Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some good places for political info

Just want to point out a couple of good site for rational people to follow election information.

As the political lying gets more intense, (and I have nearly had to turn off the baseball playoffs because of the insulting ads that run between innings) it is good to have a place to go to check the facts, or lack thereof, with which you are bombarded. A great place to go is Factcheck.org. They don't appear to have the staff to cover every pack of lies you see on TV, but they are non-partisan and very fair in their approach. They even do a weekly check of the bullshit that politicians say on the Sunday morning TV show.

And, if wonder who is going to win an election, a good place to go is Nate Silver's 538 blog, hosted by the NY Times. He can best be described as a "poll consolidater", taking all the poll data collected by the various polling services and using it to predict the liklihood of possible outcomes. His theory is that using the numbers from a bunch of polls yeilds more numbers than any individual pollster, and thus more accurate results. Good Theory. Oh, and he started his statistics career as a baseball stats geek (I hope he saw The Simpsons last week!).

Finally, for those of you who only want news that tells you what you want to hear, I stole this quote from Barry Ritholtz's blog today.

"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence." -Bertrand Russell

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