Remember the adork-able New York Times number-cruncher who predicted the 2012 elections with "deadly precision"? Well, media-types are buzzing Monday with news that Nate Silver is trading in his signature brand of statistics-based election predictions for basketball and a "fiefdom of his own" at ESPN.
It was actually kind of predictable: Silver started as a sabermetricist (yes) at a blog called Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN has been courting him for at least five years.
Politico's Mike Allen writes:
"Nate will appear on the air on ESPN and ABC, and will get “verticals,” or web hubs, devoted to a variety of new topics. He’s very interested in education, so there’s been a lot of conversation about that. And, of course, weather and economics. His Oscars predictions did well for The Times, and now he’ll work for the TV home of the Oscars."
Now that he has some wiggle room, where will Nate Silver turn his unerring eye next?
We have some suggestions:
1. How long it will take to name the royal baby.
The incoming heir's royal grandfather did not receive the name "Charles" until a month after his birth. What's the statistical probability of a new Elizabeth? A George? A Diana?
Because clearly, Nate Silver cares.
2. Where the U.S. will drop its next bomb.
It was an accident, Australia!
3. Who will wear tampons next.
No, not like that. We just want to know what Melissa Harris Perry's new earrings will do for sales.
4. The Webbys.
Because actually, Nate Silver's not all that great at predicting the Oscars.
4. When the New York Times would've run out of money to pay him.
So sad, print journalism. So sad.
The FiveThirtyEight blog brings huge amounts of visitors to the New York Times website, as The New Republic's Marc Tracy points out. In fact, as much as 20 percent of the site's traffic was likely drawn by his byline during peak election season.
(Image: MPO Research)
5. Not to mention, when ESPN will run out of money to pay him.
Didn't ESPN just, um, lay off hundreds of workers?
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)