him.

Pundits frequently remind me of the Fisher/Spasky chess match. A room full of expert chess players contemplate Fisher's possible moves, but he makes one none of them thought of.

Paul Pless
10-11-2012, 05:57 AM
It should be illegal to take things out of context. . .just shoot me now :d

Paul Pless
10-11-2012, 08:49 AM
He also described himself as a libertarian.