Saturday, 11 May 2013

Psychic Predictions

Psychic Predictions Biography
Nathaniel Read "Nate" Silver (born January 13, 1978) is an American statistician, sabermetrician, psephologist, and writer. 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.
In 2007, writing under the pseudonym "Poblano", Silver began to publish analyses and predictions related to the 2008 United States presidential election. At first this work appeared on the political blog Daily Kos, but in March 2008 Silver established his own website, By summer of that year, after he revealed his identity to his readers, he began to appear as an electoral and political analyst in national print, online, and cable news media.
The accuracy of his November 2008 presidential election predictions — he correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states — won Silver further attention and commendation. The only state he missed was Indiana, which went for Barack Obama by one percentage point. He correctly predicted the winner of all 35 U.S. Senate races that year.
In April 2009, he was named one of The World's 100 Most Influential People by Time.
In 2010, Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog was licensed for publication by The New York Times.The newly renamed blog, FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus,first appeared in The Times on August 25, 2010. In 2012 and 2013, FiveThirtyEight won Webby Awards as the "Best Political Blog" from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
Silver's book, The Signal and the Noise, was published in September 2012. It subsequently reached The New York Times best seller list for nonfiction, and was named by as the #1 best nonfiction book of 2012.
In the 2012 United States presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, he correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.That same year, Silver's predictions of U.S. Senate races were correct in 31 of 33 states; he predicted Republican victory in North Dakota and Montana, where Democrats won.Silver was born in East Lansing, Michigan, the son of Sally (née Thrun), a community activist, and Brian David Silver, a former chair of the political science department at Michigan State University.His maternal great-grandfather, Harmon Lewis, was president of the Alcoa Steamship Company, Inc.Silver has described himself as "half-Jewish" (on his father's side).
Silver showed an interest and proficiency in math from a young age. According to journalist William Hageman, "Silver caught the baseball bug when he was 6.... It was 1984, the year the Detroit Tigers won the World Series. The Tigers became his team and baseball his sport. And if there's anything that goes hand in glove with baseball, it's numbers, another of Silver's childhood interests ("It's always more interesting to apply it to batting averages than algebra class").
As a student at East Lansing High School, in 1996 Silver won first place in the State of Michigan in the 49th annual John S. Knight Scholarship Contest for senior high school debaters.
Silver first demonstrated his journalism skills as a writer and opinion page editor for The Portrait, East Lansing High School's student newspaper, from 1993–1996.
In 2000, Silver graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Chicago. He also wrote for the Chicago Weekly News and the Chicago Maroon. He spent his third year at the London School of Economics.After college graduation in 2000, Silver worked for three and a half years as an economic consultant with KPMG in Chicago. When asked in 2009, "What is your biggest regret in life?" Silver responded, "Spending four years of my life at a job I didn't like". While employed at KPMG, however, Silver continued to nurture his lifelong interest in baseball and statistics, and on the side he began to work on his PECOTA system for projecting player performance and careers. He quit his job at KPMG in April 2004 and for a time earned his living mainly by playing online poker.In 2003, Silver became a writer for Baseball Prospectus (BP), after having sold PECOTA to BP in return for a partnership interest. After resigning from KPMG in 2004, he took the position of Executive Vice-President, later renamed Managing Partner of BP. Silver also maintained and further developed PECOTA as well as wrote a weekly feature column under the heading "Lies, Damned Lies". In this column he applied sabermetric techniques to a broad range of topics including forecasting the performance of individual players, the economics of baseball, metrics for the valuation of players, and developing an Elo rating system for Major League baseball.
Between 2003 and 2009, Silver was a co-author of the Baseball Prospectus (ISBN 0-7611-3995-8) annual book of Major League Baseball analysis and forecasts as well as a co-author of other books, including Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning (New York: Workman Publishers, 2005) (ISBN 0-7611-4018-2), Baseball Between the Numbers (New York: Basic Books, 2006) (ISBN 0-465-00596-9), and It Ain't Over 'til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book (New York: Basic Books, 2007) (ISBN 0-465-00284-6).
He also contributed articles about baseball to, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the New York Sun, and The New York Times.
In all, Silver authored more than 200 articles for Baseball Prospectus.He used a wide variety of statistical tools. The best known was his forecasting system, PECOTA, which remains a signature product of Baseball Prospectus.PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) is a statistical system that projects the future performance of hitters and pitchers. It is designed primarily for two uses: fans interested in fantasy baseball, and professionals in the baseball business interested in predicting the performance and valuation of major league players. Unlike most other such projection systems, PECOTA relies on matching a given current player to a set of "comparable" players whose past performance can serve as a guide to how the given current player is likely to perform in the future. Unlike most other such systems, PECOTA also calculates a range of probable performance levels rather than a single predicted value on a given measure such as earned run average or batting average.
PECOTA projections were first published by Baseball Prospectus in the 2003 edition of its annual book as well as online by The formulae have been updated steadily since then. Silver produced the annual PECOTA forecasts for each Major League Baseball season from 2003 through 2009. Beginning in Spring 2009, Baseball Prospectus took responsibility for future editions and products based on the forecasts.On November 1, 2007, while still employed by Baseball Prospectus, Silver began publishing a diary under the pseudonym "Poblano" on the progressive political blog Daily Kos.Silver set out to analyze quantitative aspects of the political game in a manner that would enlighten a broader audience. Silver reports that "he was stranded in a New Orleans airport when the idea of came to him. 'I was just frustrated with the analysis.... I saw a lot of discussion about strategy that was not all that sophisticated, especially when it came to quantitative things like polls and demographics'".His forecasts of the 2008 United States presidential primary elections drew a lot of attention, including being cited by The New York Times Op-Ed columnist William Kristol.
On March 7, 2008, while still using the pseudonym "Poblano," Silver established his own blog, Sometimes colloquially referred to as 538 dot com or just 538, the website takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college.
In June 2008 Silver began to publish political analysis under his own name, including in his blog, newspapers, and The New Republic. He first appeared on national television on CNN's American Morning on June 13, 2008.
Silver described his own partisan orientation as follows in the FAQ on his website: "My state [Illinois] has non-partisan registration, so I am not registered as anything. I vote for Democratic candidates the majority of the time (though by no means always). This year, I have been a supporter of Barack Obama".With respect to the impartiality of his electoral projections, Silver stated, "Are [my] results biased toward [my] preferred candidates? I hope not, but that is for you to decide. I have tried to disclose as much about my methodology as possible".Shortly after the November 4 election, ESPN writer Jim Caple observed, "Forget Cole Hamels and the Phillies. No one in baseball had a more impressive fall than Nate Silver.... [R]ight now Silver is exhausted. He barely slept the last couple weeks of the campaign – 'By the end, it was full-time plus' – and for that matter, he says he couldn't have kept it up had the campaign lasted two days longer. Plus, he has his Baseball Prospectus duties. 'We write our [Baseball Prospectus 2009] book from now through the first of the year,'  said. 'I have a week to relax and then it gets just as busy again. In February 2009 I will just have to find an island in the Caribbean and throw my BlackBerry in the ocean'".
Later in November 2008, Silver signed a contract with Penguin Group USA to write two books, reportedly for a $700,000 advance.
Silver was invited to be a speaker at TED 2009 in February 2009,and keynote speaker at the 2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference (March 2009).
While maintaining his website, in January 2009 Silver began a monthly feature column, "The Data", in Esquire as well as contributed occasional articles to other media such as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.He also tried his luck in the 2009 World Series of Poker.
The success of his blog marked the effective end of Silver's career as baseball analyst, though he continued to devote some attention to sports statistics and sports economics in his blog. In March 2009, he stepped down as Managing Partner of Baseball Prospectus and handed over responsibility for producing future PECOTA projections to other Baseball Prospectus staff members.In April 2009, he appeared as an analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. After March 2009, he published only two "Lies, Damned Lies" columns on Baseball.
In November 2009, ESPN introduced a new Soccer Power Index (SPi),designed by Nate Silver, for predicting the outcome of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.He published a post-mortem after the tournament, comparing his predictions to those of alternative rating systems.
In April 2010, in an assignment for New York Magazine, Silver created a quantitative index of "The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York".
    In the near future, the blog will "re-launch" under a 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 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 partnership agreement, which is structured as a license, has a term of three years.
The New York Times "FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus" commenced on August 25, 2010, with the publication of "New Forecast Shows Democrats Losing 6 to 7 Senate Seats".From that date the blog focused almost exclusively on forecasting the outcomes of the 2010 U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives elections as well as state gubernatorial contests. Silver's Times Sunday Magazine feature first appeared on November 19, 2010, under the heading "Go Figure".It was later titled "Acts of Mild Subversion".
While blogging for The Times, Silver also worked on his book about prediction, which was published in September 2012. At that time, Silver began to drop hints that after 2012 he would turn his attention to matters other than detailed statistical forecasting of elections. As reported in New York magazine: " '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,' he says. And in four [years], he might be even more macro, as he turns his forecasting talents to other fields. 'I’m 97 percent sure that the FiveThirtyEight model will exist in 2016,' he says, 'but it could be someone else who’s running it or licensing it.'"
In an on-line chat session a week after the 2012 election, however, Silver commented: "As tempting as it might be to pull a Jim Brown/Sandy Koufax and just mic-drop/retire from elections forecasting, I expect that we'll be making forecasts in 2014 and 2016. Midterm elections can be dreadfully boring, unfortunately. But the 2016 G.O.P. primary seems almost certain to be epic".Times executive editor Jill Abramson has also declared her wish to keep Silver and his blog: “We would love to have Nate continue to be part of the New York Times family, and to expand on what he does,” she said. “We know he began in sports anyway, so it is not an exclusively political product. I am excited to talk to Nate when he finishes his book tour about ways to expand that kind of reporting".[49]In March 2008, still using the pseudonym "Poblano", Silver established his own blog, in which he developed a system for tracking polls and forecasting the outcome of the 2008 general election. At the same time, he continued making forecasts of the 2008 Democratic primary elections. That several of his forecasts based on demographic analysis proved to be substantially more accurate than those of the professional pollsters gained visibility and professional credibility for "Poblano".
After the North Carolina and Indiana primaries on May 6 the popularity of "really exploded. Silver recalls the scenario: 'I know the polls show it's really tight in NC, but we think Obama is going to win by thirteen, fourteen points, and he did.... Any time you make a prediction like that people give you probably too much credit for it.... But after that  started to really take off. It's pretty nonlinear, once you get one mention in the mainstream media, other people.
On May 30, 2008, Poblano revealed his identity to readers. On June 1, 2008, Silver published a two-page Op-Ed article in the New York Post outlining the rationale underlying his focus on the statistical aspects of politics.
    My fulltime occupation has been as a writer and analyst for a sports media company called Baseball Prospectus. In baseball, statistics are meaningless without context; hitting 30 home runs in the 1930s is a lot different than hitting 30 today. There is a whole industry in baseball dedicated to the proper understanding and interpretation of statistics. In polling and politics, there is nearly as much data as there is for first basemen. In this year's Democratic primaries, there were statistics for every gender, race, age, occupation and geography – reasons why Clinton won older women, or Obama took college students. But the understanding has lagged behind. Polls are cherry-picked based on their brand name or shock value rather than their track record of accuracy. Demographic variables are misrepresented or misunderstood. (Barack Obama, for instance, is reputed to have problems with white working-class voters, when in fact these issues appear to be more dictated by geography – he has major problems among these voters in Kentucky and West Virginia, but did just fine with them in Wisconsin and Oregon).
As a CNET reporter wrote on election eve, "Even though Silver launched the site as recently as March, its straightforward approach, daring predictions, and short but impressive track record has put it on the map of political sites to follow. The Washington Post featured Silver in its 14th annual election prediction contest this year, and he'll be reporting on Tuesday night's results with Dan Rather on HDNet".
Silver's final 2008 presidential election forecast accurately predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia (missing only the prediction for Indiana). As his model predicted, the races in Missouri and North Carolina were particularly close. He also correctly predicted the winners of every U.S. Senate race. The accuracy of his predictions won him further acclaim, including abroad,and added to his reputation as a leading political prognosticator.
Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign signed off on a proposal to share all of its private polling with Silver. After signing a confidentiality agreement, Silver was granted access to hundreds of polls the campaign had conducted.Shortly after 538 relocated to The New York Times, Silver introduced his prediction models for the 2010 elections to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and state Governorships. Each of these models relied initially on a combination of electoral history, demographics, and polling. Silver eventually published detailed forecasts and analyses of the results for all three sets of elections. His 2010 congressional mid-term predictions were not as accurate as those made in 2008. Silver predicted a Republican pickup of 52 seats in the House of Repesentatives. The GOP won 63 seats. He incorrectly projected the winners of strongly contested Senate races in Nevada, Alaska, and Colorado.Although throughout 2011 Silver devoted a lot of attention on his blog to the 2012 Republican party primaries, his first effort to handicap the 2012 Presidential general election appeared as the cover story in The New York Times Magazine a year prior to the election: "Is Obama Toast? Handicapping the 2012 Election". Accompanying the online release of this article, Silver also published "Choose Obama's Re-Election Adventure", an interactive toy that allowed readers to predict the outcome of the election based on their assumptions about three variables: President Obama's favorability ratings, the rate of GDP growth, and how conservative the Republican opponent would be. This analysis stimulated a lot of critical discussion.
While publishing numerous stories on the Republican primary elections, in mid-February 2012 Silver reprised and updated his previous Magazine story with another one, "What Obama Should Do Next".This story painted a more optimistic picture of President Obama's re-election chances. A companion article on his FiveThirtyEight blog, "The Fundamentals Now Favor Obama", explained how the model and the facts on the ground had changed between November and February.
Silver published the first iteration of his 2012 general election forecasts on June 7, 2012. According to the model, at that time Barack Obama was projected to win 291 electoral votes – 21 more than the 270 required for a majority. Obama then had an estimated 61.8% chance of winning a majority.
On the morning of the November 6, 2012, presidential election, the final update of Silver's model at 10:10 A.M. gave President Barack Obama a 90.9% chance of winning a majority of the 538 electoral votes. Both in summary tables and in an electoral map, Silver forecast the winner of each state. At the conclusion of that day, when Mitt Romney had conceded to Barack Obama, Silver's model had correctly predicted the winner of every one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.Silver, along with at least three academic-based analysts – Drew Linzer,Simon Jackman, and Josh Putnam– who also aggregated polls from multiple pollsters, thus was not only broadly correct about the election outcome, but also specifically predicted the outcomes for the 9 swing states. In contrast, individual pollsters were less successful. For example, Rasmussen Reports "missed on six of its nine swing-state polls".
    Nate Silver. The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – But Some Don't. New York: Penguin, 2012. ISBN 978-1-59-420411-1.
    The Signal and The Noise reached the New York Times Best Sellers list as 12 for non-fiction hardback books after its first week in print. It dropped to 20 in the second week, before rising to 13 in the third, and remaining on the non-fiction hardback top 15 list for the following thirteen weeks, with a highest weekly ranking of.The book's already strong sales soared right after election night, November 6th, jumping 800% and becoming the second best seller on
    The Signal and the Noise (print edition) was named Amazon's Best NonFiction Book for 2012.
    The book was first released in the United Kingdom in April 2013, with the title The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction, in hardback under an Allen Lane imprint and in paperback under a Penguin imprint.
The book emphasizes Silver's skill, which is the practical art of mathematical model building using probability and statistics. Silver takes a big-picture approach to using statistical tools, combining sources of unique data (e.g., timing a minor league ball player's fastball using a radar gun), with historical data and principles of sound statistical analysis, many of which are violated by many pollsters and pundits who nonetheless have important media roles. The book includes richly detailed case studies from baseball, elections, climate change, the financial crash, poker, and weather forecasting. These different topics illustrate different statistical principles. For example, weather forecasting is used to introduce the idea of "calibration," or how well weather forecasts fit actual weather outcomes. There is much on the need for improved expressions of uncertainty in all statistical statements, reflecting ranges of probable outcomes and not just single "point estimates" like averages. Silver would like to see the media move away from vague terminology like "Obama has an edge in Ohio" or "Florida still a toss-up state" to probability statements, like "the probability of Obama winning the electoral college is 83%, while the expected fraction won by him of the popular vote is now 50.1% with an error range of ±2%". Such statements give odds on outcomes, including a 17% chance of Romney winning the electoral college. The shares of the popular vote similarly are ranges including outcomes in which Romney gets the most votes. What is highly probable is that the voting shares are in these ranges, but not whose share is highest; that's another probability question with closer odds. From such information, it's up to the consumer of such statements to use that information as best they can in dealing with an uncertain future in an age of information overload. That last idea frames Silver's entire narrative and motivates his pedagogical mission.
Silver rejects much ideology taught with statistical method in colleges and universities today, specifically the 'frequentist" approach of Ronald Fisher, originator of many classical statistical tests and methods. The problem Silver finds is a belief in perfect experimental, survey, or other designs, when data often comes from a variety of sources and idealized modeling assumptions rarely hold true. Often such models reduce complex questions to overly simple "hypothesis tests" using arbitrary "significance levels" to "accept or reject" a single parameter value. In contrast, the practical statistician first needs a sound understanding of how baseball, poker, elections or other uncertain processes work, what measures are reliable and which not, what scales of aggregation are useful, and then to utilize the statistical tool kit as well as possible. Silver believes in the need for extensive data sets, preferably collected over long periods of time, from which one can then use statistical techniques to incrementally change probabilities up or down relative to prior data. This "Bayesian" approach is named for the 18th century minister Thomas Bayes who discovered a simple formula for updating probabilities using new data. For Silver, the well-known method needs revitalizing as a broader paradigm for thinking about uncertainty, founded on learning and understanding gained incrementally, rather than through any single set of observations or an ideal model summarized by just a few key parameters. Part of that learning is the informal process of changing assumptions or the modeling approach, in the spirit of a craft whose goal is to devise the best betting odds on well-defined future events and their outcomes.
Silver's self-unmasking at the end of May 2008 brought him a lot of publicity focused on his combined skill as both baseball statistician-forecaster and political statistician-forecaster, including articles about him in the Wall Street Journal,Newsweek,Science News,and his hometown Lansing State Journal.
In early June he began to cross-post his daily "Today's Polls" updates on "The Plank" in The New Republic.Also, Rasmussen Reports began to use the poll averages for its own tracking of the 2008 state-by-state races.
He appeared on CNN's American Morning and D.L. Hughley Breaks the News,MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNBC's Fast Money,Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, HDNet's Dan Rather Reports, Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!, PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The Charlie Rose Show,and The Rachel Maddow Shows on both Air America Radio and MSNBC, as well as to contribute essays and op ed columns to The New Republic,the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsweek.
Throughout 2009 through 2012, Silver appeared as a political analyst on national television, most frequently on MSNBC but also on CNNas well as Bloomberg Television,PBS,NPR, Democracy Now!, The Charlie Rose Show, ABC News,and Current TV.
Silver also appeared on the The Colbert Report (October 7, 2008 and November 5, 2012),The Daily Show (October 17, 2012 and November 7, 2012), and Real Time with Bill Maher (October 26, 2012).His forecasts and book were featured on CBS News Sunday Morning (November 4, 2012).
That Silver accurately predicted the outcome of the 2012 presidential race, in the face of numerous public attacks on his forecasts by critics, inspired many articles in the press, ranging from Gizmodo, to online and mainstream newspapers,news and commentary magazines,business media, trade journals, media about media,and Scientific American, as well as a feature interview on The Today Show, a return appearance on The Daily Show,and an appearance on Morning Joe.
    In September 2008, FiveThirtyEight became the first blog ever selected as a Notable Narrative by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
    November 2008: Crain's Chicago Business profiled Silver as one of Chicago's "40 under 40" notable young entrepreneurs.
    November 9, 2008: the New York Times called Silver "perhaps the most unlikely media star to emerge" out of "an election season of unlikely outcomes" and described FiveThirtyEight with its almost five million page views on Election Day as "one of the breakout online stars of the year".
    December 2008: identified Silver's November 3, 2008 article "What to Watch For – An hour-by-hour guide to election night"as the 4th most viewed story on in 2008.
    December 2008: named by The Daily Beast as one of the "Breakout Stars of 2008".
    February 2009: named by James Wolcott in Vanity Fair as one of the "Winners of 2008": "No shiny arrow shot swifter and loftier from obscurity to quotable authority than Nate Silver, whose site became the expert sensation of the election season.
    January 2009: Silver was named by to its third annual "Web Celeb 25", which "track[s] the biggest and brightest stars on the Web, the people who have turned their passions into new-media empires. From stay-at-home moms to geek entrepreneurs, these are the people capturing eyes, influencing opinion and creating the new digital world".
    April 2009: Silver was named as one of the "Rolling Stone 100: Agents of Change".
    April 27, 2009: named "Blogger of the Year" by The Week in its 6th annual Opinion Awards.
    April 30, 2009: Silver was named one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People" by TIME Magazine.
    December 2009: Silver was recognized by The New York Times Magazine in its "Ninth Annual Year in Ideas" article for his "Forensic Polling Analysis" of the possible falsification of data by a polling firm.
    2009: named "Speaker of the Year" by the intercollegiate Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA).
    November 2010: John F. Harris, Editor-in-Chief of Politico writing in Forbes Magazine listed Nate Silver as one of seven bloggers among "The Most Powerful People on Earth".
    In December 2010: Out magazine included Silver on its list of the top 100 LGBT people of the year.
    May 2011: Presented the Henry Pringle Lecture at the Columbia Journalism School.
    March 2012: Crain's New York Business featured Silver as one of New York City's "Forty Under Forty" notable young entrepreneurs.
    May 2012: FiveThirtyEight won a Webby Award for "Best Political Blog" from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in the 16th annual Webby Awards.
    December 2012: Rolling Stone named Silver one of its Game Changers in 2012.
    December 2012: Out named Silver as Person of the Year.
    December 2012: Named by Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza as having the "Best Year in Washington in 2012" among the "winners and losers of 2012".
    April 2013: Out ranked Silver No. 6 on its "Power List 50," the "7th annual ranked list of the gay men and women whose power and prestige is instrumental in influencing the way Americans think about, and engage with, the world"
    April 2013: FiveThirtyEight won a Webby Award for "Best Political Blog" from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in the 17th annual Webby Awards.
Silver has been criticized for inaccurate predictions. In January 2010, journalist and blogger Colby Cosh criticized Silver's performance during the Massachusetts special Senate election, saying he was "still arguing as late as Thursday afternoon that Coakley was the clear favourite; he changed his mind at midnight that evening and acknowledged that Scott Brown had a puncher’s chance."(Brown won the election.)
Silver's quantitative focus on polling data, without insight from experience in political organizing or journalism, has been a recurring critique from experienced commentators. Huffington Post columnist Geoffrey Dunn described Silver as someone who "has never organized a precinct in his life, much less walked one, pontificating about the dynamics in the electoral processes as if he actually understood them."
Considerable criticism during the 2012 elections came from political conservatives, who argued that Silver's election projections were politically biased against Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President.For example, Silver was accused of applying a double standard to his treatment of Rasmussen Reports polls, such as a 2010 analysis asserting a statistical bias in its methodology.Mendy Finkel of Daily Caller wrote that "Silver rigged his entire pollster ratings for the sole purpose of lowering Rasmussen's rank."Josh Jordan wrote in National Review that Silver clearly favored Obama and adjusted the weight he gave polls "based on what [he] think[s] of the pollster and the results and not based on what is actually inside the poll".
Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" stated that Silver's prediction that day of a 73.6% chance of a win for Obama greatly exceeded the confidence of the Obama campaign itself, which Scarborough equated to that of the Romney campaign, both believing "they have a 50.1 percent chance of winning", and calling Silver an "ideologue" and a "joke". Silver responded with the offer of a $1,000 wager (for charity) over the outcome of the election. The New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, while defending Silver's analysis, characterized the wager as "a bad idea" as it gave the appearance of a partisan motive for Silver, and "inappropriate" for someone perceived as a Times journalist (although Silver is not a member of the newspaper's staff).
After a post-election appearance by Silver on Joe Scarborough's Morning Joe, Scarborough published what he called a "(semi) apology," in which he concluded:
    I won’t apologize to Mr. Silver for predicting an outcome that I had also been predicting for a year. But I do need to tell Nate I’m sorry for leaning in too hard and lumping him with pollsters whose methodology is as rigorous as the Simpsons’ strip mall physician, Dr. Nick. For those sins (and a multitude of others that I’m sure I don’t even know about), I am sorry.
    Politics is a messy sport. And just as ball players who drink beer and eat fried chicken in dugouts across America can screw up the smartest sabermatrician’s forecast, Nate Silver’s formula is sure to let his fervent admirers down from time to time. But judging from what I saw of him this morning, Nate is a grounded guy who admits as much in his book. I was too tough on him and there’s a 84.398264% chance I will be less dismissive of his good work in the future".
Silver's nondisclosure of the details of his analytical model has resulted in some skepticism. Washington Post journalist Ezra Klein wrote: "There are good criticisms to make of Silver's model, not the least of which is that, while Silver is almost tediously detailed about what's going on in the model, he won’t give out the code, and without the code, we can't say with certainty how the model works."Colby Cosh wrote that the model "is proprietary and irreproducible. That last feature makes it unwise to use Silver's model as a straw stand-in for "science", as if the model had been fully specified in a peer-reviewed journal".
Reviewing Silver's book The Signal and the Noise, climate scientist Michael E. Mann criticized him for seemingly analyzing the "hard science" physical phenomena of climate trends with the same approach as used to analyze the social phenomena of voter preferences, which he characterized as "laden with subjective and untestable assumptions".
Silver is a grandnephew of geologist Leon Silver.
Silver is openly gay. "I've always felt like something of an outsider. I've always had friends, but I've always come from an outside point of view. I think that's important. If you grow up gay, or in a household that's agnostic, when most people are religious, then from the get-go, you are saying that there are things that the majority of society believes that I don't believe," he told an interviewer in 2012."When asked what made you feel more of a misfit, being gay or being a geek, he replied, 'Probably the numbers stuff since I had that from when I was six.'"When asked in 2008 if he had noticed people looking at him as a "gay icon," he responded, "I've started to notice it a little bit, although so far it seems like I'm more a subject of geek affection than gay affection". When Dean Chambers of described him as "a man of very small stature" and "a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice", and thus untrustworthy, Silver ridiculed the remarks in a tweet: "Unskewedpolls argument: Nate Silver seems kinda gay + ??? = Romney landslide!"
After residing in Chicago, Illinois, for twelve years, Silver moved to New York City in 2009.
Silver has long been interested in fantasy baseball, especially Scoresheet Baseball. While in college he served as an expert on Scoresheet Baseball for BaseballHQ.When he took up political writing, Silver abandoned his blog, The Burrito Bracket, in which he ran a one-and-done competition among the taquerias in his Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago.
Silver plays poker semi-professionally.
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