Is Election Predictor Nate Silver A Witch? Probably. And Quantified Self Data Will Make You One Too

Scientists are yesterday’s wizards and demigods. And Nate Silver is a scientist. One whose ability to predict the outcome of elections is so precise, it’s nearly indistinguishable from magic. That’s why is so funny. But really what his flawless prediction of the presidential election signifies is the coming of age of the quantified universe.

The site answers its titular question “Probably”. For many, that’s a more satisfying answer than the truth, which is that he crunches massive data sets to come to his conclusions. Most people want to believe that instincts, emotions, impressions, and optimism can help them make the right decisions for their lives. But they can’t, as our politics writer Greg Ferenstein digs into.

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