FiveThirtyEight is puzzled: Its computer analysis of Shakespeare finds that Romeo and Juliet speak less to each other than to other characters, or than Lady Macbeth speaks to Macbeth. Chosen mascot: the flexible-thinking fox, of fox-and-hedgehog fame. Better mascot: a hammer bashing anything vaguely nail-shaped.
Who will go down as one of the biggest winners of Election '08? (Not including Barack Obama, of course.) That would be Nate Silver, the obscure baseball statistician who is now the nerderrific numbers-man behind the polling data website FiveThirtyEight.com. If you can't watch a cable news show or read a newspaper or magazine without hearing or reading Silver's name, it's not your imagination. Silver was mentioned in the news 120 times during 2007. In the last seven days alone? His name has appeared in 267 major magazines, newspapers and websites. Now he just has to hope his methodology pans out—he's predicting 344 electoral votes for Obama and 193 for McCain—and he can look forward to many more hedge fund consulting gigs and a steady stream of cushy offers from cable networks.
Hey mister ever heard of the LAW??! Okay, so if you want to really hurt your brain, try to figure out why some rogue trader(s) on the fun "bet on anything" site InTrade would be purposely spending good money to drive the price of Barack Obama Victory stock down? To a price that anyone who pays attention to the prices of Obama contracts on all the various meaningless virtual internet stock markets could easily tell you was a suspiciously low one that in any sane rational world would be quickly bid back up by arbitrageurs?? FiveThirtyEight suspects a "degenerate idiot" who obviously doesn't take the efficiency of liquid markets seriously enough.Manipulating markets for the LULZ, perhaps? We'll keep you posted.