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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hail to the quants, pundit fail

Pundit idiocracy: "Close race", "Too close to call", "Neck and neck". (I heard this all day long.)

Quants and data geeks: "Obama will win. Unlikely to be close."

From an earlier post High V, Low M:
high verbal ability ... is useful for appearing to be smart, or for winning arguments and impressing other people, but it's really high math ability that is useful for discovering things about the world -- that is, discovering truth or reasoning rigorously.

... The statistical techniques used to analyze data obtained in a messy, complex world require mathematical ability to practice correctly. In almost all realistic circumstances hypothesis testing is intrinsically mathematical.
See also Obama wins! and Expert Prediction. Scorecard of predictions here (accuracy highly correlated with M, not V ;-)

Who is this guy?
Xu Cheng, Moodys’ Analytics: Obama 303, Romney 235 (Note that this prediction was made back in February) “This prediction is tied to the Moody’s Analytics current baseline forecast for U.S. growth, which assumes that most states will continue to recover at slow to moderate speeds.”

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