News Column

Tweets Take Aim at 'Drunk Nate Silver' Predictions

Nov. 12, 2012

Patricia Montemurri

What would Nate do?

Make that an imaginary, inebriated Nate Silver, the statistical political prognosticator of the FiveThirtyEight.com blog at the New York Times, who correctly forecast the state-by-state outcome of President Barack Obama's re-election. His blog gets its name from the number of electors in the U.S. Electoral College.

Through Twitter this week, fans and foes of the East Lansing-raised Silver unleashed a tongue-in-cheek tweet game -- under the hashtag #DrunkNateSilver -- of how Silver might deploy his statistical wizardry for good or evil.

Silver's sister, Becca Silver, said he and the family are amused by predictions of havoc wrought by his prognostications.

On rare occasions and "on the record, I can say Nate has been pretty drunk," said Becca Silver, in a phone call Friday.

Some of the Twitter suggestions, she joked, "I can see him doing, but others maybe not." She would not predict the likelihood of any of them coming to pass.

But here are some fun Tweets:

--Drunk Nate Silver steps on all the cracks. Says the statistical probability of breaking his own back is highly likely.

--Drunk Nate Silver goes to fortune-tellers just to make them cry.

--Drunk Nate Silver knows what you did next summer.

--Drunk Nate Silver looking at strangers from across his doctor's waiting room, then worriedly scribbling in his notebook.

--Drunk Nate Silver waits 20 minutes for the G train, nods silently when it arrives, walks out of the station.

--Drunk Nate Silver stumbles through traffic on the Jersey Turnpike, screaming out what time each driver will get home.

--Drunk Nate Silver points at the night sky. The star he is pointing at flickers then dies.



Source: (c)2012 Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services