One More On Nate Silver

I don’t read Paul Krugman much because his column falls in the category of people-whose-politics-are-entirely-too-predictable, when it comes to financial or political analysis.  I have this weird aversion to reading (or listening to, for that matter) the thoughts of people about whom I can predict their stance even before the conversation begins.[1]

However, occasionally Krugman reminds me why he’s wicked smaht[2] and says what I was thinking before I even thought it (if that makes sense, which I’ll admit, it doesn’t.)

Krugman points to a National Review piece attacking Nate Silver – of Five-Thirty-Eight.com fame – for his bias toward Obama.  The gist of the National Review piece is that Silver’s methodology is flawed, intentionally, to support Silver’s Democratic agenda.

Krugman’s point, and I whole-heartedly agree, is that when good statistical analysis like Silver’s – and science for that matter – is attacked for political reasons, we lose something important.

Clearly, I’m a Nate Silver fan, because he’s cutting through the distracting media infotainment industry better than anyone right now.  So Krugman’s larger point resonates with me – that if you can discredit and reduce good data-driven analysis to a base level with the rest of the noise, you’ve given ignorance a fresh start.



[1] Diane Rehm is guilty of this.  I hated on Joseph Stiglitz’ book recently for that reason.  I can barely read Nicholas Kristoff’s poltical columns as a result.  While their Op-Eds can be useful, nearly every editorial in the Wall Street Journal is unreadable.  Unless they are unintentionally comedic, like this one.

[2] As we say in my hometown.

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Texas Senate Candidate Sadler: Honey I Shrunk The Texas

Paul, can we talk about your yard signs?

What is the deal with your horrible logo and signage?

You placed a little teeny tiny Texas in the middle, surrounded by a red circle, just below your giant-font name.

Look, I’m new to Texas.  But even I know that you’re not supposed to lead with the message that “Everything Is Tinier In Texas!”

If you’re elected, do you promise to “Shrink Texas Down to Miniature?”

How about “Remember, Sadler Is Bigger Than Little Texas?”

Do you have a little red circle around Texas because “Texas Is Better When It’s Completely Circumscribed?”[1]

When I walk around my Democratic-leaning neighborhood and see your yard signs I picture you as that character in Kids in the Hall who viewed the heads of undesirables through outstretched thumb and forefinger to visualize “crushing their little heads.”  Only in your case, Paul, I read your logo’s plan as “If elected, I will crush your tiny little Texas,” with that character’s strained accent.  I like to hold my fingers up to your sign, squint at it, and squeeze my thumb and forefingers together aggressively.

Look, I understand you don’t really expect to win your Senate race in Texas, because you’re a Democrat running for statewide office, and Texas turned Republican in the years between Barry Goldwater and Ann Richards.  So you kind of know that Ted Cruz is going to crush your campaign and your teeny tiny Texas even without this yard sign problem.

But for your next campaign?  Find out whose brilliant logo idea that was and fire that person.

 


[1] Huh-huh, he said “circumscribed.”  Shut up, Beevis.

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