Thursday, January 10, 2013

Whatever happened to Nate Silver?

He's earned a permanent place in our public life. Even after the election, his blog is still fun and worthwhile. An excerpt from an online interview (note his slighting reference to identity politics):
Q. What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had due to your sudden fame?
A. When I was in Mexico last week, I got recognized at the top of the Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacan, which I'm pretty sure really is a sign of the Apocalypse.
Q. Which do you find more frustrating to analyze, politics or sports?
A. Politics. I don't think its close. Between the pundits and the partisans, you're dealing with a lot of very delusional people. And sports provides for much more frequent reality checks. If you were touting how awesome Notre Dame was, for example*, you got very much slapped back into reality last night. In politics, you can go on being delusional for years at a time.
  • Full disclosure: I said in a NYT video yesterday that I'd bet Notre Dame against the spread.
Q. In a recent profile, you stated you wished not to be known as a “gay statistician” but as a statistician who happens to be gay. Isn’t that a bit naive in today’s political and social climate? Don’t you think that whether you like it or not, people will treat you differently because you are gay and that your identity as a gay man cannot be limited to your private sexuality? As someone so ubiquitous now in the public sphere, should you be addressing issues in your writing that are related to gay rights as much as baseball?
A. It's a complicated issue that maybe doesn't lend itself so well to the reddit treatment. My quick-and-dirty view is that people are too quick to affiliate themselves with identity groups of all kinds, as opposed to carving out their own path in life.



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