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Forecasting (Especially the Future) Is Tough
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From Wired last Monday, an article in praise of forecaster Sam Wang, who gave Hillary a 99% chance:

2016’s Election Data Hero Isn’t Nate Silver. It’s Sam Wang

Forget Nate Silver. There’s a new king of the presidential election data mountain. His name is Sam Wang, Ph.D.

JEFF NESBIT SCIENCE DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11.07.16.
TIME OF PUBLICATION: 6:30 PM.

Jeff Nesbit is executive director of Climate Nexus, a DC-based communications firm focused on climate change. He was the communications director to former Vice President Dan Quayle (R-IN) at the White House and the legislative and public affairs director at the National Science Foundation. He is the author of Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP.

Haven’t heard of him just yet? Don’t worry. You will. Because Wang has sailed True North all along, while Silver has been cautiously trying to tack his FiveThirtyEight data sailboat (weighted down with ESPN gold bars) through treacherous, Category-Five-level-hurricane headwinds in what has easily been the craziest presidential campaign in the modern political era.

When the smoke clears on Tuesday—and it will clear—what will emerge is Wang and his Princeton Election Consortium website and calculations (which have been used, in part, to drive some of the election poll conclusions at The New York Times’ Upshot blog and The Huffington Post’s election site). What will be vindicated is precisely the sort of math approach that Silver once rode to fame and fortune.

Wang says his method differs from Silver’s in its approach to uncertainty. “They score individual pollsters, and they want to predict things like individual-state vote shares,” he wrote in his blog on Sunday. “Achieving these goals requires building a model with lots of parameters, and running regressions and other statistical procedures to estimate those parameters. However, every parameter has an uncertainty attached to it. When all those parameters get put together to estimate the overall outcome, the resulting total is highly uncertain.” By contrast, he says, PEC’s model relies on a snapshot of all state polls every day, and then makes sure unrelated fluctuations are averaged out.

… Most likely, it’s because presidential forecasting isn’t Wang’s real job. He’s a professor of neuroscience at Princeton. …

This year, Wang called the election at 8:55 PM on October 18. He promised to eat more than just his hat if Clinton loses: “It is totally over. If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,” Wang tweeted to his 23,000 followers. He expects Clinton to receive at least 298 electoral votes.

When Michigan is eventually called for Trump, he will have 306 Electoral Votes.

Wang has been the intrepid election data explorer furthest out this election cycle, never once wavering from his certainty of a Clinton win. The only real uncertainty left on Tuesday, he said, is how many people show up to vote. But even that doesn’t change the presidential election outcome.

… Even if you factor this voting uncertainty into his election model by 5 percent—which is an unprecedented level historically, Wang says—Clinton still wins. It is precisely this sort of deep analysis that has endeared Wang to both financial analysts who make a living with math-based market predictions and to political journalism analysts who handicap elections. …

Wang has said for months that it was a five-point race; that there haven’t been dramatic swings in polling, only non-responses from depressed voters in the middle of news cycle swings; and that this has actually been the most stable election in a long time. What’s different, Wang has said to those willing to listen, is the media coverage of the “full meltdown” of emotion as Trump has seized control of the GOP. …

Natalie Jackson, the senior polling editor at The Huffington Post, told me that Wang uses the HuffPost Pollster data feed and that they both use the same polls, which explains the similarity.1 “Our forecast has been in line with Sam’s for most of the time it’s been up (we posted Oct. 3), and our probability of Clinton winning never dipped below 84 percent,” she said. “The polling data has never consistently shown anything but a Clinton win.”

Jackson, who coordinates site’s Pollster section, said that the data is truly what matters, and it’s been consistent at the presidential level. “With everything we know about polling in general elections—that opinions are fairly stable, and fluctuations in national polls aren’t necessarily reflecting people changing their voting decisions—it makes sense to keep a calm, steady approach to aggregating and forecasting,” she said. “It might not be the best way to generate news, but it’s a very good way to model noisy data.”

The Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim has been in a very public feud with Silver in recent days over precisely this question of “noisy data.” Grim accused Silver of deliberately skewing his own data at FiveThirtyEight with what amounts to political punditry. Silver fired back on social media with some ugly language.

Silver, after blowing the Republican primary, gave Trump a higher chance to beat Hillary than his rivals did, some of whom denounced him for giving aid and comfort to Trump supporters.

So when the smoke clears on Tuesday; when enough non-white and female voters haven’t been harassed or intimidated enough to stay home; when Clinton crosses the finish line with something close to 300 Electoral College votes and a popular vote victory somewhere between two and five percentage points; and Nate Silver is telling his 1.7 million Twitter followers that he’d been right all along this election, Sam Wang will be standing tall above the fray, draped in his “median-based probability election” cloak.

Long live the new election data king.

 
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  1. Forecasting the future is especially tough if you’re exiled because your forecasts aren’t politically correct.

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  2. Is he one of the Yorkshire Wangs?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetwang

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    • Replies: @415 reasons
    A bit east of there actually
    , @Reg Cæsar
    Which riding is Wetwang in?

    Do they follow Yorkshire pudding with spotted dick?

    Or faggots and peas?
  3. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Chinese eating bug.

    That no punishment. It just snack.

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    • Replies: @Bugg
    Figure he either salted, sugared or Sirached the crap out of that critter.
    , @SFG
    I thought bugs were eaten in Latin America, it's cat that's a delicacy in some parts of China.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    Chocolate ants were available in the little grocery in Ala Moana Center in Honolulu fifty years ago. So was another chocolate-covered insect which I forget now.

    But all kinds of things are out there:

    https://www.thailandunique.com/edible-insects-bugs

    Just don't try ladybug. One flew into my mouth a few weeks ago, and jeez was that awful. Gag.

  4. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I think I know why the Great Leap Forward happened.

    They tell chairman there 99% chance China catch up America in 5 yrs.

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  5. Remember how, four year ago, if you disbelieved these geniuses you were SCIENCE DENIER?

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  6. He shows his partisan colors right away – he asks Trump to nominate Merrick Garland as a gesture of national unity. I’m sure if the situation was reversed, Hillary would have done the same for Bush. In your dreams, buddy. Eat you bugs and shut up, you snake.

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    • Replies: @Wilkey
    "He shows his partisan colors right away – he asks Trump to nominate Merrick Garland as a gesture of national unity. I’m sure if the situation was reversed, Hillary would have done the same for Bush."

    Democrats are always asking Republicans to make grand gestures that Democrats would never in a million years make. "Yeah, Donald Trump, be a great man of the people by making the Supreme Court 44% Jewish instead of just 33% Jewish in a country that is only 2% Jewish."

    On another note, Donald Trump is now the first president since Ronald Reagan not to have a college degree from either Harvard or Yale.
  7. Wow, good for him.

    If only all those who didn’t believe in the God-Emperor were so honourable.

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    • Replies: @No_0ne
    I saw a number of tweets from leftists "promising" to kill themselves if President Trump won...
  8. These “data superstars” are the Big Bang Theory of maths. I’m sick of them. Maybe the news should not relate to everything and everybody like a teenager in a phase.

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  9. I wish the staff at Huffington Post had made this vow

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    I would have predicated the bet on something more excremental than arthropodic.

    No no no--I'm not speaking scatologically. I mean having them eat their own words.

    Why ruin the day for some poor little bug?

    , @Doc Dynamo
    The Huff Post staff can't eat bugs. it would be cannibalism.
  10. Bradley Effect.

    Or in this case, Bradley Effect + depressed black turnout + Trump supporters refusing to tell random strangers they were voting for a “racist” candidate + the fact that it’s hard to encourage the large and growing left side of the Democratic Party bell curve to get to the polls.

    I’ll add another note: the Democratic Party’s abandonment of the white working class is all but complete. I give you little Carbon County, Utah. Carbon County is coal country, as its name implies. In 2000 it went 51-45 for Bush. In 2008 it went 53-44 for McCain. So moving to the right, but not wildly so. This year it went 66-22 for Trump over Clinton.

    Like Britain’s Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there’s one thing I won’t miss this year, it’s the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.

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    • Agree: Triumph104
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Wilkey, The construction worker, who is freezing his ass off in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or Ohio may belong to a left leaning union but when they see the Ferguson and BLM riots they vote Right. It is human nature to vote in YOUR best interest. Poll and pollsters will be hard pressed to make a living now. Bookies who set the wrong line end up broke or worse.
    , @2Mintzin1
    "the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. "

    Agree. After about 24 hours of sweetness and light following the election, Clinton's angry accusations against Comey, the Black/Leftist riots and attacks on whites, and Senator Reid's vile claims about Trump make it pretty clear that the Dems and their media servants are not letting this one go. They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.

    Bette Davis' advice would be appropriate now. Fasten your seatbelts, America.
    , @EdwardM

    Like Britain’s Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there’s one thing I won’t miss this year, it’s the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.
     
    I agree that this will be an emerging story; the media is already jumping to Sens. Sanders and Warren as the default Democrat spokespeople (granted, there are few other Democrats besides the president with any kind of national profile).

    And the Democrats are reacting to their failure to pay attention to their traditional working-class, culturally conservative white base by. . . nominating Rep. Keith Ellison -- the communist, black, Muslim, pro-terrorist radical -- as their next chairman.

    It looks like President Trump will catch another lucky break, just as the Tories did in the U.K.
    , @Jonathan Silber
    Nuanced-thinking Dem brain trust looks for party renewal in elderly white-male Jewish Socialist and elderly white faux-Cherokee squaw wooing back bitter clingers and irredeemable racists.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_politics/2016/11/rebuilding_year_for_dems_lynch_says

  11. When Michigan is eventually called for Trump, he will have 306 Electoral Votes.

    Which means, Florida actually turned out to NOT be a must-win for Trump.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    There were always several co-must-wins. Given the call for faithless electors, every EV counts.
  12. Oh, wow! A PhD! He must be smart.

    On the other hand, Silver, who doesn’t have a PhD, actually did pretty well, although not as well as in 2012. He was even right about Hillary winning the most votes nationally. He was off by about 2% in the Rust Belt, which isn’t much considered the variance of the polls.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    On the other hand, Silver, who doesn’t have a PhD, actually did pretty well, although not as well as in 2012. He was even right about Hillary winning the most votes nationally. He was off by about 2% in the Rust Belt, which isn’t much considered the variance of the polls.
     
    Nate Silver gave Trump a 1% in the primary. And a 3% chance for most of the general election. Being so colossally wrong, CSICOP and paranormal debunkers would call these guys the greatest frauds ever and would label them proven charlatans if they had based their predictions on anything other math and science.
  13. The director of a “communications firm” pushing Climate Change, eh? How could someone like that possibly get it wrong?

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  14. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Both Silver and Wang have fallen prey to that siren of modern technology, big data analytics.

    They think that if you average enough polls together, you get the truth. It’s the old fallacy of the Chinese Emperor’s Nose that Richard Feynman used to talk about.

    It usually works, but whether it works better than any individual poll is open to question. It most certainly doesn’t work when there is systematic bias in the data. Systematic bias is a thing. It happens. To correct for it, you have to pay attention and notice things (TM). You can run your Monte Carlo simulation a gazillion times but it won’t tell you that you overlooked a key input.

    Big data analytics can get the most out of data, but it can’t get more out of the data than was already there.

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    • Replies: @Alfa158
    I call it the Napoleon effect. Napoleon is thought to have been short because he was described as 5'2", but that was using the French foot of that era which was 13 inches. He was actually a normal size for that time of 5'7".
    If you use 20 different French rulers to measure Bonaparte and average the measurements you might be inclined to say that; Although no ruler is perfectly accurate, since we averaged the results of so many different rulers, then we must surely have averaged out the errors, and therefore produced an accurate result. Of course you are still wrong by 5" because all the rulers had an offset bias of about 1" per foot.
    , @SPMoore8
    Big data analytics is basically a function of personal computers and spreadsheet softwares. It would have been too time consuming in earlier eras for most purposes. It's sexy, it's in demand, but in most cases it cannot improve on the accuracy of a handful of basic methods, and above all it leaves out any acquaintance with qualitative factors that are hard to measure.

    Presidential polls that give 2%-4% in most cases to one candidate are going to work in favor of that candidate: that's why I was so pessimistic on Tuesday. But once in awhile the margin of error goes the other way. You can't predict that, but too many people think that if you generate enough pages you can.
    , @5371
    The polls weren't badly wrong on the whole, although a small minority was deliberately biased in Clinton's favour. It was their interpretation that was grossly inaccurate, so much so that Silver, who was bad in this regard himself, was attacked by rabid packs for allowing some reality to seep in.
    , @No_0ne
    To put it another way, meta-analysis, like larger samples, improves precision. It cannot improve accuracy.
  15. “I will eat a bug…”

    Let me guess, that’s gonna happen after you move to Canada?

    Allan Lichtman noted that poll predictors, like Nate Silver, are nothing more than clerks and there is not scientific analysis in anything that they’re doing:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/28/professor-whos-predicted-30-years-of-presidential-elections-correctly-is-doubling-down-on-a-trump-win/

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "I will eat a bug…”

    Let me guess, that’s gonna happen after you move to Canada?"

    Of course Canada. Moving back to 3rd World China is off the table for Sam Wang, even though it's his ancestral homeland.
  16. When he said should Trump win it will all he over, I assumed eating a bug meant poisoning himself, or something. So he ate cricket. BFD.

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    • Replies: @colm
    For a Chinese, eating bugs is like eating sunflower seeds.
  17. So when the smoke clears on Tuesday; when enough non-white and female voters haven’t been harassed or intimidated enough to stay home;

    My hatred of leftists only continues to grow. This sort of blood libel is not only not rare; it’s the norm among these people.

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  18. Now if we could only get Lena Dunham and those others to keep their promise about moving to Canada …… Wang was wrong and he owned it. And ate it. Props.

    From the perspective I saw, Nate Silver was seriously dumped on for improving Trump’s odds. So, even though he was also wrong, he ended up looking better than virtually any of his opposition.

    BTW, youtube has several network election night coverages (8 to 11 hours long) so anyone who wants to relive the moments as FL, NC, OH, WI, and PA fell one after another, and want to relive the Schadenfreude, it’s out there.

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    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    SPMoore8,

    Forget about Nate Silver.

    The IBD (Investor Business Daily) poll was much reliable as a presidential predictor. For the 2 weeks before election day they showed Clinton and Trump essentially within the margins of errors. If I remember correctly, they had Trump up 2 points on election day morning. This makes IBD the best predictor for the last 3 presidential cycles.
    , @Bill Jones
    I gather that all 681 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been moved to their southern border in what is expected to be a vain attempt at stemming the Invasion of the Glitterati.
    , @MJMD
    More than simply giving the odds, Nate Silver provided more information regarding his methodology that allows one to figure out where exactly he went wrong and so counter accusations that (unlike a lot of other pollsters) he was simply acting as a shill for Clinton. For instance, he made it clear that Trump was just a normal polling error behind Clinton:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-just-a-normal-polling-error-behind-clinton/

    And what made me more confident than almost anything else about Trump's chances of victory was seeing where exactly that polling error was likely to manifest itself based on Silver's own words, when he incredibly stated that any Bradley Effect was likely to manifest itself in Clinton's favour:


    natesilver: The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip, or at least they were less enthusiastic about responding to pollsters.

    So that sounds more like Clinton’s voters than Trump’s, if anything...

    clare.malone: It seems unlikely to me that there are a lot of shy Trumps, if only because I think he’s become pretty normalized now.

    micah: Totally agree ^^^.
     

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-could-the-polls-be-missing/

    Unbelievable. Too smart for their own good, I think.

    , @anon

    So, even though [Silver] was also wrong,
     
    How do we know he was wrong-- or what do you mean by "wrong"? He gave Clinton a 71% chance of winning.

    I'd feel comfortable saying HuffPo (98%) and Wang (99+%) were (probably) wrong, but it's not all that remarkable for a nearly one-in-three shot to pan out.

  19. “If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,”

    He’s a Wang. If he were Thai, though, bugs would be a regular part of his diet. My Chinese colleagues joke about the gross things Thais eat.

    As a Jew, I could legally eat a locust — they’re kosher, uniquely in fact among invertebrates — but I haven’t found the right moment yet.

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    • Replies: @Kyle
    Locasts are "things that crawl" right?
    We're they aware of distinctions between vertibrets and invertibrats?
    , @NOTA
    I suspect locusts are kosher because there were some very bad years where it was literally eat locusts or starve.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    I'm not Jewish but IIRC, only certain locusts are kosher. The Hebrew in the relevant Torah passages is so obscure that Ashkenaz rabbinic teaching was play it on the safe side and consider all locusts tref. Mishrahim claim an oral tradition that allows them to distinguish tref from kosher locusts.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
  20. Would be fun if these weren’t the guys who are supposed to manage your pension scheme.

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  21. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I don’t mean to diss, but I prefer the salient predictions of noted political social commentator Henry Davis over some ridiculous, wrong-candidate-calling, bug-eating Wang:

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  22. I hope my investment company isn’t among the financial analysts using his services.
    My flabber is gasted by all the instances where tremendously bright people simply can’t check their own assumptions and ask themselves, GIGO, how reliable is the collected data we are chewing on so industriously? How representative are the people who are responding to surveys? Personally, I will never get polled by phone because I use a service that blocks any marketing or robo type call including charities and politicians. How much are the questions being used, the people being polled, and the answers they collect being influenced by wishful thinking? The most meticulously engineered bridge might collapse if someone carelessly gives the structural a specification sheet that is for the wrong grade of steel. I haven’t seen anyone on mainstream media saying; hey you know what, maybe the data we ae collecting is flawed so it doesn’t matter how brilliant our algorithms are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "I hope my investment company isn’t among the financial analysts using his services."

    If incompetent Asians like Sam Wang are the future of America than this country is screwed. Asian superiority is overestimated. There is a reason his ancestral homeland of China has a mediocre non impressive human development index.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    It's well known that response rates for these surveys are very bad and continue getting worse. This makes bias likely and the correct computation of standard errors impossible.

    I've never had much respect for predictive models of election results. I briefly worked for a political "scientist" whose tenure at an Ivy League school and overall reputation were based on a simple-minded predictive model of presidential elections. Estimating the parameters for these models required crunching national data in a non-linear, time-series regression model. I soon discovered that this guy had at best a weak grasp of basic statistics, hadn't actually written the design specs for his models nor done any of the statistical programming, and couldn't even write the input specs for the program that ran his regressions even though writing these required nothing more than an elementary knowledge of difference operators and high school algebra.

    Once I got tired of waiting to run the models while this guy "went downstairs to consult with a colleague", i.e. had someone do the math for him. I set up the specs myself and started the program running. An undergrad that worked with me predicted that I would soon be fired because this clown couldn't stand being shown up in any way. The undergrad was right. As a coda to the experience, a few months later a sexual harassment scandal allowed the department to revoke the man's tenure.
  23. @Jack D
    He shows his partisan colors right away - he asks Trump to nominate Merrick Garland as a gesture of national unity. I'm sure if the situation was reversed, Hillary would have done the same for Bush. In your dreams, buddy. Eat you bugs and shut up, you snake.

    “He shows his partisan colors right away – he asks Trump to nominate Merrick Garland as a gesture of national unity. I’m sure if the situation was reversed, Hillary would have done the same for Bush.”

    Democrats are always asking Republicans to make grand gestures that Democrats would never in a million years make. “Yeah, Donald Trump, be a great man of the people by making the Supreme Court 44% Jewish instead of just 33% Jewish in a country that is only 2% Jewish.”

    On another note, Donald Trump is now the first president since Ronald Reagan not to have a college degree from either Harvard or Yale.

    Read More
  24. I don’t understand. There were people writing graffiti of hope & love in front of ClintonMissionControl.

    Do people assume that there will be FEMA trailers taking them to extermination camps in the next month?

    This is so utterly bizarre.

    At the bottom of:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3928032/Huma-breaks-weeps-openly-returns-campaign-headquarters-aides-ran-doomed-bid-elect-Hillary-Clinton.html

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    • Replies: @MarcB
    "Do people assume that there will be FEMA trailers taking them to extermination camps in the next month?"

    The Left are projecting their own boot-to-the-throat authoritarianism onto Trump, thereby scaring the heck out of themselves.

  25. @Wilkey
    Bradley Effect.

    Or in this case, Bradley Effect + depressed black turnout + Trump supporters refusing to tell random strangers they were voting for a "racist" candidate + the fact that it's hard to encourage the large and growing left side of the Democratic Party bell curve to get to the polls.

    I'll add another note: the Democratic Party's abandonment of the white working class is all but complete. I give you little Carbon County, Utah. Carbon County is coal country, as its name implies. In 2000 it went 51-45 for Bush. In 2008 it went 53-44 for McCain. So moving to the right, but not wildly so. This year it went 66-22 for Trump over Clinton.

    Like Britain's Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there's one thing I won't miss this year, it's the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.

    Wilkey, The construction worker, who is freezing his ass off in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or Ohio may belong to a left leaning union but when they see the Ferguson and BLM riots they vote Right. It is human nature to vote in YOUR best interest. Poll and pollsters will be hard pressed to make a living now. Bookies who set the wrong line end up broke or worse.

    Read More
  26. Chaos theory.
    Modeling is never accurate past a certain point because models are models, not reality.
    Dingbats like Elon musk think there is a 50% chance that the universe is a computer simulation.
    He is wrong because of chaos theory. Mathematical models only reaffirm what we think we know. There is a finite limit to our knowledge. But our, umm… unknowledge, is infinite like the universe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NeonBets
    On Modeling, they forgot about Bonini's Paradox: Everything simple is false, everything complex is unusable.

    On your statement: Mathematical models only reaffirm what we think we know. There is a finite limit to our knowledge. But our, umm… unknowledge, is infinite like the universe.

    It reminds me of another paradox--Fitch's Paradox of Knowability, which argues, in essence, that not all truths are knowable. Fitch's paradox is a mind-bender (for me anyways). Fitch, with deft use of language and logic, purports to show that "If it is possible to know everything, then everything is already known."

    Of course, everything is not already known, so there are some things that are beyond the grasp of humanity.

    All of which is just another way of saying: These arrogant pricks just know that they "know" about things for which they will never actually know, and their unbridled hubris ensures that they will never really know this.
  27. Last Monday, the day before election day, Trump was just 1 per cent behind Clinton (when you looked at state-by-state polling that predicted electoral college votes). He was behind but well within the margin of error.

    Any sensible forecast at that time would have at least given Trump a realistic chance to win the election. To his credit, Nate Silver had Trump at about 30 per cent, which at least was in the realm of sanity although ultimately incorrect. (But a month or so earlier Silver had Trump at a 10 per cent chance, which proved only that his methodology was seriously unreliable, whatever his previous successes had been.)

    Wang had Trump at a 1 per cent chance? Not so much Wang as wanker.

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  28. Sam Wang, who gave Hillary a 99% chance:

    He came up short, huh?

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Sam Wang, who gave Hillary a 99% chance:

    He came up short, huh?"

    The family jewels is not the only place where Asian men come up short.

  29. @International Jew
    "If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,”

    He's a Wang. If he were Thai, though, bugs would be a regular part of his diet. My Chinese colleagues joke about the gross things Thais eat.

    As a Jew, I could legally eat a locust — they're kosher, uniquely in fact among invertebrates — but I haven't found the right moment yet.

    Locasts are “things that crawl” right?
    We’re they aware of distinctions between vertibrets and invertibrats?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moshe
    The Bible mentions species of locust that are Kosher to eat. Most Jews don't eat them because their ancestors lived in areas where they didn't exist or otherwise we're not found palatable so they are unsure which locust specifically are referred to in the Bible.

    Some Arab Jews however, most famously the Yemenites, do eat some of these locust or at least did before someone opened a chuck e cheese.
  30. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    As a United States citizen, I demand that Trump be put in a Kevlar condom until he gets sworn in. They could put in some peep holes if he starts fussing.

    Read More
  31. @Wilkey
    Bradley Effect.

    Or in this case, Bradley Effect + depressed black turnout + Trump supporters refusing to tell random strangers they were voting for a "racist" candidate + the fact that it's hard to encourage the large and growing left side of the Democratic Party bell curve to get to the polls.

    I'll add another note: the Democratic Party's abandonment of the white working class is all but complete. I give you little Carbon County, Utah. Carbon County is coal country, as its name implies. In 2000 it went 51-45 for Bush. In 2008 it went 53-44 for McCain. So moving to the right, but not wildly so. This year it went 66-22 for Trump over Clinton.

    Like Britain's Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there's one thing I won't miss this year, it's the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.

    “the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. ”

    Agree. After about 24 hours of sweetness and light following the election, Clinton’s angry accusations against Comey, the Black/Leftist riots and attacks on whites, and Senator Reid’s vile claims about Trump make it pretty clear that the Dems and their media servants are not letting this one go. They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.

    Bette Davis’ advice would be appropriate now. Fasten your seatbelts, America.

    Read More
    • Replies: @newrouter
    >They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.<

    They don't have much input as they have no power at the federal level.
  32. Wang was wong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @C. Van Carter
    Good one.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Wang was wong.
     
    And two wongs don't make a wight. And I love wight.

    That's wight pwivilege, I guess…
  33. “Jeff Nesbit is executive director of Climate Nexus, a DC-based communications firm focused on climate change. He was the communications director to former Vice President Dan Quayle (R-IN) at the White House and the legislative and public affairs director at the National Science Foundation. He is the author of Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP.”

    Somehow, this doesn’t increase my confidence in the author.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I like the Big Tobacco part. What is it, 1998?
  34. So does this mean that Nate Silver is back as the more accurate data forecaster prognosticator?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Light Roast
    Of course it does.

    Obviously he's a genius because he predicted an Obama victory in 2012, which no one else on Earth was able to do.

    And obviously he's still a genius because he was the least-wrong of the forecasters that predicted a Clinton victory.
    , @No_0ne
    Nope. That goes to Ricky Vaughn (@ReturnofRV), or sundance at theconservativetreehouse, or Vox Day...
  35. Somewhat OT:

    Some people were being magnanimous to Crooked Hillary after her concession speech, obviously that is a mistake. Since the polling was so inaccurate, I don’t know how anyone could prove Comey’s announcement played any role in her defeat.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/clinton-blames-fbis-comey-for-her-defeat-in-call-with-donors/ar-AAkdFc9?OCID=ansmsnnews11

    Read More
    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Yeah, the data and polling people for Hillary got the overall vote wrong in the battleground states by over (in several cases, I believe, well over) 5%.

    But now Hillary reports them as finding hard data supporting the idea that, among white suburban women, there was a significant uptick in Trump voters at the very end due to the second Comey letter.

    But how can they possibly miss the overall picture so miserably and have any reason for confidence in such a narrow claim as that about the effect of the second Comey letter?

  36. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Schiff was right about the Housing Bubble.

    Very few were right about the Poll Bubble of 2016.

    It seems the media and pollsters have their own form of toxic derivatives.

    They added crap numbers with real numbers, rolled em up, sliced them, and sold them to willing buyers in the media invested in War Criminal Hillary’s victory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thomas
    That's exactly what I kept thinking reading this: just like the housing bubble. In both cases, reliance on random data and averaging missed an underlying, non-random biased trend they couldn't see.
    , @Dieter Kief
    If it's as simple as Schiff thinks**, Trump will have a v e r y hard time.





    ** I do agree with him.
  37. I would love to see Donald Trump deport Sam Wang back to China. After all his people are ripping us off.

    Read More
  38. @Wilkey
    Bradley Effect.

    Or in this case, Bradley Effect + depressed black turnout + Trump supporters refusing to tell random strangers they were voting for a "racist" candidate + the fact that it's hard to encourage the large and growing left side of the Democratic Party bell curve to get to the polls.

    I'll add another note: the Democratic Party's abandonment of the white working class is all but complete. I give you little Carbon County, Utah. Carbon County is coal country, as its name implies. In 2000 it went 51-45 for Bush. In 2008 it went 53-44 for McCain. So moving to the right, but not wildly so. This year it went 66-22 for Trump over Clinton.

    Like Britain's Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there's one thing I won't miss this year, it's the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.

    Like Britain’s Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there’s one thing I won’t miss this year, it’s the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.

    I agree that this will be an emerging story; the media is already jumping to Sens. Sanders and Warren as the default Democrat spokespeople (granted, there are few other Democrats besides the president with any kind of national profile).

    And the Democrats are reacting to their failure to pay attention to their traditional working-class, culturally conservative white base by. . . nominating Rep. Keith Ellison — the communist, black, Muslim, pro-terrorist radical — as their next chairman.

    It looks like President Trump will catch another lucky break, just as the Tories did in the U.K.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "And the Democrats are reacting to their failure to pay attention to their traditional working-class, culturally conservative white base by. . . nominating Rep. Keith Ellison — the communist, black, Muslim, pro-terrorist radical — as their next chairman."

    A Muslim shoots up a Gay nightclub in Orlando and the Democrats react to that by pushing hard to nominate a Muslim to be the chairman of The Democratic Party. It looks like something that came straight out of The Onion.

    Muslims really are moving up the ranks in The Coalition Of The Fringes. To use a Cosa Nostra reference, Muslims have become Made Guys in The Coalition Of The Fringes.

    Shows how much respect the Democrats have for their LGBTQ voting base. With friends like that who needs enemies.

  39. @SPMoore8
    Now if we could only get Lena Dunham and those others to keep their promise about moving to Canada ...... Wang was wrong and he owned it. And ate it. Props.

    From the perspective I saw, Nate Silver was seriously dumped on for improving Trump's odds. So, even though he was also wrong, he ended up looking better than virtually any of his opposition.

    BTW, youtube has several network election night coverages (8 to 11 hours long) so anyone who wants to relive the moments as FL, NC, OH, WI, and PA fell one after another, and want to relive the Schadenfreude, it's out there.

    SPMoore8,

    Forget about Nate Silver.

    The IBD (Investor Business Daily) poll was much reliable as a presidential predictor. For the 2 weeks before election day they showed Clinton and Trump essentially within the margins of errors. If I remember correctly, they had Trump up 2 points on election day morning. This makes IBD the best predictor for the last 3 presidential cycles.

    Read More
  40. Joe Addresses The Media Blindspot Covering Donald Trump’s Chance At Presidency | Morning Joe | MSNBC

    They should have put their trust in astrology, like Benjamin Franklin…

    Projection 101

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/projection-101-3/#comment-1615664

    [MORE]

    Richard Saunders — Of all of Franklin’s noms de plume, Mr. Saunders became the best known. Richard Saunders was the “Richard” of Poor Richard’s Almanack. First published late in 1732, Poor Richard’s Almanack is probably Franklin’s best-known publication. Richard Saunders’ humorous sayings and advice filled the pages of the almanac’s twenty-six editions.

    The quote comes from the 1751 preface to the Poor Richard’s Almanac that you can find on Google Books. He writes

    Courteous Reader

    Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, had in high Esteem of old, by the Wise and Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight a Battle, in short, no important Affair was taken without first consulting an Astrologer, who examined the Aspects and Configurations of the heavenly bodies, and mark’d the lucky hour. Now the noble Art (more Shame to the Age we live in!) is dwindled into contempt; the Great neglect us, Empires make Leagues, and Parliaments Laws, without advising with us; and scarce any other Use is made of our learned Labors, than to find the best time cutting Corns, or gelding Pigs, – this Mischief we owe in a great Measure to ourselves: The ignorant Herd of Mankind: had they not been encourag’d to it by some of us, would never have dared to deprecate our sacred Dictates; but Urania has been betray’d by her own Sons: those whom she had favored with the greatest skill in her divine art, the most eminent astronomers among the Moderns, the Newtons, Helleys, and Whistons have wantonly condem’d and abus’d her, contrary to the Light of their own Consciouses.

    National Review’s Failed Conservatism of Values, Ideas, and Principles

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2016/01/national-reviews-conservatism-of-values-ideas-and-principles/#comment-274379

    FKA Max
    January 26, 2016 – 2:44 pm | Permalink

    This is somewhat off-topic, and some or most might consider it pseudo-scientific and overly metaphysical, but I feel I need to share the following information, especially with some of Donald Trump’s skeptics and critics here in the comments.

    The topic I would like to talk about is astrology, and how Donald Trump’s astrology/birth horoscope corresponds with and relates to the astrology/birth horoscope of the United States of America ( July 4, 1776). Very favorably actually.

    Here a good astrological analysis, that comes to the ( IMO correct) conclusion, that Donald Trump and the USA match very well astrologically, and that Donald Trump is/has an overwhelmingly positive influence on the United States

    Read More
  41. @Alfa158
    I hope my investment company isn't among the financial analysts using his services.
    My flabber is gasted by all the instances where tremendously bright people simply can't check their own assumptions and ask themselves, GIGO, how reliable is the collected data we are chewing on so industriously? How representative are the people who are responding to surveys? Personally, I will never get polled by phone because I use a service that blocks any marketing or robo type call including charities and politicians. How much are the questions being used, the people being polled, and the answers they collect being influenced by wishful thinking? The most meticulously engineered bridge might collapse if someone carelessly gives the structural a specification sheet that is for the wrong grade of steel. I haven't seen anyone on mainstream media saying; hey you know what, maybe the data we ae collecting is flawed so it doesn't matter how brilliant our algorithms are.

    “I hope my investment company isn’t among the financial analysts using his services.”

    If incompetent Asians like Sam Wang are the future of America than this country is screwed. Asian superiority is overestimated. There is a reason his ancestral homeland of China has a mediocre non impressive human development index.

    Read More
  42. This made me smile

    http://malcolmpollack.com/2016/11/11/ignoracracy/

    As did this:

    ” I do hope Donald Trump doesn’t deport my illegal Dominican ex who lives at
    345 Dyckman St Apt 4 C
    New York, New York 10039″

    http://americandigest.org/sidelines/2016/11/

    Read More
  43. @SPMoore8
    Now if we could only get Lena Dunham and those others to keep their promise about moving to Canada ...... Wang was wrong and he owned it. And ate it. Props.

    From the perspective I saw, Nate Silver was seriously dumped on for improving Trump's odds. So, even though he was also wrong, he ended up looking better than virtually any of his opposition.

    BTW, youtube has several network election night coverages (8 to 11 hours long) so anyone who wants to relive the moments as FL, NC, OH, WI, and PA fell one after another, and want to relive the Schadenfreude, it's out there.

    I gather that all 681 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been moved to their southern border in what is expected to be a vain attempt at stemming the Invasion of the Glitterati.

    Read More
    • Replies: @celt darnell
    Man, if you don't feel any sympathy for the Canadians facing this invasion of ghastly, brain dead and deadbeat celebrity illegal immigrants, you have no heart.
    , @Pericles
    "Well, they're not sending their best people, eh?"
    , @Lurker
    ROE - shoot on sight!
  44. Dear Steve,

    I thought I would enjoy the wailing of the defeated after Trump’s win, and I did, for a while, but now I’m sick of it. The aggrieved howling and unmasked threats and contempt spewed by many of my family, friends, acquaintances, and media make me feel more alienated than ever. I cannot ignore them, they are my world! Now it’s as if the nice people singing “We Are the World” suddenly bared fangs and howled for blood. Will it ever stop? What can I do?

    D. Plorable, on Facebook.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "but now I’m sick of it. The aggrieved howling and unmasked threats and contempt spewed by many of my family,"

    Death threats from family members for not voting for Crooked Hildabeast? Damn Left Wingers put The Democratic Party above their own flesh and blood. That's extremel partisanship on steroids.
    , @Anonymous
    You've got plenty of company. Had no idea my friend group was such an intolerant political monoculture. Do they have any critical thinking skills? What is this meaningless reversion to "hate" and "phobe" and "ist" ? Don't they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah ... all the stuff they claimed to be against?
    , @BB753
    If you come out as a Deplorable and Trumpist, your own family will unperson and disown you. Trust me on this. Particularly those family members under 40 years old. And they will also slander you behind your back and ignore you on Christmas. It really hurts but at least you'll know where your family stands.
  45. @International Jew
    "If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,”

    He's a Wang. If he were Thai, though, bugs would be a regular part of his diet. My Chinese colleagues joke about the gross things Thais eat.

    As a Jew, I could legally eat a locust — they're kosher, uniquely in fact among invertebrates — but I haven't found the right moment yet.

    I suspect locusts are kosher because there were some very bad years where it was literally eat locusts or starve.

    Read More
  46. @SPMoore8
    Now if we could only get Lena Dunham and those others to keep their promise about moving to Canada ...... Wang was wrong and he owned it. And ate it. Props.

    From the perspective I saw, Nate Silver was seriously dumped on for improving Trump's odds. So, even though he was also wrong, he ended up looking better than virtually any of his opposition.

    BTW, youtube has several network election night coverages (8 to 11 hours long) so anyone who wants to relive the moments as FL, NC, OH, WI, and PA fell one after another, and want to relive the Schadenfreude, it's out there.

    More than simply giving the odds, Nate Silver provided more information regarding his methodology that allows one to figure out where exactly he went wrong and so counter accusations that (unlike a lot of other pollsters) he was simply acting as a shill for Clinton. For instance, he made it clear that Trump was just a normal polling error behind Clinton:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-just-a-normal-polling-error-behind-clinton/

    And what made me more confident than almost anything else about Trump’s chances of victory was seeing where exactly that polling error was likely to manifest itself based on Silver’s own words, when he incredibly stated that any Bradley Effect was likely to manifest itself in Clinton’s favour:

    natesilver: The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip, or at least they were less enthusiastic about responding to pollsters.

    So that sounds more like Clinton’s voters than Trump’s, if anything…

    clare.malone: It seems unlikely to me that there are a lot of shy Trumps, if only because I think he’s become pretty normalized now.

    micah: Totally agree ^^^.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-could-the-polls-be-missing/

    Unbelievable. Too smart for their own good, I think.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Altai

    The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip,
     
    No, they were working class people who had never in their life voted Tory and felt guilty and a bit uncomfortable mentioning it since it was seen as morally wrong in their communities, particularly after everything that had happened in the 70s. What bullshit is it to say it was because the Conservatives were 'plodding and un-hip'. Jesus Christ these people are politically illiterate. It's almost like they have absolutely no intuitive understanding of working class people or something.

    A Wisconsin Democrat who worked their life in heavy industry does not simply vote for a Republican candidate. He feels uncomfortable with it, add in the fact that Trump is 'literally Hitler' and he won't tell you the truth.

    , @Light Roast
    "natesilver: The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip..."

    Mince words much, Nate? So the shy Tories were worried about appearing uncool? Not about losing their jobs, friends, or being the victim of violence?

    If this is the closest the left can come to honest dialogue among themselves, it's no wonder they were blindsided by the election results.
  47. “I suspect locusts are kosher because there were some very bad years where it was literally eat locusts or starve.”

    But those years for the Jews weren’t so horrible for them that it was literally eat pork or starve.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I guess since they didn't have pigs anyway, it didn't matter. Whereas the abundance of locusts nicely correlated with famine.

    And rabbis could give you exceptions under life-threatening conditions anyway.

  48. Refugees held in Australian offshore detention to be resettled in US

    The Australian government has announced a landmark “one off” resettlement deal to the United States for refugees held at Australia’s remote offshore detention facilities on Nauru and Manus Island.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/13/refugees-held-in-australian-offshore-detention-to-be-resettled-in-us

    Read More
    • Replies: @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "Refugees held in Australian offshore detention to be resettled in US".
    Thanks Obama!
    , @reiner Tor
    That's a deal that's bad for both countries. It creates incentives to flee to Australia (after all, those who are unable to get to Australia might still be able to get to the US), while of course it's bad for the US to accept unassimilable anti-social minority groups.
  49. @European-American
    Dear Steve,

    I thought I would enjoy the wailing of the defeated after Trump's win, and I did, for a while, but now I'm sick of it. The aggrieved howling and unmasked threats and contempt spewed by many of my family, friends, acquaintances, and media make me feel more alienated than ever. I cannot ignore them, they are my world! Now it's as if the nice people singing "We Are the World" suddenly bared fangs and howled for blood. Will it ever stop? What can I do?

    D. Plorable, on Facebook.

    “but now I’m sick of it. The aggrieved howling and unmasked threats and contempt spewed by many of my family,”

    Death threats from family members for not voting for Crooked Hildabeast? Damn Left Wingers put The Democratic Party above their own flesh and blood. That’s extremel partisanship on steroids.

    Read More
  50. Wang finds out that fortunetelling is harder than Chinese math.

    All the doubters could have paid heed to our Jack Hanson, but noooooo.

    Read More
  51. @International Jew
    "If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,”

    He's a Wang. If he were Thai, though, bugs would be a regular part of his diet. My Chinese colleagues joke about the gross things Thais eat.

    As a Jew, I could legally eat a locust — they're kosher, uniquely in fact among invertebrates — but I haven't found the right moment yet.

    I’m not Jewish but IIRC, only certain locusts are kosher. The Hebrew in the relevant Torah passages is so obscure that Ashkenaz rabbinic teaching was play it on the safe side and consider all locusts tref. Mishrahim claim an oral tradition that allows them to distinguish tref from kosher locusts.

    Read More
  52. Early trailer for the Nate Silver biopic. Seems to be detailing his early training in statistics. Looks okay, but I feel like they might have dumbed it down a bit for the masses.

    Read More
  53. Wang wussed out. He should have eaten a live Madagascar hissing cockroach. Freeze dried crickets would be like eating popcorn.

    Read More
  54. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    So does this mean that Nate Silver is back as the more accurate data forecaster prognosticator?

    Of course it does.

    Obviously he’s a genius because he predicted an Obama victory in 2012, which no one else on Earth was able to do.

    And obviously he’s still a genius because he was the least-wrong of the forecasters that predicted a Clinton victory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jasper Been
    Heh. I knew pretty early on that Romney would be the nominee in 12 and that he would ultimately lose to Obama. Did not take a genius to figure that out.

    This year I assumed the outcome would likely be the opposite of what it turned out to be (I thought HRC would get over 270 EV and TRUMP would win pop. vote)

  55. @MJMD
    More than simply giving the odds, Nate Silver provided more information regarding his methodology that allows one to figure out where exactly he went wrong and so counter accusations that (unlike a lot of other pollsters) he was simply acting as a shill for Clinton. For instance, he made it clear that Trump was just a normal polling error behind Clinton:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-just-a-normal-polling-error-behind-clinton/

    And what made me more confident than almost anything else about Trump's chances of victory was seeing where exactly that polling error was likely to manifest itself based on Silver's own words, when he incredibly stated that any Bradley Effect was likely to manifest itself in Clinton's favour:


    natesilver: The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip, or at least they were less enthusiastic about responding to pollsters.

    So that sounds more like Clinton’s voters than Trump’s, if anything...

    clare.malone: It seems unlikely to me that there are a lot of shy Trumps, if only because I think he’s become pretty normalized now.

    micah: Totally agree ^^^.
     

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-could-the-polls-be-missing/

    Unbelievable. Too smart for their own good, I think.

    The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip,

    No, they were working class people who had never in their life voted Tory and felt guilty and a bit uncomfortable mentioning it since it was seen as morally wrong in their communities, particularly after everything that had happened in the 70s. What bullshit is it to say it was because the Conservatives were ‘plodding and un-hip’. Jesus Christ these people are politically illiterate. It’s almost like they have absolutely no intuitive understanding of working class people or something.

    A Wisconsin Democrat who worked their life in heavy industry does not simply vote for a Republican candidate. He feels uncomfortable with it, add in the fact that Trump is ‘literally Hitler’ and he won’t tell you the truth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jasper Been
    On that note, as a WI resident, I was very surprised the state went GOP. Has not happened since 1984. I wouldn't have bet a dime that would happen in 2016.
  56. @2Mintzin1
    "the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. "

    Agree. After about 24 hours of sweetness and light following the election, Clinton's angry accusations against Comey, the Black/Leftist riots and attacks on whites, and Senator Reid's vile claims about Trump make it pretty clear that the Dems and their media servants are not letting this one go. They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.

    Bette Davis' advice would be appropriate now. Fasten your seatbelts, America.

    >They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.<

    They don't have much input as they have no power at the federal level.

    Read More
    • Replies: @2Mintzin1
    I was referring to what they will do on the street level (see Portland) and on the media level.

    On the federal level, they have most of the civil service, which does have the power to f..k things up to a fare-thee-well and prevent/delay effective implementation of Trump's policies. That can be a powerful weapon.
    , @guest
    Is this a joke? The vast majority of civil service employees vote Democrat. They are more apparatchiks of the ruling left-liberal uniparty than of the Democrat Party proper, but it works out to about the same thing.
  57. @Alfa158
    I hope my investment company isn't among the financial analysts using his services.
    My flabber is gasted by all the instances where tremendously bright people simply can't check their own assumptions and ask themselves, GIGO, how reliable is the collected data we are chewing on so industriously? How representative are the people who are responding to surveys? Personally, I will never get polled by phone because I use a service that blocks any marketing or robo type call including charities and politicians. How much are the questions being used, the people being polled, and the answers they collect being influenced by wishful thinking? The most meticulously engineered bridge might collapse if someone carelessly gives the structural a specification sheet that is for the wrong grade of steel. I haven't seen anyone on mainstream media saying; hey you know what, maybe the data we ae collecting is flawed so it doesn't matter how brilliant our algorithms are.

    It’s well known that response rates for these surveys are very bad and continue getting worse. This makes bias likely and the correct computation of standard errors impossible.

    I’ve never had much respect for predictive models of election results. I briefly worked for a political “scientist” whose tenure at an Ivy League school and overall reputation were based on a simple-minded predictive model of presidential elections. Estimating the parameters for these models required crunching national data in a non-linear, time-series regression model. I soon discovered that this guy had at best a weak grasp of basic statistics, hadn’t actually written the design specs for his models nor done any of the statistical programming, and couldn’t even write the input specs for the program that ran his regressions even though writing these required nothing more than an elementary knowledge of difference operators and high school algebra.

    Once I got tired of waiting to run the models while this guy “went downstairs to consult with a colleague”, i.e. had someone do the math for him. I set up the specs myself and started the program running. An undergrad that worked with me predicted that I would soon be fired because this clown couldn’t stand being shown up in any way. The undergrad was right. As a coda to the experience, a few months later a sexual harassment scandal allowed the department to revoke the man’s tenure.

    Read More
  58. @MJMD
    More than simply giving the odds, Nate Silver provided more information regarding his methodology that allows one to figure out where exactly he went wrong and so counter accusations that (unlike a lot of other pollsters) he was simply acting as a shill for Clinton. For instance, he made it clear that Trump was just a normal polling error behind Clinton:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-just-a-normal-polling-error-behind-clinton/

    And what made me more confident than almost anything else about Trump's chances of victory was seeing where exactly that polling error was likely to manifest itself based on Silver's own words, when he incredibly stated that any Bradley Effect was likely to manifest itself in Clinton's favour:


    natesilver: The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip, or at least they were less enthusiastic about responding to pollsters.

    So that sounds more like Clinton’s voters than Trump’s, if anything...

    clare.malone: It seems unlikely to me that there are a lot of shy Trumps, if only because I think he’s become pretty normalized now.

    micah: Totally agree ^^^.
     

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-could-the-polls-be-missing/

    Unbelievable. Too smart for their own good, I think.

    “natesilver: The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip…”

    Mince words much, Nate? So the shy Tories were worried about appearing uncool? Not about losing their jobs, friends, or being the victim of violence?

    If this is the closest the left can come to honest dialogue among themselves, it’s no wonder they were blindsided by the election results.

    Read More
  59. @Wilkey
    "He shows his partisan colors right away – he asks Trump to nominate Merrick Garland as a gesture of national unity. I’m sure if the situation was reversed, Hillary would have done the same for Bush."

    Democrats are always asking Republicans to make grand gestures that Democrats would never in a million years make. "Yeah, Donald Trump, be a great man of the people by making the Supreme Court 44% Jewish instead of just 33% Jewish in a country that is only 2% Jewish."

    On another note, Donald Trump is now the first president since Ronald Reagan not to have a college degree from either Harvard or Yale.

    Penn is barely even an Ivy!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Penn is barely even an Ivy!
     
    Lol. While I know your were joking...

    "Ivy League" started as a collegiate sports term. Since Penn is the 3rd oldest Ivy I would say it is solidly within the 8 total Ivies. Plus, Trump went to Wharton, the #1 business school.

    While I think Trump has almost supernatural instincts and confidence, he doesn't strike me as a natural Ivy League egghead. He transferred from Fordham to Penn and how he was able to pull off this transfer might have been his first big deal.

    A good number of the mega rich outside of finance and tech didn't go to elite schools. E.g., Billionaires Harold Hamm, S. Truett Cathy, John Paul DeJoria, et al., have zero college education.

    I can't see a college degree, even from prestigious schools, being worth as much as they have been for the past 3 decades. Especially when I see the recent products of these elites schools and the glut of female graduates from these schools.

  60. @Glossy
    Sam Wang, who gave Hillary a 99% chance:

    He came up short, huh?

    “Sam Wang, who gave Hillary a 99% chance:

    He came up short, huh?”

    The family jewels is not the only place where Asian men come up short.

    Read More
  61. @Anon
    Chinese eating bug.

    That no punishment. It just snack.

    Figure he either salted, sugared or Sirached the crap out of that critter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    He said in the video--honey.
    , @AKAHorace
    I ate bugs, lizards and pork intestines in Thailand. And everyone knows all these Asian countries are just the same.
  62. Wired lost it about ten years ago and has been at war with its own comment section ever since. They made a big deal of supporting Hillary and Obama was their “guest editor in chief” a month or two ago.

    They don’t even pretend to be impartial.

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  63. @EdwardM

    Like Britain’s Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there’s one thing I won’t miss this year, it’s the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.
     
    I agree that this will be an emerging story; the media is already jumping to Sens. Sanders and Warren as the default Democrat spokespeople (granted, there are few other Democrats besides the president with any kind of national profile).

    And the Democrats are reacting to their failure to pay attention to their traditional working-class, culturally conservative white base by. . . nominating Rep. Keith Ellison -- the communist, black, Muslim, pro-terrorist radical -- as their next chairman.

    It looks like President Trump will catch another lucky break, just as the Tories did in the U.K.

    “And the Democrats are reacting to their failure to pay attention to their traditional working-class, culturally conservative white base by. . . nominating Rep. Keith Ellison — the communist, black, Muslim, pro-terrorist radical — as their next chairman.”

    A Muslim shoots up a Gay nightclub in Orlando and the Democrats react to that by pushing hard to nominate a Muslim to be the chairman of The Democratic Party. It looks like something that came straight out of The Onion.

    Muslims really are moving up the ranks in The Coalition Of The Fringes. To use a Cosa Nostra reference, Muslims have become Made Guys in The Coalition Of The Fringes.

    Shows how much respect the Democrats have for their LGBTQ voting base. With friends like that who needs enemies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    It's almost as if the more anti-White Christian the averages for that group of people, the more important it is for the Dems to raise up a member of that group to high office.
  64. Wang, sporting guru Jay Caspian Kang, and aviator Capt. Wi Tu Lo should now form a data-driven comedy troupe, The 3 Wise Professionals. They could not do worse than the election-night episode of “Stephen Colbert” that carried 0.5 jokes/hr and fewer degrees of expert insight than a single Ali G interview question

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  65. My Democrat friends clung tightly to Sam Wang’s “analysis” because it was far more pro Hillary than even Silver’s. The good news is that we don’t have yet another con artist pretending to read the tea leaves by making predictions based on rigged and distorted polls.

    Read More
  66. @bored identity
    "I will eat a bug..."


    Let me guess, that's gonna happen after you move to Canada?


    Allan Lichtman noted that poll predictors, like Nate Silver, are nothing more than clerks and there is not scientific analysis in anything that they’re doing:


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/28/professor-whos-predicted-30-years-of-presidential-elections-correctly-is-doubling-down-on-a-trump-win/

    “I will eat a bug…”

    Let me guess, that’s gonna happen after you move to Canada?”

    Of course Canada. Moving back to 3rd World China is off the table for Sam Wang, even though it’s his ancestral homeland.

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  67. @George
    Refugees held in Australian offshore detention to be resettled in US

    The Australian government has announced a landmark “one off” resettlement deal to the United States for refugees held at Australia’s remote offshore detention facilities on Nauru and Manus Island.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/13/refugees-held-in-australian-offshore-detention-to-be-resettled-in-us

    “Refugees held in Australian offshore detention to be resettled in US”.
    Thanks Obama!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
    Relocate them right next door to Obama and his 'wife'
  68. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Whether it was Buchanan Cannon, Coulter War, or Sailer Strategy, we have to give lots of credit to Trump Charisma.

    If Kasich or Scott Walker had taken up Trump’s positions, I don’t think they could have done it.

    Trump who was accused of ‘thin skin’ was the very opposite. Tough Hide and Big Smile.

    Midnight Cowboy didn’t get far in NY but Millionaire Cowboy did.

    Everybody’s Talking. I guess Thiel was his Ratso… I mean Rizzo.

    As Scott Adams, he had a knack for visualizing ideas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lb5LdJ7cLc

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Walker's hide is even tougher. But he's too stoic to play well outside of Wisconsin.

    Obama is the same way, but Luo ancestry gives him a patina of interestingness.

    Check out Mr & Mrs Walker's photo on the official state highway map, sporting Harley gear. Were H-D not based in the state he governs, it would be completely incongruous.

    Note, too, that their sons are more traditionally dressed.
    , @Anon
    "Obama is the same way, but Luo ancestry gives him a patina of interestingness."

    He was never tested. He was the most shielded and protected and promoted candidate in US history.

    On occasion when he was asked tough questions, he was all stammer and BS.
  69. @Richard of Melbourne
    Last Monday, the day before election day, Trump was just 1 per cent behind Clinton (when you looked at state-by-state polling that predicted electoral college votes). He was behind but well within the margin of error.

    Any sensible forecast at that time would have at least given Trump a realistic chance to win the election. To his credit, Nate Silver had Trump at about 30 per cent, which at least was in the realm of sanity although ultimately incorrect. (But a month or so earlier Silver had Trump at a 10 per cent chance, which proved only that his methodology was seriously unreliable, whatever his previous successes had been.)

    Wang had Trump at a 1 per cent chance? Not so much Wang as wanker.

    Agreed, Sam Wanker.

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  70. “I think this place is restricted Wang, so don’t tell ‘em your Jewish, okay?

    I’m of the opinion that probabilities in the context of an election are bunk. One candidate has a 100% chance of winning while the other has a 0% chance. Outside the context of making book and getting even money on both sides so the house makes its vigorish, I don’t see how you can predict what people will do in the future (hence the “probabilities” are constantly changing in response to events in an attempt to determine how the events change the future will of the voters). It would make more sense to do an electoral college “spread” after the second major party’s nomination and stick to it. The appeal of these outfits is that they’re essentially magic with the dressing of SCIENCE!11!1!! for pompous liberals who can’t do math or science. Silver might as well have beakers filled with multicolored fluids boiling away. If one candidate has a 70% chance and the other a 30% chance you can defend your model after both outcomes.

    An easier explanation for the difference between the models is that Silver was a known brand who had “predicted” 2012 and had a hot blog (and revenues from views as the politics wizard for the Left) so it made sense for him to have a healthy hedge to defend his method upon either outcome (with a healthy bias towards Clinton because he knows who his blog audience is). On the other hand, Wang was trying to break into the lucrative “scientific” political prognostication business by taking a shot at the most likely outcome given the polls with a 99% Clinton chance – which, if successful, would be viewed as much “more accurate” than Silver’s model. In such a case, Wang could potentially overcome Silver as the political prediction “SCIENCE!11!!” blog of choice for liberals who need to be reassured by their own form of magic disguised as science.

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  71. @Anon
    Both Silver and Wang have fallen prey to that siren of modern technology, big data analytics.

    They think that if you average enough polls together, you get the truth. It's the old fallacy of the Chinese Emperor's Nose that Richard Feynman used to talk about.

    It usually works, but whether it works better than any individual poll is open to question. It most certainly doesn't work when there is systematic bias in the data. Systematic bias is a thing. It happens. To correct for it, you have to pay attention and notice things (TM). You can run your Monte Carlo simulation a gazillion times but it won't tell you that you overlooked a key input.

    Big data analytics can get the most out of data, but it can't get more out of the data than was already there.

    I call it the Napoleon effect. Napoleon is thought to have been short because he was described as 5’2″, but that was using the French foot of that era which was 13 inches. He was actually a normal size for that time of 5’7″.
    If you use 20 different French rulers to measure Bonaparte and average the measurements you might be inclined to say that; Although no ruler is perfectly accurate, since we averaged the results of so many different rulers, then we must surely have averaged out the errors, and therefore produced an accurate result. Of course you are still wrong by 5″ because all the rulers had an offset bias of about 1″ per foot.

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    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    The better analogy might be that the people purportedly trying to measure Napoleon's height (and already concluding that he is exceedingly short) occasionally measure someone who is not Napoleon and who is exceedingly short, and other times "adjust" or "weight" the foot to be 14 or 15 inches while measuring Napoleon himself because everyone else is doing the same or similar things.

    Then they average all the measurements and make a wax model of Napoleon. Everyone in France views the wax model and concludes that Napoleon is very short. Then on a certain day the real flesh and blood Napoleon visits the wax model and towers over it, while the measurers and model-makers insist that their methods are correct, some insisting that the man could not possibly be Napoleon because he is so much taller than the model.

    OT, but what does this say for the Global Climate Change models? After all, polling science and Silverian probabilities were before 2016 deemed irrefutable SCIENCE!11!11!! Doubters or skeptics of either were treated remarkably similarly.

    , @No_0ne
    Stalin was shorter than Napoleon.
  72. @Light Roast
    Of course it does.

    Obviously he's a genius because he predicted an Obama victory in 2012, which no one else on Earth was able to do.

    And obviously he's still a genius because he was the least-wrong of the forecasters that predicted a Clinton victory.

    Heh. I knew pretty early on that Romney would be the nominee in 12 and that he would ultimately lose to Obama. Did not take a genius to figure that out.

    This year I assumed the outcome would likely be the opposite of what it turned out to be (I thought HRC would get over 270 EV and TRUMP would win pop. vote)

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  73. @Altai

    The original “shy” term comes from “shy Tories,” and the idea was that British voters didn’t want to admit to voting for a party that was plodding and un-hip,
     
    No, they were working class people who had never in their life voted Tory and felt guilty and a bit uncomfortable mentioning it since it was seen as morally wrong in their communities, particularly after everything that had happened in the 70s. What bullshit is it to say it was because the Conservatives were 'plodding and un-hip'. Jesus Christ these people are politically illiterate. It's almost like they have absolutely no intuitive understanding of working class people or something.

    A Wisconsin Democrat who worked their life in heavy industry does not simply vote for a Republican candidate. He feels uncomfortable with it, add in the fact that Trump is 'literally Hitler' and he won't tell you the truth.

    On that note, as a WI resident, I was very surprised the state went GOP. Has not happened since 1984. I wouldn’t have bet a dime that would happen in 2016.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Do you think the Milwaukee BLM riot in August was a factor?
  74. @Alfa158
    I call it the Napoleon effect. Napoleon is thought to have been short because he was described as 5'2", but that was using the French foot of that era which was 13 inches. He was actually a normal size for that time of 5'7".
    If you use 20 different French rulers to measure Bonaparte and average the measurements you might be inclined to say that; Although no ruler is perfectly accurate, since we averaged the results of so many different rulers, then we must surely have averaged out the errors, and therefore produced an accurate result. Of course you are still wrong by 5" because all the rulers had an offset bias of about 1" per foot.

    The better analogy might be that the people purportedly trying to measure Napoleon’s height (and already concluding that he is exceedingly short) occasionally measure someone who is not Napoleon and who is exceedingly short, and other times “adjust” or “weight” the foot to be 14 or 15 inches while measuring Napoleon himself because everyone else is doing the same or similar things.

    Then they average all the measurements and make a wax model of Napoleon. Everyone in France views the wax model and concludes that Napoleon is very short. Then on a certain day the real flesh and blood Napoleon visits the wax model and towers over it, while the measurers and model-makers insist that their methods are correct, some insisting that the man could not possibly be Napoleon because he is so much taller than the model.

    OT, but what does this say for the Global Climate Change models? After all, polling science and Silverian probabilities were before 2016 deemed irrefutable SCIENCE!11!11!! Doubters or skeptics of either were treated remarkably similarly.

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  75. @Kyle
    Locasts are "things that crawl" right?
    We're they aware of distinctions between vertibrets and invertibrats?

    The Bible mentions species of locust that are Kosher to eat. Most Jews don’t eat them because their ancestors lived in areas where they didn’t exist or otherwise we’re not found palatable so they are unsure which locust specifically are referred to in the Bible.

    Some Arab Jews however, most famously the Yemenites, do eat some of these locust or at least did before someone opened a chuck e cheese.

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    • Replies: @backup
    Very practical rule. Once the critters ate your entire crops you have to eat something.
  76. @Anon
    Whether it was Buchanan Cannon, Coulter War, or Sailer Strategy, we have to give lots of credit to Trump Charisma.

    If Kasich or Scott Walker had taken up Trump's positions, I don't think they could have done it.

    Trump who was accused of 'thin skin' was the very opposite. Tough Hide and Big Smile.

    Midnight Cowboy didn't get far in NY but Millionaire Cowboy did.

    Everybody's Talking. I guess Thiel was his Ratso... I mean Rizzo.

    As Scott Adams, he had a knack for visualizing ideas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lb5LdJ7cLc

    Walker’s hide is even tougher. But he’s too stoic to play well outside of Wisconsin.

    Obama is the same way, but Luo ancestry gives him a patina of interestingness.

    Check out Mr & Mrs Walker’s photo on the official state highway map, sporting Harley gear. Were H-D not based in the state he governs, it would be completely incongruous.

    Note, too, that their sons are more traditionally dressed.

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  77. The type of forecasting Wang does is relatively easy. You simply start with the outcome you want to forecast then juggle the numbers to make it look true. It is only when you add in that pesky and hateful component of accuracy that forecasting gets difficult.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Boom, Reminds of a comment a friend made when we were trying to justify a billing... "I took accounting, tell me what you want the number to be."
  78. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote.

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    • Replies: @res
    Some states with large Hillary popular vote differentials. Data from Google with a total differential of 600k votes.
    California +2.7M
    New York +1.5M
    Massachusetts +900K
    Illinois +800K
    Maryland +600K
    Washington +500K
    New Jersey +500K

    For a differential from those seven states of about +7.5M votes for Hillary. Thus the other forty three states (plus DC) went for Trump by about +6.9M votes.
    , @Travis
    another reason Trump failed to win the popular vote was the strong never trump movement which helped Republican Governor Gary Johnson obtain 4.1 million votes, which was 3 million more votes than he got 4 years ago. 97% of those who voted for Gary Johnson were white and at least 60% million of his 4 million votes came from cucks who had voted for Romney and supported the Bushes...
    , @Jefferson
    "So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote."

    I'm completely in favor of California breaking off from the rest of The United States to become it's own country because this hurts The Democratic Party from both a electoral vote and popular vote standpoint.

    California is United States In Name Only. Most of the state looks like either Mexico, Central America, China, Vietnam, or The Philippines.
    , @The Practical Conservative
    This happened in 1888. Huge EV gap, with the EV winner losing the popular vote by about 1%. Not really sure you can blame Mexico, just urban machine politics in general.
  79. @International Jew
    "If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,”

    He's a Wang. If he were Thai, though, bugs would be a regular part of his diet. My Chinese colleagues joke about the gross things Thais eat.

    As a Jew, I could legally eat a locust — they're kosher, uniquely in fact among invertebrates — but I haven't found the right moment yet.
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  80. Very few were right about the Poll Bubble of 2016.

    Sundance at theconservativetreehouse.com Here’s just one (of many) showing how the polls were DELIBERATELY skewed to make people think Hillary would win (in hopes of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.) Note the date on this — March of 2016.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/03/09/with-nbcwsj-its-not-polling-its-gaslighting-media-manipulation-the-latest-version/

    And a recent one: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/10/19/anti-gaslighting-raw-and-current-state-vote-data-not-remotely-close-to-media-polling/

    And another, that PREDICTED that as the election drew to within two weeks, the Lamestream media would begin decreasing Hillary’s lead (so that they wouldn’t be held accountable for their RIDICULOUS results of Hillary +14, etc.)

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/11/03/six-months-of-corporate-media-gaslighting-collapses-in-next-72-hours/

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  81. @Bill Jones
    I gather that all 681 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been moved to their southern border in what is expected to be a vain attempt at stemming the Invasion of the Glitterati.

    Man, if you don’t feel any sympathy for the Canadians facing this invasion of ghastly, brain dead and deadbeat celebrity illegal immigrants, you have no heart.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Celt, Has our resident troll, Tiny Duck, applied for a Canadian visa?
  82. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anon
    Whether it was Buchanan Cannon, Coulter War, or Sailer Strategy, we have to give lots of credit to Trump Charisma.

    If Kasich or Scott Walker had taken up Trump's positions, I don't think they could have done it.

    Trump who was accused of 'thin skin' was the very opposite. Tough Hide and Big Smile.

    Midnight Cowboy didn't get far in NY but Millionaire Cowboy did.

    Everybody's Talking. I guess Thiel was his Ratso... I mean Rizzo.

    As Scott Adams, he had a knack for visualizing ideas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lb5LdJ7cLc

    “Obama is the same way, but Luo ancestry gives him a patina of interestingness.”

    He was never tested. He was the most shielded and protected and promoted candidate in US history.

    On occasion when he was asked tough questions, he was all stammer and BS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
    Obama strikes me as a truly boring, disinteresting dullard. He has been 100% propped up and sold and shoved down our throat by a pliant sycophant butt-kissing media for the past 10+ years. You have listened to him when he is off his teleprompter, right? "Uh...duh....duh....uh....ah....wait....wait...." He is a intellectual lightweight who needs a teleprompter to speak to kindergartners; oh yes he does, he had it out there when speaking with the kids. Boring, unfunny, not quick on his feet, a thin-skinned sourpuss, and way way way overrated (apologies to Steve who has ascribed to Obama way more IQ points that he merits). Thank God this national embarrassment of a dopey doofus dunderhead is on his way out the door, the nightmare is over.
  83. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @SPMoore8
    Now if we could only get Lena Dunham and those others to keep their promise about moving to Canada ...... Wang was wrong and he owned it. And ate it. Props.

    From the perspective I saw, Nate Silver was seriously dumped on for improving Trump's odds. So, even though he was also wrong, he ended up looking better than virtually any of his opposition.

    BTW, youtube has several network election night coverages (8 to 11 hours long) so anyone who wants to relive the moments as FL, NC, OH, WI, and PA fell one after another, and want to relive the Schadenfreude, it's out there.

    So, even though [Silver] was also wrong,

    How do we know he was wrong– or what do you mean by “wrong”? He gave Clinton a 71% chance of winning.

    I’d feel comfortable saying HuffPo (98%) and Wang (99+%) were (probably) wrong, but it’s not all that remarkable for a nearly one-in-three shot to pan out.

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    • Agree: NOTA
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    This has been debated here endlessly. If you try to give Silver props (especially after the abuse he got last weekend), someone points out that his prediction was not accurate (insofar as it did not project Trump with a higher probability of winning), and that some others in a straight up/down forecast picked Trump.

    On the other hand, if you point out that Silver was "wrong" in the sense that he nevertheless gave HRC a higher probability than Trump, then you will have someone pointing out that Silver's probabilities actually gave Trump a decent chance (which is what you are saying, and which I agree with.)

    All I'm really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.
    , @res
    To evaluate Silver's accuracy I think we should go finer grained and look at the electoral vote totals. Trump not only won, he won with 306 EV. How likely was that in Silver's model? The best data I see to judge that is at http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/#electoral-vote
    From those charts I would estimate Silver gave Trump an ~10% chance of getting 306 EV or more compared to the 28.6% final estimate of a Trump victory.
    I would not call that accurate, but it is much better than most of the others (which I think is what SPMoore8 is saying).

    A useful thought experiment is to ask what probability people like Sam Wang would have assigned to Trump getting 306 EV. Talk about wrong!

    P.S. Note that the link in the comment I am replying to goes to the NYT Upshot, not 538.

    , @guest
    Silver fits the title of a book about pseudoscience I read once, called "Not Even Wrong."
  84. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/12/new-york-times-publisher-vows-to-rededicate-itself-to-reporting-honestly.html

    Sheesh, NYT made the same promise after debacle of Iraq War(which it endorsed) and Obama election(which it admitted went a bit gaga over).

    Trusting NYT is like trusting Bill Clinton to be faithful.

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  85. @Bugg
    Figure he either salted, sugared or Sirached the crap out of that critter.

    He said in the video–honey.

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  86. @Barnard
    Somewhat OT:

    Some people were being magnanimous to Crooked Hillary after her concession speech, obviously that is a mistake. Since the polling was so inaccurate, I don't know how anyone could prove Comey's announcement played any role in her defeat.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/clinton-blames-fbis-comey-for-her-defeat-in-call-with-donors/ar-AAkdFc9?OCID=ansmsnnews11

    Yeah, the data and polling people for Hillary got the overall vote wrong in the battleground states by over (in several cases, I believe, well over) 5%.

    But now Hillary reports them as finding hard data supporting the idea that, among white suburban women, there was a significant uptick in Trump voters at the very end due to the second Comey letter.

    But how can they possibly miss the overall picture so miserably and have any reason for confidence in such a narrow claim as that about the effect of the second Comey letter?

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  87. @Anon
    Both Silver and Wang have fallen prey to that siren of modern technology, big data analytics.

    They think that if you average enough polls together, you get the truth. It's the old fallacy of the Chinese Emperor's Nose that Richard Feynman used to talk about.

    It usually works, but whether it works better than any individual poll is open to question. It most certainly doesn't work when there is systematic bias in the data. Systematic bias is a thing. It happens. To correct for it, you have to pay attention and notice things (TM). You can run your Monte Carlo simulation a gazillion times but it won't tell you that you overlooked a key input.

    Big data analytics can get the most out of data, but it can't get more out of the data than was already there.

    Big data analytics is basically a function of personal computers and spreadsheet softwares. It would have been too time consuming in earlier eras for most purposes. It’s sexy, it’s in demand, but in most cases it cannot improve on the accuracy of a handful of basic methods, and above all it leaves out any acquaintance with qualitative factors that are hard to measure.

    Presidential polls that give 2%-4% in most cases to one candidate are going to work in favor of that candidate: that’s why I was so pessimistic on Tuesday. But once in awhile the margin of error goes the other way. You can’t predict that, but too many people think that if you generate enough pages you can.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The big concerns about polling are

    - Pollsters accidentally failing to get a representative sample of voters due to changes in social habits or technology

    - Voters not telling the truth due to fears of harm for supporting the wrong candidate

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters

    The latter seemed unlikely until this year's all-hands-on-deck mobilization against Trump.
  88. WaPo — The 13 most amazing findings in the 2016 exit poll

    4. Education level mattered yugely in your vote choice

    In 2012, Obama won both voters who had graduated from college and those who hadn’t; he took 50 percent among the former group and 51 percent among the latter. This time around, there was a far bigger divide. Clinton won voters with a college degree 52 percent to 43 percent. Trump won voters without a college degree by eight points.

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence — I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice — perhaps it had more to with Trump’s unpolished nature — his boorishness.

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "This cannot be a matter of intelligence — I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice — perhaps it had more to with Trump’s unpolished nature — his boorishness."

    People with a college degree are more likely to be pro-open borders than people who went to a trade school.
    , @Light Roast
    I agree that it's not a matter of intelligence. It's a matter of conformity. Colleges enforce a massive amount of conformity and indoctrination on their students. And the companies that colleges feed into also enforce conformity. The people who thrive in those environments are natural conformists.

    And conformists voted for Clinton.
    , @res

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence — I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice — perhaps it had more to with Trump’s unpolished nature — his boorishness.
     
    Partially agreed, but I think the difference was more than just his boorishness. This is an example where I wish we had separate data for intelligence and education (and major!). I'll bet it would be fascinating. I'd also bet breaking college educated into "useful" and "useless" majors would make for some stark differences in HRC's popularity.

    Also, don't underestimate the effect of people's individual circumstances. It is a lot easier to believe/support what Hillary was selling if everyone around you is a college professor than if you live in an unsafe part of Chicago. This applies doubly so given the media/peer bubbles we tend to inhabit.
    , @Honorary Thief
    The more educated voter was impressed with the fineness of the Emperor's robe.
  89. @Bugg
    Figure he either salted, sugared or Sirached the crap out of that critter.

    I ate bugs, lizards and pork intestines in Thailand. And everyone knows all these Asian countries are just the same.

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    • Replies: @backup
    I ate pork intestines in France. Andouillettes. Also ate frog legs there, as well as brains.
  90. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    What ideological attitude really prevails among the elites?

    Intellectism?

    Intellectism isn’t based on race since there are intellectuals and smart people among all races.

    But it is biological in the sense the elite institutions and industries tend to draw together people who are naturally smart and industrious. After all, industriousness alone won’t cut it.
    A person with 90 IQ can study all he or she wants. Aint gonna make it to MIT or Stanford.

    So, Liberal Elite Progs are into HBD but on mental grounds than racial origin.

    Now, since the Intellectist environment draws together smart people of all color, these folks may see themselves as beyond ‘atavistic’ biological view of people.

    But a community based on smart people is biological in that it pulls together the naturally brainy types of all races. Even with affirmative action, it favors smarter blacks over dumb blacks, smarter browns over dumb browns, etc.
    It is no less restrictivist than a race-ist organized community that determines who’s in or who’s out according to race. Only the rules of admission is different.
    Some might call it meritocratic, and it is to the extent that even smart people must make an effort to succeed. However, it’s not pure meritocracy since genes predetermine who can and cannot succeed. It’s not just about the means but the genes. It is largely deterministic. Meritocracy works only with those predestined by genes to be smart. Determeritistic.

    I think enough Progs will admit that, yes, they do gravitate to communities of smart and successful people. But they are not willing to admit to what extent this is biological. They may focus on values, effort, connections, or etc. that favored some people for entry… which is why NYT keeps on printing its umpteenth piece on some new theory to close the GAP.
    Now, it is true enough that some less smart people do get into the higher realm through intermarriage or legacy(like at Harvard that book in George W. Bush).

    At any rate, intellectist-organized society is no less discriminatory along brain power.
    But its smug ‘progressive’ people ignore that factor and pretend to be ‘inclusive’ because they speak feel-goody rhetoric about ‘doing more’ to make everyone succeed and because they are diverse by drawing in the best and brightest from all groups.

    But if all these smarties gravitate together, they will live in their own bubble and become disassociated with their own people except through theory of proggy talk.

    White elites become disassociated from white masses, now known as deplorables.
    Black elites become disassociated from black masses.
    Yellow elites become disassociated from yellow masses.
    Brown elites become disassociated from brown masses.
    Hindu elites become disassociated from Hindu masses.

    In this Coming Apart from the masses and Coming Together as an Elite(increasing interracial elite, like the Rubenstein-Chuas), they turn into a mestizo-mulatto-Chewish super-elite of high IQ-ness.

    Sure, these elites, esp the non-white ones, will spout the usual PC cliches about combating ‘white privilege’ in theory and lectures, but in their daily life, they will be sharing in’white privilege’ or globo-privilege like the one enjoyed Fareed Zikavirus.

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  91. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Most of the pollsters got one thing right. Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump, so they weren’t wrong about that. The problem is, where did those votes occur? In the states that went narrowly for Trump, Trump’s advantage would have been hiding within the margin of error, so it would have been very difficult to tease out how those electoral votes would have gone.

    I suspect the polls were more accurate than people realize, it was just that many of those ‘Yeah, I’m voting for Hillary’ people were never very enthusiastic, and on election day, they just didn’t bother to show up. They might have been planning to, but the Comey drama could easily have finished off their very last ounce of interest.

    Psychologically speaking, there was a big difference between voting for Obama and voting for Hillary. People could pat themselves on the back and say they were good people when they voted for Obama because they weren’t being racist. But Hillary was a crook and everyone knew it, and no one could congratulate themselves or feel proud for supporting her. It was like voting for Warren Harding after the teapot dome scandal. Hillary did not allow voters to maintain any sort of illusions about her, and Democrats are a people who crave illusions. Hillary kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome


    Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump

     

    Really?
    , @TontoBubbaGoldstein
    Hillary kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face.

    Trump also kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face; which is why, contrary to the media narrative, he was the only GOP candidate who could defeat her.
  92. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @European-American
    Dear Steve,

    I thought I would enjoy the wailing of the defeated after Trump's win, and I did, for a while, but now I'm sick of it. The aggrieved howling and unmasked threats and contempt spewed by many of my family, friends, acquaintances, and media make me feel more alienated than ever. I cannot ignore them, they are my world! Now it's as if the nice people singing "We Are the World" suddenly bared fangs and howled for blood. Will it ever stop? What can I do?

    D. Plorable, on Facebook.

    You’ve got plenty of company. Had no idea my friend group was such an intolerant political monoculture. Do they have any critical thinking skills? What is this meaningless reversion to “hate” and “phobe” and “ist” ? Don’t they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah … all the stuff they claimed to be against?

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    • Replies: @European-American
    It's a strange feeling. All those people heroically fighting Hitler and you realize.... Hitler is you.

    O Philip K. Dick, save us!

    And Jefferson, those near and dear to me are nice people. They don't know about my shy Trumping ways. Some may suspect, but it's easier for them not to think about. So they can keep cursing the KKK and Hitler as vituperatively as they can, it's no one they know. An obvious side benefit is that it discourages anyone wavering from going over to the dark side.

    , @Jefferson
    "Don’t they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah … all the stuff they claimed to be against?"

    The Left is only anti-war when there is a Republican in The White House. Haven't you noticed Code Pink have been awfully silent in the last 8 years.

    You underestimate how extremely loyal partisan the Left is towards The Democratic Party.

    New school Liberalism is so full of contradictions.

    Old school Liberals know Crooked Hildabeast is a shill for Wall Street and wants to bomb Russia into oblivion, thst's why they voted for either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.

    New school Liberalism was created by the likes of Eric Holder, Crooked Hildabeast, and George Soros. They hijacked Liberalism.
    , @No_0ne
    Perhaps not, but the people higher up know. The comments of mine that got deleted the fastest on mainstream/ leftist sites were not the ones that cited "racist" hatefacts. The ones that disappeared almost instantly were the ones that cited the results of Hillary's attack on Libya, and pointed out that she advocates reducing Syria to a failed state as well, or that brought up the US government-supported Saudi attack on Yemen, or similar issues.

    They know how weak and counterfactual the officially-promoted Syria/ ISIS narrative is. It takes a lot of effort to maintain. Simply pointing out that "moderate" "Syrian" "rebels" is 3 lies in 3 words, and explaining, has a lot of power.

    Of course, there's also a remarkable coincidence that few seem to notice. Beginning with the mujahideen, in Afghanistan, many of the media-promoted, US government-supported "freedom fighter" groups have something in common with the officially-promoted enemies of the moment. They tend to be ill-defined international bands of Salafist (Wahhabist) Muslim mercenaries. Odd, that. Rather Emmanuel Goldstein-ish...
  93. @dearieme
    Is he one of the Yorkshire Wangs?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetwang

    A bit east of there actually

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    The East Riding, no doubt.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Riding_of_Yorkshire
  94. @Anon
    Both Silver and Wang have fallen prey to that siren of modern technology, big data analytics.

    They think that if you average enough polls together, you get the truth. It's the old fallacy of the Chinese Emperor's Nose that Richard Feynman used to talk about.

    It usually works, but whether it works better than any individual poll is open to question. It most certainly doesn't work when there is systematic bias in the data. Systematic bias is a thing. It happens. To correct for it, you have to pay attention and notice things (TM). You can run your Monte Carlo simulation a gazillion times but it won't tell you that you overlooked a key input.

    Big data analytics can get the most out of data, but it can't get more out of the data than was already there.

    The polls weren’t badly wrong on the whole, although a small minority was deliberately biased in Clinton’s favour. It was their interpretation that was grossly inaccurate, so much so that Silver, who was bad in this regard himself, was attacked by rabid packs for allowing some reality to seep in.

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    • Replies: @res

    The polls weren’t badly wrong on the whole, although a small minority was deliberately biased in Clinton’s favour.
     
    While largely true, it is hard to argue that
    Associated Press-GfK 10/20 - 10/24 Clinton +14
    ABC News Tracking 10/20 - 10/23 Clinton +12
    were anything but badly wrong!
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html#polls
    I see 11 polls altogether that had Clinton at >+10%
  95. @Anonymous
    You've got plenty of company. Had no idea my friend group was such an intolerant political monoculture. Do they have any critical thinking skills? What is this meaningless reversion to "hate" and "phobe" and "ist" ? Don't they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah ... all the stuff they claimed to be against?

    It’s a strange feeling. All those people heroically fighting Hitler and you realize…. Hitler is you.

    O Philip K. Dick, save us!

    And Jefferson, those near and dear to me are nice people. They don’t know about my shy Trumping ways. Some may suspect, but it’s easier for them not to think about. So they can keep cursing the KKK and Hitler as vituperatively as they can, it’s no one they know. An obvious side benefit is that it discourages anyone wavering from going over to the dark side.

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    • Replies: @backup
    It might be the case that you have no idea how many of them are also moving sides deep inside their heads but only recently started to doubt. The more they doubt, the more vocal they shout the desired political lines. It's to compensate for the loss of security that one was on the right side of history.
  96. @Anon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgRGBNekFIw

    Schiff was right about the Housing Bubble.

    Very few were right about the Poll Bubble of 2016.

    It seems the media and pollsters have their own form of toxic derivatives.

    They added crap numbers with real numbers, rolled em up, sliced them, and sold them to willing buyers in the media invested in War Criminal Hillary's victory.

    That’s exactly what I kept thinking reading this: just like the housing bubble. In both cases, reliance on random data and averaging missed an underlying, non-random biased trend they couldn’t see.

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  97. @anon

    So, even though [Silver] was also wrong,
     
    How do we know he was wrong-- or what do you mean by "wrong"? He gave Clinton a 71% chance of winning.

    I'd feel comfortable saying HuffPo (98%) and Wang (99+%) were (probably) wrong, but it's not all that remarkable for a nearly one-in-three shot to pan out.

    This has been debated here endlessly. If you try to give Silver props (especially after the abuse he got last weekend), someone points out that his prediction was not accurate (insofar as it did not project Trump with a higher probability of winning), and that some others in a straight up/down forecast picked Trump.

    On the other hand, if you point out that Silver was “wrong” in the sense that he nevertheless gave HRC a higher probability than Trump, then you will have someone pointing out that Silver’s probabilities actually gave Trump a decent chance (which is what you are saying, and which I agree with.)

    All I’m really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    All I’m really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.
     
    Agreed.

    At two moments, at the time of the Democratic convention and the day before the first debate, Nate Silver's model gave equal chances to Hillary and Trump winning the election. The night before the election, his model had Hillary winning in two outcomes for every time Trump won in an outcome in 20,000 runs of his model.

    Within the limits of polling error and the sensitivity of election outcomes to relatively small local shifts among voters one way or the other, Silver's model did ok for a forecasting model. Many others probably did too.

    It's easy to forget, after Nate Silver's accurate predictions in earlier elections, that with the dozens of forecasts out there, someone or the other will be right every time, pretty much at random. Nate Silver's claim to fame is that he has been right more than once, and especially that his model is pretty thorough and built up systematically, from ground assumptions and data for every single state.

    These are probabilistic models. No one has a crystal ball, so there are no deterministic models, and never will be. That is, no one has a magic formula to call the election correctly every time.

    To expect that someone does is naive, and to measure election forecasters against that standard, fundamentally misunderstands statistically based forecasting.
    , @No_0ne
    "All I’m really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair."

    Actually, the criticism he got last week was perfectly "fair" and justified-- if you adopt the frame of the progressive establishment. Silver broke ranks with them, putting his own reputation for accuracy ahead of the narrative, and ahead of loyalty to the hivemind. That's unforgivable, in their eyes.

    Imposing a narrative that conflicts with reality requires near-unanimity, since truth has inherent advantages. Someone like Silver cannot be relied upon to disseminate the party line when it comes time to propagate the next hoax.

    Always remember what you're dealing with here.
    , @Anon
    I think Silver's ideology and identity got into the mix.

    Mind and emotions don't mix.

    Bias was a big factor. It's like quantum mechanics where observation changes the observed.

    It was the 'shikse' that brought down Ace Rothstein. He went with emotions and gambled wrong.

    But when he only used his mind, he was one hell of a handicapper

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-riX6Xbvb8w
  98. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Lest we forget, the same type of ‘sure-fire, solid’ mathematical analysis was at the root of the great big MMM (remember that?)

    The inference here is that hard math analysis breaks down when attempts are made to quantify millions of individual human actors.

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  99. @Anon
    "Obama is the same way, but Luo ancestry gives him a patina of interestingness."

    He was never tested. He was the most shielded and protected and promoted candidate in US history.

    On occasion when he was asked tough questions, he was all stammer and BS.

    Obama strikes me as a truly boring, disinteresting dullard. He has been 100% propped up and sold and shoved down our throat by a pliant sycophant butt-kissing media for the past 10+ years. You have listened to him when he is off his teleprompter, right? “Uh…duh….duh….uh….ah….wait….wait….” He is a intellectual lightweight who needs a teleprompter to speak to kindergartners; oh yes he does, he had it out there when speaking with the kids. Boring, unfunny, not quick on his feet, a thin-skinned sourpuss, and way way way overrated (apologies to Steve who has ascribed to Obama way more IQ points that he merits). Thank God this national embarrassment of a dopey doofus dunderhead is on his way out the door, the nightmare is over.

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  100. @Jason Liu
    I wish the staff at Huffington Post had made this vow

    I would have predicated the bet on something more excremental than arthropodic.

    No no no–I’m not speaking scatologically. I mean having them eat their own words.

    Why ruin the day for some poor little bug?

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  101. @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "Refugees held in Australian offshore detention to be resettled in US".
    Thanks Obama!

    Relocate them right next door to Obama and his ‘wife’

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  102. @Anon
    Most of the pollsters got one thing right. Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump, so they weren't wrong about that. The problem is, where did those votes occur? In the states that went narrowly for Trump, Trump's advantage would have been hiding within the margin of error, so it would have been very difficult to tease out how those electoral votes would have gone.

    I suspect the polls were more accurate than people realize, it was just that many of those 'Yeah, I'm voting for Hillary' people were never very enthusiastic, and on election day, they just didn't bother to show up. They might have been planning to, but the Comey drama could easily have finished off their very last ounce of interest.

    Psychologically speaking, there was a big difference between voting for Obama and voting for Hillary. People could pat themselves on the back and say they were good people when they voted for Obama because they weren't being racist. But Hillary was a crook and everyone knew it, and no one could congratulate themselves or feel proud for supporting her. It was like voting for Warren Harding after the teapot dome scandal. Hillary did not allow voters to maintain any sort of illusions about her, and Democrats are a people who crave illusions. Hillary kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face.

    Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump

    Really?

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Yes. I just checked the latest total this morning, and she's still ahead by 631K. It's possible to lose the popular vote in an electoral college system, yet still win the presidency.
    , @Ron Mexico
    I am skeptical, too, about the HRC popular vote. I fear that this will be used to pressure electors to change their votes. Would you put anything past these Demons? I want to sit back and enjoy the crack up of these knuckleheads all over the country, but part of me feels so sorry that they are such puppets.
  103. Let’s not forget the Wired article, the Grimm fight, Dowd fight and others spats Silver got into during the last week were a result of this article.:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-yes-donald-trump-has-a-path-to-victory/

    He got shredded for this article and others that merely said that Trump had a shot.

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  104. @SPMoore8
    Big data analytics is basically a function of personal computers and spreadsheet softwares. It would have been too time consuming in earlier eras for most purposes. It's sexy, it's in demand, but in most cases it cannot improve on the accuracy of a handful of basic methods, and above all it leaves out any acquaintance with qualitative factors that are hard to measure.

    Presidential polls that give 2%-4% in most cases to one candidate are going to work in favor of that candidate: that's why I was so pessimistic on Tuesday. But once in awhile the margin of error goes the other way. You can't predict that, but too many people think that if you generate enough pages you can.

    The big concerns about polling are

    - Pollsters accidentally failing to get a representative sample of voters due to changes in social habits or technology

    - Voters not telling the truth due to fears of harm for supporting the wrong candidate

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters

    The latter seemed unlikely until this year’s all-hands-on-deck mobilization against Trump.

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    • Agree: Spmoore8, No_0ne
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Thanks for summarizing the issues, because your second point constitutes "Social Desirability Bias", which is definitely a thing.

    I remember during the 1968 election season, lying in bed thinking of writing a story about a guy who agrees with what everyone else says, but then, in the privacy of the voting booth, doing the exact opposite. I thought it would be such a great story, high drama. Of course it was just a youngster's fantasy and I couldn't wrap any words around it, and keeping in mind the kind of stuff I read back in those days had probably already been written by Ray Bradbury. But now it's "Social Desirability" and we can collapse something inchoate into a concept of eight syllables.

    Which also addresses Sapir-Whorf and the criticism the theory has received. I recently read Steven Pinker's supposedly authoritative takedown of the thesis, and I was unimpressed, partly because it was heavily indebted to Pullum's very funny critique of Sapir-Whorf that I read 20 years ago, but also partly because Pinker was too self-satisfied and simplistic: he says, "Well, if I can think of something, say, visually, then I am not using words, so the idea that I need words to think is wrong."

    Now I will agree that Whorf's analysis as it pertains to Native American words and the notorious "17 words for snow" was overly simplistic itself, and also wrong. But criticizing on that level also ignores what I think is a deeper truth; which is until you can summarize a lot of vague observations into something on the order of a concept or a category, you really aren't in control of your observations. And for the phenomenon we are describing here, "Social Desirability Bias" is as good a concept-word as any.

    Couple more observations;

    #1 - There must have been some way to describe the concept that Social Desirability Bias embraces in prior eras. The wiki says the concept goes back to 1960. But the concept describes an aspect of human nature, so it has definitely been discussed before.

    #2 - The election I was musing about in 1968 was of course Nixon-Humphrey, it may be no coincidence that the two elections I can recall that are similar to Trump are Nixon 68 and Reagan 80, in all three cases, Republicans who were not expected to win by the MSM consensus but who did win, partly because a third party added a volatile element.

    As to the other two points you raise: I think MSM bias was probably there, simply because of enforced orthodoxy and social desirability bias among the people doing the polling analyses. At that point wish fulfillment and confirmation bias (other concepts) probably kicked in. People have a remarkable ability to fool themselves. But here I don't think the MSM skewing was intentional.I don't think they lack integrity. It's their job, after all; it's hard to think someone would scuttle their work product just to get a result that made them (and their co-workers) happy.

    As to the methods of polling; I think the social isolation/diminishment of the public square idea is probably relevant. Nobody likes being called names so people have a tendency for even greater reticence whenever someone brings up one of the big social-cultural issues. That tends to make people not to want to talk to anybody; I know in or household we hung up on pollers at least a half dozen times.
    , @The most deplorable one
    So what went wrong?

    I think it possible, for example, that there were 1M illegal votes. Sounds like a large number but it is less than 1% of the votes cast and with some estimates that there are 15M illegals in the country (people who by their very nature have little regard for the rule of law) it seems likely to me.

    The Democrats (or was it Soros and the Saudis) were doing everything possible to win.

    What went wrong?
    , @Olorin
    There's another sightly more mathematical-philosophical point to be made.

    Polling (the research kind) of polling (the voting kind) is an attempt to predict and influence a mass behavioral phenomenon that hasn't happened yet.

    So it whiffs to me more of voodoo or haruspicy than stats. And special interests are built right in. (You don't see this endeavor arising chthonically. Always top-down by people with something to sell. Voting, by contrast, was designed to flow the other direction.)

    It's probably a doomed enterprise to p<.05.

    That's a joke. But it brings me to the point:

    I can say from cringeworthy experience that most pollsters and other marketing research types have no comprehension of the arithmetic behind the numbers they're constructing, analyzing, and flinging around. They plug and play numbers the way grad students throw 500 variables at each other in CROSSTABS and hope to find something worthy of career advancement.

    In this collapse of polling, we are seeing something similar to the larger replication crisis in the "social" "sciences" IMO. But there's an even more interesting point...and significant HBD angle here.

    Predictive analytics relies on descriptive data about historic trends for its inferential outcomes.

    Rapid demographic and racial changes in the American electorate render predictive analytics about any election even more difficult to forecast.

    Trump's team won because they used PA to target resources at their base, where it actually existed. Their base was the electoral slice about which we know the most, having had the most experience of and with it in past elections. There is also a higher degree of genomic, therefore behavioral, coherence in this slice.

    The Dems' response is, "Well, we'll just double down on bringing in more people who not only derive from non-voting populations...and whose voting behaviors have been limp and unpredictable...but about whom we have zero historical data to feed into our predictive analyses."

    Maybe now they'll grow an interest in HBD, eh?

    Or maybe HBD just Trumped the whole lefty/bolshie dreamscape in a way that will be far more difficult to ignore than the knockout game, black crime statistics, interracial rape and violence, studies of the failure of multiculturalism/diversity, etc.

    , @Opinionator
    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters...

    ...or trying to benefit one candidate by creating a perception of "social proof."
  105. @SPMoore8
    This has been debated here endlessly. If you try to give Silver props (especially after the abuse he got last weekend), someone points out that his prediction was not accurate (insofar as it did not project Trump with a higher probability of winning), and that some others in a straight up/down forecast picked Trump.

    On the other hand, if you point out that Silver was "wrong" in the sense that he nevertheless gave HRC a higher probability than Trump, then you will have someone pointing out that Silver's probabilities actually gave Trump a decent chance (which is what you are saying, and which I agree with.)

    All I'm really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.

    All I’m really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.

    Agreed.

    At two moments, at the time of the Democratic convention and the day before the first debate, Nate Silver’s model gave equal chances to Hillary and Trump winning the election. The night before the election, his model had Hillary winning in two outcomes for every time Trump won in an outcome in 20,000 runs of his model.

    Within the limits of polling error and the sensitivity of election outcomes to relatively small local shifts among voters one way or the other, Silver’s model did ok for a forecasting model. Many others probably did too.

    It’s easy to forget, after Nate Silver’s accurate predictions in earlier elections, that with the dozens of forecasts out there, someone or the other will be right every time, pretty much at random. Nate Silver’s claim to fame is that he has been right more than once, and especially that his model is pretty thorough and built up systematically, from ground assumptions and data for every single state.

    These are probabilistic models. No one has a crystal ball, so there are no deterministic models, and never will be. That is, no one has a magic formula to call the election correctly every time.

    To expect that someone does is naive, and to measure election forecasters against that standard, fundamentally misunderstands statistically based forecasting.

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  106. @Anon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgRGBNekFIw

    Schiff was right about the Housing Bubble.

    Very few were right about the Poll Bubble of 2016.

    It seems the media and pollsters have their own form of toxic derivatives.

    They added crap numbers with real numbers, rolled em up, sliced them, and sold them to willing buyers in the media invested in War Criminal Hillary's victory.

    If it’s as simple as Schiff thinks**, Trump will have a v e r y hard time.

    ** I do agree with him.

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  107. Eating a cricket is no big deal. They’re considered a delicacy in Southeast Asia, and I’ve eaten them myself—without honey. Not bad on a salad either; gives it that extra crunch.

    Now if Wang had eaten a cockroach that would have been impressive.

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  108. @Jefferson
    "And the Democrats are reacting to their failure to pay attention to their traditional working-class, culturally conservative white base by. . . nominating Rep. Keith Ellison — the communist, black, Muslim, pro-terrorist radical — as their next chairman."

    A Muslim shoots up a Gay nightclub in Orlando and the Democrats react to that by pushing hard to nominate a Muslim to be the chairman of The Democratic Party. It looks like something that came straight out of The Onion.

    Muslims really are moving up the ranks in The Coalition Of The Fringes. To use a Cosa Nostra reference, Muslims have become Made Guys in The Coalition Of The Fringes.

    Shows how much respect the Democrats have for their LGBTQ voting base. With friends like that who needs enemies.

    It’s almost as if the more anti-White Christian the averages for that group of people, the more important it is for the Dems to raise up a member of that group to high office.

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  109. @eah
    WaPo -- The 13 most amazing findings in the 2016 exit poll

    4. Education level mattered yugely in your vote choice

    In 2012, Obama won both voters who had graduated from college and those who hadn't; he took 50 percent among the former group and 51 percent among the latter. This time around, there was a far bigger divide. Clinton won voters with a college degree 52 percent to 43 percent. Trump won voters without a college degree by eight points.

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence -- I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice -- perhaps it had more to with Trump's unpolished nature -- his boorishness.

    “This cannot be a matter of intelligence — I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice — perhaps it had more to with Trump’s unpolished nature — his boorishness.”

    People with a college degree are more likely to be pro-open borders than people who went to a trade school.

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  110. @Anonymous
    You've got plenty of company. Had no idea my friend group was such an intolerant political monoculture. Do they have any critical thinking skills? What is this meaningless reversion to "hate" and "phobe" and "ist" ? Don't they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah ... all the stuff they claimed to be against?

    “Don’t they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah … all the stuff they claimed to be against?”

    The Left is only anti-war when there is a Republican in The White House. Haven’t you noticed Code Pink have been awfully silent in the last 8 years.

    You underestimate how extremely loyal partisan the Left is towards The Democratic Party.

    New school Liberalism is so full of contradictions.

    Old school Liberals know Crooked Hildabeast is a shill for Wall Street and wants to bomb Russia into oblivion, thst’s why they voted for either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.

    New school Liberalism was created by the likes of Eric Holder, Crooked Hildabeast, and George Soros. They hijacked Liberalism.

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  111. @JSM

    When Michigan is eventually called for Trump, he will have 306 Electoral Votes.
     
    Which means, Florida actually turned out to NOT be a must-win for Trump.

    There were always several co-must-wins. Given the call for faithless electors, every EV counts.

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  112. Speaking of forecasting, the Society of Actuaries confirms a declining life expectancy for Americans of all ages:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-28/americans-are-dying-faster-millennials-too

    Must be something in the water.

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  113. Was Nate Silver wrong?

    He said Hillary had an 84% chance of winning right before the election. That means Trump had a 16% chance of winning. If you predict a fair die is only 16% (closer to 17) to roll a 6, and then a 6 comes up, you’re not actually wrong when you say the die probably won’t roll a 6.

    Probabilities give you some weasel room. It’s in the nature of probability.

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    • Replies: @utu
    What does, say 90% chance to win really mean? How is that chance defined and then calculated?
    , @guest
    Odds for a one-off event like this are pretty meaningless. You can't run the election more than once, so they can't be tested like flipping a coin, which you could theoretically do a billion times. You'd be better off just predicting who will win, where, and by how much. Then we'll know whether you were right or not.
  114. @Wilkey
    Bradley Effect.

    Or in this case, Bradley Effect + depressed black turnout + Trump supporters refusing to tell random strangers they were voting for a "racist" candidate + the fact that it's hard to encourage the large and growing left side of the Democratic Party bell curve to get to the polls.

    I'll add another note: the Democratic Party's abandonment of the white working class is all but complete. I give you little Carbon County, Utah. Carbon County is coal country, as its name implies. In 2000 it went 51-45 for Bush. In 2008 it went 53-44 for McCain. So moving to the right, but not wildly so. This year it went 66-22 for Trump over Clinton.

    Like Britain's Labour Party, the Democratic Party has now responded to the election by suggesting it will move even farther to the left. If there's one thing I won't miss this year, it's the evergreen calls that the Republican Party (whether victorious or defeated) is going to need to move to the left.

    Nuanced-thinking Dem brain trust looks for party renewal in elderly white-male Jewish Socialist and elderly white faux-Cherokee squaw wooing back bitter clingers and irredeemable racists.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_politics/2016/11/rebuilding_year_for_dems_lynch_says

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  115. @Kyle
    Chaos theory.
    Modeling is never accurate past a certain point because models are models, not reality.
    Dingbats like Elon musk think there is a 50% chance that the universe is a computer simulation.
    He is wrong because of chaos theory. Mathematical models only reaffirm what we think we know. There is a finite limit to our knowledge. But our, umm... unknowledge, is infinite like the universe.

    On Modeling, they forgot about Bonini’s Paradox: Everything simple is false, everything complex is unusable.

    On your statement: Mathematical models only reaffirm what we think we know. There is a finite limit to our knowledge. But our, umm… unknowledge, is infinite like the universe.

    It reminds me of another paradox–Fitch’s Paradox of Knowability, which argues, in essence, that not all truths are knowable. Fitch’s paradox is a mind-bender (for me anyways). Fitch, with deft use of language and logic, purports to show that “If it is possible to know everything, then everything is already known.”

    Of course, everything is not already known, so there are some things that are beyond the grasp of humanity.

    All of which is just another way of saying: These arrogant pricks just know that they “know” about things for which they will never actually know, and their unbridled hubris ensures that they will never really know this.

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  116. Lloyd Christmas: I want to ask you a question, straight out, flat out, and I want you to give me the honest answer. What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together?
    Mary Swanson: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. We really don’t…
    Lloyd Christmas: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you Mary, just… The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
    Mary Swanson: Not good.
    Lloyd Christmas: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
    Mary Swanson: I’d say more like one out of a million.
    Lloyd Christmas: So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEAH!

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  117. @newrouter
    >They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.<

    They don't have much input as they have no power at the federal level.

    I was referring to what they will do on the street level (see Portland) and on the media level.

    On the federal level, they have most of the civil service, which does have the power to f..k things up to a fare-thee-well and prevent/delay effective implementation of Trump’s policies. That can be a powerful weapon.

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  118. @Anon
    Most of the pollsters got one thing right. Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump, so they weren't wrong about that. The problem is, where did those votes occur? In the states that went narrowly for Trump, Trump's advantage would have been hiding within the margin of error, so it would have been very difficult to tease out how those electoral votes would have gone.

    I suspect the polls were more accurate than people realize, it was just that many of those 'Yeah, I'm voting for Hillary' people were never very enthusiastic, and on election day, they just didn't bother to show up. They might have been planning to, but the Comey drama could easily have finished off their very last ounce of interest.

    Psychologically speaking, there was a big difference between voting for Obama and voting for Hillary. People could pat themselves on the back and say they were good people when they voted for Obama because they weren't being racist. But Hillary was a crook and everyone knew it, and no one could congratulate themselves or feel proud for supporting her. It was like voting for Warren Harding after the teapot dome scandal. Hillary did not allow voters to maintain any sort of illusions about her, and Democrats are a people who crave illusions. Hillary kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face.

    Hillary kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face.

    Trump also kept shoving the ugly reality of what she was right in your face; which is why, contrary to the media narrative, he was the only GOP candidate who could defeat her.

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  119. @Jasper Been
    On that note, as a WI resident, I was very surprised the state went GOP. Has not happened since 1984. I wouldn't have bet a dime that would happen in 2016.

    Do you think the Milwaukee BLM riot in August was a factor?

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  120. @European-American
    Dear Steve,

    I thought I would enjoy the wailing of the defeated after Trump's win, and I did, for a while, but now I'm sick of it. The aggrieved howling and unmasked threats and contempt spewed by many of my family, friends, acquaintances, and media make me feel more alienated than ever. I cannot ignore them, they are my world! Now it's as if the nice people singing "We Are the World" suddenly bared fangs and howled for blood. Will it ever stop? What can I do?

    D. Plorable, on Facebook.

    If you come out as a Deplorable and Trumpist, your own family will unperson and disown you. Trust me on this. Particularly those family members under 40 years old. And they will also slander you behind your back and ignore you on Christmas. It really hurts but at least you’ll know where your family stands.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    In my experience, they will avoid politics with you, except when they find something "truly outrageous" that even I have to be outraged at. Then when I stoically show them there's another point of view, from which it's a bit less outrageous, or actually, not outrageous at all. Then they steer away from the topic, seeing that I'm irredeemable. These relatives are Hungarian (maybe Americans are different), but most of them are basically of German ancestry. But you have to be very stoical about emotional outbursts, always be conciliatory, concede that of course maybe they are right, and that just a few (or, in my case, ten) years ago you saw things their way. In other words, give them a way out, and accept that you'll never convince them. If they otherwise like you, I doubt they'll suddenly start hating you. But again, maybe Americans are different.
  121. @Anonymous
    So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote.

    Some states with large Hillary popular vote differentials. Data from Google with a total differential of 600k votes.
    California +2.7M
    New York +1.5M
    Massachusetts +900K
    Illinois +800K
    Maryland +600K
    Washington +500K
    New Jersey +500K

    For a differential from those seven states of about +7.5M votes for Hillary. Thus the other forty three states (plus DC) went for Trump by about +6.9M votes.

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  122. @eah
    WaPo -- The 13 most amazing findings in the 2016 exit poll

    4. Education level mattered yugely in your vote choice

    In 2012, Obama won both voters who had graduated from college and those who hadn't; he took 50 percent among the former group and 51 percent among the latter. This time around, there was a far bigger divide. Clinton won voters with a college degree 52 percent to 43 percent. Trump won voters without a college degree by eight points.

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence -- I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice -- perhaps it had more to with Trump's unpolished nature -- his boorishness.

    I agree that it’s not a matter of intelligence. It’s a matter of conformity. Colleges enforce a massive amount of conformity and indoctrination on their students. And the companies that colleges feed into also enforce conformity. The people who thrive in those environments are natural conformists.

    And conformists voted for Clinton.

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  123. @Anon
    Chinese eating bug.

    That no punishment. It just snack.

    I thought bugs were eaten in Latin America, it’s cat that’s a delicacy in some parts of China.

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    • Replies: @Orthodox
    In some restaurants in China, you'll see a giant plate full of bugs in the front. One of the appetizers.
  124. Direct from Nate Genius Silver’s site:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/clinton-trump-probably-wont-be-the-next-dewey-defeats-truman/

    Second paragraph:
    “It’s a neat little story with a nice moral: Never count the underdog out. But Donald Trump’s supporters would be unwise to look to 1948 for comfort: Trump trails Hillary Clinton by more than Truman trailed Dewey, and the polling landscape in 2016 is much different than it was 68 years ago.”

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    • Replies: @guest
    Those comments were hilarious. It's like peaking in on an alien culture.
  125. @anon

    So, even though [Silver] was also wrong,
     
    How do we know he was wrong-- or what do you mean by "wrong"? He gave Clinton a 71% chance of winning.

    I'd feel comfortable saying HuffPo (98%) and Wang (99+%) were (probably) wrong, but it's not all that remarkable for a nearly one-in-three shot to pan out.

    To evaluate Silver’s accuracy I think we should go finer grained and look at the electoral vote totals. Trump not only won, he won with 306 EV. How likely was that in Silver’s model? The best data I see to judge that is at http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/#electoral-vote
    From those charts I would estimate Silver gave Trump an ~10% chance of getting 306 EV or more compared to the 28.6% final estimate of a Trump victory.
    I would not call that accurate, but it is much better than most of the others (which I think is what SPMoore8 is saying).

    A useful thought experiment is to ask what probability people like Sam Wang would have assigned to Trump getting 306 EV. Talk about wrong!

    P.S. Note that the link in the comment I am replying to goes to the NYT Upshot, not 538.

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  126. @eah
    WaPo -- The 13 most amazing findings in the 2016 exit poll

    4. Education level mattered yugely in your vote choice

    In 2012, Obama won both voters who had graduated from college and those who hadn't; he took 50 percent among the former group and 51 percent among the latter. This time around, there was a far bigger divide. Clinton won voters with a college degree 52 percent to 43 percent. Trump won voters without a college degree by eight points.

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence -- I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice -- perhaps it had more to with Trump's unpolished nature -- his boorishness.

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence — I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice — perhaps it had more to with Trump’s unpolished nature — his boorishness.

    Partially agreed, but I think the difference was more than just his boorishness. This is an example where I wish we had separate data for intelligence and education (and major!). I’ll bet it would be fascinating. I’d also bet breaking college educated into “useful” and “useless” majors would make for some stark differences in HRC’s popularity.

    Also, don’t underestimate the effect of people’s individual circumstances. It is a lot easier to believe/support what Hillary was selling if everyone around you is a college professor than if you live in an unsafe part of Chicago. This applies doubly so given the media/peer bubbles we tend to inhabit.

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  127. @BenKenobi
    Wow, good for him.

    If only all those who didn't believe in the God-Emperor were so honourable.

    I saw a number of tweets from leftists “promising” to kill themselves if President Trump won…

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  128. @Alfa158
    I call it the Napoleon effect. Napoleon is thought to have been short because he was described as 5'2", but that was using the French foot of that era which was 13 inches. He was actually a normal size for that time of 5'7".
    If you use 20 different French rulers to measure Bonaparte and average the measurements you might be inclined to say that; Although no ruler is perfectly accurate, since we averaged the results of so many different rulers, then we must surely have averaged out the errors, and therefore produced an accurate result. Of course you are still wrong by 5" because all the rulers had an offset bias of about 1" per foot.

    Stalin was shorter than Napoleon.

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  129. @5371
    The polls weren't badly wrong on the whole, although a small minority was deliberately biased in Clinton's favour. It was their interpretation that was grossly inaccurate, so much so that Silver, who was bad in this regard himself, was attacked by rabid packs for allowing some reality to seep in.

    The polls weren’t badly wrong on the whole, although a small minority was deliberately biased in Clinton’s favour.

    While largely true, it is hard to argue that
    Associated Press-GfK 10/20 – 10/24 Clinton +14
    ABC News Tracking 10/20 – 10/23 Clinton +12
    were anything but badly wrong!
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html#polls
    I see 11 polls altogether that had Clinton at >+10%

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  130. @Anon
    Both Silver and Wang have fallen prey to that siren of modern technology, big data analytics.

    They think that if you average enough polls together, you get the truth. It's the old fallacy of the Chinese Emperor's Nose that Richard Feynman used to talk about.

    It usually works, but whether it works better than any individual poll is open to question. It most certainly doesn't work when there is systematic bias in the data. Systematic bias is a thing. It happens. To correct for it, you have to pay attention and notice things (TM). You can run your Monte Carlo simulation a gazillion times but it won't tell you that you overlooked a key input.

    Big data analytics can get the most out of data, but it can't get more out of the data than was already there.

    To put it another way, meta-analysis, like larger samples, improves precision. It cannot improve accuracy.

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  131. @SFG
    Was Nate Silver wrong?

    He said Hillary had an 84% chance of winning right before the election. That means Trump had a 16% chance of winning. If you predict a fair die is only 16% (closer to 17) to roll a 6, and then a 6 comes up, you're not actually wrong when you say the die probably won't roll a 6.

    Probabilities give you some weasel room. It's in the nature of probability.

    What does, say 90% chance to win really mean? How is that chance defined and then calculated?

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  132. @SFG
    I thought bugs were eaten in Latin America, it's cat that's a delicacy in some parts of China.

    In some restaurants in China, you’ll see a giant plate full of bugs in the front. One of the appetizers.

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  133. @SPMoore8
    This has been debated here endlessly. If you try to give Silver props (especially after the abuse he got last weekend), someone points out that his prediction was not accurate (insofar as it did not project Trump with a higher probability of winning), and that some others in a straight up/down forecast picked Trump.

    On the other hand, if you point out that Silver was "wrong" in the sense that he nevertheless gave HRC a higher probability than Trump, then you will have someone pointing out that Silver's probabilities actually gave Trump a decent chance (which is what you are saying, and which I agree with.)

    All I'm really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.

    “All I’m really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.”

    Actually, the criticism he got last week was perfectly “fair” and justified– if you adopt the frame of the progressive establishment. Silver broke ranks with them, putting his own reputation for accuracy ahead of the narrative, and ahead of loyalty to the hivemind. That’s unforgivable, in their eyes.

    Imposing a narrative that conflicts with reality requires near-unanimity, since truth has inherent advantages. Someone like Silver cannot be relied upon to disseminate the party line when it comes time to propagate the next hoax.

    Always remember what you’re dealing with here.

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  134. @Steve Sailer
    The big concerns about polling are

    - Pollsters accidentally failing to get a representative sample of voters due to changes in social habits or technology

    - Voters not telling the truth due to fears of harm for supporting the wrong candidate

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters

    The latter seemed unlikely until this year's all-hands-on-deck mobilization against Trump.

    Thanks for summarizing the issues, because your second point constitutes “Social Desirability Bias”, which is definitely a thing.

    I remember during the 1968 election season, lying in bed thinking of writing a story about a guy who agrees with what everyone else says, but then, in the privacy of the voting booth, doing the exact opposite. I thought it would be such a great story, high drama. Of course it was just a youngster’s fantasy and I couldn’t wrap any words around it, and keeping in mind the kind of stuff I read back in those days had probably already been written by Ray Bradbury. But now it’s “Social Desirability” and we can collapse something inchoate into a concept of eight syllables.

    Which also addresses Sapir-Whorf and the criticism the theory has received. I recently read Steven Pinker’s supposedly authoritative takedown of the thesis, and I was unimpressed, partly because it was heavily indebted to Pullum’s very funny critique of Sapir-Whorf that I read 20 years ago, but also partly because Pinker was too self-satisfied and simplistic: he says, “Well, if I can think of something, say, visually, then I am not using words, so the idea that I need words to think is wrong.”

    Now I will agree that Whorf’s analysis as it pertains to Native American words and the notorious “17 words for snow” was overly simplistic itself, and also wrong. But criticizing on that level also ignores what I think is a deeper truth; which is until you can summarize a lot of vague observations into something on the order of a concept or a category, you really aren’t in control of your observations. And for the phenomenon we are describing here, “Social Desirability Bias” is as good a concept-word as any.

    Couple more observations;

    #1 – There must have been some way to describe the concept that Social Desirability Bias embraces in prior eras. The wiki says the concept goes back to 1960. But the concept describes an aspect of human nature, so it has definitely been discussed before.

    #2 – The election I was musing about in 1968 was of course Nixon-Humphrey, it may be no coincidence that the two elections I can recall that are similar to Trump are Nixon 68 and Reagan 80, in all three cases, Republicans who were not expected to win by the MSM consensus but who did win, partly because a third party added a volatile element.

    As to the other two points you raise: I think MSM bias was probably there, simply because of enforced orthodoxy and social desirability bias among the people doing the polling analyses. At that point wish fulfillment and confirmation bias (other concepts) probably kicked in. People have a remarkable ability to fool themselves. But here I don’t think the MSM skewing was intentional.I don’t think they lack integrity. It’s their job, after all; it’s hard to think someone would scuttle their work product just to get a result that made them (and their co-workers) happy.

    As to the methods of polling; I think the social isolation/diminishment of the public square idea is probably relevant. Nobody likes being called names so people have a tendency for even greater reticence whenever someone brings up one of the big social-cultural issues. That tends to make people not to want to talk to anybody; I know in or household we hung up on pollers at least a half dozen times.

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    • Replies: @guest
    I like that there is a term for it, but "social desirability bias" is a bad one, nevertheless. Terribly unmemorable, and what's worse it's just more assembly line pseudo-scientific terminology. I feel sorry for sociologists and political "scientists." Their entire professions are inferiority complexes.

    You say "a concept of eight syllables" like that's being efficient, or something. It isn't. Some of these things have catchy names, you know, not ones that make me feel like I'm choking on boredom when I say them.

    Could be worse, though. Could be three nouns in a row. At least we're spared that. If the term had been invented this year, there probably would've been.

  135. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    So does this mean that Nate Silver is back as the more accurate data forecaster prognosticator?

    Nope. That goes to Ricky Vaughn (@ReturnofRV), or sundance at theconservativetreehouse, or Vox Day…

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  136. It’s funny to hear that Chinese laugh at Thais for eating anything. The rest of the world laughs at the Chinese for eating anything.

    Chinese eat dogs. If you will eat a dog when you’re not starving to death, conversations about whether you have a soul are on the table.

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    • Replies: @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "Chinese eat dogs. If you will eat a dog when you’re not starving to death, conversations about whether you have a soul are on the table."
    I'm hearing you brother.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/china-proposes-ban-dog-meat-will-south-korea-follow-suit-294877
    And there's only a billion of them...
  137. It’s quite the coincidence that Silver & Wang & co. always err on the side of Democrats.

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  138. @Anonymous
    You've got plenty of company. Had no idea my friend group was such an intolerant political monoculture. Do they have any critical thinking skills? What is this meaningless reversion to "hate" and "phobe" and "ist" ? Don't they realize people voted against a war-mongering neo-con corporatist blah blah ... all the stuff they claimed to be against?

    Perhaps not, but the people higher up know. The comments of mine that got deleted the fastest on mainstream/ leftist sites were not the ones that cited “racist” hatefacts. The ones that disappeared almost instantly were the ones that cited the results of Hillary’s attack on Libya, and pointed out that she advocates reducing Syria to a failed state as well, or that brought up the US government-supported Saudi attack on Yemen, or similar issues.

    They know how weak and counterfactual the officially-promoted Syria/ ISIS narrative is. It takes a lot of effort to maintain. Simply pointing out that “moderate” “Syrian” “rebels” is 3 lies in 3 words, and explaining, has a lot of power.

    Of course, there’s also a remarkable coincidence that few seem to notice. Beginning with the mujahideen, in Afghanistan, many of the media-promoted, US government-supported “freedom fighter” groups have something in common with the officially-promoted enemies of the moment. They tend to be ill-defined international bands of Salafist (Wahhabist) Muslim mercenaries. Odd, that. Rather Emmanuel Goldstein-ish…

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  139. @Steve Sailer
    The big concerns about polling are

    - Pollsters accidentally failing to get a representative sample of voters due to changes in social habits or technology

    - Voters not telling the truth due to fears of harm for supporting the wrong candidate

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters

    The latter seemed unlikely until this year's all-hands-on-deck mobilization against Trump.

    So what went wrong?

    I think it possible, for example, that there were 1M illegal votes. Sounds like a large number but it is less than 1% of the votes cast and with some estimates that there are 15M illegals in the country (people who by their very nature have little regard for the rule of law) it seems likely to me.

    The Democrats (or was it Soros and the Saudis) were doing everything possible to win.

    What went wrong?

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  140. @Bill Jones
    I gather that all 681 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been moved to their southern border in what is expected to be a vain attempt at stemming the Invasion of the Glitterati.

    “Well, they’re not sending their best people, eh?”

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  141. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Hippopotamusdrome


    Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump

     

    Really?

    Yes. I just checked the latest total this morning, and she’s still ahead by 631K. It’s possible to lose the popular vote in an electoral college system, yet still win the presidency.

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  142. @SFG
    Was Nate Silver wrong?

    He said Hillary had an 84% chance of winning right before the election. That means Trump had a 16% chance of winning. If you predict a fair die is only 16% (closer to 17) to roll a 6, and then a 6 comes up, you're not actually wrong when you say the die probably won't roll a 6.

    Probabilities give you some weasel room. It's in the nature of probability.

    Odds for a one-off event like this are pretty meaningless. You can’t run the election more than once, so they can’t be tested like flipping a coin, which you could theoretically do a billion times. You’d be better off just predicting who will win, where, and by how much. Then we’ll know whether you were right or not.

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  143. @Hippopotamusdrome


    Hillary did win more of the popular vote than Trump

     

    Really?

    I am skeptical, too, about the HRC popular vote. I fear that this will be used to pressure electors to change their votes. Would you put anything past these Demons? I want to sit back and enjoy the crack up of these knuckleheads all over the country, but part of me feels so sorry that they are such puppets.

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  144. @Paco Wové
    "Jeff Nesbit is executive director of Climate Nexus, a DC-based communications firm focused on climate change. He was the communications director to former Vice President Dan Quayle (R-IN) at the White House and the legislative and public affairs director at the National Science Foundation. He is the author of Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP."

    Somehow, this doesn't increase my confidence in the author.

    I like the Big Tobacco part. What is it, 1998?

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  145. @SPMoore8
    Thanks for summarizing the issues, because your second point constitutes "Social Desirability Bias", which is definitely a thing.

    I remember during the 1968 election season, lying in bed thinking of writing a story about a guy who agrees with what everyone else says, but then, in the privacy of the voting booth, doing the exact opposite. I thought it would be such a great story, high drama. Of course it was just a youngster's fantasy and I couldn't wrap any words around it, and keeping in mind the kind of stuff I read back in those days had probably already been written by Ray Bradbury. But now it's "Social Desirability" and we can collapse something inchoate into a concept of eight syllables.

    Which also addresses Sapir-Whorf and the criticism the theory has received. I recently read Steven Pinker's supposedly authoritative takedown of the thesis, and I was unimpressed, partly because it was heavily indebted to Pullum's very funny critique of Sapir-Whorf that I read 20 years ago, but also partly because Pinker was too self-satisfied and simplistic: he says, "Well, if I can think of something, say, visually, then I am not using words, so the idea that I need words to think is wrong."

    Now I will agree that Whorf's analysis as it pertains to Native American words and the notorious "17 words for snow" was overly simplistic itself, and also wrong. But criticizing on that level also ignores what I think is a deeper truth; which is until you can summarize a lot of vague observations into something on the order of a concept or a category, you really aren't in control of your observations. And for the phenomenon we are describing here, "Social Desirability Bias" is as good a concept-word as any.

    Couple more observations;

    #1 - There must have been some way to describe the concept that Social Desirability Bias embraces in prior eras. The wiki says the concept goes back to 1960. But the concept describes an aspect of human nature, so it has definitely been discussed before.

    #2 - The election I was musing about in 1968 was of course Nixon-Humphrey, it may be no coincidence that the two elections I can recall that are similar to Trump are Nixon 68 and Reagan 80, in all three cases, Republicans who were not expected to win by the MSM consensus but who did win, partly because a third party added a volatile element.

    As to the other two points you raise: I think MSM bias was probably there, simply because of enforced orthodoxy and social desirability bias among the people doing the polling analyses. At that point wish fulfillment and confirmation bias (other concepts) probably kicked in. People have a remarkable ability to fool themselves. But here I don't think the MSM skewing was intentional.I don't think they lack integrity. It's their job, after all; it's hard to think someone would scuttle their work product just to get a result that made them (and their co-workers) happy.

    As to the methods of polling; I think the social isolation/diminishment of the public square idea is probably relevant. Nobody likes being called names so people have a tendency for even greater reticence whenever someone brings up one of the big social-cultural issues. That tends to make people not to want to talk to anybody; I know in or household we hung up on pollers at least a half dozen times.

    I like that there is a term for it, but “social desirability bias” is a bad one, nevertheless. Terribly unmemorable, and what’s worse it’s just more assembly line pseudo-scientific terminology. I feel sorry for sociologists and political “scientists.” Their entire professions are inferiority complexes.

    You say “a concept of eight syllables” like that’s being efficient, or something. It isn’t. Some of these things have catchy names, you know, not ones that make me feel like I’m choking on boredom when I say them.

    Could be worse, though. Could be three nouns in a row. At least we’re spared that. If the term had been invented this year, there probably would’ve been.

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  146. @eah
    WaPo -- The 13 most amazing findings in the 2016 exit poll

    4. Education level mattered yugely in your vote choice

    In 2012, Obama won both voters who had graduated from college and those who hadn't; he took 50 percent among the former group and 51 percent among the latter. This time around, there was a far bigger divide. Clinton won voters with a college degree 52 percent to 43 percent. Trump won voters without a college degree by eight points.

    This cannot be a matter of intelligence -- I cannot see how an intelligent person could have rationally seen HRC as the better choice -- perhaps it had more to with Trump's unpolished nature -- his boorishness.

    The more educated voter was impressed with the fineness of the Emperor’s robe.

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  147. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @415 reasons
    Penn is barely even an Ivy!

    Penn is barely even an Ivy!

    Lol. While I know your were joking…

    “Ivy League” started as a collegiate sports term. Since Penn is the 3rd oldest Ivy I would say it is solidly within the 8 total Ivies. Plus, Trump went to Wharton, the #1 business school.

    While I think Trump has almost supernatural instincts and confidence, he doesn’t strike me as a natural Ivy League egghead. He transferred from Fordham to Penn and how he was able to pull off this transfer might have been his first big deal.

    A good number of the mega rich outside of finance and tech didn’t go to elite schools. E.g., Billionaires Harold Hamm, S. Truett Cathy, John Paul DeJoria, et al., have zero college education.

    I can’t see a college degree, even from prestigious schools, being worth as much as they have been for the past 3 decades. Especially when I see the recent products of these elites schools and the glut of female graduates from these schools.

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  148. @newrouter
    >They are not going to give Trump any chance to govern.<

    They don't have much input as they have no power at the federal level.

    Is this a joke? The vast majority of civil service employees vote Democrat. They are more apparatchiks of the ruling left-liberal uniparty than of the Democrat Party proper, but it works out to about the same thing.

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  149. @anon

    So, even though [Silver] was also wrong,
     
    How do we know he was wrong-- or what do you mean by "wrong"? He gave Clinton a 71% chance of winning.

    I'd feel comfortable saying HuffPo (98%) and Wang (99+%) were (probably) wrong, but it's not all that remarkable for a nearly one-in-three shot to pan out.

    Silver fits the title of a book about pseudoscience I read once, called “Not Even Wrong.”

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  150. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Not Raul
    Oh, wow! A PhD! He must be smart.

    On the other hand, Silver, who doesn't have a PhD, actually did pretty well, although not as well as in 2012. He was even right about Hillary winning the most votes nationally. He was off by about 2% in the Rust Belt, which isn't much considered the variance of the polls.

    On the other hand, Silver, who doesn’t have a PhD, actually did pretty well, although not as well as in 2012. He was even right about Hillary winning the most votes nationally. He was off by about 2% in the Rust Belt, which isn’t much considered the variance of the polls.

    Nate Silver gave Trump a 1% in the primary. And a 3% chance for most of the general election. Being so colossally wrong, CSICOP and paranormal debunkers would call these guys the greatest frauds ever and would label them proven charlatans if they had based their predictions on anything other math and science.

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  151. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @SPMoore8
    This has been debated here endlessly. If you try to give Silver props (especially after the abuse he got last weekend), someone points out that his prediction was not accurate (insofar as it did not project Trump with a higher probability of winning), and that some others in a straight up/down forecast picked Trump.

    On the other hand, if you point out that Silver was "wrong" in the sense that he nevertheless gave HRC a higher probability than Trump, then you will have someone pointing out that Silver's probabilities actually gave Trump a decent chance (which is what you are saying, and which I agree with.)

    All I'm really doing as far as Silver is concerned is to tip my hat to him because I felt the criticism he got last week was undeserved and unfair.

    I think Silver’s ideology and identity got into the mix.

    Mind and emotions don’t mix.

    Bias was a big factor. It’s like quantum mechanics where observation changes the observed.

    It was the ‘shikse’ that brought down Ace Rothstein. He went with emotions and gambled wrong.

    But when he only used his mind, he was one hell of a handicapper

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-riX6Xbvb8w

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  152. I think we now have a new label for people.

    He is the Sam Wang of XXXX …

    Seems somehow fitting.

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  153. @Steve Sailer
    The big concerns about polling are

    - Pollsters accidentally failing to get a representative sample of voters due to changes in social habits or technology

    - Voters not telling the truth due to fears of harm for supporting the wrong candidate

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters

    The latter seemed unlikely until this year's all-hands-on-deck mobilization against Trump.

    There’s another sightly more mathematical-philosophical point to be made.

    Polling (the research kind) of polling (the voting kind) is an attempt to predict and influence a mass behavioral phenomenon that hasn’t happened yet.

    So it whiffs to me more of voodoo or haruspicy than stats. And special interests are built right in. (You don’t see this endeavor arising chthonically. Always top-down by people with something to sell. Voting, by contrast, was designed to flow the other direction.)

    It’s probably a doomed enterprise to p<.05.

    That's a joke. But it brings me to the point:

    I can say from cringeworthy experience that most pollsters and other marketing research types have no comprehension of the arithmetic behind the numbers they're constructing, analyzing, and flinging around. They plug and play numbers the way grad students throw 500 variables at each other in CROSSTABS and hope to find something worthy of career advancement.

    In this collapse of polling, we are seeing something similar to the larger replication crisis in the "social" "sciences" IMO. But there's an even more interesting point…and significant HBD angle here.

    Predictive analytics relies on descriptive data about historic trends for its inferential outcomes.

    Rapid demographic and racial changes in the American electorate render predictive analytics about any election even more difficult to forecast.

    Trump's team won because they used PA to target resources at their base, where it actually existed. Their base was the electoral slice about which we know the most, having had the most experience of and with it in past elections. There is also a higher degree of genomic, therefore behavioral, coherence in this slice.

    The Dems' response is, "Well, we'll just double down on bringing in more people who not only derive from non-voting populations…and whose voting behaviors have been limp and unpredictable…but about whom we have zero historical data to feed into our predictive analyses."

    Maybe now they'll grow an interest in HBD, eh?

    Or maybe HBD just Trumped the whole lefty/bolshie dreamscape in a way that will be far more difficult to ignore than the knockout game, black crime statistics, interracial rape and violence, studies of the failure of multiculturalism/diversity, etc.

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  154. @dearieme
    Is he one of the Yorkshire Wangs?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetwang

    Which riding is Wetwang in?

    Do they follow Yorkshire pudding with spotted dick?

    Or faggots and peas?

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  155. @Jokah Macpherson
    Wang was wong.

    Wang was wong.

    And two wongs don’t make a wight. And I love wight.

    That’s wight pwivilege, I guess…

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  156. @Bill Jones
    I gather that all 681 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been moved to their southern border in what is expected to be a vain attempt at stemming the Invasion of the Glitterati.

    ROE – shoot on sight!

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  157. @Anon
    Chinese eating bug.

    That no punishment. It just snack.

    Chocolate ants were available in the little grocery in Ala Moana Center in Honolulu fifty years ago. So was another chocolate-covered insect which I forget now.

    But all kinds of things are out there:

    https://www.thailandunique.com/edible-insects-bugs

    Just don’t try ladybug. One flew into my mouth a few weeks ago, and jeez was that awful. Gag.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    yummy yummy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7C_50FZABk
  158. @Moshe
    The Bible mentions species of locust that are Kosher to eat. Most Jews don't eat them because their ancestors lived in areas where they didn't exist or otherwise we're not found palatable so they are unsure which locust specifically are referred to in the Bible.

    Some Arab Jews however, most famously the Yemenites, do eat some of these locust or at least did before someone opened a chuck e cheese.

    Very practical rule. Once the critters ate your entire crops you have to eat something.

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  159. @European-American
    It's a strange feeling. All those people heroically fighting Hitler and you realize.... Hitler is you.

    O Philip K. Dick, save us!

    And Jefferson, those near and dear to me are nice people. They don't know about my shy Trumping ways. Some may suspect, but it's easier for them not to think about. So they can keep cursing the KKK and Hitler as vituperatively as they can, it's no one they know. An obvious side benefit is that it discourages anyone wavering from going over to the dark side.

    It might be the case that you have no idea how many of them are also moving sides deep inside their heads but only recently started to doubt. The more they doubt, the more vocal they shout the desired political lines. It’s to compensate for the loss of security that one was on the right side of history.

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  160. @Jason Liu
    I wish the staff at Huffington Post had made this vow

    The Huff Post staff can’t eat bugs. it would be cannibalism.

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  161. @anon
    As a United States citizen, I demand that Trump be put in a Kevlar condom until he gets sworn in. They could put in some peep holes if he starts fussing.

    In Soviet Russia, condom wears you.

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  162. @Anonymous
    So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote.

    another reason Trump failed to win the popular vote was the strong never trump movement which helped Republican Governor Gary Johnson obtain 4.1 million votes, which was 3 million more votes than he got 4 years ago. 97% of those who voted for Gary Johnson were white and at least 60% million of his 4 million votes came from cucks who had voted for Romney and supported the Bushes…

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "another reason Trump failed to win the popular vote was the strong never trump movement which helped Republican Governor Gary Johnson obtain 4.1 million votes, which was 3 million more votes than he got 4 years ago. 97% of those who voted for Gary Johnson were white and at least 60% million of his 4 million votes came from cucks who had voted for Romney and supported the Bushes…"

    The vast majority of Never Trumpers really are passionate about legalizing marijuana because that's the main platform that Gary Johnson ran on. He's a 1 issue candidate.

    No wonder Gary Johnson and his Never Trump supporters pro-open borders. Where will they get their marijuana stash if the wall is built and sanctuary cities are ended? America gets all of it's marijuana from Mexico.
  163. @Steve Sailer
    The big concerns about polling are

    - Pollsters accidentally failing to get a representative sample of voters due to changes in social habits or technology

    - Voters not telling the truth due to fears of harm for supporting the wrong candidate

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters

    The latter seemed unlikely until this year's all-hands-on-deck mobilization against Trump.

    - Pollsters trying to harm one candidate by depressing his supporters…

    …or trying to benefit one candidate by creating a perception of “social proof.”

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  164. @TheBoom
    The type of forecasting Wang does is relatively easy. You simply start with the outcome you want to forecast then juggle the numbers to make it look true. It is only when you add in that pesky and hateful component of accuracy that forecasting gets difficult.

    Boom, Reminds of a comment a friend made when we were trying to justify a billing… “I took accounting, tell me what you want the number to be.”

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  165. @celt darnell
    Man, if you don't feel any sympathy for the Canadians facing this invasion of ghastly, brain dead and deadbeat celebrity illegal immigrants, you have no heart.

    Celt, Has our resident troll, Tiny Duck, applied for a Canadian visa?

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    There for awhile I thought Tiny was Justin Trudeau.
  166. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Reg Cæsar
    Chocolate ants were available in the little grocery in Ala Moana Center in Honolulu fifty years ago. So was another chocolate-covered insect which I forget now.

    But all kinds of things are out there:

    https://www.thailandunique.com/edible-insects-bugs

    Just don't try ladybug. One flew into my mouth a few weeks ago, and jeez was that awful. Gag.

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  167. @Anonymous
    So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote.

    “So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote.”

    I’m completely in favor of California breaking off from the rest of The United States to become it’s own country because this hurts The Democratic Party from both a electoral vote and popular vote standpoint.

    California is United States In Name Only. Most of the state looks like either Mexico, Central America, China, Vietnam, or The Philippines.

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  168. @Travis
    another reason Trump failed to win the popular vote was the strong never trump movement which helped Republican Governor Gary Johnson obtain 4.1 million votes, which was 3 million more votes than he got 4 years ago. 97% of those who voted for Gary Johnson were white and at least 60% million of his 4 million votes came from cucks who had voted for Romney and supported the Bushes...

    “another reason Trump failed to win the popular vote was the strong never trump movement which helped Republican Governor Gary Johnson obtain 4.1 million votes, which was 3 million more votes than he got 4 years ago. 97% of those who voted for Gary Johnson were white and at least 60% million of his 4 million votes came from cucks who had voted for Romney and supported the Bushes…”

    The vast majority of Never Trumpers really are passionate about legalizing marijuana because that’s the main platform that Gary Johnson ran on. He’s a 1 issue candidate.

    No wonder Gary Johnson and his Never Trump supporters pro-open borders. Where will they get their marijuana stash if the wall is built and sanctuary cities are ended? America gets all of it’s marijuana from Mexico.

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  169. @Buffalo Joe
    Celt, Has our resident troll, Tiny Duck, applied for a Canadian visa?

    There for awhile I thought Tiny was Justin Trudeau.

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  170. @Anonymous
    So Trump will get 306 electoral votes and still lose the popular vote.

    Mass immigration from one locality, Mexico, into California, has completed f*cked up the relationship between electoral and pop vote.

    This happened in 1888. Huge EV gap, with the EV winner losing the popular vote by about 1%. Not really sure you can blame Mexico, just urban machine politics in general.

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  171. @Svigor
    It's funny to hear that Chinese laugh at Thais for eating anything. The rest of the world laughs at the Chinese for eating anything.

    Chinese eat dogs. If you will eat a dog when you're not starving to death, conversations about whether you have a soul are on the table.

    “Chinese eat dogs. If you will eat a dog when you’re not starving to death, conversations about whether you have a soul are on the table.”
    I’m hearing you brother.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/china-proposes-ban-dog-meat-will-south-korea-follow-suit-294877
    And there’s only a billion of them…

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  172. @Light Roast
    Direct from Nate Genius Silver's site:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/clinton-trump-probably-wont-be-the-next-dewey-defeats-truman/

    Second paragraph:
    "It’s a neat little story with a nice moral: Never count the underdog out. But Donald Trump’s supporters would be unwise to look to 1948 for comfort: Trump trails Hillary Clinton by more than Truman trailed Dewey, and the polling landscape in 2016 is much different than it was 68 years ago."

    Those comments were hilarious. It’s like peaking in on an alien culture.

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  173. @Jefferson
    "I suspect locusts are kosher because there were some very bad years where it was literally eat locusts or starve."

    But those years for the Jews weren't so horrible for them that it was literally eat pork or starve.

    I guess since they didn’t have pigs anyway, it didn’t matter. Whereas the abundance of locusts nicely correlated with famine.

    And rabbis could give you exceptions under life-threatening conditions anyway.

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  174. @George
    Refugees held in Australian offshore detention to be resettled in US

    The Australian government has announced a landmark “one off” resettlement deal to the United States for refugees held at Australia’s remote offshore detention facilities on Nauru and Manus Island.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/13/refugees-held-in-australian-offshore-detention-to-be-resettled-in-us

    That’s a deal that’s bad for both countries. It creates incentives to flee to Australia (after all, those who are unable to get to Australia might still be able to get to the US), while of course it’s bad for the US to accept unassimilable anti-social minority groups.

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  175. @AKAHorace
    I ate bugs, lizards and pork intestines in Thailand. And everyone knows all these Asian countries are just the same.

    I ate pork intestines in France. Andouillettes. Also ate frog legs there, as well as brains.

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  176. @BB753
    If you come out as a Deplorable and Trumpist, your own family will unperson and disown you. Trust me on this. Particularly those family members under 40 years old. And they will also slander you behind your back and ignore you on Christmas. It really hurts but at least you'll know where your family stands.

    In my experience, they will avoid politics with you, except when they find something “truly outrageous” that even I have to be outraged at. Then when I stoically show them there’s another point of view, from which it’s a bit less outrageous, or actually, not outrageous at all. Then they steer away from the topic, seeing that I’m irredeemable. These relatives are Hungarian (maybe Americans are different), but most of them are basically of German ancestry. But you have to be very stoical about emotional outbursts, always be conciliatory, concede that of course maybe they are right, and that just a few (or, in my case, ten) years ago you saw things their way. In other words, give them a way out, and accept that you’ll never convince them. If they otherwise like you, I doubt they’ll suddenly start hating you. But again, maybe Americans are different.

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    • Replies: @BB753
    The one issue that you can't even begin to discuss with them is gay marriage. If you are against gay marriage, you're a monster, even if you get along well with gays. Another hot topic is immigration: if you argue that maybe it's not a great idea to let a random billion people into the country, you're basically Hitler.
    Me, I just gave up, but regardless I was made a pariah by over half of my family, including my own sister.
  177. @reiner Tor
    In my experience, they will avoid politics with you, except when they find something "truly outrageous" that even I have to be outraged at. Then when I stoically show them there's another point of view, from which it's a bit less outrageous, or actually, not outrageous at all. Then they steer away from the topic, seeing that I'm irredeemable. These relatives are Hungarian (maybe Americans are different), but most of them are basically of German ancestry. But you have to be very stoical about emotional outbursts, always be conciliatory, concede that of course maybe they are right, and that just a few (or, in my case, ten) years ago you saw things their way. In other words, give them a way out, and accept that you'll never convince them. If they otherwise like you, I doubt they'll suddenly start hating you. But again, maybe Americans are different.

    The one issue that you can’t even begin to discuss with them is gay marriage. If you are against gay marriage, you’re a monster, even if you get along well with gays. Another hot topic is immigration: if you argue that maybe it’s not a great idea to let a random billion people into the country, you’re basically Hitler.
    Me, I just gave up, but regardless I was made a pariah by over half of my family, including my own sister.

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  178. It is time to abandon the myth that Asians are smarter. Asians are good for maintaining the status quo, and not for anything else.

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  179. My own thinking runs this way: these New Age pollsters were probably correct in their numbers and their probabilities.

    Except that we have never before had an election for President in which people experienced rational, reasonable fear that harm might befall them in some way (professionally, legally, physically, etc) if they failed to not merely declare their support for the leftist, but to vocally denounce the conservative when and if prompted by the pollster.

    Conditions like that are ideal for causing a last-minute shift of loyalties among that percentage of the public who recognize, and furiously resent, this paradigm shift. A shift that no MSM or MSM-related entity would be privy to – not without committing some form of Crimethink.

    Nothing fills me with more pride, more hope for the future (and it’s been a while since I experienced that), than watching a growing majority of the American people see fit to treat the news media the way Alec Baldwin recommended police officers treat the FBI: “Keep em in the dark and feed ‘em shit.

    It’s about damn time!

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  180. @guest
    When he said should Trump win it will all he over, I assumed eating a bug meant poisoning himself, or something. So he ate cricket. BFD.

    For a Chinese, eating bugs is like eating sunflower seeds.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I used to be extremely choosy in my tastes (basically didn't even eat beef for fear of semi-raw meat), but over time I managed to convince myself that what a lot of people have eaten for a long time with no known side-effects cannot be poison, and a bit of variety is healthy. So I occasionally seek out some exotic foodstuffs, and wouldn't mind eating (prepared, not raw, definitely not alive) bugs. But my core food stays quite traditional European stuff with pork, some chicken, beef at the center.
  181. @El Dato
    I don't understand. There were people writing graffiti of hope & love in front of ClintonMissionControl.

    Do people assume that there will be FEMA trailers taking them to extermination camps in the next month?

    This is so utterly bizarre.

    At the bottom of:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3928032/Huma-breaks-weeps-openly-returns-campaign-headquarters-aides-ran-doomed-bid-elect-Hillary-Clinton.html

    “Do people assume that there will be FEMA trailers taking them to extermination camps in the next month?”

    The Left are projecting their own boot-to-the-throat authoritarianism onto Trump, thereby scaring the heck out of themselves.

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  182. @BB753
    The one issue that you can't even begin to discuss with them is gay marriage. If you are against gay marriage, you're a monster, even if you get along well with gays. Another hot topic is immigration: if you argue that maybe it's not a great idea to let a random billion people into the country, you're basically Hitler.
    Me, I just gave up, but regardless I was made a pariah by over half of my family, including my own sister.

    Sad.

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  183. @colm
    For a Chinese, eating bugs is like eating sunflower seeds.

    I used to be extremely choosy in my tastes (basically didn’t even eat beef for fear of semi-raw meat), but over time I managed to convince myself that what a lot of people have eaten for a long time with no known side-effects cannot be poison, and a bit of variety is healthy. So I occasionally seek out some exotic foodstuffs, and wouldn’t mind eating (prepared, not raw, definitely not alive) bugs. But my core food stays quite traditional European stuff with pork, some chicken, beef at the center.

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    • Replies: @guest
    The only reason we stopped eating bugs is because they don't weigh very much.
  184. @reiner Tor
    I used to be extremely choosy in my tastes (basically didn't even eat beef for fear of semi-raw meat), but over time I managed to convince myself that what a lot of people have eaten for a long time with no known side-effects cannot be poison, and a bit of variety is healthy. So I occasionally seek out some exotic foodstuffs, and wouldn't mind eating (prepared, not raw, definitely not alive) bugs. But my core food stays quite traditional European stuff with pork, some chicken, beef at the center.

    The only reason we stopped eating bugs is because they don’t weigh very much.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    And how are bugs different from shrimps? Those are just bigger bugs. I've eaten snakes in Vietnam, and it was funny realizing that many Vietnamese (including Mrs. Tor) found it repulsive, too. Though I didn't understand how snakes could be more repulsive than shrimps.
  185. @guest
    The only reason we stopped eating bugs is because they don't weigh very much.

    And how are bugs different from shrimps? Those are just bigger bugs. I’ve eaten snakes in Vietnam, and it was funny realizing that many Vietnamese (including Mrs. Tor) found it repulsive, too. Though I didn’t understand how snakes could be more repulsive than shrimps.

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