Nate Silver

  • Aired:  11/05/12
  •  | Views: 120,119

New York Times blogger Nate Silver shares his book, "The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail -- but Some Don't." (5:01)

>> WELCOME BACK, MY GUEST TONIGHT BELONGS TO "THE NEW YORK TIMES".

AND THAT'S ALL I'M GOING TO TELL YOU SO YOU GET PAST THE PAY WALL.

PLEASE WELCOME NATE SILVER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NATE, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN, SIT DOWN.

ALL RIGHT, NATE, WELCOME BACK.

>> THANK YOU, STEPHEN.

>> Stephen: LAST NAME YOU WERE HERE FOUR YEARS AGO, OKAY, BEFORE THE LAST

SECTION, YOU'RE WELCOME, GAVE YOU THE COLBERT BUMP, NOW YOU GOT A JOB, WHERE DO

YOU WORK NOW.

>> I WORK AT THE "NEW YORK TIMES" NOW.

>> Stephen: NICE PLACE TO WORK.

>> IT'S A NICE PLACE.

NICE BUILDING, YEAH.

>> Stephen: OKAY, ALL RIGHT, SO THE NICE TEES ARE ASIDE.

OKAY, GLOVES ARE COMING OFF.

YOU HAVE GOT A BOOK CALLED "THE SIGNAL AND THE NOISE, WHY SO MANY PREDICTIONS FAIL

BUT SOME DON'T" LET ME GUESS.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: YOURS DON'T.

(LAUGHTER) I'M STABBING THE DARK ON THAT ONE.

>> THEY COULD BUT WE'LL TELL YOU HOW LIKELY THEY ARE TO FAIL IS SO WE HAVE KIND OF

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING.

>> Stephen: OKAY, BUT HERE'S MY PROBLEM WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

IS THAT YOU ARE TAKING BREAD OUT OF MY KID'S MOUTH.

BECAUSE I AM A PUNDIT, OKAY.

THOSE OF US IN THE PUNDITOCRACY MAKE OUR BREAD AND BUTTER BY TELLING PEOPLE WHAT THE

TRUTH IS AS WE SEE IT FROM OUR GUT.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: RIGHT.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: YEAH.

ARE YOU TRYING TO PUT THE PUNDIT OUT OF WORK BECAUSE CNN DOESN'T NEED ANY MORE HELP.

>> OH, I THINK IT SHOULD BE-- (APPLAUSE)

>> I'M JUST TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THAT THE PUNDITS CAN BE VERY ENTERTAINING BUT IT'S NOT

REALLY-- .

>> Stephen: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE PUNDITS, SHOOT FROM THE HIP.

>> I'M NOT A BIG-- I'M NOT VERY PRO PUNDIT, I HAVE TO SAY.

I WOULD VOTE AGAINST-- .

>> Stephen: COME ON, PUT YOUR BALLS ON THE FELT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PUNDITS.

>> IF PUNDITS WERE ON THE BALLOT AGAINST LIKE, I DON'T KNOW, E BOLLA I MIGHT VOTE EBOLA.

OR THIRD PARTY.

>> Stephen: THIRD PARTY, YOU WRITE IN BLACK PLAGUE.

NOW MY BUDDY JOE SCARBOROUGH, JOE MORNING AND SCARBOROUGH, HE-- YOU BET HIM 1,000 THAT

YOUR PREDICTIVE MODEL WAS CORRECT.

$1,000 THAT WOULD GO TO RED CROSS.

>> YEAH, YEAH.

>> Stephen: HE DIDN'T TAKE THE BET.

>> HE DIDN'T TAKE THE BET.

MAYBE IT -- LOOK, I USED TO PLAY POKER AND IN MY WORLD, IT SHOWS YOU HAVE INTEGRITY

TO BE PUTTING YOUR MONEY BEHIND AN IDEA THAT YOU HAVE, IT MEANS ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS AND YOU ACTUALLY

HAVE INCENTIVE TO BE ACCURATEMENT ARE YOU NOT JUST TANNING THERE BLOWING HOT AIR, POTENTIALLY.

>> Stephen: UH-HUH.

>> AND JOE TO HIS CREDIT DID DONATE, MAKE A DONATION ON MY BEHALF AND I DONATED AS

WELL SO IT WOUND UP BEING FOR A GOOD CAUSE BUT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE GET ON TV

AND SAY THINGS THEY DON'T REALLY HAVE ANY CONVICTION BEHIND THEM T BECOMES A GAME

JUST TO ENTERTAIN PAST THE AUDIENCE, HALF THE AUDIENCE OR THE OTHER HALF OF THE

AUDIENCE OR WHATEVER ELSE, RIGHT.

AND WE'RE TRYING TO SAY SOMETHING VERY SIMPLE WHICH IS THAT, HEY, GO AND LOOK AT

THE POLLS.

AND TAKE AN AVERAGE.

AND THEN ADD UP THE STATES AND SEE WHO HAS 27 O-- 270 ELECTORAL VOTES IT IS NOT

THAT COMPLICATED IT IS NOT LIKE GALILEO OR SOMETHING, SOMETHING TOTALLY THEORETICAL.

NO, LOOK, THESE POLLS ARE PRETTY SIMPLE LITTLE FACTS, RIGHT.

THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT ARE MUCH MORE COMPLICATED THAN LOOKING AT THE POLLS AND TAKING AN AVERAGE, RIGHT,

AND COULDN'TING TO 270, RIGHT.

>> Stephen: THAT IS THE LONGEST POSSIBLE WAY OF CALLING HIM A BULL [BLEEP]

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> BUT HERE'S THE THING, DOW BELIEVE IN YOUR PHYSICAL ANALYSIS OBVIOUSLY.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: BUT EVERYBODY DOES.

THE RASMUSSEN BELIEVE IN THEIRS, AND GALLOP BELIEVES IN THEIR.

AND TTT AND RASMUSSEN GOES RIGHT AND TPT GOES LEFT BUT ARE YOU THE ONLY HONEST MAN

IN AMERICA.

>> NO, I'M NOT THE ONLY BUT I THINK-- .

>> Stephen: THEY SAY THEY ARE NOT RIGHT AND ARE YOU.

>> THE BAR IS LOW, MAN.

>> Stephen: RAZOR TIGHT WHAT PART OF RAZOR TIGHT DON'T YOU GET?

>> LIKE THERE ARE 23 STATE POLLS AND OBAMA WAS AHEAD IN 22 OF THEM IT IS NOT A COIN

TOSS AT THAT POINT.

IT'S CLOSE, BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CASE WHERE THE POLLS ARE OFF ACROSS-THE-BOARD.

IT COULD HAPPEN.

BUT IF ANYTHING THE RACE HAS BROKEN TOWARD PRESIDENT OBAMA A BIT IN THE LAST 48

HOURS OR SO.

>> Stephen: DO YOU, WE'LL EDIT THAT OUT.

DO YOU-- IF THE RACE HAS BROKEN TOWARD OBAMA, OKAY, HE'S ALWAYS BEEN AHEAD IN YOUR POLL, RIGHT.

>> HE'S BEEN AHEAD IN THE FORECAST, YEAH.

>> Stephen: IN YOUR FORECAST, SORRY IN YOUR FORECAST.

SO I MEAN 86 WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE RIGHT NOW.

>> I THINK IT'S GOING TO GO ABOVE, IT'S ACTUALLY RUNNING, THE MODEL IN THE GREEN ROOM.

>> Stephen: SO IF I THREW A BUCKET OF WATER ON IT OBAMA WOULD LOSE?

NATE SILVER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

NATE SILVER, THE SIGNAL AND THE NOISE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) GOOD LUCK.

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