A Sore Temptation Indeed

I see this in the Twitter feed…

Twittertempt…and oh, do I want to click through and read and see what’s going on and cackle with glee and hopefully schadenfreude. I want to do this much like Gollum wants the Precious. But it is not yet November 7, and so I abstain.

Soon, Precious. Soon we can haves it again.

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22 thoughts on “A Sore Temptation Indeed

  1. You have surely made the right choice.

    I don’t even know what the kerfuffle is about, but nevertheless, you have surely made the right choice.


  2. Is it just me, or is the current iteration of 538 a huge disappointment? Earlier versions were daily must-reads, both to keep up with what’s going on and as a corrective to the bullshit that pervades the political press. The current version seems mostly irrelevant, and prone to its own brand of bullshit (of the ‘we are data-driven, so if there is no data to analyze we will go make some, no matter how crappy!’ variety). It might pick up as we get closer to actual voting, but that is just to say that right now it is mostly filler (in the ‘scrapple rather than real sausage’ sense).


      • Precisely the opposite opinion. Largely because I agree with Richard H.: 538 makes grand claims that its analysis is superior because data-driven, and what I tend to find there is largely people making intuitive arguments about data using common judgement that I feel pretty much isn’t significantly better or worse than my own. Sometimes they deliver on the real regression-type analysis, but I think they discovered early in that there’s a limit to what you can say that’s of interest that way.

        Whereas Vox promises to “explain” things, and that’s essentially what they do. They research questions of current interest and provide what they find. It might be incomplete, but at least they’re doing what they promise and don’t claim a false authority for their reporting/analysis/opinion. They do publish arguments and opinions that aren’t explanations, but if you passed that unit in fourth grade where they taught us to distinguish factual statements (whether true or false) from opinion, you should be able to tell whether yo’re reading a Vox argument or a Vox explainer.


        • I don’t like either of them.

          Although I do admit I have Vox in Feedly, but only so I can quickly scan for interesting political stuff that is happening. I don’t actually *believe* their take on things, at least not without additional checking, and a good 80% of the articles I don’t even expand to glance at. (‘America’s 4,150 traffic cameras, in one map’? WTF?) Scroll scroll scroll, open that one, scroll scroll scroll, mark all as read.

          Also, they just sorta subtlely shifted into Buzzfeed-style headlines without anyone noticing, didn’t they?

          And I can’t even remeber why I stopped reading 538.


    • There’s usually something interesting going on over there vis-a-vis sports statistics. Those get so complex, so quickly, that the nuts and bolts are often over my head. So I content myself with the graphics and simple predictive numbers, and recall from time to time that probabilistic predictions are not the same thing as gambling advice.


    • It’s pretty simple. Nate Silver is good at one thing – taking all the random polls and changing it into something a normal human can look at and get something out of.

      He thought he could do that for everything.


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