A few things learned from Nate Silver‘s “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit: the stats wiz “does not own (or rent) a cat”, got recognized at the top of the Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacan last week in Mexico which he believed was a sign of the Apocalypse, and uses Stata and Excel to analyze data.
He also dipped into his non-electoral expertise including Mexican food (Silver used to hold a best burrito bracket) and baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot.
“Perhaps I can convince Penguin that my next book should be a 256-taqueria burrito bracket with entries from all across the country,” he quipped.
When asked whether gun control would make the country safer, he said: “It’s a tricky problem, statistically. The issue is that while gun ownership rates could plausibly be a cause of fatal crimes and accidents, it can also be a reaction to it, i.e. people purchase guns because they feel unsafe. I’m not saying that the issue is intrinsically inscrutable. But it’s something that more requires a PhD-thesis-level treatment than a blog post to really add much insight, I think.”
On the criticism from the pundits during the election: “At some point in the last few weeks of the election, I guess I decided to lean into the upside outcome a little bit in terms of pushing back at the pundits in my public appearances–as opposed to emphasizing the uncertainty in the model, as I had for most of the year. (Nothing about the model design itself changed — just how I tended to talk about it.)
Stupid poker analogy: part of playing well is in maximizing the amount of value you get from a hand in the event that things go well, in addition to mitigating your losses if they don’t.”
Did you ask any questions? Fast Company has asked him a few before (click here to read about it.)
[Image: Flickr user Don]