This Should Be Fun

Anyone want to take Paul Krugman's side against Nate Silver?
Similarly, climate science has been developed by many careful researchers who are every bit as good at data analysis as Silver, and know the physics too, so ignoring them and hiring a known irresponsible skeptic to cover the field is a very good way to discredit your enterprise. Economists work hard on the data; on the whole you’re going to do better by tracking their research than by trying to roll your own, and you should be very wary if your analysis runs counter to what a lot of professionals say.

Basically, it looks as if Silver is working from the premise that the supposed experts in every field are just like the political analysts at Politico, and that there is no real expertise he needs to take on board. If he doesn’t change that premise, his enterprise is going to run aground very fast.
My guess is that he's right about that: not that there is no expertise anywhere, but that the loud claims to expertise are safely -- indeed wisely -- ignored.

Goodness knows that you'd have made a ton of money in 2008 if you'd bet heavily on an analysis that 'ran counter to what a lot of professional economists said.' You'd still be making money, in fact: economic stories featuring the word "unexpectedly" have become a joke, they're so common.


Texan99 said...

The NYT piece is behind a paywall that I have no intention of scaling, but I found other delightful articles here and there squawking about Nate Silver's apostasy. Not one of them addressed the merits; they were all about how many times Silver's guest and his fellow travelers had been "discredited."

Grim said...

It can't be a very high wall, since I certainly didn't pay to read a piece by Paul Krugman!

Texan99 said...

You get 10 or so free clickovers a month, I think, and I guess I exhausted mine.

Eric Blair said...

It's Krugman, of course he's wrong.

If Silver is wrong this time, then what was last time?