Famous Quotes & Sayings

Nate Silver Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Nate Silver.

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Nate Silver Quotes 679591

If there's a major foreign policy event, the President gets on TV, the Congress doesn't. — Nate Silver

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The alchemy that the ratings agencies performed was to spin uncertainty into what looked and felt like risk. They took highly novel securities, subject to an enormous amount of systemic uncertainty, and claimed the ability to quantify just how risky they were. Not only that, but of all possible conclusions, they came to the astounding one that these investments were almost risk-free. — Nate Silver

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If you aren't taking a representative sample, you won't get a representative snapshot. — Nate Silver

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Data scientist is just a sexed up word for statistician. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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We look at all the polls, not just the Gallup Poll. So, it's kind of like if you have, you know, four out of five doctors agree that reducing cholesterol reduces your risk of a heart attack, Gallup is like the fifth doctor. — Nate Silver

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Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge. — Nate Silver

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The irony is that by being less focused on your results, you may achieve better ones. — Nate Silver

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I'm not trying to do anything too tricky. — Nate Silver

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When human judgment and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen. — Nate Silver

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Under Bayes' theorem, no theory is perfect. Rather, it is a work in progress, always subject to further refinement and testing. — Nate Silver

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Caesar recognized the omens, but he didn't believe they applied to him. — Nate Silver

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The litmus test for whether you are a competent forecaster is if more information makes your predictions better. — Nate Silver

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A forecaster should almost never ignore data, especially when she is studying rare events like recessions or presidential elections, about which there isn't very much data to begin with. Ignoring data is often a tip-off that the forecaster is overconfident, or is overfitting her model - that she is interested in showing off rather than trying to be accurate. — Nate Silver

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The story the data tells us is often the one we'd like to hear, and we usually make sure that it has a happy ending. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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A lot of things can't be modeled very well. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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Shakespeare's plays often turn on the idea of fate, as much drama does. What makes them so tragic is the gap between what his characters might like to accomplish and what fate provides them. — Nate Silver

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It's a little strange to become a kind of symbol of a whole type of analysis. — Nate Silver

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I have the same friends and the same bad habits. — Nate Silver

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Finding patterns is easy in any kind of data-rich environment; that's what mediocre gamblers do. The key is in determining whether the patterns represent noise or signal. — Nate Silver

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We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty. — Nate Silver

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Most of you will have heard the maxim "correlation does not imply causation." Just because two variables have a statistical relationship with each other does not mean that one is responsible for the other. For instance, ice cream sales and forest fires are correlated because both occur more often in the summer heat. But there is no causation; you don't light a patch of the Montana brush on fire when you buy a pint of Haagan-Dazs. — Nate Silver

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Good innovators typically think very big and they think very small. New ideas are sometimes found in the most granular details of a problem where few others bother to look. And they are sometimes found when you are doing your most abstract and philosophical thinking, considering why the world is the way that it is and whether there might be an alternative to the dominant paradigm. Rarely can they be found in the temperate latitudes between they two spaces, where we spend 99 percent of our lives. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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A lot of the time nothing happens in a day. — Nate Silver

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You don't want to treat any one person as oracular. — Nate Silver

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

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

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The instinctual shortcut that we take when we have "too much information" is to engage with it selectively, picking out the parts we like and ignoring the remainder, making allies with those who have made the same choices and enemies of the rest. — Nate Silver

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You get steely nerves playing poker. — Nate Silver

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If I had a spreadsheet on my computer, it looked like I was busy. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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Well, you know, you're not going to have 86 percent of Congress voted out of office. — Nate Silver

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People gravitate toward information that implies a happier outlook for them. — Nate Silver

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Success makes you less intimidated by things. — Nate Silver

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Data-driven predictions can succeed-and they can fail. It is when we deny our role in the process that the odds of failure rise. Before we demand more of our data, we need to demand more of ourselves. — Nate Silver

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There's always the risk that there are unknown unknowns. — Nate Silver

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He does not depend on insider tips, crooked referees, or other sorts of hustles to make his bets. Nor does he have a "system" of any kind. He uses computer simulations, but does not rely upon them exclusively. — Nate Silver

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Every four years in the presidential election, some new precedent is broken. — Nate Silver

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Even if you fly twenty times per year, you are about twice as likely to be struck by lightning. — Nate Silver

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In politics people build whole reputations off of getting one thing right. — Nate Silver

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To my friends, I'm kind of sexually gay but ethnically straight, — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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The fashionable term now is "Big Data." IBM estimates that we are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, more than 90 percent of which was created in the last two years.36 — Nate Silver

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I actually buy the paper version of The New York Times maybe once or twice a week. — Nate Silver

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The more interviews that an expert had done with the press, Tetlock found, the worse his predictions tended to be. — Nate Silver

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Precise forecasts masquerade as accurate ones. — Nate Silver

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I love South American food, and I haven't really been down there. I really need a vacation. — Nate Silver

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If you hold there is a 100 percent probability that God exists, or a 0 percent probability, then under Bayes's theorem, no amount of evidence could persuade you otherwise. — Nate Silver

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For-profit weather forecasters rarely predict exactly a 50 percent chance of rain, which might seem wishy-washy and indecisive to consumers.41 Instead, they'll flip a coin and round up to 60, or down to 40, even though this makes the forecasts both less accurate and — Nate Silver

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Expert estimates of probability are often off by factors of hundreds or
thousands. [ ... ] I used to be annoyed when the margin of error was high in
a forecasting model that I might put together. Now I view it as perhaps the
single most important piece of information that a forecaster provides. When
we publish a forecast on FiveThirtyEight, I go to great lengths to document
the uncertainty attached to it, even if the uncertainty is sufficiently
large that the forecast won't make for punchy headlines. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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If there is a mutual distrust between the weather forecaster and the public, the public may not listen when they need to most. — Nate Silver

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You don't want to influence the same system you are trying to forecast. — Nate Silver

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The key to making a good forecast is not in limiting yourself to quantitative information. — Nate Silver

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

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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. — Nate Silver

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If political scientists couldn't predict the downfall of the Soviet Union - perhaps the most important event in the latter half of the twentieth century - then what exactly were they good for? — Nate Silver

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Making predictions based on our beliefs is the best (and perhaps even the only) way to test ourselves. If objectivity is the concern for a greater truth beyond our personal circumstances, and prediction is the best way to examine how closely aligned our personal perceptions are with that greater truth, the most objective among us are those who make the most accurate predictions. — Nate Silver

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Midterm elections can be dreadfully boring, unfortunately. — Nate Silver

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The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth. — Nate Silver

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As the statistician George E. P. Box wrote, "All models are wrong, but some models are useful." What he meant by that is that all models are simplifications of the universe, as they must necessarily be. As another mathematician said, "The best model of a cat is a cat."
...
The key is in remembering that a model is a tool to help us understand the complexities of the universe, and never a substitute for the universe itself. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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If you compare the number of children who are diagnosed as autistic64 to the frequency with which the term autism has been used in American newspapers,65 you'll find that there is an almost perfect one-to-one correspondence (figure 7-4), with both having increased markedly in recent years. — Nate Silver

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Basically, books were a luxury item before the printing press. — Nate Silver

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What makes him successful is the way that he analyzes information. He is not just hunting for patterns. Instead, Bob combines his knowledge of statistics with his knowledge of basketball in order to identify meaningful relationships in the data. — Nate Silver

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What a well-designed forecasting system can do is sort out which statistics are relatively more susceptible to luck; batting average, for instance, is more erratic than home runs. — Nate Silver

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I'm a pro-horserace guy. — Nate Silver

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Any one game in baseball doesn't tell you that much, just as any one poll doesn't tell you that much. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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

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

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It is not really "artificial" intelligence if a human designed the artifice. — Nate Silver

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I think a lot of journal articles should really be blogs. — Nate Silver

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Economy is not baseball, where the game is always played by the same rules. — Nate Silver

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I guess I don't like the people in politics very much, to be blunt. — Nate Silver

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Plenty of pundits have really high IQs, but they don't have any discipline in how they look at the world, and so it leads to a lot of bullshit, basically, — Nate Silver

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When a possibility is unfamiliar to us, we do not even think about it. — Nate Silver

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

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Racism is predictable. It's predicted by interaction or lack thereof with people unlike you, people of other races. — Nate Silver

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Risk, as first articulated by the economist Frank H. Knight in 1921,45 is something that you can put a price on. Say that you'll win a poker hand unless your opponent draws to an inside straight: the chances of that happening are exactly 1 chance in 11.46 This is risk. It is not pleasant when you take a "bad beat" in poker, but at least you know the odds of it and can account for it ahead of time. In the long run, you'll make a profit from your opponents making desperate draws with insufficient odds. Uncertainty, on the other hand, is risk that is hard to measure. You might have some vague awareness of the demons lurking out there. You might even be acutely concerned about them. But you have no real idea how many of them there are or when they might strike. Your back-of-the-envelope estimate might be off by a factor of 100 or by a factor of 1,000; there is no good way to know. This is uncertainty. Risk greases the wheels of a free-market economy; uncertainty grinds them to a halt. — Nate Silver

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Not only does political coverage often lose the signal - it frequently accentuates the noise. If there are a number of polls in a state that show the Republican ahead, it won't make news when another one says the same thing. But if a new poll comes out showing the Democrat with the lead, it will grab headlines - even though the poll is probably an outlier and won't predict the outcome accurately. — Nate Silver

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There was "nothing new under the sun," as the beautiful Bible verses in Ecclesiastes put it - not so much because everything had been discovered but because everything would be forgotten. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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New ideas are sometimes found in the most granular details of a problem where few others bother to look. — Nate Silver

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Accountability doesn't mean apologizing. — Nate Silver

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When we advance more confident claims and they fail to come to fruition, this constitutes much more powerful evidence against our hypothesis. We can't really blame anyone for losing faith when this occurs — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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When catastrophe strikes, we look for a signal in the noise - anything that might explain the chaos that we see all around us and bring order to the world again. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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I know it's cheaper to fund an op-ed columnist than a team of reporters, but I think it confuses the mission of what these great journalistic brands are about, — Nate Silver

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We speak for them. We imbue them with meaning. — Nate Silver

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People still don't appreciate how ephemeral success is. — Nate Silver

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The quest for certainty in forecasting outcomes can be the enemy of progress. — Nate Silver

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

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The ratings agencies' problem was in being unable or uninterested in appreciating the distinction between risk and uncertainty. — Nate Silver

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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. — Nate Silver

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A lot of news is just entertainment masquerading as news. — Nate Silver