Nate Silver is now trying to see what's coming next for him. He has just turned 35. His interest in politics, always more intellectual than emotional, seems nearly exhausted by the election season. "I definitely get tired of the politics stuff," he tells me. "Or at least I'm tired of it now. You basically have a lot of sociopaths and crazy people who work in the politics industry who are kind of enabled by it being such a strange profession. Just a lack of. . . ." Silver stops to reach over for a french fry, eat it, and think. "I mean, well, the fact that it's seen as so optional to actually be truthful?" It offends his sensibilities as a data scientist in pursuit of truth. "You know," he continues, "whereas business can be amoral, I think politics is actively immoral on many occasions. So people will ask if I will go work for a campaign and I say, 'No way.' I can make a lot more money working for a hedge fund and it would be a lot less actively evil. At least you're not trying to manipulate people's belief systems."In my view, the way not to get tired of the politics stuff is to be, specifically, interested in the behavior of real human beings, with all their flaws. That they are unusually flawed human beings — "sociopaths and crazy people" — becomes a positive. You are observing and analyzing these people, who are manipulating and dissembling and lying. This does not conflict with your own love of the truth. You pursue the truth about their lies and manipulations.
May 21, 2013
Here's the whole (nicely displayed) list. Here's the big article on Silver: