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Revenge of the Nerds

As evidenced by Cathy's wonderful post below, last nights election results have turned statistician Nate Silver into a pop culture icon. Exhibit A is a new Twitter hashtag #natesilverfacts that parodies the Chuck Norris facts. The best #natesilverfacts are those that drink deep from the wells of geek culture. I suspect you will be able to understand most of these, but it may help to know that Hari Seldon was a character in Isaac Asimovs Foundation Triology who could predict the decline of empires hundreds of years into the future. Enjoy!Nate Silver can tell you a particles position AND momentum.Pi was invented to sate Nates hunger.Han Solo lets Nate Silver tell him the odds.Nate Silver owns a copy of the set of all sets that do not contain themselves.Nate Silvers samples have only a median and a mode. Because no number would be mean to Nate Silver.Nate Silver can divide by zero.Nate has a proof of Fermats last theorem that fits within the margin.Results ask Nate Silver if they are significant.Nate Silver does not breathe air. He just periodically samples the atmosphere.Nate Silver knows there is no such thing as #natesilverfacts only #natesilverconfidenceintervals.Nate Silver knows whether Schrdingers Cat is alive or dead.Outliers exist because they are hiding from Nate Silver.Nate Silvers great-great-great-great-great grandsons name is going to be Hari Seldon.When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone he had three missed calls from Nate Silver.Nate Silver walked over each of the bridges in Koninsberg exactly once.When Nate Silver cant sleep he counts sheep. All of them.Nate Silver possesses all seven Palantirs.Wikipedia asked Nate Silver to stop adding Dates of Death for people who were still alive.



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Nate Siver will be hired by Koch Bros. to find out where their ad money was wasted,

Hm. What was all that about? Oh, sorry - wrong door.


Interesting to see the Republicans, who spent this campaign denying global warming, got fooled by their own version of statistics in their election planning, sending Gov. Romney to Pennsylvania, which turned out to be out of reach. What's best about Nate Silver is his dedication to following the data wherever it leads.

It's funny that people are so impressed with Silver, whose "models" represent all of about 10 minutes of work in Microsoft Excel: See also

I think the reason he's impressive is that he's a very good teacher. He writes very well, and non-polemically; he's trying to help his audience understand what's going on, not simply trying to press them to accede to his position.

hes trying to help his audience understand whats going on, not simply trying to press them to accede to his position.------Agree! (A lesson in there for those who cannot BEAR disagreement?)

"Its funny that people are so impressed with Silver, whose models represent all of about 10 minutes of work in Microsoft Excel..."But is it not laudable that he was able to take a simple product and market it to the right audience at the right time and he will be rewarded by becoming a millionaire many times over? Especially in contrast to a Henry Olsen at AEI for example who arrived at the almost identical statistical analysis using a slightly different methodology but marketed it in a substantially different way. It seems to me one could consider that rather entrepreneurial and innovative, which are traits some people judge positively.

Silver did a great job; he was a trailblazer and a great explainer, even if it turns out you can get 80% of the value with 20% of the effort.One danger is that where we used to follow polls we all now follow poll aggregators. Many of us tend to notice the newest Pew poll, for example, mostly because of the effect it had on 538. That reduces the value of the poll to the company that paid for it (they were hoping you'd buy their newspaper to read their poll results). But if there are fewer polls, there's less data for Nate Silver to aggregate, so the quality of his analysis could go down.

"Its funny that people are so impressed with Silver, whose models represent all of about 10 minutes of work in Microsoft Excel"Excel was around 4 or 8 or 12 years ago, too -- too bad you and I didn't think of doing it then!

As they say on Facebook: Like!

Stuart: Nate did it; you didn't Grapes are meant to be enjoyed peeled, not sour.

Nate Silver counts his chickens before they hatch.

My favorite from Twitter: Nate Silver expected the Spanish Inquisition.

The MS NBC business guys are saying the DOW tanked because they thought Romney was going to win and are selling on their disappointment. . With dopes like this on WS, Silver should open a hedge fund and cash in like anyone with an arithmetic degree. Buy now and take the WS dopes money.

Jim -- no sour grapes -- it's just funny that people who don't know much about math are so easily impressed.

Stuart =-C'mon. If Nate isn't that impressive, why didn't some older guy do what he's doing long, long ago? In fact, sometimes the hardest thing to do is invent a simpler product -- that works. Same with abstract ideas. They're not hard to understand, once somebody else has invented them.

It is only admirable because there are people who think math and science are deniable. Not too long ago, people respected math and science, but today there are political campaigns and news networks who are unable to accept simple math. Someone who stands against such idiocy is admirable.An example of someone who acknowledges the error of his math:

Nate Silver knows how much wood a woodchuck can chuck, what dark matter looks like, what dark energy feels like, and where to find dilithium crystals for warp drive.

Nate Silver can recite Pi. Backwards.

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