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Nate Silver, Cosh, Tango, PECOTA, Marcel the Monkey!...It’s almost like the golden days of Primer! Backlasher, RossCW come on down!
I think it was pretty clearly pointed out to BPro at the time that their minor league translations for Weiters were based on bad league/park factors... but BPro just basically ignored that criticism
PECOTA started out fine, but then it went too far.
Despite the press, this doesn't require anything high tech or need advanced statistical techniques. You just need the data. Take a simple average of the polls within each state, add up the electoral votes, and you get the same results that Silver is touting. 4th grade math will suffice, if you have the data.
We laugh about it, but Wieters at his 5th percentile is not an incorrect prediction -- the model is only wrong if the Wieters of the world end up at their 5th percentile or worse substantially more than 5% of the time.
Silver and football outsiders is a great analogy. Football and elections are hard problems with not great data. I think both sites do a nice, if imperfect quant job.
Defensive stats in baseball are similar.
Silver and football outsiders is a great analogy. Football and elections are hard problems with not great data. I think both sites do a nice, if imperfect quant job. Defensive stats in baseball are similar.
Brian Burke has a really good post today about it.
You're velcome! ;-)
to be clear if folks have an honest intellectual critique that is fine. but this harping claiming the guy is doing something anyone could do rings hollow. plenty of folks 'could' have done it. and some have tried to compete
have not seen anyone do it like silver. so if it's so easy where are the folks rushing to be the next cool thing? that is how markets work. there is no cost to entry.
oh wait, that's right, it's a lot of work.
And frankly, I think it's awesome that someone like him, with the patience to explain how these things work, actually finds himself with a prominent voice. Because he's singlehandedly raising the IQ of polling discussions a few desperately needed points.
That, effectively is what happened. Granted, there's only one Wieters, but a whole class of people got bad predictions (principally) because BPro used an insanely optimistic EL league factor (see post 3). It failed the laugh test before and after the season.
Weird that Cosh says that "without a long series of tests—i.e., U.S. elections—we don’t really know that Nate is not pulling the numbers out of the mathematical equivalent of a goat’s bum," totally ignoring the hundreds of elections over the two previous cycles that Silver has worked, and instead focuses on one UK election the guy has done.
it seems like Nate built a rats nest that's difficult to maintain, let alone continue to develop
Yes it is. It reminds me of the work Sean Foreman put into Baseballreference.com. The numbers were readily available, but he did the work of entering them all into a fast-loading, easy to navigate site. It looks simple, but takes a hell of a lot of time.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
The first thing to note is that the Eastern League players, while retaining more of their production in Triple-A than their counterparts, still lost production. This is not what we would expect if BP's difficulty ratings were correct. In fact, all of the Double-A leagues look pretty similar to each other in level of difficulty.
criticizing silver's use of analogy misses the basic point is that silver is trying to help his audience understand. so he uses an imperfect comparitive base.
thankfully burke is not nitpicky like so many others.
but it does baffle me about stats people looking to undermine a guy successfully pimping the value of their field. that's some crazy stuff.
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