In response to:

Nate Silver's Numbers Racket

Bruce2397 Wrote: Nov 07, 2012 6:31 PM
The polls don't show Romney ahead, but we just know that he is. What should we do? We could complain about the bias in the polls, because we just can't abide the possibility that they're accurate. We could complain about the person who has the most accurate record in compiling and interpreting polling data---yeah, that's it---he's never done anything to us, but we could smear him. Will it change the election outcome or make a difference? No, of course not, but it would make us feel better, and its all about our feelings...

In the last week or so, an intense kerfuffle broke out over the poll-prognosticator Nate Silver and his blog at the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight. Silver, a statistician, has been predicting a decisive Obama victory for a very long time, based on his very complicated statistical model, which very, very few of his fans or detractors understand.

On any given day, Silver might have announced that -- given the new polling data -- "the model" was now finding that the president had an 86.3 percent chance of winning. Not 86.4 percent, you fools. Not 86.1 percent, you Philistines. But 86.3 percent,...