Nate Silver

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This article is about the author and statistician. For the American football player, see Nate Silver (quarterback).
Nate Silver
Nate Silver 2009.png
Silver at South by Southwest, 2009
Born Nathaniel Read Silver
(1978-01-13) January 13, 1978 (age 36)[1]
East Lansing, Michigan
Residence Manhattan, New York City[2]
Nationality American
Education A.B., Economics (2000)
Alma mater University of Chicago
London School of Economics
Occupation Statistician, journalist
Employer ESPN
Known for PECOTA, FiveThirtyEight
Title Editor in Chief, FiveThirtyEight
Website
FiveThirtyEight.com

Nathaniel Read "Nate" Silver (born January 13, 1978) is an American statistician and writer who analyzes baseball (see sabermetrics) and elections (see psephology). He is currently the editor-in-chief of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight blog and a Special Correspondent for ABC News. Silver first gained public recognition for developing PECOTA,[3] 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.[4]

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, FiveThirtyEight.com. 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.[5]

In 2010, Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog was licensed for publication by The New York Times.[6][7] The newly renamed blog, FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus,[8] 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 Amazon.com as the #1 best nonfiction book of 2012.[9] The Signal and the Noise won the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.[10] The book has been published as well in eight foreign languages: Chinese (separate editions in traditional and simplified characters), Czech, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Romanian.

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.[11] 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.

In July 2013, it was revealed that Silver and his FiveThirtyEight blog would depart The New York Times and join ESPN.[12] In his new role at ESPN, Silver would become editor-in-chief of the FiveThirtyEight site. ESPN would own the FiveThirtyEight site and the brand.[13] The ESPN-owned FiveThirtyEight launched on March 17, 2014. Silver's lead article explained that the site would focus on a broad range of subjects under the general rubric of "data journalism".[14]

Having earned a bachelor's degree from The University of Chicago in 2000, he has since been awarded four honorary doctoral degrees: from Ripon College (2013), The New School (2013), The Catholic University of Leuven (2013), and Amherst College (2014).

Early life[edit]

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.[15][16] Silver's mother's family, of English and German descent, includes several distinguished men and women, including his maternal great-grandfather, Harmon Lewis, who was president of the Alcoa Steamship Company, Inc.[17] Silver has been known to describe himself as "half-Jewish" (Silver's father is Jewish).[17][18]

Silver showed a proficiency in math from a young age.[19] 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").[20]

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.[21]

Silver first showed his journalism skills as a writer and opinion page editor for The Portrait, East Lansing High School's student newspaper, from 1993–1996.[22]

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.[23]

Career[edit]

Economic consultant: 2000–2003[edit]

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".[24] 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.[25]

Baseball analyst: 2003–2008[edit]

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 further developed PECOTA and wrote a weekly column under the heading "Lies, Damned Lies". 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.[26]

Between 2003 and 2009, Silver co-authored the Baseball Prospectus annual book of Major League Baseball forecasts,[27] as well as other books, including Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning,[28] Baseball Between the Numbers,[29] and It Ain't Over 'til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book.[30]

He contributed articles about baseball to ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the New York Sun, and The New York Times.[31]

Silver authored more than 200 articles for Baseball Prospectus.[32]

PECOTA[edit]

Main article: PECOTA

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 trying to predict the performance and valuation of major league players. Unlike most other baseball 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 BaseballProspectus.com. Silver produced the PECOTA forecasts for each Major League Baseball season from 2003 through 2009.[4]

Political analyst and blogger: 2008–present[edit]

Silver in Washington, D.C., 19 January 2009

FiveThirtyEight blog[edit]

Main article: FiveThirtyEight
Creation and motivation[edit]

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.[33] Silver set out to analyze quantitative aspects of the political game to enlighten a broader audience. Silver reports that "he was stranded in a New Orleans airport when the idea of FiveThirtyEight.com 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'".[34] 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.[35]

On March 7, 2008, while still writing as "Poblano," Silver established his own blog, FiveThirtyEight.com. Sometimes colloquially referred to as just 538, the website takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college.[36]

Silver described his 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".[37] 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".[37]

On May 30, 2008, Poblano revealed his identity to FiveThirtyEight.com readers.[38] 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.[39] He first appeared on national television on CNN's American Morning on June 13, 2008.[40]

2008 election and aftermath[edit]

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,' [Silver] 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'".[41]

Later in November 2008, Silver signed a contract with Penguin Group USA to write two books, reportedly for a $700,000 advance.[42]

Silver was invited to be a speaker at TED 2009 in February 2009,[43] and keynote speaker at the 2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference (March 2009).[44]

While maintaining his FiveThirtyEight.com website, in January 2009 Silver began a monthly feature column, "The Data", in Esquire[45] as well as contributed occasional articles to other media such as The New York Times[46] and the Wall Street Journal.[47] He also tried his luck in the 2009 World Series of Poker.[48]

The success of his FiveThirtyEight.com 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.[4] 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 BaseballProspectus.com.

In November 2009, ESPN introduced a new Soccer Power Index (SPi),[49] designed by Nate Silver, for predicting the outcome of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[50] He published a post-mortem after the tournament, comparing his predictions to those of alternative rating systems.[51]

In April 2010, in an assignment for New York Magazine, Silver created a quantitative index of "The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York".[52]

Transition to The New York Times[edit]

On June 3, 2010, Silver announced on FiveThirtyEight.com,

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 partnership agreement, which is structured as a license, has a term of three years.[6][53]

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".[54] 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".[55] It was later titled "Acts of Mild Subversion".[56]

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.'"[57]

During the last year of FiveThirtyEight's license to The Times, it drew a very large volume of online traffic to the paper:

The Times does not release traffic figures, but a spokesperson said yesterday that Silver’s blog provided a significant—and significantly growing, over the past year—percentage of Times pageviews. This fall, visits to the Times’ political coverage (including FiveThirtyEight) have increased, both absolutely and as a percentage of site visits. But FiveThirtyEight’s growth is staggering: where earlier this year, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of politics visits included a stop at FiveThirtyEight, last week that figure was 71 percent.

But Silver’s blog has buoyed more than just the politics coverage, becoming a significant traffic-driver for the site as a whole. Earlier this year, approximately 1 percent of visits to the New York Times included FiveThirtyEight. Last week, that number was 13 percent. Yesterday, it was 20 percent. That is, one in five visitors to the sixth-most-trafficked U.S. news site took a look at Silver’s blog.[58]

Departure from The Times[edit]

In an online chat session a week after the 2012 election 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".[59] In late November 2012, Times executive editor Jill Abramson 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".[60]

On July 22, 2013, ESPN announced that it had acquired ownership of the FiveThirtyEight website and brand, and that "Silver will serve as editor-in-chief of the site and will build a team of journalists, editors, analysts and contributors in the coming months".[61]

The New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote upon Silver's decision to leave for ESPN:

I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. He was, in a word, disruptive. Much like the Brad Pitt character in the movie “Moneyball” disrupted the old model of how to scout baseball players, Nate disrupted the traditional model of how to cover politics.[62]

She added, "A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work".[63] Later, Sullivan wrote in The Times that "I don’t feel so good about not being able to investigate every complaint from every individual reader fully, or about making some misjudgments in individual posts — my Nate Silver commentary, among others, has probably been off-base...".[64]

New York magazine reported that executive editor Jill Abramson "put on a full-court press" to keep Silver at The Times and that "for Abramson, Silver was a tentpole attraction for her favorite subject, national politics, and brought the kind of buzz she thought valuable," but the company's CEO and President Mark Thompson "confirmed that keeping Silver was not at the top of his agenda". The article stated that "the major reason Silver left was because he felt it was Thompson who had not committed to building his franchise. The mixed signals from Thompson and Abramson—his lack of enthusiasm for committing resources to Silver, her desire to keep a major star—frustrated Silver and his lawyer".[65]

FiveThirtyEight under ESPN ownership[edit]

When FiveThirtyEight was relaunched under ESPN's ownership on March 17, 2014, Silver outlined the scope of topics that would be covered under the rubric of "data journalism":[14]

We’ve expanded our staff from two full-time journalists to 20 and counting. Few of them will focus on politics exclusively; instead, our coverage will span five major subject areas — politics, economics, science, life and sports.

Our team also has a broad set of skills and experience in methods that fall under the rubric of data journalism. These include statistical analysis, but also data visualization, computer programming and data-literate reporting. So in addition to written stories, we’ll have interactive graphics and features. Within a couple of months we’ll launch a podcast, and we’ll be collaborating with ESPN Films and Grantland to produce original documentary films.

FiveThirtyEight's election forecasts[edit]

2008 U.S. elections[edit]
Main article: FiveThirtyEight

In March 2008, Silver established his blog FiveThirtyEight.com, 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," the pseudonym that Silver was then using.[66]

After the North Carolina and Indiana primaries on May 6 the popularity of FiveThirtyEight.com "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 [Silver's and the website's popularity] started to really take off. It's pretty nonlinear, once you get one mention in the mainstream media, other people [quickly follow suit]'".[67]

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".[68]

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,[69] and added to his reputation as a leading political prognosticator.[70]

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.[71][72]

2010 U.S. elections[edit]

Shortly after FiveThirtyEight 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. He correctly predicted the winner in 34 of the 37 contested Senate races. His 2010 congressional mid-term predictions were not as accurate as those made in 2008, but were still within the reported confidence interval. Silver predicted a Republican pickup of 54 seats in the House of Representatives; the GOP won 63 seats. Of the 37 gubernatorial races, FiveThirtyEight correctly predicted the winner of 36.[73]

2012 U.S. elections[edit]

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".[74] 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.[75] This analysis stimulated a lot of critical discussion.[76]

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".[77] 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.[78]

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.[79]

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.[80] 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.[81][82] Silver, along with at least three[83] academic-based analysts—Drew Linzer,[84] Simon Jackman,[85] and Josh Putnam[86]—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.[87] In contrast, individual pollsters were less successful. For example, Rasmussen Reports "missed on six of its nine swing-state polls".[88][89][90]

Book[edit]

Silver signing a copy of The Signal and the Noise at SXSW 2013

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 #4.[91] Sales increased greatly right after the election on November 6, jumping 800% and becoming the second best seller on Amazon.com.[92]

The book describes Silver's methods 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; Silver argues that many of these are violated by many pollsters and pundits who nonetheless have important media roles. Case studies in the book include baseball, elections, climate change, the financial crash, poker, and weather forecasting. These different topics illustrate different statistical principles. As a reviewer in The New York Times notes: "It’s largely about evaluating predictions in a variety of fields, from finance to weather to epidemiology. We learn about a handful of successes: when, for instance, meteorologists predict a hurricane’s landfall 72 hours in advance.... But mostly we learn about failures. It turns out we’re not even close to predicting the next catastrophic earthquake or the spread of the next killer bird flu, despite the enormous amounts of brainpower trained on these questions in the past few decades".[93]

Media[edit]

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,[94] Newsweek,[95] Science News,[96][97] and his hometown Lansing State Journal.[98]

In early June he began to cross-post his daily "Today's Polls" updates on "The Plank" in The New Republic.[99] Also, Rasmussen Reports began to use the FiveThirtyEight.com poll averages for its own tracking of the 2008 state-by-state races.[100]

He appeared on CNN's American Morning and D.L. Hughley Breaks the News,[101] MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNBC's Fast Money,[102] Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, HDNet's Dan Rather Reports, Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!,[103] PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The Charlie Rose Show,[104] and The Rachel Maddow Shows on both Air America Radio and MSNBC, and published articles in The New Republic,[105] the New York Post,[106] the Los Angeles Times,[107] and Newsweek.[108]

In 2009 through 2012, Silver appeared as a political analyst on MSNBC,[109] CNN[110] and Bloomberg Television,[111][112] PBS,[113] NPR,[114] Democracy Now!,[115] The Charlie Rose Show,[116] ABC News,[117] and Current TV.[118]

Silver also appeared on the The Colbert Report (October 7, 2008 and November 5, 2012),[119] The Daily Show (October 17, 2012 and November 7, 2012),[120] and Real Time with Bill Maher (October 26, 2012).[121] His forecasts and book were featured on CBS News Sunday Morning (November 4, 2012).[122]

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,[123] to online and mainstream newspapers,[124] news and commentary magazines,[125] business media,[126] trade journals,[127] media about media,[128] and Scientific American,[129] as well as a feature interview on The Today Show,[130] a return appearance on The Daily Show,[131] and an appearance on Morning Joe.[132]

Silver's first appearance on ABC News as Editor-in-Chief of the new FiveThirtyEight.com was on George Stephanopoulos's This Week on November 3, 2013.[133]

Political views[edit]

In a 2012 interview with Charlie Rose he stated, "I'd say I am somewhere in-between being a libertarian and a liberal. So if I were to vote it would be kind of a Gary Johnson versus Mitt Romney decision, I suppose."[134]

Recognition and awards[edit]

  • In September 2008, FiveThirtyEight became the first blog ever selected as a Notable Narrative by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.[135]
  • November 2008: Crain's Chicago Business profiled Silver as one of Chicago's "40 under 40" notable young entrepreneurs.[136]
  • 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".[137]
  • December 2008: Newsweek.com identified Silver's November 3, 2008 article "What to Watch For – An hour-by-hour guide to election night"[138] as the 4th most viewed story on Newsweek.com in 2008.[139]
  • December 2008: named by The Daily Beast as one of the "Breakout Stars of 2008".[140]
  • 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 FiveThirtyEight.com site became the expert sensation of the election season ...[141]
  • January 2009: Silver was named by Forbes.com 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".[142]
  • April 2009: Silver was named as one of the "Rolling Stone 100: Agents of Change".[143]
  • April 27, 2009: named "Blogger of the Year" by The Week in its 6th annual Opinion Awards.[144]
  • April 30, 2009: Silver was named one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People" by TIME Magazine.[5]
  • 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.[145]
  • 2009: named "Speaker of the Year" by the intercollegiate Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA).[146]
  • 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".[147]
  • In December 2010: Out magazine included Silver on its list of the top 100 LGBT people of the year.[148]
  • May 2011: Presented the Henry Pringle Lecture at the Columbia Journalism School.[149][150]
  • March 2012: Crain's New York Business featured Silver as one of New York City's "Forty Under Forty" notable young entrepreneurs.[151]
  • 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.[152]
  • December 2012: Rolling Stone named Silver one of its Game Changers in 2012.[153]
  • December 2012: Out named Silver as Person of the Year.[154]
  • 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".[155]
  • 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".[156]
  • 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.[157]
  • May 2013: Silver was named by Fast Company as No. 1 of its "100 Most Creative People in Business 2013".[158]
  • May 12, 2013: Silver received an honorary Doctor of Science degree (Scientiæ Doctor honoris causa – D.Sc. h.c.) and gave the commencement address at Ripon College.[159]
  • May 24, 2013: Silver received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree (Doctor of Literature honoris causa) and presented a commencement address at The New School.[160]
  • June 2013: The University of Chicago granted Silver a "Professional Achievement Award" at its 72nd annual Alumni Awards Ceremony.[161]
  • June 2013: The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University gave Silver the "i3 award for impact, innovation and influence" at its 13th annual Mirror Awards ceremony.[162]
  • August 2013: Presented the President's Invited Address at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Montreal, Canada.[163][164]
  • October 2013: Silver's The Signal and the Noise won the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, which recognizes "outstanding contributions by scientists to the literature of science".[10]
  • December 2013: The University of Leuven (KU Leuven) (Belgium) and the Leuven Statistics Research Centre awarded Silver an honorary doctoral degree "for his prominent role in the development, application, and dissemination of proper prediction methods in sports and in political sciences".[165][166]
  • January 2014: Silver was named to Advertising Age's "40 Under 40" list of "the Bright Young Stars of Marketing".[167]
  • May 25, 2014: Silver received a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Amherst College.[168][169]

Criticism[edit]

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."[170] (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."[171]

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.[172] 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.[173] Mendy Finkel of Daily Caller wrote that "Silver rigged his entire pollster ratings for the sole purpose of lowering Rasmussen's rank".[174] 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".[175]

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).[176][177]

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".[178]

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."[179] 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".[180]

On August 13, 2014, Silver was criticized for comparing his own experience of being arrested with those of journalists and members of the public during protests and riots in response to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri [181][182][183] In a series of eight consecutive postings to Twitter, Silver recounted a story of being arrested but later placating officers with the words "sorry guys, was just stressed out and having a rough day … my bad!", after which he was given back his burrito to eat in his cell and received a ride home from officers.[181][183] Silver later publicly apologized, describing his posts as being "misguided and naive".[182]

Personal life[edit]

Silver is a grandnephew of geologists Caswell Silver and Leon Silver.[184]

Silver is openly gay.[185] "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.[186] "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.'"[186] 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".[187]

After residing in Chicago, Illinois, for twelve years, Silver moved to New York City in 2009 with his longtime partner Robert Gauldin.[188][189] After living in Brooklyn for four years, they moved to Manhattan in Spring 2013.

Silver has long been interested in fantasy baseball, especially Scoresheet Baseball. While in college he served as an expert on Scoresheet Baseball for BaseballHQ.[190] When he took up political writing, Silver abandoned his blog, The Burrito Bracket,[191] in which he ran a one-and-done competition among the taquerias in his Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago.[192]

Silver plays poker semi-professionally.[193][194]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Nate Silver tweet". Twitter.com. August 13, 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  2. ^ Eliza Kern, "How a bad fantasy baseball team turned Nate Silver into America’s top data nerd," GigaOM, March 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Alan Schwarz, "Numbers Suggest Mets Are Gambling on Zambrano", The New York Times, August 22, 2004; Alan Schwarz, "Predicting Futures in Baseball, and the Downside of Damon", The New York Times, November 13, 2005; Childs Walker, "Baseball Prospectus Makes Predicting Future Thing of Past," Baltimore Sun, February 21, 2006; Rich Lederer, "An Unfiltered Interview with Nate Silver", Baseball Analysts, February 12, 2007; Tim Murphy, "Timeout with Nate Silver: BP's VP illuminates the sport's fuzzy numbers", Chicago Maroon, May 11, 2007; Steven D. Levitt, "Freakonomics: More on Roger Clemens", The New York Times, February 18, 2008; and Michael Miner, "The Algorithm Method: Hot Type's coveted Golden BAT award goes to a computer program", Chicago Reader, March 27, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Nate Silver and Kevin Goldstein, "State of the Prospectus: Spring 2009," BaseballProspectus.com, March 24, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Stein, Joel. "The World's Most Influential People – The 2009 TIME 100". TIME. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  6. ^ a b Nate Silver, "FiveThirtyEight to Partner with New York Times," FiveThirtyEight.com, June 3, 2010.
  7. ^ Brian Stelter, "Times to Host Blog on Politics and Polls," The New York Times, June 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Silver, Nate. "FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus". Fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  9. ^ "Amazon #1 of 2012". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  10. ^ a b "Phi Beta Kappa book award in science". Pbk.org. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  11. ^ Hough, Andrew (November 7, 2012). "Nate Silver: politics 'geek' hailed for Barack Obama wins US election forecast". London: The Telegragh. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  12. ^ Brian Stelter, "Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight Blog Is to Join ESPN Staff," The New York Times, July 19, 2013.
  13. ^ Kira Goldenberg, "Nate Silver's next steps: At ESPN, he’s going to build his brand into a staffed site" Columbia Journalism Review, July 22, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Nate Silver, "What the Fox Knows," FiveThirtyEight, March 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Wallbank, ''Lansing State Journal''". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  16. ^ The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't - Nate Silver - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  17. ^ a b Bloom, Nate. "Interfaithfamily". Interfaithfamily. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  18. ^ "Answer This: Nate Silver - Patrick Gavin". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  19. ^ Stephanie Clifford, "Finding Fame With a Prescient Call for Obama," The New York Times, November 9, 2008.
  20. ^ William Hageman, "Baseball by the Numbers," Chicago Tribune (January 4, 2006).
  21. ^ "East Lansing Debater Wins Scholarship," Detroit Free Press (February 29, 1996). Also see Patricia Montemurri, "Michigan native Nate Silver shows election predictions aren't magic but math," Detroit Free Press, November 11, 2012.
  22. ^ Link to 1996 high school yearbook photo with brief resume showing status as writer for The Portrait for three years and editor for two years. [retrieved November 8, 2012]
  23. ^ Nate Silver, "Random, Pretentious Observations from Europe," FiveThirtyEight.com, May 25, 2009.
  24. ^ Stephen J. Dubner, "FREAK-Quently Asked Questions: Nate Silver," The New York Times, March 12, 2009.
  25. ^ Rob Kaiser, "Players Place Bets on Poker as Career," Chicago Tribune, October 3, 2004. According to Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, over a three-year period Silver earned $400,000 from online poker. See Alexander Wolff, "Scorecard: He's So Predictable," Sports Illustrated, September 17, 2012, p. 15.
  26. ^ Nate Silver, "We are Elo?," BaseballProspectus.com (June 28, 2006) and Nate Silver, "More on Elo," BaseballProspectus.com (July 5, 2006).
  27. ^ Baseball Prospectus (ISBN 0-7611-3995-8)
  28. ^ 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)
  29. ^ Baseball Between the Numbers (New York: Basic Books, 2006) (ISBN 0-465-00596-9)
  30. ^ It Ain't Over 'til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book (New York: Basic Books, 2007) (ISBN 0-465-00284-6)
  31. ^ Nate Silver, "For Griffey, the Roads Not Taken," The New York Times, May 11, 2008.
  32. ^ See Nate Silver's Baseball Prospectus article archive (2003–2009)
  33. ^ The first diary was titled, "HRC [Hillary Roddam Clinton] Electability in Purple States, DailyKos, November 1, 2007.
  34. ^ Hannah Hayes, "What Will Nate Silver Do Next?," University of Chicago (webpage feature story), January, 2009.
  35. ^ William Kristol, "Obama's Path to Victory", The New York Times, February 11, 2008.
  36. ^ Silver, Nate (August 7, 2008). "Frequently Asked Questions". FiveThirtyEight.com. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  37. ^ a b Nate Silver, "Frequently Asked Questions, Last Revised 8/7/08," FiveThirtyEight.com.
  38. ^ Nate Silver, "No I'm Not Chuck Todd," FiveThirtyEight.com, May 30, 2008.
  39. ^ Nate Silver, "Margins of Error," New York Post, June 1, 2008.
  40. ^ Nate Silver, "CNN Video," FiveThirtyEight.com, June 13, 2008.
  41. ^ Jim Caple, "In baseball, and in politics, the numbers don't lie," "Page 2", ESPN.com, November 7, 2008.
  42. ^ Leon Neyfakh, "Nate Silver Signs With Penguin In Two Book Deal Worth About $700,000," New York Observer, November 14, 2008.
  43. ^ See TED2009 program and Shanna Carpenter, "Race and the City: An Exclusive Interview with Nate Silver," TED Blog, April 29, 2009.
  44. ^ Daniel Terdiman, "FiveThirtyEight.com's Nate Silver on life post-election," CNET.com, March 15, 2009 and Dan Fost, "SXSW: Statistics guru Nate Silver talks Oscars, Manny Ramirez and President Obama," Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2009. See Video of SXSW Keynote Interview, part 1 and part 2.
  45. ^ Silver, Nate. "The Data". Esquire. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  46. ^ Nate Silver and Andrew Gelman, "No Country for Close Calls," The New York Times, April 18, 2009.
  47. ^ Nate Silver, "Crunching the Risk Numbers," Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2010.
  48. ^ Nate Silver, "This Post Brought to You By Poker," FiveThirtyEight.com, July 2, 2009.
  49. ^ ESPN's SPi.
  50. ^ Nate Silver, "The Purpose of the Soccer Power Index," ESPN.com, November 11, 2009 and Nate Silver, "A Guide to ESPN's SPI Ratings," ESPN.com, November 11, 2009. For a comment see Carl Bialik, "ESPN's New Soccer Rankings," Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2009.
  51. ^ Nate Silver, "SPI in review: How did it do?," ESPN.com, July 19, 2010 [Retrieved July 21, 2010].
  52. ^ Nate Silver, "The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York: a quantitative index of the 50 most satisfying places to live," New York Magazine, April 11, 2010.
  53. ^ For more information about the working agreement between The Times and Nate Silver's blog, see Mallory Jean Tenore, "FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver adjusts to New York Times, 6 months after joining the newsroom," Poynter, June 3, 2011, and Margaret Sullivan, "On Identifying a Rape Victim, Naming a Prophet, and Nate Silver’s Role," The New York Times, September 21, 2012.
  54. ^ Nate Silver, "New Forecast Shows Democrats Losing 6 to 7 Senate Seats," FiveThirtyEight/NYT, August 25, 2010.
  55. ^ Nate Silver, "Go Figure: Who's No. 1?" NY Times Magazine, November 19, 2010.
  56. ^ For example, Nate Silver, "How to Beat the Salad Bar," The New York Times, March 17, 2011.
  57. ^ Jason Zengerle, "The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense.", New York, September 30. 2012.
  58. ^ Marc Tracy, "Nate Silver Is a One-Man Traffic Machine for the Times," The New Republic, November 6, 2012.
  59. ^ "Skew Yourselves: Nate Silver Is Here To Answer Your Questions," Deadspin, November 14, 2012.
  60. ^ Alex Weprin, "The New York Times Wants To Keep Nate Silver, ‘Expand On What He Does’", Mediabistro, November 27, 2012. Also see Connor Simpson, "What the Future Holds for Nate Silver at The New York Times," Atlantic Wire, November 27, 2012.
  61. ^ "Nate Silver makes move to ESPN," ESPN.com, July 22, 2013; "Nate Silver – Renowned Statistician, Author and Founder of FiveThirtyEight – Joins ESPN in Multi-Faceted Role," ESPN Front Row, July 22, 2013.
  62. ^ Sullivan, Margaret (July 22, 2013). "Nate Silver Went Against the Grain for Some at The Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  63. ^ On the culture clash within The Times, also see John Sides, "One Irony of Nate Silver’s Leaving the New York Times," Washington Monthly, July 24, 2013; and Jim Naureckas, "Nate Silver Didn't Fit In at the New York Times Because He Believed in the Real World," FAIR, July 24, 2013.
  64. ^ Although she linked to her "Nate Silver Went Against the Grain" article, Sullivan did not specify in what ways she had been off-base. See Margaret Sullivan, "A Year in the Life of a Watchdog," The New York Times, September 1, 2013.
  65. ^ Joe Hagan, "The Suit in the Newsroom: An unusual Times executive—for unusual times," New York, August 23, 2013.
  66. ^ See, most notably, Mark Blumenthal, "The Poblano Model," National Journal, May 8, 2008.
  67. ^ Sean Redmond, "Numerical Order: Famed Statistician Nate Silver Discusses the Future of His Near-Flawless Forecasts," Chicago Weekly, January 9, 2009. On this point see also Silver's discussion in Megan Garber, "Talking Shop: Nate Silver," Columbia Journalism Review, November 11, 2008.
  68. ^ Stephanie Condon, "Q & A: The Formula Behind FiveThirtyEight," CNET News, November 3, 2008.
  69. ^ Editorial, "In Praise of ... Nate Silver," The Guardian, November 6, 2008.
  70. ^ Stephanie Clifford, "Finding Fame With a Prescient Call for Obama," The New York Times, November 10, 2008.
  71. ^ Issenberg, Sasha. The Victory Lab. Crown Publishing Group. p. 290. ISBN 030795479X. 
  72. ^ BuzzFeed Politics. ""Obama Campaign Shared '08 Polling With Silver" ''BuzzFeed,'' September 5, 2012". Buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  73. ^ Micah Cohen, "38 Days Later," The New York Times, December 10, 2010
  74. ^ Nate Silver, "Is Obama Toast? Handicapping the 2012 Election," The New York Times Magazine, November 6, 2011.
  75. ^ Nate Silver, "Choose Obama's Re-Election Adventure," The New York Times, November 3, 2011.
  76. ^ For a partial bibliography, see Micah Cohen, "Reads and Reactions," The New York Times, November 19, 2011.
  77. ^ Nate Silver, "Why Obama Will Embrace the 99 Percent," The New York Times Magazine, February 15, 2012.
  78. ^ Nate Silver, "The Fundamentals Now Favor Obama," The New York Times, February 15, 2012.
  79. ^ Nate Silver, "Election Forecast: Obama Begins With Tenuous Advantage," The New York Times, June 7, 2012.
  80. ^ Silver, Nate. "FiveThirtyEight/NYT blog". Fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  81. ^ Daniel Terdiman, "Obama's win a big vindication for Nate Silver, king of the quants," CNET, November 6, 2012.
  82. ^ Although Silver put a "toss-up" tag on the presidential election in Florida, his interactive electoral map on the website painted the state light blue and stated that there was a 50.3% probability that Obama would win a plurality of the state's votes.
  83. ^ A fourth analyst, Sam Wang, missed only the State of Florida in his final presidential election forecast. See Sam Wang, "Presidential prediction 2012 – final," Princeton Election Connection, November 6, 2012.
  84. ^ "Emory professor called Electoral landslide in June," Atlanta Journal and Constitution, November 8, 2012.
  85. ^ Simon Jackman, "Pollster Predictive Performance, 51 out of 51," Huffington Post, November 7, 2012
  86. ^ Josh Putnam, "The Electoral College Map (11/6/12): Election Day," FHQ (FrontloadingHQ), November 6, 2012.
  87. ^ Swing states in the 2012 election were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin
  88. ^ Jonathan D. Salant and Laura Curtis, "Nate Silver-led Statistics Men Crush Pundits in Election," Bloomberg Business Week, November 7, 2012.
  89. ^ The reason for these misses might be found here: John Sides, "A Second Look at National Pollster Accuracy," The Monkey Cage, November 7, 2012. [retrieved Nov. 8, 2012]. However, notably Public Policy Polling by itself correctly predicted the winner of every state.
  90. ^ Stern, Mark Joseph; Kirk, Chris; Morgan, Andrew (November 7, 2012). "Slate’s Pundit Scorecard: Pundits live to make predictions. Who nailed it? Who missed big?". Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  91. ^ Cowles, Gregory. "New York Times Best Sellers List". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  92. ^ Jason Notte, "Nate Silver sees soaring Amazon book sales: The FiveThirtyEight blogger's confident and steadfast Obama forecast gets readers curious and critics furious", MSN Money, November 8, 2012.
  93. ^ Noam Scheiber, "Known Unknowns: The Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver", The New York Times, November 2, 2012.
  94. ^ Carl Bialik, "Baseball Analyst Draws Fans by Crunching Election Numbers," Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2008.
  95. ^ Andrew Romano, "Making His Pitches: Nate Silver, an all-star in the world of baseball stats, may be the political arena's next big draw," Newsweek, June 16, 2008,
  96. ^ Julie Rehmeyer, "Scooping the Political Pollsters," Science News, July 11, 2008.
  97. ^ Adam Sternbergh, "The Spreadsheet Psychic," New York Magazine, October 12, 2008.
  98. ^ Derek Wallbank, "E.L. native's predictions pitch politics a curveball: Applying baseball stats analysis creates buzz around 30-year-old", Lansing State Journal, July 5, 2008. Also highlighting Silver's dual skills at baseball and political analysis were Alex Altman, "Q & A: Political Pollster Nate Silver," Time, October 6, 2008, Joe Lemire, "The Sports-Politics Connection: FiveThirtyEight," Sports Illustrated, October 13, 2008, James Janega, "Odds are, he knows the score – Chicago statistician Nate Silver has turned from sports to politics, with striking results," Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2008, Ben Heller, "The 2008 Sports Nerd of the Year: Nate Silver," CBSSports.com, November 7, 2008. and Childs Walker, "Projecting politics & baseball with Nate Silver," Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2009.
  99. ^ The first such posting was Nate Silver, "Today's Polls: The Bounce Hits the Badger State," The New Republic, June 12, 2008.
  100. ^ "Rasmussen Reports to Partner with FiveThirtyEight.com," Democratic Underground, June 14, 2008. [retrieved November 27, 2012]
  101. ^ See D. L. Hughley transcript from November 1, 2008.
  102. ^ Fast Money.
  103. ^ Democracy Now.
  104. ^ "A conversation with Nate Silver". Charlie Rose. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  105. ^ Aside from his "Today's Polls" entries, Silver's first general essay in TNR was Nate Silver, "It's the Gas Prices, Stupid," The New Republic, August 14, 2008.
  106. ^ Nate Silver, "Will Young Voters Turn Out for Obama," New York Post, August 10, 2008; and "McCain's (Long) Road to Electoral Win," New York Post, October 26, 2008.
  107. ^ Nate Silver, "Why McCain Is Still In It," Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008.
  108. ^ Nate Silver, "Debunking the Bradley Effect," Newsweek (October 28, 2008).
  109. ^ For example,the Rachel Maddow show on December 28, 2011 as well as January 2, 2012.
  110. ^ For example, an interview by Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources on September 25, 2011: Part 1Part 2; January 26, 2012; and "Piers Morgan Tonight," September 26, 2012.
  111. ^ bizbuzz3 (2008-11-03). "Video of Nate Silver on Bloomberg, March 8, 2010". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  112. ^ "Nate Silver: Why Gun Rights Rhetoric Is Winning," December 17, 2012.
  113. ^ "Need to Know: Nate Silver on Why Polls Don't Always Add Up". Pbs.org. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  114. ^ What's the Impact of the Debt Debate, August 2, 2011.
  115. ^ Democracy Now 5-18-2010.
  116. ^ e.g., January 23, 2012.
  117. ^ ABC "Topline", 9–28, 2010.
  118. ^ For example, on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" on February 14, 2012.
  119. ^ Nate Silver on "Colbert Report" 2008 and Nate Silver on "Colbert Report" 2012.
  120. ^ Nate Silver on "The Daily Show".
  121. ^ "Real Time with Bill Maher". Hbo.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  122. ^ CBS News Sunday Morning, "Taking the Pulse of Nate Silver's Numbers," November 4, 2012.
  123. ^ Nick Stango, "Top 25 Nate Silver Facts," Gizmodo, November 7, 2012.
  124. ^ Chris Taylor, "The Triumph of the Nerds," Mashable, November 7, 2012; Jocelyn Noveck, "He called it, and now Silver's a pop-culture star," Associated Press, November 9, 2012; Martin Robbins, "Can Nate Silver's example save political journalism?" The Guardian, November 13, 2012; Ken Bensinger, "Number crunchers were right about Obama despite what pundits said," Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2012; James Rainey, "Parsing polls: Nate Silver picks on target, Rasmussen not so much," Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2012; Ron Seely, "Seely on Science: Nate Silver gains fame by harnessing power of math," Wisconsin State Journal, November 9, 2012; Greg Sargent, ""What Nate Silver Really Accomplished," The Washington Post, November 21, 2012; Aluf Benn, "After 2012, make way for the digital press," Haaretz, December 29, 2012.
  125. ^ Conor Friedersdorf, "How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File," The Atlantic, November 7, 2012; Frank Rich, "Fantasyland: Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too," New York, November 9, 2012.
  126. ^ Tarun Wadhwa, "Nate Silver and the Rise of Political Data Science," Forbes, November 7, 2012; Dorie Clark, "How Nate Silver Won the 2012 Presidential Election," Harvard Business Review, November 7, 2012; Steve LeVine, "The smart guesswork that applies even in Nate Silver’s world," Quartz, November 11, 2012; Joe Weisenthal, "Here's The Real Reason Nate Silver's Perfect Election Call Was Such An Awesome Breakthrough," Business Insider, November 10, 2012; Irving Wladawsky-Berger, "Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight Prove Predictive Analytics Getting Real," Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2012.
  127. ^ Eric Lundquist, "Nate Silver's Big Data Lessons For The Enterprise," Information Week, November 8, 2012; Daniel Terdiman, "Among the top election quants, Nate Silver reigns supreme," CNET, November 8, 2012.
  128. ^ Kelly McBride, "What Nate Silver’s success says about the 4th and 5th estates," Poynter, November 8, 2012; Jonathan Stray, "Data, uncertainty, and specialization: What journalism can learn from FiveThirtyEight’s election coverage," Nieman Journalism Lab, October 31, 2012.
  129. ^ Jennifer Ouellette, "Why Math is Like the Honey Badger: Nate Silver," Scientific American, November 7, 2012; and Bora Zivkovic, "Nate Silver and the Ascendance of Expertise," Scientific American, November 14, 2012.
  130. ^ Today Show, November 9, 2012.
  131. ^ "Silver on Daily Show, Nov. 7, 2012". Thedailyshow.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  132. ^ Morning Joe on November 20, 2012.
  133. ^ "ABC News "This Week"". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  134. ^ Rose, Charlie (host) (October 29, 2012). "Mark Halperin of Time magazine and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com on the Presidential election". Charlie Rose. PBS. http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60140283. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  135. ^ "FiveThirtyEight.com earns the distinction of being the first blog selected as a Notable Narrative. In his posts, former economic analyst and baseball-stats wunderkind Nate Silver explains the presidential race, using the dramatic tension inherent in the run-up to Election Day to drive his narrative...." See Nieman Storyboard. [Retrieved July 12, 2012].
  136. ^ Mike Colias, "Nate Silver," Chicago Business, November 3, 2008. For a video interview related to this profile, see Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight.com.
  137. ^ Clifford, Stephanie (November 10, 2008). "Finding Fame With a Prescient Call for Obama". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  138. ^ Nate Silver, "What to Watch For – An hour-by-hour guide to election night", Newsweek.com, November 3, 2008.
  139. ^ Year in Review: Murder, Politics And Crocs – The top 10 most viewed stories on Newsweek.com in 2008," Newsweek.com, December 23, 2008.
  140. ^ The Daily Beast, December 21, 2008.
  141. ^ James Wolcott, "The Good, the Bad, and Joe Lieberman," VanityFair.com, February 2009.
  142. ^ "The Web Celeb 25," Forbes.com, January 29, 2009.
  143. ^ Rolling Stone, April 2009.
  144. ^ "THE WEEK Opinion Awards". The Week. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  145. ^ New York Times Magazine "Forensic Polling Analysis".
  146. ^ CEDA Awards. "CEDA Awards". Awards.cedadebate.org. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  147. ^ John F. Harris, "The Most Powerful People On Earth: My Picks: Bloggers," Forbes Magazine, November 22, 2010 (retrieved online at Forbes.com).
  148. ^ "16th Annual Out100". OUT Magazine. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  149. ^ Jim Romenesko, "Silver's advice to young journalists in the digital age," Poynter, 23 May 2011.
  150. ^ "Text of Henry Pringle Lecture, 2011" (PDF). May 17, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  151. ^ "Crain's New York". Mycrains.crainsnewyork.com. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  152. ^ "2012 Webby winner". Webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  153. ^ "Nate Silver: Scourge of the Pundits," Rolling Stone, December 12, 2012, p. 66.
  154. ^ Aaron Hicklin, "Nate Silver: Person of the Year," Out, December 18, 2012.
  155. ^ "Best year in Washington: Nate Silver," Washington Post, December 29, 2012.
  156. ^ Out 2013 Power List.
  157. ^ "17th Annual Webby Awards, "Best Political Blog"". Winners.webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  158. ^ "!00 Most Creative People in Business 2013," Fast Company, May 2013; and Jon Gertner, "The Data Demystifier," Fast Company, May 2013.
  159. ^ Ripon 2013 video of Ripon College honorary degree award and commencement speech.
  160. ^ New School 2013 commencement video.
  161. ^ 2013 Alumni Awards, University of Chicago
  162. ^ "Newhouse "Mirror Awards"". Mirrorawards.syr.edu. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  163. ^ "Joint Statistical Meetings 2013". Amstat.org. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  164. ^ For an interview conducted at this meeting, see "Nate Silver: What I Need from Statisticians," Statistics Views, August 23, 2013.
  165. ^ "Honorary Doctorate for Nate Silver," LStat: Leuven Statistics Research Centre.
  166. ^ Luc Vander Elst, "Honorary doctorate for Nate Silver, the man who made statistics cool," KU Leuven, December 18, 2013.
  167. ^ "Meet Ad Age's 40 Under 40," January 20, 2014.
  168. ^ Honorary doctorate from Amherst, 2014.
  169. ^ Silver receiving honorary degree, Amherst
  170. ^ Cosh, Colby (2010-01-19). "Mr. Overrated". Macleans. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  171. ^ Dunn, Geoffrey (2012-09-07). "FiveThirtyHate?: Nate Silver Gets His Numbers Crossed in Charlotte". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  172. ^ Gregory Ferenstein, "Why Pundits and Politicians Hate NYT Election Forecaster Nate Silver," TechCrunch, October 30, 2012.
  173. ^ Nate Silver, "Rasmussen Polls Were Biased and Inaccurate; Quinnipiac, SurveyUSA Performed Strongly," FiveThirtyEight, November 4, 2010.
  174. ^ Finkel, Mendy (2012-11-02). "Nate Silver’s Rasmussen obsession". Daily Caller. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  175. ^ Jordan, Josh (2012-10-22). "Nate Silver’s Flawed Model". National Review. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  176. ^ Sullivan, Margaret (2012-11-01). "Under Attack, Nate Silver Picks the Wrong Defense". New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2012. . For a critical comment see Andrew Beaujon, "New York Times wants to hold Nate Silver to newsroom standards", Poynter, November 2, 2012.
  177. ^ For discussion of another "pundits vs. Nate Silver" case, see John Cassidy, "Brooks vs. Silver: The Limits of Forecasting Elections," The New Yorker, October 24, 2012.
  178. ^ Joe Scarborough, "My (Semi) Apology to Nate Silver," Politico, November 21, 2012.
  179. ^ Klein, Ezra (2012-10-30). "The Nate Silver backlash". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  180. ^ "Nate Silver and the Trials of a Forecaster," ThreeHundredEight.com, November 6, 2012.
  181. ^ a b "Nate Silver, Inspired by Ferguson, Tells Idiotic Arrest Story" [1].
  182. ^ a b "Nate Silver Is Sorry for Telling His ‘Misguided and Naive’ Burrito Arrest Story During the Ferguson Protests" [2].
  183. ^ a b "Nate Silver Tells Tone-Deaf Burrito Arrest Story Amid Ferguson Protests, Gets Epically Burned" [3].
  184. ^ See comments to Interfaith Families, Nov. 13, 2012 [retrieved December 1, 2012]
  185. ^ Carole Cadwalladr, "Nate Silver: it's the numbers, stupid", The Observer, November 17, 2012.
  186. ^ a b Carole Cadwalladr, "Nate Silver: it's the numbers, stupid," The Observer, November 17, 2012.
  187. ^ Japhy Grant, "Nate Silver on African-Americans, Prop 8. and Being A Hero to Gays & Geeks Everywhere", Queerty, November 21, 2008. [retrieved 6 November 2012]
  188. ^ Nate Silver, "FiveThirtyEight Joins East Coast Media Elite," FiveThirtyEight.com, March 30, 2009
  189. ^ Nate Silver, "Hey, Sports Fans, It’s Time For Math Class," Time Magazine, March 6, 2014
  190. ^ Zak Stambor, "Number Cruncher," University of Chicago Magazine, July–August, 2008.
  191. ^ "BurritoBracket.com". Burritobracket.blogspot.com. 2004-02-23. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  192. ^ On the role of The Burrito Bracket in Silver's engagement in blogging see Dan Cohen, "The Ivory Tower and the Open Web: Introduction: Burritos, Browsers, and Books," Dan Cohen's Digital Humanities blog, July 26, 2011. [retrieved 6 August 2011]
  193. ^ See Hageman, cited previously; Kaiser, Rob (October 3, 2004). "Players Place Bets on Poker as Career". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 2, 2009. 
  194. ^ Silver, Nate (July 2, 2009). "This Post Brought to You by Poker". FiveThirtyEight.com. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 

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