Nate Silver Apparently Inaccurate On Polls Because He’s Effeminate

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Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.


  1. The fact that Nate Silver claims to be able to calculate the probability of an outcome of the presidential election to within 0.1% seems suspicious to me because that kind of precision in something as hard to predict as a close presidential race seems next to impossible to achieve. It would be interesting to see his calculations.

    This is the kind of thing that stands out to me. Welcome to the world of a STEM major.

    • You should know that precision =/= accuracy. Nate Silver wouldn’t claim that his estimates are accurate. Heck, they vary by more than 0.1% from day to day. But that shouldn’t preclude him from giving us all available information through high precision.

    • theLaplaceDemon says:

      Uh, dude, I work in STEM too, and you do not seem to understand this sort of model.

      It is certainly possible that Nate Silver’s model is wrong. It could turn out to be a flaw in the model, it could turn out to be a flaw in the polls the model is based on (though I believe he does control for historical accuracy of each polling organization, so that helps). But his models performed pretty well in ’08, ’10, and in the Wisconsin recall, so I think it’s safe to assume that his methods are reasonable, even if they do not turn out to be correct.

  2. “You know, I’m honestly not certain if they’re looking for a statistician or a romance novel hero.”

    Challenge accepted, Ozy.

    “Dr. Ronald Statisticious manfully caressed the printouts, his large, muscular biceps clenching at the surprise result of his calculations. There had been an upset, and now Robin Jackson was beating Jack Robinson in the polls! Ron didn’t let his chiseled, utterly-masculine face betray this surprise, however, and the busty-yet-conservatively-clad secretary saw only manly restraint and MANLINESS. She swooned. If only Dr. Statisticious would notice her beauty and devotion…”

  3. Is Nate Silver really that effeminate? I mean, he’s definitely nerdy, but I don’t really think he’s that effeminate. Also, he’s brilliant! I’m a fairly intelligent individual myself, and I think Nate Silver has far and away the best analysis of the election.

  4. QuantumInc says:

    If you wanted to give Dean Chambers the benefit of a doubt, you could say that the paragraph is just one amongst several describing and criticizing multiple aspects of Nate Silver. However even then calling the guy “effeminate” seems out of place when you’re criticizing a statistician. In most of the other paragraphs he criticizes Nate Silver’s work, yet Chambers felt the need to criticize his physical build…for…some…reason. Lots of people might doubt somebody because they don’t look they way they expect a MAN or a WOMAN to look like, but most of them recognize this is an irrational thing to think. Meanwhile Dean Chambers had the opportunity to sit down and think about Nate Silvers, but didn’t take advantage of that. Instead he just ranted off all of his various thoughts, which apparently included “I hate this guy, he’s such a pansy!”

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