Monday, November 26, 2012

The King of Nerds

Nate Silver, the King of Nerds, came to Nerdistan today; he's signing copies of The Signal and the Noise in the photo above. I wish we'd had an even bigger tech talk room for him, because the room was completely filled and into videoconferencing overflow by 15 minutes before the talk. His book also sold out, though I think there is some way for me to order a discounted copy.

He didn't exactly give a talk; he answered questions from Googlers and from chief economist Hal Varian, who moderated. Nobody asked for Nate's hand in marriage, which surprised me a bit. He discussed bias in polls, and among other things said that Rasumussen's model for making money apparently includes being Republican leaning, while Gallup is just doing things wrong in various ways.  I hope this event will go up on YouTube (probably it will).

Here are a few choice quotations, as best I caught them:
It's an honor for me to be here, because you're just about the smartest company around as far as using data and statistics.
Five thirty eight is about making journalism smarter.
The food in the NY Times cafeteria is not as good as the food in the Google cafeterias.
There was a point where Gingrich looked pike he might be the candidate and that is where he became a pinata for the other candidates. Obama vs Gingrich would not have gotten a better outcome for the Republicans.
He also said at some point that it's problem for the Republicans that they are now the anti-empiricist party.

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