All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

3/26/2014

Prediction

Predictions are common.  We like to pretend we know what the future holds and prognosticate the out come.  Sometimes, due to superior knowledge or pattern detection we are right.  One of my undergraduate instructors was a former AF Officer.  He had a peculiar attachment to Mega Trend and non-traditional predictive analysis techniques.   I remember his PhD thesis had something to do with "ingratiation techniques for success in non-profit mission environments".  In other words "how to kiss ass to get ahead, when money doesn't matter".

I guy like me, saw a lot of potential for learning from a guy like that.  I did too.  He was one of those teachers that I tried to get as many classes with as I could.  When he left to take over as the Dean of a Graduate program, I went and took classes from them too.  Among other things he is currently doing a bang up job for the folks at the same University that the Duck Dynasty Boys are Alumni form.

He got me interested in predictive analysis techniques.  While there are practical business applications for those skills, my interest is as a hobbyist, not a professional.  I admire the professionals. 

Which is why I find this story interesting:

Democrats downplay Nate Silver's Senate projection

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pushing back after data whiz Nate Silver projected Sunday that Republicans will win the Senate this year.
In an interview with Jon Karl on ABC's "This Week," Silver, who recently relaunched his FiveThirtyEight franchise, gave Republicans a 60-percent chance of winning a Senate majority during the 2014 midterm election cycle.
But Democrats, who have in the past lauded Silver for his analysis of polls, on Monday were skeptical of his projection this time around.
"Nate Silver and the staff at FiveThirtyEight are doing groundbreaking work, but, as they have noted, they have to base their forecasts on a scarce supply of public polls," DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil wrote in a memo Monday. "In some cases, more than half of these polls come from GOP polling outfits."
What you need to know is that Silver is using limited data with a highly refined technique system to come to his conclusions.  He know where the weakness in the methodology is.  He probably wouldn't make a call this early, but the Democrats asked him to.  The reason they asked him for his best guess, is that his best guesses are very, very good, more often than not.  Think of it like having the best bookie give you odds, not like a prophet with a divine message.

Sliver is saying the odds are in favor of the republicans in the senate.  That could be.  Obama Care sucks.  The economy sucks.  Lots of stuff sucks and some one should take the fall.  That said, I have a prediction.  If the Republicans win the house and the Senate, they will waste their chance to do any good for this country.  Even if the GOP had 100% of both houses and the Oval Office, they would blow it.  They always do.  They only time they are in favor of conservatism is when they are picking your pockets at a fund raiser. 

I didn't need a crystal ball to make that prediction.  I base it on what the GOP has always done, fundraise on the right so they can govern on the left, and pretend capitulating to enemy is the center.

6 comments:

Giraffe said...

If the Republicans win the house and the Senate, they will waste their chance to do any good for this country.

Yep.

I might vote repub until they do that. And then I will quit voting. They did it once in my life, with GW. I'll give them a second chance..

Unless they nominate another McCain/Romney/Dole. Then I'll just stay home because I know your prediction is true.

WaterBoy said...

ESPN constructed an elaborate maze that mimicked the NCAA basketball tournament bracket. They released rats into the maze to "predict" the outcomes of the various matchups throughout the tourney.

In the first round of games, the rats were 15 of 16. That's a success rate of 94%.

I'm going to create a lottery ticket maze and run some rats through it.

Res Ipsa said...

I'm going to create a lottery ticket maze and run some rats through it.

If it works put me down for a ticket too.

Did you see the Quicken Loans Billion dollar give away for a perfect bracket? I know Warren Buffet thinks it can't be done, which is why he took the bet. Still I'd love to take the cash payout for that one.

Giraffe said...

Did you see the Quicken Loans Billion dollar give away for a perfect bracket?

I did, but I didn't get in it. I don't think the odds are as bad as they think they are.

My bracket was busted on the first game. It was only the million dollar one, but still.

newrebeluniv said...

It's not like there is any risk. If he predicts a 95% chance of republican victory and the Dems win, he can still say, "SEE? I told you so". A 5% chance is a chance. This guy only predicted a 60% chance of Republican victory. That's nowhere close to certainty. It would be more useful if he could predict what the new majority size will be.

Res Ipsa said...

Buffet has a company that underwrites all kinds of odd ball give away stunts. They do the hole in one deals for golf tournaments. The $100,000 half court fan shots for college fund raisers etc. I assume that its this same company that is doing the bracket. I know they have to pay out from time to time, but I think he makes money on it, so they can't be paying out that much.

I've tried to get the WTRC organizers to do a Million dollar mile event as part of their shoot. So far they've not wanted to investigate the premium for it.