Like so many people, I was shocked to see Disney separate Nate Silver from his famous website, 538. How could this happen? What’s next for Nate, post-538? We get into it.
Our jumping off point is Nate’s new Substack, Silver Bulletin, which I thoroughly enjoy. That site covers topics ranging from poker to politics and, of course, pro sports. So we talk about that, plus discuss what the “Indigo Blob” is.
This podcast outline, put together by the astute Sam Schuette, is of a conversation that includes but is not limited to the following:
Silver’s memorable Poker tournament experience
How he deduced people by observing their mannerisms
Famous YouTube video of winning a massive bluff
How sports parallel poker
Using stereotypes about yourself to your advantage
Why Ed Reed intercepting Peyton Manning is like a poker player predicting an opponent’s next move
Why shouldn’t there be an ideological purity test for pollsters?
Separate the art (polling) from the artist (political lean of pollster)
Activism as journalism and the PR-ification of everything
Writers using moral authority to tell audience what to think about Taylor Swift’s boyfriend
Has it been successful for the Democrats to make their journalism more progressive?
Advancing political arguments via buzzwords like “the science” and “misinformation”
The semantics and effects of wokeness
Has “woke” been overused? Is it time for a new name?
How wokeness created a conservative equilibrium (Bud Light boycotts)
Terrible Twitter before Elon vs terrible Twitter with Elon
The increased equilibrium of current Twitter
Which arguments are safe to make on Twitter when questioning institutional consensus gets framed as right wing?
The importance of political parties for normies
Why Nate hasn’t given up politics yet
Importance and uncertainty of the 2024 election
Aligning what he does with his interests
Reflecting on FiveThirtyEight
Its missed potential for a subscription opportunity
What ended his run there?
His issues and differences with the new guy running 538, G. Elliott Morris
Silver’s Sloan panel with Bill James
James’ talent for making crazy takes seem plausible
Why Bill James thinks the NBA has the worst athletes
The Pac-12’s dissolution to the Pac-4
Why sports are so much bigger in the Midwest and South