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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I have changed my primary vote on: February 02, 2016, 02:51:34 pm
Dare I ask what changed your mind?

[20:51] <BRTD> bedstuy here's the thing: I don't want to go to my caucus and join up with a bunch of olds.
[20:51] <BRTD> while all these cool youngs are in the Sanders subcaucus.

Literally the most BRTD thing imaginable.

How on Earth is this any different from identifying as Catholic even if you believe nothing about it because of "muh culture"? It's almost the exact same thing, making an identification because of your demographic profile in your ethnic background.

I'll explain more after work.

No, it's like attending a Catholic church, praying, and acting as if you entirely believe the substance of Catholicism, just for cultural identification purposes.  Which is ridiculous too.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Overtime Politics thread on: February 02, 2016, 03:17:16 am
Overtime showed a statistical tie in Iowa, and that's what actually happened. Time to stop treating them like junk for dems. For the Republicans though........

...that's really not how that should work.

Yes it is how it should work.

oh lord I'm too tired for your silly, silly nonsense tonight, but WHATEVER:

1. You are basing this conclusion on a sample size of ONE, which is statistically ridiculous from several angles.  Think about how margin of error works, among other things.

2. You are assuming, for no apparent reason whatsoever, that this pollster used a superior methodology.  It's quite possible -- likely, even -- that the other pollsters used the sound, reasonable methodology for voter screens.  It's impossible for pollsters to be psychic about voter screens.  Using a screwy voter screen and getting lucky doesn't make a pollster good, unless they can explain the methodological rationale behind their voter screen.  It just makes them screwy.  Note the difference between Ann Selzer, who didn't nail this one but can fluently discuss her approach to voter screening, and Overtime, which talks exactly how you'd expect someone who is making things up.

3. Why would you think that this pollster had some sort of secret insight into polling the Republican Primary but not the Democratic Party?  Do you have any methodological reason whatsoever to believe that, besides that they happened to get one of the races correct?

4. Most importantly, as Adam says, any reasonable person who has followed Overtime should conclude it's more likely that this pollster is NOT REAL than that they've come up with some brilliant methodological approach based on one damn poll.

5. I really doubt you have any statistically sound argument to back up your claim that "Yes it is how it should work."  This isn't an argument against your statement, but I just wanted to reiterate how completely ridiculous you're being.

GOODNIGHT
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Overtime Politics thread on: February 02, 2016, 01:44:25 am
Overtime showed a statistical tie in Iowa, and that's what actually happened. Time to stop treating them like junk for dems. For the Republicans though........

...that's really not how that should work.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of RFayette's signatures? on: February 01, 2016, 05:55:05 pm
I.e., questioning is OK unless it makes you question beliefs that you've decided aren't subject to logical analysis?

You do realize that's exactly how a delusion is defined?  If someone had that kind of belief that, say, the CIA was watching them, wouldn't you consider it overt mental illness...?

The point is, certain things just require faith.  And that includes faith in the Bible as God's word. 

How do you consider that different than delusion, though?
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of RFayette's signatures? on: February 01, 2016, 05:42:14 pm
I.e., questioning is OK unless it makes you question beliefs that you've decided aren't subject to logical analysis?

You do realize that's exactly how a delusion is defined?  If someone had that kind of belief that, say, the CIA was watching them, wouldn't you consider it overt mental illness...?
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: ABC News: IA R & D caucus location websites don't work for new voters on: February 01, 2016, 05:35:54 pm
I doubt a significant proportion of caucus attendees will be newly-registered voters.  It might ding Sanders a little (college students), but I imagine the vast majority of first-time caucusgoers will be established registered voters.

Well, that's the point, it dings 17 (they can vote if 18 by the general election) and 18 year olds the most, who are strongly Bernie.

Assuming they live at an address without any other registered voters.  How many 17-year-old caucusgoers would fit that category?  Again, some college students, but not many.

I just checked Washington's 2008 caucus attendees.  Only about 0.4% of Obama's (and 0.1% of Clinton's) caucusgoers were 17 or 18.  That probably makes for a miniscule number when you break it down to those who were the only voters at their houses.

(and that's further cut down to those who couldn't figure out another way of finding their caucus site...we're down to a few dozen at this point.)
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: ABC News: IA R & D caucus location websites don't work for new voters on: February 01, 2016, 04:30:25 pm
I doubt a significant proportion of caucus attendees will be newly-registered voters.  It might ding Sanders a little (college students), but I imagine the vast majority of first-time caucusgoers will be established registered voters.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of RFayette's signatures? on: February 01, 2016, 04:10:57 pm
Oy :\
9  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Attention Dave: We Need A New Political Matrix Test on: February 01, 2016, 12:01:59 am
The best questions are definitely the ones that can consistently capture an element of political philosophy and aren't dependent on the news cycle.

Kind of like how flag burning seemed ca. 2006 Tongue
10  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Attention Dave: We Need A New Political Matrix Test on: January 31, 2016, 11:22:54 pm
Dave hosts this, but has nothing to do with the design.  Smiley

It's not hard to recode the test with new questions, which I agree is needed since it dates from the Bush administration.  Does someone(s) want to work on a question set?  If someone does that, I'd be happy to edit/implement.  The scoring system is very simple, so implementing new questions isn't too tough!
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of RFayette's signatures? on: January 31, 2016, 11:01:17 pm
I guess, without the background, I might be underestimating the emotional need for self-affirmation.  However, I think it's worth considering that what's self-affirmation to you is kind of a "screw you" to those of us who aren't being jerks and are trying to make reasoned points, and then see something like what's in your signature.  It basically does say "well, whatever, you're going to hell."  Without context, and even with it somewhat tbh, that does seem passive-aggressive (and kinda spiteful) to those of us who aren't being mean-spirited to you Smiley
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of RFayette's signatures? on: January 31, 2016, 09:59:16 pm
I don't have a problem with them; even if I did, I've seen a number of more objectionable ones here over the years that haven't caused this type of controversy.

Yeah I don't see why his sigs are so bad either. Sure they aren't good arguments and some say objectionable things but so are most signatures. I mean, does yours provide me for a rationale for why I should support Walter Jones? I wouldn't think I ought to expect one. Mine sure doesn't provide any such argument for the statement it contains.

Lastly, it is hard to argue coherently with multiple people at the same time. That is the challenge of being in a room full of people who disagree with you: you still only get the same amount of time to respond as each individual opponent has to argue. He's treaded thus far into hostile waters; I suppose the straw has finally broken the camel's back today on AAD. The environment of a school cafeteria akin to that place is not an easy environment to argue an unpopular opinion. I know I find myself typing up things on both forums and then deleting them simply because I know I won't have time to spend the next two days defending their content.

I realize he's getting more vitriol than probably warranted, but what part of my argument do you disagree with?  I'm not arguing his signature is bad because I disagree with it.

(I'm only being aggressive because it's frustrating to engage in a thoughtful conversation and then have someone go about like it never happened Tongue  Not because of his opinion...)
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of RFayette's signatures? on: January 31, 2016, 08:45:45 pm
I don't think the issue is with his beliefs. It's that he's basically throwing a whole list of people under a bus by trashing them. Gays became homosexuals then sodomites. He doesn't like trans people. Women too are refashioned as 'wanting too much', He idolises a weird 50's that didn't exist, piles in against atheists, liberals, 'intellectuals' and wants a theocratic government. And he's just mean spirited about the whole lot (hence Alcon's intervention)

I'm hard pressed to think of anyone he actually likes. And if that's your takeaway from finding religious faith then you've allowed yourself to become hollowed out as a human being.

RFayette isn't mean-spirited at all. He shows real love for people by telling them the truth instead of coddling them in their sins. It is far more loving to tell someone the truth than it is to tell someone a sweet-sounding lie. Leviticus 19:17 defines loving your neighbor as warning your neighbor to stop sinning.

RFayette is simply trying to get people on the right track. He's trying to get people to stop engaging in soul-damning sins before it's too late. He's giving people the advice they need, as opposed to lying to them by telling them that sin poses no danger to them. He's showing real love for people by doing what he's doing. Preaching the Gospel is the most loving thing you can do for someone.

Except anyone with basic familiarity with the information on persuasion should know that what he's doing is not an effective way of changing people's minds.  (Honestly, anyone who's regularly interacted with people should.)  The arguments he's giving are also mostly logically hollow.  So it's not psychologically persuasive (shouting "YOU'RE WRONG AND WILL SUFFER!" rarely is) and it's not substantively persuasive.  So what is it?

I buy the idea of having a moral responsibility to tell people unpleasant truths that are in their long-term interest.  But why unpleasant tell truths in an unpersuasive way?  That's not doing best by their long-term interest, because it doesn't change minds.  It's not doing best by short-term interest, because it's unpleasant.  It seems to serve no purpose besides affirming one's own righteousness.

I got after RFayette for his previous signature for exactly the same reason.  It was not only unpersuasive, but it was constructed in a way that almost seemed anti-persuasive -- it basically called people who disagreed with him weird, and said they were morally worse than demons.  It also made no damn sense whatsoever logically.  He outwardly admitted he didn't really think it through and just liked how it sounded.  The only purpose the quote seemed to serve was: 1) it said something mean about people RFayette disagrees with; and, 2) it framed what RFayette believes as righteous.

This isn't ethical behavior; it's not concerned with helping people.  It's not outward-thinking or outward-reaching.  It's not thinking at all.  As for what it is reaching for, I'll just say that it's basically masturbatory: it gives the feeling of moral superiority without any of the substance of the effort or the consideration of other people.  It's moral self-love.  It's to moral life what some awful Facebook meme about how "the haterz gonna hate hate hate" is to social life.  It's hollow self-affirmation dressed up as confidence and meaning.

Is that mean-spirited?  Not directly.  Is it self-centered?  Yes.  Am I disappointed that he stopped responding to the topic where we were discussing it, even after he said he had "thinking to do" about opposing positions, and regressed back to this kind of stuff?  Definitely.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Overtime Politics thread on: January 31, 2016, 07:39:38 pm
"How the undecideds caucus could make or break one of the lower tier candidates, or it could add a delegate to any of the front runners."

Overtime Politics hot take: Undecided voters may decide to vote for a candidate
15  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Are you a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist? on: January 31, 2016, 04:23:41 pm
So RFayette, while we're talking about this, you changed your signature to be the exact sort of stuff I'm asking about.  What is the point of this, if not to give yourself personal pleasure by non-persuasively intimidating people?
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Selzer/DMR/Bloomberg FINAL IOWA POLL: Trump +5, Clinton +3 on: January 30, 2016, 11:43:31 pm
LOL, according to the poll Rubio's support DROPPED the last two days of the survey, after the debate he "won".

but muh surge

If he does finish strongly, we'll see first hand how much influence untrue media spin can have.

Those individual days have huge MoEs.  It's not that that unlikely that a candidate could be improving (although not dominating) over these days and yet the poll would show a decline.  Selzer is a great pollster, but statistics are statistics.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What's so wrong with Santorum? on: January 30, 2016, 08:48:37 pm
Same-sex marriage is not comparable to slavery. That was where he lost me.

Comparing it to anything bad is inexcusable

I hate to be defending Santorum's bad SSM analogies, but the point of an analogy is to compare one thing to another thing, in one or more attributes -- comparing SSM to something does not mean you're claiming they ALL have the same attributes.  Analogies, by definition, compare unalike things.  You could say that the analogy is so weak that you assume Santorum's only intention was to draw an unreasonable association, which is fair, but that's different than "you can't compare x to y because y is worse."  Sure, you can, if the particular comparison is apt.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: **DMR final poll livestream and pre-game megathread** 6:30 PM EST showdown! on: January 30, 2016, 06:02:33 pm
As wonderful as Ann Selzer is, friendly reminder that the best any pollster can do even in theory is conduct a methodologically perfect poll, that lands on a perfectly representative sample, and is still subject to the statistical Margin of Error.
19  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Are you a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist? on: January 29, 2016, 03:41:45 am
Atheist (2015)

What does 2015 have to do with anything?

Well there's the fact that believing in the impregnation of a virgin and her subsequent giving birth to God in the flesh who died and then rose from the dead and will be coming back at some point, in the *near future*, we swear! is sort of incompatible with modernity.

> Implying the next logical step after deciding Christianity is a fairytale is to become an atheist.

And the fact that "modernity" means anything, to boot.  Truth is truth, yesterday, today, and forever.  Jesus Christ is still Lord of all, and he WILL come back to judge the living and the dead in righteousness.  Those who will not repent will perish, unfortunately.

I don't understand why you type like that.  Who is teaching you that making flowery declarative sentences is going to change anyone's mind?  If you're not changing your mind, why do you make posts like that -- it is emotionally exciting for you?

Well, making "flowery [authoritative is a far better term] declarative sentences" is kind of my pastor's style, so I suppose you could say I picked it up from him.  I wasn't making in apologetic case, but I was simply saying that from a Christian perspective, the calendar year is irrelevant.  Technology could be 10 times more advanced than it is today, but that wouldn't change one iota of what God's word teaches.  That's the message I was trying to convey.  

Yeah, except you communicated a pretty simple logical concept ("moral truth isn't dependent on what time it is") and then added a bunch of fire-and-brimstone language about the consequences of disobeying moral truth that weren't relevant to original point, and are specific to your belief set.

It was like if I made the same point (morality isn't time-dependent) and then listed a bunch of felony crimes and then talked about how people who commit them might be raped in prison, or something.  It would be totally unnecessary to make my point.  It only serves to be intimidating for the other person, or emotionally exciting for me.  In that case, intimidation makes sense -- because my audience agrees that it's a potential consequence of committing a felony.  In this case, you're intimidating your audience with a consequence they don't even believe will occur.  If you're not trying to persuade them, and you're not being gleeful, what's the point?

That's why it's a little confusing why you're doing this.  It's not just in this thread, either.  You did the same thing in the thread about belief and logic, except it was even more unrelated there.  It may be that you're getting this from your pastor, but...if it's so "unfortunate," and you recognize it's not persuasive, why do you enjoy copying the behavior so much?
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Are you a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist? on: January 29, 2016, 12:04:16 am
Atheist (2015)

What does 2015 have to do with anything?

Well there's the fact that believing in the impregnation of a virgin and her subsequent giving birth to God in the flesh who died and then rose from the dead and will be coming back at some point, in the *near future*, we swear! is sort of incompatible with modernity.

> Implying the next logical step after deciding Christianity is a fairytale is to become an atheist.

And the fact that "modernity" means anything, to boot.  Truth is truth, yesterday, today, and forever.  Jesus Christ is still Lord of all, and he WILL come back to judge the living and the dead in righteousness.  Those who will not repent will perish, unfortunately.

I don't understand why you type like that.  Who is teaching you that making flowery declarative sentences is going to change anyone's mind?  If you're not changing your mind, why do you make posts like that -- it is emotionally exciting for you?
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Stop whatever you're doing and watch this video immediately on: January 28, 2016, 07:55:53 pm
jim gilmore

bringing the sick drops

just never in the polls

Can't drop in the polls if you have no support.

don't you understand

jim gilmore started from the bottom

and now he's HERE
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Stop whatever you're doing and watch this video immediately on: January 28, 2016, 07:51:09 pm
jim gilmore

bringing the sick drops

just never in the polls
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How Nate Silver Missed Donald Trump on: January 28, 2016, 02:09:06 am
But isn't this (similarly to Obama's increasing number of endorsements in '08) more a case of "the establishment" backing Kerry since he had gained momentum and appearing increasingly likely to win, rather than the endorsements causing him to win the nomination?  The same seemingly applies to 1988 as well (in which both Gephardt and Gore had more endorsement points than Dukakis shortly before Iowa).  

Yes, except the point of the model is that candidates who gained momentum and then received institutional endorsements tend to continue the momentum...those who don't, do not.  Hence my reference to Santorum, among others.  You're effectively arguing it's exclusively a trailing indicator, but the evidence doesn't really gel with that.

***

1-He never did this in the past. He may have tracked endorsements in 2008 but only because it mattered for superdelegates. I don't recall him ever doing so in 2012. And in 2008 Silver was actually pretty skeptical of the media's whenever they did one of those "Hey Politician X from state that's coming up to vote just endorsed Hillary/Obama DOES THIS CHANGE EVERYTHING?" stories.

The first part is irrelevant.  Debate the merits of the model, not the motivation.  The second part is a strawman of how the model works.

2-Just look at it. You not only have Jeb! in first and Trump with zero, but Christie, Kasich and HUCKABEE are even beating Cruz. This has about zero relevance to the actual campaign.

You're accusing him of adopting an unreasonable model based on the current campaign.  No one is contesting the model has done a poor predictive job this year.  We're discussing whether it was reasonable going into the campaign.  No one in this thread is arguing that Silver shouldn't have been louder and more transparent about the "unknown unknowns" relating to the model, especially as it became increasingly obvious those were a big problem for it this year.

3-He's assigning objective numerical values to endorsements like that can be done. It reminds me of how teenage posters like to say things"If *candidate* picks *Governor/Senator* as their running mate, then they will gain X% in that home state and Y% in neighboring state." Yes VP picks matter but not like that. And similarly it's kind of silly to say that the Governor of Idaho or Wyoming's endorsement is worth 10x as much as some influential Tea Party House Republican's, or Charlie Baker and Larry Hogan's too for that matter. I'll note this is the only reason why Christie is so high, he has two Governors. Kasich and Huckabee too benefit from Gubernatorial endorsements. The Governors for Christie are...oh yeah actually Larry Hogan! And Paul LePage. Huckabee has his own Governor of Arkansas. Kasich has the Governor of Alabama. who care.

Of course, but how could you practically quantify that without introducing massive problems of subjectivity?  The idea behind a model is to build the most reasonable predictive tool.  Pointing out the flaws of the model doesn't mean it should be trashed, unless you can find a superior methodology.  

Frankly, I think it's pretty clear that Silver weighted the model in a way where (even up until near the last minute) it still had a lot of influence on his polls-plus predictions.  I think the polls-plus prediction model seems to fail to incorporate enough uncertainty about its own hypotheses, especially as its hypotheses failed to predict things this entire year.  However, you're going way beyond that and arguing the model itself was consistently so fatally flawed that it was never a reasonable model.  I disagree.  You haven't really proven that case.

Pointing out that any individual portion of the model is rough is a little like pointing out that a Fermi estimate is made up of a bunch of approximate estimates.  Yes, of course it is...that's what a Fermi estimate is, and likewise, most models of complicated multi-variable phenomena are pretty rough.  And of course more precise estimates would be better.  The point is that imprecise estimates are often the best we have -- and Silver had historical data to support assuming that to be the case here.  It doesn't quite justify his stubbornness in discussing this year, but that's better methodology than 95%+ of 'political analysts' bother with.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How Nate Silver Missed Donald Trump on: January 27, 2016, 10:18:14 am
@Figs: Here ya go.

That's interesting and goes part of the way toward what I was wondering, but it also doesn't necessarily give me an indication of whether endorsements as a variable is separable from polling support. He sketches a very, very rough idea of how endorsements might translate to votes, but I still don't have a good handle on exactly how much that effect might be captured by, or duplicating, other data.

I'm struck in particular by the Democratic charts for 2004. Kerry's endorsements spiked after he started succeeding in primaries, before which point they were lagging Dean and even Gephardt.

You're right that he doesn't show it's an independent variable that's discretely influencing outcomes -- but if it's a leading indicator, it seems like it's reasonable to model.  If you look at 2004, it strikes me that several candidates had comparable establishment support and the establishment started coalescing around Kerry, and then he continued to grow momentum.  It's true that elite endorsements weren't as much as a leading indicator there, since the establishment appears to have stayed out early on, but once they started to get behind Kerry, his momentum did continue and accelerate.  And he was never really disfavored the way Trump (and Cruz, for that matter) is.  Kerry isn't much of a knock on the model, IMO.

That scenario is a lot different than having continued, escalating momentum for someone with consistent zero establishment support (Trump).  That has literally never happened before in the data set, even in a more limited way.  Consider also that some people managed to gain apparent momentum, were then ignored by the establishment, and then flopped.  Santorum in 2012 (after his Iowa win) is one of several good counterpoints.

Looking at all of this, I really think it's hard to convict Silver of much more than misdemeanor analytic stubbornness.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How Nate Silver Missed Donald Trump on: January 27, 2016, 09:38:47 am
@Gustaf: Exactly. Although the actual mechanics of endorsement points are pretty rough (notice how each is worth 1, 5, or 10 points -- obviously not an advanced algorithm), there is an historical association between endorsements and increasing support which suggests they can be a leading indicator, not just two things that generally go hand-in-hand.  You could reasonably argue that this linkage only applies to conventional candidates, and conventional candidates rarely lose primaries, but...that's Silver's point.  And it's well-documented here.  This is historically how things work.

The truth is that any model of such a complicated phenomenon is going to fail to accurately gauge someone whose electoral appeal is incredibly anomalous.  And that's fine, because good models shouldn't necessarily predict anomalies, especially if it models something super-complex like a primary.  Sometimes adding variables meant to predict, say, a Donald Trump, will throw the model off in the 90%+ of other cases would have functioned quite well.  That's unreasonable, and it's usually especially unreasonable to include it in the model if it's never happened in the data set.

I think Silver's 'mistake' this year was in arguing that the lack of previous anomalies meant it was unreasonable to assume Donald Trump was an anomaly.  Think about that for a minute, though: how often do claims that a candidate is "the exception" to a longstanding pattern turn out to be true?  Almost never.  Even an "anomalous" candidate like Obama fits into the model fine.

So, I think Silver's mistake was more in being dismissive (understandably) and not being willing enough to discuss the possibility of Trump being a candidate that presents unknown unknowns, probably because he's allergic to people invoking that kind of argument to justify magical thinking all the time, and almost always ending up wrong.  Even if I think he dug his heels in for a little too long (and even if I think his model should be producing more uncertainty on the endorsement factor when it hasn't apparently kicked in this close to the first vote), I understand where Silver is coming from.

@Figs: Here ya go.
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