50 Of The Most Inspirational Nate Silver Quotes

I am no expert on Nate Silver, but I love his quote, saying that “the whole country has a lot of people who love the election, love the process, but hate the results”.

Nate Silver is a famous American statistician and writer. He is famous for his statistical analysis. He is the editor-in-chief of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight and he is a Special Correspondent for ABC News.

Nate is also well known for the book, The Signal & The Noise. This is based entirely on predictions as to why most people fail at forecasting.

I have a feeling that the most impressive thing Nate Silver has done is predict the most recent presidential election.

50 Nate Silver Quotes

1. The people who are most interested in making predictions are the ones who are interested in truth.

When you try to predict the future it is very easy to get carried away and imagine that you know what is going to happen. In any case, you should always try to be aware that there are many problems that you have not worked out and things can still go wrong.

If there is a distrust between the weather service and the public, the public may not listen when it needs to most.

You may have heard this before from Nate so I should know what he’s talking about,” I thought to myself. “I bet Nate really thinks that’s important.” As I read through the article a few things caught my attention. The first was that Nate used a lot of big words that I couldn’t understand, but I was getting the impression that the article wasn’t about Nate just explaining the importance of correlations.

“There are four things that are important to predict: probability, bias, randomness, and luck.” This is what I wrote in my first blog post.

A successful gambler thinks of the future as a jolt of information. If a jolt of information is a ticker, then his thoughts are the ticker.

What is the most effective vaccination is not as important as the fact that vaccinations motivate people to take action.

There are several reasons why forecasting a single event is difficult. Forecasting the future is difficult, but so is modeling the future. We get better forecasts by combining forecasts of similar events.

9th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

We’ll never find out the true odds of certain things happening in any given election because we’ll always be biased by our personal beliefs.

When something bad happens, politicians and experts and journalists look for a signal in the noise, something that has just happened or is just about to happen to give us clues about what is really going on.

To have a good thesis for your paper, you will have to do a lot of
research. You will have to study, collect, analyze and summarize

Also, to make your points clear, you need to use the right vocabulary. You want to use vocabulary that has strong, clear, concise and concise meanings.

While it is easy to find patterns in any kind of data-rich environment, the key to success is determining whether the patterns actually represent noise or signal.

If you have reason to think the forecast was wrong, there’s no glory in sticking to it.

When Nate Silver sees something new, he looks at the granular details of a situation where few others bother to look.

It is hard to find much that can be read about frequentist statistics that doesn’t advocate a Bayesian approach. Frequentist statistics is dead, and most people who use frequentist statistics do not understand Bayesian statistics. Furthermore, those who do know Bayesian statistics mostly use it because it is the current “in” thing to do.

The irony is that by not being focused on your results, you may achieve better ones.

A signal is a true set of data, while noise is something that gets in the way of truth.

The ‘Information Age’ is changing our society in ways that lead to reduced confidence in democracy and the free market.

Nate Silver said that we need to learn to be comfortable with probability and uncertainty.

20th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

When my belief that the climate is changing is more confident, and it fails to come to fruition, I have evidence against that belief.

Data needs to be better managed, better protected, and better used in ways that improve society.

Great innovators often think very big and they often think very small. Great innovations are often found in the most detailed aspects of a problem where few others bother to look.

Ignoring data is often a tip-off that the forecaster is overconfident, or is overfitting her model – she’s really only interested in showing off, not in being accurate.

Nate Silver says that most news organizations tend to lose the signal and accentuate the noise.

I guess this means that you don’t care what people think, you just want to live the way you want to live.

After seeing the results of the election, Nate had no doubt that Trump would win the election. After the election, Nate continued to be wrong about every major prediction he made, including that the popular vote would be exactly tied. I thought this was kind of funny, and I think I made that exact joke a month ago in a different thread.

Nate Silver also said that, The story the data tells us is often the one we’d like to hear, and we usually make sure that it has a happy ending.

If you use this image, make sure to link back to the original author & source.

No theory is perfect. Some are better than others. The world is a work in progress, and we must all be open to learning more.

It’s interesting to look at the assumptions in a problem and to think about whether those assumptions are valid.

30th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

Judging from this post, Nate Silver has little faith in the democratic process. But I find that bias can be reduced by using voting as a means to inform. After all, there’s nothing wrong with presenting a case for voting for a candidate to the electorate or writing a ballot initiative to be voted upon by the electorate.

To predict you need scientific knowledge, for instance the ability to predict whether a comet will hit the earth, but you also need to make wise predictions, say, that you will win the state lottery.

Betting on a football game is all about probabilities. If you are betting on a big dollar amount, you need to be able to quantify the probability that your team will win, for example. You should be betting on the spread, not on the total.

If you predict the future then people’s behavior will change, in ways you cannot predict. In other words, a prediction should not affect people’s behavior.

One of the pervasive risks that we face in the information age, as I wrote in the introduction, is that even though more knowledge is available to us than ever before, our information environment has become increasingly partisan and filled with false and misleading information.

Fate (aka, the “inexorable laws of life”) is a crucial concept in tragedy and drama. What makes a person’s life tragic or dramatic is that they live under the illusion that they can succeed at life if they try hard enough.

So Nate Silver is a huge expert on the media. It’s weird to think about how he managed to predict the outcome of all these elections so well.

 The prediction method which produced the right answer was the same that produced the wrong answer 100 times before.  But, once in a while, something happens that makes you think that the same method, which you’ve been using for years, might not be right.

Nate Silver is not actually crazy, and if people are mad at Democrats for trying to get rid of Brett Kavanaugh, then they may be mad at Brett Kavanaugh himself, who is a person! A man, which is pretty cool.

Our predictions of the world of tomorrow are so flawed that we can do worse than not making predictions. When we use the word “prediction”, we are really thinking about a lot of other things.

40th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

Simple models are never that. Even if they are good models, they are always difficult to fit and understand.

In baseball, the goal is to score more runs than the other guy. In politics, the goal is to convince as many people as possible to like you and to follow you.

Many people made predictions of the downfall of the world economy and markets in late 2008 – but few people could have predicted the magnitude of the crash. And even fewer could have predicted the severity of the recession that would follow. A lot of people predicted a return to normal by now, but the markets are still very volatile and there is no clear resolution in sight.

We are going to test some new belief. Let’s look at the evidence. If we find that the evidence supports the new belief, then we will accept it.

I like to think of it like if you are playing a card game and you are told, “I have a face down ace and a face down two.” By the rules of the game, an overconfident person would say that the odds are better than 50/50 that the ace is actually the face up card. Likewise, perhaps the central finding of behavioral economics is that most of us are overconfident when we make predictions.

As information age weaknesses, Google, Facebook, Instagram and other social media applications have become information age strengths.

Data are a great way to identify and communicate the key information about the world. People are usually more interested in the interpretation of data than the data itself.

This is true. Science is constantly making predictions that turn out to be wrong, but scientists are also making predictions about what won’t happen like no more global warming, no more shark attacks, and more.

I can never achieve perfect objectivity, rationality, or accuracy in my beliefs. Instead, I can strive to be less subjective, less irrational, and less wrong.

The thing with forecasting is that you have to make the forecasts a lot more precise and less likely than in reality. It’s like saying that home runs are more frequent than they are; the only way to make that precise is with the long ball. Home runs are more likely because pitchers have no control over where they hit the ball, but if they were to choose to pitch someone up the middle, they could hit a homer. So the prediction that home runs would be even-frequenting than batting average is very unlikely.

All of us in forecasting need to work harder to get a sense of the signal from the noise. The noise is the noise we each make when trying to make sense of things.


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