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It Rains Data in the Year Data Reigns

Tom Van Dyke/Chicago Tribune

It was the year a man became very famous for possessing an unshakable belief in math and basic reasoning skills. This probably says less about Nate Silver and more about the small armies of Silver skeptics, gut-driven intuitionists uninterested in parsing the differences between probability and prediction, correlation and causation. But in the weeks leading up to election night, Silver cemented his role as our all-seeing eye. His name and fine-tuned, closely guarded formulas became an instant salve anytime someone started freaking out: “Nate Silver says … ” Between his bestseller, The Signal and the Noise, and near-flawless election predictions, nobody had a better year reputation-wise than Silver.

Imagine all...

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