Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Man of the Electoral Hour

You may be thinking from the title of this post that I'm obviously referring to John McCain or Barack Obama. No dice. The person of this political hour - perhaps this political season - is a 30-year-old man by the name of Nate Silver. Nate founded a website called FiveThirtyEight that endeavors to accurately predict the results of the current election. During the primaries, his predictive modeling was generally regarded as far more consistently accurate than the standard polling organizations - largely because his model attempts to adjust for historical polling inconsistencies, incorporates correlation factors, and regression analysis. For the probability, statistics, and modeling super nerds among us such as myself, this is pretty fun stuff to follow. Much of my background is in this type of analysis, so I very much enjoy regularly visiting his website. Nate has appeared on all kinds of talk shows over the past months, including Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Colbert Report, to discuss his website, models, and share his totally rocking glasses with the world.

There are two reasons why I am writing about Nate Silver in this post. First and foremost, he was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, and attended East Lansing High School. That is the kind of upbringing I like to write about. Michigan can pump out the nerds with the best of them. He has since departed for Chicago where he attended college and also lives, but I can't hold that against them. Maybe I can convince him to throw out a little bit of Michigan love in one of his many press interviews taking place over the next several days.

Second and secondmost (I want to make sure that I'm maintaining a parallel structure with first and foremost), I am banking on the fact that many people will be searching for the phrase "Nate Silver" tonight on the internet when he is on television and his website is mentioned, and they will stumble upon my humble place in the electronic world. I see no harm in trying to direct some traffic my way. Here is a clip of Nate on The Colbert Report. Unfortunately, he is not wearing his awesome glasses in this clip. For anyone who knows me from college - doesn't he remind you a little bit of another brainiac that we all know and love as Brad B.? Just wondering...

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