kottke.org posts about Nate Silver
For the New Yorker, Paul Rudnick imagines a love letter written to Nate Silver by an 11-year-old girl.
I know that you're openly gay but that's fine because we can just hang out and you can say things like "I think that Harry from One Direction is 73% cuter than Louis although Louis is 21.8% funnier than Harry and my model predicts that they would both really like you, Emma, even though they both look 100% like Kristen Stewart, only less rugged." And I could tell you that if you were choosing a boyfriend for yourself Anderson Cooper would be 85.7% smarter and more sardonic than Ricky Martin, but Ricky would be 23% more mature because he has twins by a surrogate, although Anderson does have a more comprehensive wardrobe of election-year eyeglass frames.
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight is licensing its content to the NY Times for the next three years.
In the near future, the blog will "re-launch" under a NYTimes.com domain. It will retain its own identity (akin to other Times blogs like DealBook), but will be organized under the News:Politics section. Once this occurs, content will no longer be posted at FiveThirtyEight.com on an ongoing basis, and the blog will re-direct to the new URL. In addition, I will be contributing content to the print edition of the New York Times, and to the Sunday Magazine.
The Times' own Media Decoder blog notes that the deal is similar in structure to the arrangement Freakonomics enjoys at the newspaper: more of a rental than a purchase. I believe Andrew Sullivan has had similar deals at the various publications at which he's blogged. (thx, nevan)
Nate Silver says that "voter initiatives to ban gay marriage are becoming harder and harder to pass every year" and uses a regression model to produce a listing of when the voters of each US state would vote against a marriage ban if given the chance. Some notables:
New York - 2009
Iowa - 2013
Utah - 2013
Kansas - 2015
Texas - 2018
Mississippi - 2024
So how'd Nate Silver do with his predictions on Oscar night? He got four out of six, missing Penelope Cruz for best supporting and Sean Penn for best actor. I, however, am one for one with my Nate Silver predictions.
Update: Silver's postmortem.
Nate Silver, who used polling statistics to predict a clear Obama win in the Presidential election in November, turns his analytical tools loose on the Oscars.
For example, is someone more likely to win Best Actress if her film has also been nominated for Best Picture? (Yes!) But the greatest predictor (80 percent of what you need to know) is other awards earned that year, particularly from peers (the Directors Guild Awards, for instance, reliably foretells Best Picture). Genre matters a lot (the Academy has an aversion to comedy); MPAA and release date don't at all. A film's average user rating on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) is sometimes a predictor of success; box grosses rarely are.
Silver's "Gamble-Tron 2000 Lock of the Oscars" is that Danny Boyle wins Best Director for Slumdog Millionaire with a whopping 99.7% certainty. I suspect that the Oscars will prove more difficult to predict than the election and that Silver will be wrong in at least two categories. I will report back on Oscar night. (via fimoculous)