Braying Idiot Detractors: Ignorance is Universal

Christopher Lee

Yesterday, Deadspin ran an article surrounding baseball sabremetrician-turned political poll aggregator Nate Silver and the vitriol thrown his way by those in both traditional sports and political reporting. It's a very poignant article, the basic premise of which has been debated time and again on this very blog and many like it. The article is a must read, but here are some of the prime excerpts:

...scouts have always relied on player archetypes, and front offices have always understood that production tends to fall within an expected range rather than on a straight line. All Silver was doing was taking that analysis out of the realm of the gut.

Statistics can’t replace good writing, but it can expose the bad, and sabermetrics represented a direct threat to the bad writers who had gotten away with being bad for far too long. These were the writers who used the same old false narratives to reach the same old misguided conclusions.

a lot of ... pundits made their money on that margin of uncertainty in sports, yammering about heart and grit and all that ineffable crap that was never so ineffable that a hack couldn't write 500 words about it for the early edition. And so they remained in the dark, stubbornly entrenched, missing out on a new way to analyze the game they were paid to follow.

Just like their colleagues in the sports section, the political pundits see the wrong kind of uncertainty in Nate Silver. They associate statistics with mathematical proof, as if a confidence interval were the same thing as the Pythagorean Theorem. Silver isn’t more sure of himself than his detractors, but he’s more rigorous about demonstrating his uncertainty. He’s bad news for the worst members of the punditry, who obscure the truth so their own ignorance looks better by comparison and who make their money on the margin of uncertainty, too.

The hardest thing Silver works at is eliminating bias, so when baseball fans accuse him of being biased against their team or political lackeys accuse him of being biased against their candidate, it’s the accusers themselves who are revealing their own insurmountable bias.

Any of this sound familiar? It should. Time and again these very things are being debated on this very blog with similar results. Seriously, read the entire article. You'll be better for it.

Links

Ten Most Hated Maple Leafs of All-Time

How could you hate Borje Salming?

Matt Frattin is Probably Just Replacement Level

Yeah, probably.

First "Leafs Matters" Podcast

It's Mike from VLM and friend of the blog Matteo from WWAC.

Hockey's Greatest Mustraches: Part1

Backhand Shelf is getting into the Movember spirit.

The Man Trying to Unionize the CHLPA is a Mystery

And possibly even a fraudster. Lovely.

The Story of a Goalie Who Tried to Eat a Hockey Puck

Goalies are seriously crazy.

Morning Updates

A Mildly Radical 10-Point Plan

Mike at VLM lets his wild side come up with a solution for saving hockey.

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Join Pension Plan Puppets

You must be a member of Pension Plan Puppets to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pension Plan Puppets. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker