The ignorant little twit media "reporter" at Politico, Dylan Byers, pens a paean to Nate Silver's accuracy today, obviously trying to make up for the ignorant, snide, dead-wrong, anti-math, anti-science rip he posted about Silver just last week.
Some of you may recall that after using his column as a megaphone to amplify criticisms of Silver from blowhard know-it-alls such as Joe Scarborough and David Brooks, Byers got hammered by readers who, you know, think that facts and math and science and stuff actually matter.
Last week, Byers thought he was being cute with his column title and his cracks about Silver's popularity among those who respect cogent and reasoned statistical analysis:
Nate Silver could be a one-term celebrity.In addition, Byers showed his enormous ignorance of probability and math by clearly being unable to comprehend what Silver told him in an interview:
The New York Times's resident political predictor says President Barack Obama currently has a 74.6 percent chance of winning reelection. It's a prediction that liberals, whose heart rates continue to fluctuate with the release of every new poll, want to take solace in but somehow can't.
For all the confidence Silver puts in his predictions, he often gives the impression of hedging. Which, given all the variables involved in a presidential election, isn't surprising. For this reason and others — and this may shock the coffee-drinking NPR types of Seattle, San Francisco and Madison, Wis. — more than a few political pundits and reporters, including some of his own colleagues, believe Silver is highly overrated.With that gem of a paragraph, Byers gives himself away. As numerous readers quickly pointed out, Silver's "hedging" was not what Byers thought it was. Instead, it was precisely the way probability works.
Byers then goes on to quote the clueless Brooks:
"If you tell me you think you can quantify an event that is about to happen that you don`t expect, like the 47 percent comment or a debate performance, I think you think you are a wizard. That`s not possible... If there’s one thing we know, it’s that even experts with fancy computer models are terrible at predicting human behavior.""Oh, really, David?
I won't even bother posting the Scarborough quotes that Byers throws up (pun intended). We already know what a jackass Scarborough is.
But Byers revisits his ignorance with this closing sentence in last week's piece:
What matters for Silver is that the president wins and that he ends up with a total number of electoral votes somewhere in the ballpark of whatever Silver predicts on the afternoon of Nov. 6. And even then, you won't know if he actually had a 50.1 percent chance or a 74.6 percent chance of getting there.In between last week's ignorant drivel and today's half-hearted, chickenshit "make-up call," Byers used his column to take additional shots at Silver, including this crack in a piece that provides a platform for yet another rightwing hack, Michael Gerson, to rip Silver. Byers, once again putting his monumental ignorance of probability and statistics on full display, writes at the end of the column:
Just before noon on election day, Silver's model gives President Obama a 90.9% chance of winning re-election with 313 electoral votes. Should Obama win with something near that number of electoral votes, Silver will be treated like a hero. Should Obama lose. ... Hey, Romney always had a 9.1% chance.And then there is today. Byers, now seeing that Silver called the vote percentages within just a few tenths of a point and the Electoral College within 10, pretends as if he was Nate's bestest buddy all along.
Nice work, if you can get it.
Yet Silver's model correctly forecast the winner in all 50 states. Florida, which he gave Obama a 50.3% chance of winning, is still up in the air -- but the 50.3% forecast more or less accounts for that.But here's the best part of the piece and it comes in the last sentence:
Silver has been a huge asset to the Times since his model correctly forecast the outcome in 49 of 50 states during the 2008 election. In the days and hours prior to the election, roughly one out of every five visitors to NYTimes.com visited his blog, FiveThirtyEight.
Silver did not respond to requests for an interview.Ain't that sweet?
Suck it, Dylan, you little twit. Hard to believe you still have a job.
Nice work if you can get it.
(Hat tip to a couple of posters below who alerted me to such an obvious closing line!)