Nate Silver - Quotes

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By playing games you can artificially speed up your learning curve to develop the right kind of thought processes.

By playing games you can artificially speed up your learning curve to develop the right kind of thought processes.

The key to making a good forecast is not in limiting yourself to quantitative information. ---->>>

First of all, I think it's odd that people who cover politics wouldn't have any political views.

First of all, I think it's odd that people who cover politics wouldn't have any political views.

Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge. ---->>>

If you have reason to think that yesterday's forecast went wrong, there is no glory in sticking to it. ---->>>

The Protestant Reformation had a lot to do with the printing press, where Martin Luther's theses were reproduced about 250,000 times, and so you had widespread dissemination of ideas that hadn't circulated in the mainstream before. ---->>>

We're not that much smarter than we used to be, even though we have much more information - and that means the real skill now is learning how to pick out the useful information from all this noise. ---->>>

A lot of journalism wants to have what they call objectivity without them having a commitment to pursuing the truth, but that doesn't work. Objectivity requires belief in and a commitment toward pursuing the truth - having an object outside of our personal point of view. ---->>>

When you get into statistical analysis, you don't really expect to achieve fame. Or to become an Internet meme. Or be parodied by 'The Onion' - or be the subject of a cartoon in 'The New Yorker.' I guess I'm kind of an outlier there. ---->>>

Every day, three times per second, we produce the equivalent of the amount of data that the Library of Congress has in its entire print collection, right? But most of it is like cat videos on YouTube or 13-year-olds exchanging text messages about the next Twilight movie. ---->>>

We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty. ---->>>

I have the same friends and the same bad habits. ---->>>

The public is even more pessimistic about the economy than even the most bearish economists are. ---->>>

Well the way we perceive accuracy and what accuracy is statistically are really two different things. ---->>>

Almost everyone's instinct is to be overconfident and read way too much into a hot or cold streak. ---->>>

Caesar recognized the omens, but he didn't believe they applied to him. ---->>>

I view my role now as providing more of a macro-level skepticism, rather than saying this poll is good or this poll is evil. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

If you aren't taking a representative sample, you won't get a representative snapshot. ---->>>

People don't have a good intuitive sense of how to weigh new information in light of what they already know. They tend to overrate it. ---->>>

We're living in a world where Google beats Gallup. ---->>>

You get steely nerves playing poker. ---->>>

To the extent that you can find ways where you're making predictions, there's no substitute for testing yourself on real-world situations that you don't know the answer to in advance. ---->>>

Success makes you less intimidated by things. ---->>>

Any one game in baseball doesn't tell you that much, just as any one poll doesn't tell you that much. ---->>>

Race is still the No. 1 determinant in every election. ---->>>

If you're keeping yourself in the bubble and only looking at your own data or only watching the TV that fits your agenda then it gets boring. ---->>>

Whenever you have dynamic interactions between 300 million people and the American economy acting in really complex ways, that introduces a degree of almost chaos theory to the system, in a literal sense. ---->>>

On average, people should be more skeptical when they see numbers. They should be more willing to play around with the data themselves. ---->>>

You don't want to influence the same system you are trying to forecast. ---->>>

Every four years in the presidential election, some new precedent is broken. ---->>>

I've just always been a bit of a dork. ---->>>

Remember, the Congress doesn't get as many opportunities to make an impression with the public. ---->>>

There's always the risk that there are unknown unknowns. ---->>>

All I know is that I have way more stuff that I want to write about than I possibly have time to. ---->>>

I've become invested with this symbolic power. It really does transcend what I'm actually doing and what I actually deserve. ---->>>

Basically, books were a luxury item before the printing press. ---->>>

I actually buy the paper version of The New York Times maybe once or twice a week. ---->>>

I have to make sure that I make good choices and that if I put my name on it, it's a high-quality endeavor and that I have time to be a human being. ---->>>

If I had a spreadsheet on my computer, it looked like I was busy. ---->>>

In baseball you have terrific data and you can be a lot more creative with it. ---->>>

Midterm elections can be dreadfully boring, unfortunately. ---->>>

People still don't appreciate how ephemeral success is. ---->>>

We want to get 80%-85% of predictions right, not 100%. Or else we calibrated our estimates in the wrong way. ---->>>

When human judgment and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen. ---->>>

Actually, one of the better indicators historically of how well the stock market will do is just a Gallup poll, when you ask Americans if you think it's a good time to invest in stocks, except it goes the opposite direction of what you would expect. When the markets going up, it in fact makes it more prone toward decline. ---->>>

I prefer more to kind of show people different things than tell them 'oh, here's what you should believe' and, over time, you can build up a rapport with your audience. ---->>>

The problem is that when polls are wrong, they tend to be wrong in the same direction. If they miss in New Hampshire, for instance, they all miss on the same mistake. ---->>>

The thing that people associate with expertise, authoritativeness, kind of with a capital 'A,' don't correlate very well with who's actually good at making predictions. ---->>>

People gravitate toward information that implies a happier outlook for them. ---->>>

A lot of news is just entertainment masquerading as news. ---->>>

Well, you know, you're not going to have 86 percent of Congress voted out of office. ---->>>

I don't think that somebody who is observing or predicting behavior should also be participating in the 'experiment.' ---->>>

We are living our lives more online and you need to have different ways to capture that. ---->>>

You can build a statistical model and that's all well and good, but if you're dealing with a new type of financial instrument, for example, or a new type of situation - then the choices you're making are pretty arbitrary in a lot of respects. ---->>>

A lot of the time nothing happens in a day. ---->>>

I guess I don't like the people in politics very much, to be blunt. ---->>>

Voters memories will fade some. ---->>>

Walk rate is probably the area in which a pitcher has the most room to improve, but a rate that high is tough to overcome. ---->>>

A lot of things can't be modeled very well. ---->>>

I don't think you should limit what you read. ---->>>

I have to think about how to not spread myself too thin. It's a really great problem to have. ---->>>

I love South American food, and I haven't really been down there. I really need a vacation. ---->>>

I think a lot of journal articles should really be blogs. ---->>>

I think people feel like there are all these things in our lives that we don't really have control over. ---->>>

I think punditry serves no purpose. ---->>>

I think there's space in the market for a half-dozen kind of polling analysts. ---->>>

I'm a pro-horserace guy. ---->>>

I'm not trying to do anything too tricky. ---->>>

If there's a major foreign policy event, the President gets on TV, the Congress doesn't. ---->>>

In politics people build whole reputations off of getting one thing right. ---->>>

It's a little strange to become a kind of symbol of a whole type of analysis. ---->>>

People attach too much importance to intangibles like heart, desire and clutch hitting. ---->>>

To be a very, very minor, eighth-tier celebrity, you realize, 'Hey, celebrities are just like us.' ---->>>

When you try to predict future E.R.A.'s with past E.R.A.'s, you're making a mistake. ---->>>

You don't want to treat any one person as oracular. ---->>>

I don't play fantasy baseball anymore now because it's too much work, and I feel like I have to hold myself up to such a high standard. I'm pretty serious about my fantasy football, though. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 01-13, 1978
Birthplace: East Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Die:
Occupation: Writer

Nathaniel Read Silver (born January 13, 1978) is an American statistician and writer who analyzes baseball (see sabermetrics) and elections (see psephology). He is the editor-in-chief of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight and a Special Correspondent for ABC News. Silver first gained public recognition for developing PECOTA, a system for forecasting the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players, which he sold to and then managed for Baseball Prospectus from 2003 to 2009 (wikipedia)