I’ve decided to revise the claim because I wrongly paraphrased my own thoughts. It is not true that Nate Silver created the false paradigm. So, I will revise as follows:
“like statistician Nate Silver, helping to create…”
My original quote is really just a paraphrase of what I actually meant, so I hope I have cleared up the discrepency with this post. Silver did, in my evaluation, along with many other pundits of scientism, have a significant part in perpetuating the false paradigm that Hillary Clinton was certain victory. Even if he, on occassion would report that her victory wasn’t guaranteed, he hid behind the idea, “you just don’t understand the math” if he was wrong. Irrespective of the understanding of the numbers, the numbers he presented, and how he framed and presented them (with each state weighted by it’s likely outcome, but with little respect to the margin of error for the polls in each state, or the motivation behind that which drives an individual’s answer in polls) were themselves used to perpetuate the false paradigm that Clinton’s victory was all but secured except due to an act of God.
I will say, that I think it is fair to say such a false paradigm existed and few people were arguing against it. Even I believed in the near certainty of a Clinton victory and wrote my “2017 Banned Words” humor article. This article makes absolutely no sense if the zeitgeist wasn’t built around the paradigm of an assured Clinton victory. I wrote the article in late October of 2016.
Dewey wins again. That’s all I’m saying was said, and that Silver, HuffPost, MSNBC, CNN, NYT, WP, Boston Globe, and pretty much every other major news source bought into the paradigm, which turned out to be false, in whole or in part. I think it is fair to claim that. Just because after every report that re-inforced the paradigm someone would say something along the lines of, “Well, we won’t really actually know until Nov. 8th, but my money is on Clinton,” doesn’t mean the paradigm that espouced near certainty on a Clinton victory wasn’t there. Even if I soften the claim of the paradigm, we could at minimum say that Silver, his followers and other statisticians were saying a Clinton victory was highly likely.
It was false because, in retrospect (of course, hindsight is 20/20), when everything is taken into account: bad polling practices, margins of error, weather considerations, media bubbles, culture wars, apathy, Trump’s get out the vote tactics, et al. the numbers being pushed held the wrong assumptions. If we had given these qualitative considerations more weight in public discourse, rather than just the numbers, a Clinton victory might have seemed a toss-up at best.