Friday, March 28, 2014

Nate Silver and the Krugman Embarrassment

I'm glad that Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight are back. Nate generally provides interesting and responsible data-based journalism for the educated layperson. (Of course he sometimes gets in over his head, but don't we all?)

Now Krugman suddenly starts to dislike Silver; see his "Tarnished Silver" post. Funny, he never complained much when Silver worked at the New York Times, the trough where Krugman feeds. But now that Silver has moved elsewhere, Krugman's vitriol erupts. Perhaps Krugman always felt that way but was mum so as not to offend his NYT. Or perhaps he now wants to punish Silver for defecting. Or perhaps it's a little of both. In any event it strikes me as an embarrassment. Let's call it the Krugman Embarrassment.

I'm not the only one who's noticed the Krugman Embarrassment. See the recent post from Big Data, Plainly Spoken, which gets things right in labeling FiveThirtyEight-bashing "premature and immature." Also see the chart at FiveThirtyEight's Data Lab, which speaks for itself.