Nate Silver, political stat guru for The New York Times, is doing a “Ask Me Anything” for Reddit right now. Go ask him some questions. Smart ones.
To whet your appetitie, here’s Silver’s take on if he’d ever unveil the formula that he uses:
I’d certainly like to aim to increase the level of disclosure at 538 going forward. Sometimes what happens is that I have best intentions to write a super detailed, 5000-word methodology post, and then some senate candidate does or says something stupid, and I get caught up in the news cycle and it gets forgotten about. Which is a pretty lame excuse, I know. At the same time, 538 is a commercial business and the ability to license proprietary intellectual property is a fairly big part of how I make my living, so the disclosure would probably stop short of outright releasing source code or my database in most cases.