Monday, November 3, 2008

Real Clear Stakes Fuel Interest in Real Clear Stats

I am keeping in touch with my friend Marie, who is spending a year in Berlin, and found this at her blog:

"Also, very hard to think, because 11-year-old Felix is sitting with the other laptop in his lap looking at New York Times electoral maps and with the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper in his hand, very excited and engaged and interested in numbers and probabilities and projections about the presidential race. Loudly. With constant comments."

Which reinforced an idea that has been with me quite a bit the past few days: just think of how much learning has happened around statistics, probability, and data collection, thanks to this election.

My sister-in-law, Rozie, who grew up on baseball stats, sent me to the website FiveThirtyEight: Electoral Projections Done Right, just minutes after my friend Anne also mentioned this site as The Place to Go to calm any qualms about the outcome of the election. It's really terrific – with daily updates from bloggers Nate Silver and Sean Quinn. 538 (the number of electors in the electoral college) amounts to a graduate seminar (clearly explained) in statistical methodology and analysis.

Nate Silver was a guest on the Charlie Rose show on Halloween, and I'm eagerly waiting for that video to get posted to Charlie's site.

Nothing like real world stakes to get us all obsessed with stats! The gist of it is: if we all vote as promised, Barack is absolutely for sure going to win. The concern: challenges to voters, such as this one noted in St. Louis by Daughter Number Three.


hoping for better things said...

Dear Elena, it's only getting harder to concentrate here in Berlin as there I'm sure!

I remember watching the 2000 presidential election with your family; we were brand new in Bloomington and it was so good to have your family's company. Sad outcome but this time it's not gonna be like that!

elena said...

Amen!! I can't even imagine how it is going to feel. Take to the streets out there in Berlin...we'll give you a shout!