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Monday, March 17, 2014

fivethirtyeight.com: Silver: What the Fox Knows

Nate Silver and the launch of the FiveThirtyEight website.

Guapo Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: statistics

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4673015)
Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
   2. tfbg9 Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4673025)
Nice combover Nate. Approaching vintage Gene Keady status. I assume I'll get gang-audited now.
   3. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:36 AM (#4673164)
Not that impressed with the first batch of articles, but I'm certainly willing to give it time. A friend of mine at the WSJ said that Silver had poached their very best data guys.

eta: Oh, they have full RSS feeds. Ok, they can do no wrong.
   4. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:56 AM (#4673185)
I don't see Bill Madden's bio anywhere.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4673187)
I enjoy reading silver's stuff. not his fault that by asking good questions he makes other folks feel foolish.
   6. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4673202)
our coverage will span five major subject areas — politics, economics, science, life and sports.

So it will become the Entertainment Sports and Politics Network.

I'm not sure what's left to cover outside of those five broad areas.
   7. AROM Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4673216)
I'm not sure what's left to cover outside of those five broad areas.


The undead?
   8. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4673218)
I'm not sure what's left to cover outside of those five broad areas


Pavement, Star Wars & the precipitous decline of civilization since 1979?
   9. boteman Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4673220)
I read to the end of the thoughtful article, then discovered that reader comments are linked from Facebook. No, thanks.

Facebook can burn in hell.
   10. Mark S. is bored Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4673223)
I read to the end of the thoughtful article, then discovered that reader comments are linked from Facebook. No, thanks.
Ah yes. The wonderful idea that by linking comments to a commenter's real name, the comments will be more thoughtful. Proven to be false by spending any amount of time on Facebook and seeing people's comments in their real name.
   11. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4673224)
The fox analogy seems off. Isn't he more of a hedgehog, applying his one big thing (data analysis) to many fields?
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4673225)
Kind of cheeky of him to use a FOX as his symbol.
   13. GregD Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4673228)
I'm hoping that this is the soft launch equivalent of a restaurant turning on the lights but not advertising its grand opening.

If what's up now is all there is, it's a disappointment to me. Maybe my expectations were too high but so far it seems like a mix of reheated stuff that's run elsewhere and trivia.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4673229)
Nate Silver looks like the crazy rich guy from "Person of Interest."
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4673231)
Kind of cheeky of him to use a FOX as his symbol.


It's the universal symbol of fair and balanced analysis.
   16. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4673237)
Ah yes. The wonderful idea that by linking comments to a commenter's real name, the comments will be more thoughtful.

They may not be "more thoughtful" but are considerably less likely to be overtly offensive.
   17. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4673241)
The fox analogy seems off. Isn't he more of a hedgehog, applying his one big thing (data analysis) to many fields?

Yeah, I wondered about this.

The one piece in one of my areas of expertise, the Romeo and Juliet bit just restates something that everyone already knows; doesn't get anywhere near the literary, cultural, historical, and theatrical reasons for it; and uses a sort of line-counting technique that scholars have been using for literally 50 years. (Studies of actors doubling roles on the stage, which requires a ton of line-counting to work out, became big in the early to mid 1960s, and line-counting has been a staple since then.) The whole thing looks hedgehoggy -- we have one tool and it can do everything.

EDIT: I also dislike Facebook comments, because they force public discourse to operate under the aegis of a fairly unpleasant corporation. I've worked hard to stay out of their clutches and would like to continue to do so.
   18. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4673247)
I bailed on Facebook over a year ago and haven't missed it one bit. I have friends (in our 40s) who are freakin' addicted to it and I just don't get it. Why on earth do I care what someone I went to high school with and haven't seen in 25 years is doing today?
   19. GregD Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4673249)
I bailed on Facebook over a year ago and haven't missed it one bit. I have friends (in our 40s) who are freakin' addicted to it and I just don't get it. Why on earth do I care what someone I went to high school with and haven't seen in 25 years is doing today?
to distract yourself from your miserable shell of a life?

I'm sure you've seen the Louis CK bit on our cell phones as the one thing that keeps us from bursting into tears at all times

Facebook is one way to share photos of kids with extended family and friends without having to actually engage with them, and to hear some general news. That has some value. Beyond that, though...
   20. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4673253)
Why on earth do I care what someone I went to high school with and haven't seen in 25 years is doing today?

Different strokes for different folks, Jose. I think it's great to know what former classmates are up to without having to talk with them on the phone.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4673254)
They may not be "more thoughtful" but are considerably less likely to be overtly offensive.


The offensive bits get saved for when stupid ######## from the internet reach out to you in real life.

I used to edit Wikipedia under my real name, and getting 3 a.m. phone calls from mouth-breathers who went off their meds was enough to put me off that habit for life. If a site requires you to use a handle that ties to your real-world ID, then it's just not worth participating.
   22. GregD Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4673257)
I used to edit Wikipedia under my real name, and getting 3 a.m. phone calls from mouth-breathers who went off their meds
For real? Calls?
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4673260)
I used to edit Wikipedia under my real name, and getting 3 a.m. phone calls from mouth-breathers who went off their meds

For real? Calls?


If you're stupid enough to leave the apostrophe out of Mr. Spock's Vulcan middle name you deserve what you get.
   24. BrianBrianson Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4673261)
Calls to your house and/or work are a common enough problem for Wikipedia admins who reveal their identity. I'm sure it happens with editors too.
   25. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4673262)
Different strokes for different folks, Jose.


Some people like some things. Other people like other things. I'm on Facebook all the damned time. More often than I'm here, probably. This basically comes down to the fact that 90% of my weekdays are spent working out of my home office, remotely engaged with coworkers and clients, with two dogs and a three cats for real socialization. Social networking, in addition to keeping me vaguely informed about the goings-on of extended family and friends from high school and college (and the internet) I'm still vaguely interested in but whom I see infrequently, also allows me to remember to shave the neck-beard and take a bath every now and again by reminding me that real human beings exist.
   26. boteman Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4673264)
I'm on Facebook all the damned time. More often than I'm here, probably.

I'm guessing there's a cadre of correspondents here who might be willing to pay you to stay over on Facebook all the damned time???
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4673266)
I'm guessing there's a cadre of correspondents here who might be willing to pay you to stay over on Facebook all the damned time???


If they pay, I'll exit. I'm easily bought. No cash, no play.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4673301)
For real? Calls?


Yep. About the stupidest, most trivial ####, too.

And it could have been much worse than that. There was this one guy who actually ended up stalking some of the female admins. Showed up at their work, that sort of thing. Super creepy. He even went to jail for a while when one of them got tired of his bullshit.

So, yeah. Never again.
   29. puck Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4673306)
to distract yourself from your miserable shell of a life?

If you have a miserable shell of a life, facebook is the worst place to spend your time. Especially since if you consider yourself to have miserable shell of a life, there's a good chance that you're also beating yourself up/making invidious distinctions (though in this case, in favor of others).
   30. puck Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4673308)
Can't you just make a fake facebook profile for these sorts of sites?
   31. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4673310)
Can't you just make a fake facebook profile for these sorts of sites?


Yes. I've got a friend who's now on at least his 3rd fake account.
   32. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4673312)
Can't you just make a fake facebook profile for these sorts of sites?


Constantly logging into and out of things is a real pain in the ass. The ability to comment on stories just isn't worth it to me.

(I'm still fighting to keep my Gmail and YouTube accounts separate, but I may end up giving up and just deleting the YouTube one if it becomes enough of a hassle.)
   33. Greg K Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4673325)
I find facebook is a good way to keep in touch with friends who happen to be in different continents, or on the other side of the country. I'm "on it" all the time in that there's a browser tab open while I'm doing work on the computer, kind of like at any given time there's a thinkfactory page open somewhere on my computer. I check it every now and then when I run out of steam writing or get bored. But I pretty much just use it as an instant messaging service. I think I only have two or three friends I haven't deleted from my news feed.

It's a pretty flexible tool I find. It's quite easy to use it for what you want and delete or hide the parts of it you're not using.

EDIT: Also disappointed gef hasn't made a derogatory comment about what foxes know yet. I'd hate to think he's softening on our species as he gets older.
   34. AROM Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4673328)
Nate Silver looks like the crazy rich guy from "Person of Interest."


Haven't watched that show, if I see that guy I just think Ben Linus. I've met Nate in person and didn't think they were that similar, but the picture on the site is a good match for the leader of the others.
   35. AROM Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4673330)
The wonderful idea that by linking comments to a commenter's real name, the comments will be more thoughtful.


Only one way to make comments useful, but it's hard work.

1. Post clear guidelines on acceptable behavior
2. Enforce them strictly but fairly
3. Ban repeat offenders, delete their comments.

You have to be strict to maintain order, but you have to operate fairly, not arbitrarily, or else you'll drive away the people you are trying to keep.
   36. Greg K Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4673334)
Haven't watched that show, if I see that guy I just think Ben Linus. I've met Nate in person and didn't think they were that similar, but the picture on the site is a good match for the leader of the others.

He'll always be Ben Linus to me, but I was amused to find out when I re-watched it recently that I actually first saw him in The Impostors which was one of my favourite movies as a teenager. Almost didn't recognize him as he's an entirely different character.
   37. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4673351)
EDIT: Also disappointed gef hasn't made a derogatory comment about what foxes know yet. I'd hate to think he's softening on our species as he gets older.


Truly, I am slipping. I must've been too caught up in St. Patrick's Day festivities, what with 3 of my 4 grandparents being of Irish descent (not that I knew that till a couple of weeks ago, when I happened to look up "Bolger" ... I'd assumed it was French), to pay sufficient attention to the matter. (Quite the opposite, actually -- goddamned Crohn's disease decided to flare up yesterday afternoon, & the other 2 people in the office happened to be gone from 2 p.m. on, so tough luck for me. *whine whine whine*)
   38. Greg K Posted: March 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4673361)
Truly, I am slipping. I must've been too caught up in St. Patrick's Day festivities, what with 3 of my 4 grandparents being of Irish descent (not that I knew that till a couple of weeks ago, when I happened to look up "Bolger" ... I'd assumed it was French), to pay sufficient attention to the matter. (Quite the opposite, actually -- goddamned Crohn's disease decided to flare up yesterday afternoon, & the other 2 people in the office happened to be gone from 2 p.m. on, so tough luck for me. *whine whine whine*)

I had a somewhat odd experience yesterday. I had three different people yesterday ask me if I had St. Patrick's Day plans, not because they had plans they wanted to invite me to, but because apparently they just assumed I would be out of my mind drunk and would have found that entertaining to watch. Which is slightly worrying me about the vibe I give out.

As it happens I fell asleep at 9pm watching Gilmore Girls. I played softball from midnight to 2am on Friday night/Saturday morning, then a softball tournament from 7am to 1pm Saturday, so my sleeping hadn't sorted itself out. I can offer no explanation for the Gilmore Girls other than 'tis a fine show.
   39. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4673380)
can offer no explanation for the Gilmore Girls other than 'tis a fine show


Aye, lad, to be sure.
   40. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4673387)
I can offer no explanation for the Gilmore Girls other than 'tis a fine show.


Gilmore Girls is my current workout TV show. It is perfect, because the show is all dialogue (honestly it could be a radio play), so it being on my phone doesn't bother me at all, and 45 minutes is a really good workout length.
   41. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4673418)
kind of like at any given time there's a thinkfactory page open somewhere on my computer.

'a'?
   42. Greg K Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4673419)
'a'?

I think I missed an "at least" in there.
   43. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4673423)
I played softball from midnight to 2am on Friday night/Saturday morning

Aren't you in Canadia? Isn't it rather cold there to be playing softball? At night?
   44. Greg K Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4673426)
Aren't you in Canadia? Isn't it rather cold there to be playing softball? At night?

Indoor for the moment, inside giant golf and/or soccer domes.

It's not ideal (especially since the Friday night place is small enough that when you play two games with the plate at far corners from one another, the outfielders in both games essentially stand beside each other). Learning to play the ceiling on flyballs is another little wrinkle. But you take whatever baseball, or near-baseball you can get - hence the playing at 2am business.
   45. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 18, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4673431)
ESPN recently switched over to a Facebook commenting system from the old one (last summer). Yeah, there are still a lot of terrible comments, but it's actually a lot better. There's actually at least a mathematical chance to actually have a discussion sometimes.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4673621)
I'm sure you've seen the Louis CK bit on our cell phones as the one thing that keeps us from bursting into tears at all times


The only Louis CK thing I have seen is his ability to prevent people from bursting out in laughter.

Constantly logging into and out of things is a real pain in the ass. The ability to comment on stories just isn't worth it to me.

Not that it's a "great" solution. But I have two facebook accounts, one is set up for Chrome(my primary browser) and the other is with IE... Just open it up and it default logs into my other facebook account (I set it up for my dog. :) )


ESPN recently switched over to a Facebook commenting system from the old one (last summer). Yeah, there are still a lot of terrible comments, but it's actually a lot better. There's actually at least a mathematical chance to actually have a discussion sometimes.


Only problem I have is that if it's a popular site, the comments have a tendency to fly (read a Cracked article and their comments) so rapidly that it's not possible to keep up. STLToday does facebook comments now also, and it's no where near as bad as it was previously. Also you don't have to post under your real name, you can put your alias up there. (posting as option allows you to change your name, so it doesn't have to be your real showing up.)

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