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Out of the Blue

Well today is Election Day here in the U.S., our annual opportunity to practice democracy (insert joke here about continuing to practice until we get it right). Here's hoping all those who are registered get out and vote, and that the process proceeds smoothly.

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236 Replies. 12 pages. Viewing page 11.
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36. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 12:50 Creston
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 12:03:
How we have managed to avoid completely destroying ourselves is something barely short of a miracle.

Checks and Balances. Well, that, and the fact that roughly 98% of everyone elected to congress and the senate doesn't actually DO anything except vote to give themselves another raise every year.

Creston

 
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35. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 12:15 SimplyMonk
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 12:03:
I have little trust in a very large majority of people running for public office, especially at the national level. I have even less trust in the public electing them. How we have managed to avoid completely destroying ourselves is something barely short of a miracle. But the process here in the US is certainly no worse than any other process being used anywhere else. So, we'll continue to muddle along... and hope for the best.

Agreed. Hopefully the next life form that gains dominance of this planet, once the next meteor wipes us out, can do a little better. If we are quick enough though with our tech upgrades, our robot overlords may also be able to devise a good solution. Sadly, it will most likely involve killing all humans.
 
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34. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 12:12 Jeraxle
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:46:

No, he's claiming the NYT is biased - which would be a presumed liberal bias - and in fact does. It is, however, minor. It's not like Faux News, or any of the outlets on the right which just make up shit entirely to support their position. And 538 is at least making an honest attempt to be unbiased. And since when is polling an exact science? The only time people cry about it is when it doesn't work in their favor.

No, Sauron had it right. I was opining that 538 wasn't taking into account more data. I'm not debating the guy's track record, just his choice to exclude more data.

Either way, I have a war to go fight. Night missions are fun! =)
 
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33. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 12:03 Mr. Tact
 
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."

- Winston Churchill

My spin:

I have little trust in a very large majority of people running for public office, especially at the national level. I have even less trust in the public electing them. How we have managed to avoid completely destroying ourselves is something barely short of a miracle. But the process here in the US is certainly no worse than any other process being used anywhere else. So, we'll continue to muddle along... and hope for the best.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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32. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:53 sauron
 
Creston wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:49:
nin wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:48:
We have 535 other idiots in Congress that seem to prefer fighting each other to getting something productive done.

I would be excited if we could somehow clean them all out...


Careful nin. Statements like that get the Secret Service to start paying attention.

Creston

Heck, they've had him under surveillance since 1983! He even makes coffee for the guys outside in the unmarked van each morning.
 
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Kittens!
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31. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:52 Bhruic
 
Ratty wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:41:
Um, I said so far off from what MOST everyone else is saying. According to the MSM the two have been virtually tied for most of the campaign.

Ok, but that's just making it more confusing. You're praising one site, and then claiming another one is so far off, when both of them are giving roughly the exact same predictions.

As for the MSM, three issues. First off, they make money on "hits", either online, read, viewed, whatever. So they have a vested monetary interest in making the race look close, because that helps increase their "hits". Second, the MSM has been mainly focused on the popular vote, rather than on the electoral math. While the popular vote has been somewhat close, Obama has always been leading on the electoral math. And thirdly, Nate Silver's prediction have been percentage based. Just like in sports, just because one team is a favorite to win doesn't mean there's no chance the other team could win, they just have less of a chance. Romney still have a chance to - and could - win this.
 
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30. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:50 Verno
 
Jeraxle wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 10:46:
PHJF wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 10:42:
538 was picked up by NYT in 2010. The site has been around since 2008. It's math, it doesn't have a fucking bias.

It does when it doesn't take all polls into account. By your use of profanity, I assume I struck a nerve.. My apologies for expressing my opinion and a statement of fact.

It's almost impossible to take "all polls" into account but I see it does take a variety of polls from reputable sources into account. Which specific numbers do you have a problem with and where exactly is this contention of political leanings based in?
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: Pioneer, Predestination, Homeland
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29. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:49 Creston
 
nin wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:48:
We have 535 other idiots in Congress that seem to prefer fighting each other to getting something productive done.

I would be excited if we could somehow clean them all out...


Careful nin. Statements like that get the Secret Service to start paying attention.

Creston
 
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28. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:48 nin
 
We have 535 other idiots in Congress that seem to prefer fighting each other to getting something productive done.

I would be excited if we could somehow clean them all out...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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27. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:46 Creston
 
Jeraxle wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:28:
Thank you Creston for your well thought out response. This is a conversation I don't mind having. And as far as voting goes, please do! I don't care for whom you vote for as long as you vote. If you don't, that's 4 years of griping that cannot be done! =)

Yeah, it's always the argument I make to other people who bitch about the president. Did you vote? No? Then shut your yap.

To which they then usually point out that voting for the president in Oklahoma is useless because it always votes Republican (10 elections in a row), and because there is no scenario possible in which our 7 electoral vote decide an election. (apparently.)

But I'll go. The presidential vote may mean nothing to me, but the senatorial and congressional ones do.

Creston
 
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26. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:46 Cutter
 
sauron wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:14:
PHJF wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:05:
Pray tell, enlighten us with your evidence of 538's apparently obvious bias. The methodology is spelled out in plain English on the site. All the numbers are ordered and explained. Or maybe you just saw "New York Times" and cried liberal because you're incapable of forming an opinion on your own.

I think he's just saying that the quality of the data coming out of the algorithm depends on the quality of the polling data that goes into it. Some polls tend to lean left (PPP), others tend to go right (Gallup).

Good article yesterday though that made the point that the large number of polls in the final week of the campaign add greatly to the statistical power of analyses that use all the data. Right now, there are only two ways that 538 could be wrong. Either the algorithm is inaccurate, or the majority of polling data are systematically biased towards Obama (for whatever reason).

No, he's claiming the NYT is biased - which would be a presumed liberal bias - and in fact does. It is, however, minor. It's not like Faux News, or any of the outlets on the right which just make up shit entirely to support their position. And 538 is at least making an honest attempt to be unbiased. And since when is polling an exact science? The only time people cry about it is when it doesn't work in their favor.
 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's deadů Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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25. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:41 Ratty
 
Bhruic wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:33:
Ratty wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:08:
Yeah, that's a good site. I remember it from last time around. I took a screenshot so I can see how it did tomorrow morning. 538 is so far off from what most everyone else is saying and Nate Silver has become so famous/infamous (depending) this time around I'm really really looking forward to seeing how close he is this time.

Uh, the site you claimed as a "good site"'s predictions:
Obama: 303
Romney: 220
Tied: 15

Nate Silver's 538:
Obama 313
Romney: 225

So other than the fact that 538 divides the "ties" up in a 2:1 fashion, how exactly is it "so far off"?
Um, I said so far off from what MOST everyone else is saying. According to the MSM the two have been virtually tied for most of the campaign.
 
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24. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:35 Bucky
 
The President is a small part of the problem, yet is the focus for much of the anger. We have 535 other idiots in Congress that seem to prefer fighting each other to getting something productive done.

The real news here is the BSG: Blood and Chrome release coming up. Far more exciting, imo.
 
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23. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:33 Bhruic
 
Ratty wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:08:
Yeah, that's a good site. I remember it from last time around. I took a screenshot so I can see how it did tomorrow morning. 538 is so far off from what most everyone else is saying and Nate Silver has become so famous/infamous (depending) this time around I'm really really looking forward to seeing how close he is this time.

Uh, the site you claimed as a "good site"'s predictions:
Obama: 303
Romney: 220
Tied: 15

Nate Silver's 538:
Obama 313
Romney: 225

So other than the fact that 538 divides the "ties" up in a 2:1 fashion, how exactly is it "so far off"?
 
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22. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:28 Jeraxle
 
Creston wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:26:

If you knew the author of 538, you wouldn't really doubt his neutrality in the matter. Nate Silver is a very widely known baseball sabermetrics guy who basically lives off his ability to accurately use statistics to predict things.

If he were to fudge statistics for something as pointless (to him) as the election, he'd risk his credibility and thus his entire livelihood.

Now, make no mistake, Nate is a democrat and won't hide that he is. But if his statistics said that Romney would run away with the election, he would tell everyone so. He doesn't fudge the numbers.

His accuracy for the 2008 election was incredible. IIRC, he predicted 48 of the 50 states correctly.

Anyway, living in Oklahoma my vote really doesn't mean much, but I'll try to sneak out today and vote.

Creston

Thank you Creston for your well thought out response. This is a conversation I don't mind having. And as far as voting goes, please do! I don't care for whom you vote for as long as you vote. If you don't, that's 4 years of griping that cannot be done! =)
 
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21. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:28 nin
 
I took a screenshot so I can see how it did tomorrow morning.

He has a Previous Report link, and you can go back each day and see how the number change, also.

 
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20. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:26 Creston
 
Jeraxle wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 10:32:
sauron wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 10:20:
Unbiased political statistics analysis done with hard math - very interesting. Honestly, it really is!

As much as I hate tempting the Lord of Mordor, I find it very difficult to believe anything published at the NY Times as "Unbiased". This day and age, you'll never find a "news outlet" that isn't biased in some way. Especially seeing as though 538 is a blog. I like what he's doing with his blog, but unfortunately, I can't believe that his stats are based in reality due to lack of trust in his sources.

/shrug

If you knew the author of 538, you wouldn't really doubt his neutrality in the matter. Nate Silver is a very widely known baseball sabermetrics guy who basically lives off his ability to accurately use statistics to predict things.

If he were to fudge statistics for something as pointless (to him) as the election, he'd risk his credibility and thus his entire livelihood.

Now, make no mistake, Nate is a democrat and won't hide that he is. But if his statistics said that Romney would run away with the election, he would tell everyone so. He doesn't fudge the numbers.

His accuracy for the 2008 election was incredible. IIRC, he predicted 48 of the 50 states correctly.

Anyway, living in Oklahoma my vote really doesn't mean much, but I'll try to sneak out today and vote.

Creston
 
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19. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:21 BobBob
 
It's a complete waste of time to vote for the president here in California.  
http://tinyurl.com/WeatherImmunity Whew
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18. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:19 RollinThundr
 
nin wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 10:36:
sauron wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 10:20:
nin wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 09:59:
Voted Friday. Now I get to sit back and watch the fireworks. And being a glutton for punishment, I'm sure I'll be following it all night.


I'm unable to vote (foreign passport - Mordor; also, the Lidless Eye has no hands). However, Ive been absolutely glued to the Five Thirty-Eight page for weeks:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

Unbiased political statistics analysis done with hard math - very interesting. Honestly, it really is!

I'm not sure if I believe those numbers or not. I think because he seems farther away than a few of the other polls. But I have been following it the past few days...

Guess we'll find out tonight. (Assuming it's resolved) No matter who "wins" half the country is going to be pissed tomorrow.

edit: I've been reading http://electoral-vote.com/ since the 04 election, and he seems to nail it, most of the time.



An Obama win there too. Oh good I can't wait til we hit 20 trillion in debt. It's a shame elections in the US are mere popularity contest rather than decisions based on issues and facts. It will be a very sad day today when voters hand him another 4 years.
 
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17. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2012, 11:18 Jeraxle
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:05:
Pray tell, enlighten us with your evidence of 538's apparently obvious bias. The methodology is spelled out in plain English on the site. All the numbers are ordered and explained.

Sauron summed that up for me. Thank you Sauron.

PHJF wrote on Nov 6, 2012, 11:05:
Or maybe you just saw "New York Times" and cried liberal because you're incapable of forming an opinion on your own.

Care to explain why you feel the need to attack someone who presumably disagrees with you? Enlighten me as to why if someone disagrees with you they are obviously unable to think on their own?

Edit: I find it laughable that both sides, republican and democrat alike, seem to think that the other side is incapable of anything other than spewing out talking points. I didn't come here to debate politics with anyone. I voiced my opinion, if you disagree, that's fine. If you don't, that's fine too. Attacking me, inferring that I am incapable of forming an opinion on my own will get you nowhere. In fact, it destroys your argument.

So, by all means, continue.
 
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