Thread: Elections 538
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:41 PM   #338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
Honestly, I don't know what a lot of this means. Zero correlation to reality? It's not numerical entertainment. You're saying people judge his results based on the final result, and again, I don't know what that means.

538 expects their predictions to change...that's what they do. So this idea that you should judge them based on what they predict three months before the election is nonsense. If you want a model that does that, you need to look towards one based on fundamentals. His openly takes into account the changing dynamics.

What it does is try to correct for noise.
To clarify my post here. People who try to use 538 to predict the outcome of an election AT THIS TIME are ridiculous. They will often point to how accurate he was in 2008 (nice big sample size there) but what they are judging him on is his FINAL prediction not the predictions they are hanging their hat on.. the ones coming 30 days out. I am not saying Silver has to be judged on 30 days out or any other time period... I am just saying that I see a ton of people here who put value in his model based on a judgment of it that doesn't apply to how they are attempting to use it to prop up their beliefs. And that is nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
Again, this is nonsense. Your guesses do not have the same credibility as his. His "work", as you put it, actually has a basis to it. If course it changes.
My "guesses" have a basis to them as well. I am not saying random guessing but educated guesses based on data that I have access to. Again, if you feel Nate Silver's work is currently at a point that you want to make a bet on it.. I'm game. My guess is that you don't want to because you know his work is in the earliest of stages and his modelling is not something that can be at all predictive 30 days out. My complaint is against those who claim it is and worship at the 538 altar.

As for having a "basis" for something being enough to make it valid and accurate.. read the link I posted on weather forecasting. There is certainly a more solid basis for that and yet we have almost no credibility in making predictions 10+ days out.

Again, this is much less a critique of his futile attempts to create an accurate model (sorry but he's no Hari Seldon) as it is those who misuse what he is doing and think it is truly predictive.
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