A quick critique of Nate Silver’s new website

The new FiveThirtyEight website, which launched last Monday (17 March 2014), purports to offer data journalism in a wide variety of fields, not just politics (the original focus of the original FiveThirtyEight website), but also economics, science, sports, and (our favorite) “life”.

Although we really like Nate Silver’s Bayesian approach to politics, why is there such a single-minded emphasis on so-called empirical and statistical data in the new version of FiveThirtyEight? After all, as the old and wise saying in academia goes, if you torture your data long enough, they will confess to anything.

More importantly, what happened to the Nate Silver of old, the Nate Silver of Bayesian reasoning? In our view, we don’t need another website with lots of “objective” or data-driven bells and whistles. What we really need is just a plain and simple website that applies Bayesian and probabilistic methods to various events of the world …

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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