September 24, 2014

"Mary Burke is winning... Based on a complex statistical model developed for the Capital Times..."

Lefty newspaper does "complex" stuff.

ADDED: "Complex" was a big hippie word. Wow, man, that's so complex. I remember. Meade remembers. That's all the verification I need for that proposition. Back me up, oldies.

So, then I looked up "complex" in the Oxford English Dictionary, because that's usually what I do when I fixate on a word. One of the oldest uses appears in John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding"(1690)(boldface indicates the part quoted in the OED):
We have hitherto considered those ideas, in the reception whereof the mind is only passive, which are those simple ones received from sensation and reflection before mentioned, whereof the mind cannot make one to itself, nor have any idea which does not wholly consist of them. As simple ideas are observed to exist in several combinations united together, so the mind has a power to consider several of them united together as one idea; and that not only as they are united in external objects, but as itself has joined them together. Ideas thus made up of several simple ones put together, I call COMPLEX;—such as are beauty, gratitude, a man, an army, the universe; which, though complicated of various simple ideas, or complex ideas made up of simple ones, yet are, when the mind pleases, considered each by itself, as one entire thing, signified by one name.

81 comments:

Unknown said...

A better name for this is science fiction.

The Drill SGT said...

Good for her. So all the leftists can relax and go home :)

tim maguire said...

Based on a complex statistical model developed for the Capital Times which aggregates data from polls released in the last 13 months

13 months?!? That must be the length of time necessary to come up with a number showing Mary Burke in the lead.

Phil 3:14 said...

Wouldn't it have been easier and cheaper just to say "We think Mary Burke is ahead".

Michael said...

She can win her tits loose until the election. They can run their highly complex models after it to see what went wrong. In which cell was the input fairy dust?

EDH said...

Is this the same "complex" methodology used to count over 310,000 at the People's Climate March?

Althouse: "Hey, hey, ho, ho, fossil fuels have got to go."

The crowd was big—three hundred and ten thousand, according to a scientific count conducted by a complex-systems mathematician from Carnegie Mellon University using data supplied by thirty-five spotters.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's Real Clear Politics lists of all polls, going back to last September. I don't have the patience to read the Cap Times article, but, come on! What kind of hocus-pocus do you need to do to take those numbers and to see Burke ahead?

MadisonMan said...

If you're trying to find a particular fact, you can bend statistics in any way you want to find that fact eventually.

Henry said...

These guys must have the best fantasy football team ever.

Anonymous said...

With the headlines screaming for days about the latest Burke scandal there is no way she is currently in the lead. Lefty paper is being lefty with their misleading headline, asterisk or no asterisk.

rehajm said...

I don't have the patience to read the Cap Times article, but, come on! What kind of hocus-pocus do you need to do to take those numbers and to see Burke ahead?

Perhaps this kind...

Jones' model doesn't incorporate fundamentals, and he said that's likely where the difference would come in between his work and that of others.

traditionalguy said...

Have no fear. This new methodology of averages of past polling organisations accuracy adjusted for a house bias when two party only voters are included is in an incomplete Doctoral Thesis for a cute young man who may get a Phd for it someday after he defends it.

FleetUSA said...

Do you think his doctorate will depend on the actual results in November or the complexity?

David said...

I'm getting a complex about this stuff.

David said...

Ann Althouse said...
What kind of hocus-pocus do you need to do to take those numbers and to see Burke ahead?


"You do the hocus-pocus and you turn yourself around. That's what it's all about!"

PackerBronco said...

So it's just another analysis, done by a PhD candidate - not a professional, and this warrants a front page story because? ...

Since this is the Capital Times its worth wondering whether the story would have gotten the same kind of attention if he had come to a different conclusion.

garage mahal said...

Noooooooooo!!!!

MayBee said...

Michael : " She can win her tits loose until the election."

Is that a phrase?

richard mcenroe said...

If they want a complex statistical model maybe they should borrow Karl Rove's white board.

Peter said...

Then again, there may be few who vote for Mary Burke (as opposed to voting against Scott Walker).

Which is to say, Mary Burke's success or failure probably has far more to do with the public's perception of Scott Walker than with anything about Mary Burke. After all, everyone knows who Scott Walker is, but who is "what do you want me to be today?" Burke (other than the I'm-not-Walker candidate)?

My guess is that the John Does, and the Journal-Sentinel's relentless banging of the John Doe drum, have cost the Governor some support among the few undecided voters left. It's going to cost Walker something because the message, "Where there's smoke there's fire" is simple; "This was a witch-hunt by an out-of-control prosecutor" is more complex.

John said...

JCD and AC, on the No Agenda show (www.noagendashow.com), have talked about polling on a number of occasions.

JCD particularly believes that the media rigs the polls to make the races closer than they really are.

If the 2 candidates are 20 points apart, everyone will figure that the race is won, people will stop following it and buying their paper, watching their shows etc.

Close races are good for business.

For polling firms they are also good for business. When it is close, the pols need to pay them to do more polls and more detailed (or complex) polls.

Politicians may want close polls to encourage their supporters to come out ("Your vote might make the difference! And give us more money, too") or distant polls to discourage the other side ("Not much point in voting, Joe has it in the bag. But we need more money anyway, just in case")

Two examples: Polls showed that the independence referendum was too close to call. They were still showing this the day before the vote. Yet it turned out to be a blow out for the stay in UK vote.

Romney and Obama were polling very closely right up until the election. Turned out not to be that close.

Polls are bullshit and they are used to manipulate people.

If you are ever interviewed by a political pollster, lie to them. You have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by giving a truthful answer.

John Henry

Birkel said...

I love the substance of "garage mahal".
Remember that one poll by that one ridiculous organization that had Burke ahead?

Good times. Good times.

Michael K said...

There is something like a Sarah Palin syndrome going on here. Democrats in the local party want very hard to torpedo a potential (in this case) national GOP candidate. If he wins, then the campaign about dropping out of a non-elite college can get started. Competence has nothing to do with it.

Original Mike said...

I don't really remember "complex". But then, if you remember the sixties, you weren't really there.

James Pawlak said...

THE PROGRESSIVE ORDER: Lies, Big Lies, Politicians' Statements, Obama' words, statistics and statements by Dane County newspapers.

Rocketeer said...

"Unskewing."

The Drill SGT said...

MadisonMan said...
If you're trying to find a particular fact, you can bend statistics in any way you want to find that fact eventually.


Takes one to know one MM :)

Just kidding. I'm a former 'modeler' also. No not election models or climate models....Combat Models.

We modelers call those assumptions "Knobs". You hide the big Knobs around the back side of the 'black box'

In combat modeling, it's the subjectives that are the big knobs. e.g.

- what is their readiness?
- what is their training level?
- what is their morale?
- How good is their Leadership?
- How brittle are they to casualties?

The Arabs just looked at 10 Modern Brigades attacking 2 Israeli Brigades and always predicted victory...

The hard to measure stuff is what they miss.

Curious George said...

I'll bet Thistle lost the sads with this news.

John said...

Speaking of polls:

In 1978 I was taking a class in marketing research. The prof was, by day, an advertising account executive. At the time, he was involved in rolling out a major new beer (Medalla light, for aficionados).

They were running a lot of ads showing how, in blind taste tests, drinkers preferred Medalla 3-1 (or some scientific number)

He explained how they did it:

First they did it in bars so their subjects had already been drinking.

They served 3 numbered glasses of beer.

All 3 were served extremely cold.

Because they were very cold, they had little discernible taste.

Since drinkers could not really detect any difference, a significant number picked #2. (central tendency, human nature)

Voila! They could truthfully advertise that in scientific!! blind tests drinkers preferred Medalla!

It was bullshit, of course. Not that Medalla is a bad beer but the taste tests were bullshit designed to give a particular result.

Schaefer could have come in the next night, done the same test with their beer #2 and gotten the same results.

John Henry

Jason said...

If one side has to employ complexity to show winning numbers, and the other side can show an advantage with very simple methods, bet on the simple methods, every time.

John said...

He also told us that if you wanted to prove that your supermarket beer tasted as good as a premium brand, you could do the same thing.

Pretty much nobody can tell the difference between most brands of beer in a blind taste test. This is especially true if they are cold.

Give drinkers 3 cold glasses of beer, they will not be able to pick out their preferred brand.

Supposedly, 98% of wine drinkers can't tell the difference between a red and a white wine if both are served in opaque black glasses.

This may not be true, I have seen conflicting reports about it. I do believe it is true of a lot of whine drinkers.

John Henry

Bob Ellison said...

I prefer the word "complicated" to "complex". The former sounds more honest-- it says "not simple"-- and the latter has come to mean "you wouldn't understand this, so just take my word for it".

Steve Burri said...

Complex... old hippie word. Perhaps as an upgrade for 'deep,' 'heavy.'

tim in vermont said...

I don't remember much from my church going days as a child, but I do remember the hymn "A wise man builds his house upon the rock" and a foolish man "builds his house upon the sand."

This statistical house is built on sand, but I am sure it is more about trying to suppress turnout among conservatives than anything.

Liberals learned about suppressing turnout in Florida 2000 when the state was called for Gore while the polls in the heavily red panhandle had an hour yet to vote.

Later analysis showed that that cost Bush tens of thousands of votes.

Big Mike said...

"Complex" was a big hippie word. Wow, man, that's so complex. ...Back me up, oldies.

I never heard a hippie use "complex." They always used the term "heavy."

Of course I'm older than you admit to, and probably older than Meade.

Achilles said...

Polls aren't used by the media anymore to reporters information. They are used to shape opinion.

Mark said...

I seem to recall this blog spent an awful amount of time discussing Romney and the unskewed polls.

To question someone else's unskewing seems hypocritical after all the hay you made with Romney polling.

But hypocrisy is what you're all about here, right?

Rocketeer said...

To question someone else's unskewing seems hypocritical after all the hay you made with Romney polling.

It was stupid and laughable when Romney supporters did it. Of course, we only learned that in hindsight, since "unskewing" hadn't really been tried before, and on it's face it seemed defensible at the time.

The real hypocrisy would be in laughing at it in 2012, but somehow thinking it might be worthwhile now, when we have a track record of its "effectiveness."

Just curious: did you laugh at it in 2012?

Anonymous said...

No one else has said it so here goes.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

There, I said it.

Gusty Winds said...

The tailors at the Capital Times are weaving a complex cloth only the intellectual Madisonians can see and understand.

Smilin' Jack said...

""Mary Burke is winning... Based on a complex statistical model developed for the Capital Times...""38 Comments

They're counting on imaginary voters to cast complex votes. Since the complex number field cannot be linearly ordered, the "winner" will be arbitrary and might as well be Burke.

That's all the verification I need for that proposition. Back me up, oldies.

Wow...self-contradiction is so heavy, man.

khesanh0802 said...

I can't believe that the people of Wi are dumb enough to turn Walker out. But then again…..

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah a complex statistical model. Brings to mind the old aphorism that figures don't lie, but liars can figure.

The only model that counts is the model on election day.

Brando said...

I'm depressed to see Jason Carter is keeping it close in the GA governor's race. What on earth has that clown accomplished to justify making him governor? Being the grandson of one of our recent presidential flops shouldn't work in his favor. Is Nathan Deal really that bad a candidate?

Michael K said...

"But hypocrisy is what you're all about here, right?"

Well, you're here.

Bobber Fleck said...

Ann Althouse said...
What kind of hocus-pocus do you need to do to take those numbers and to see Burke ahead?

The necessary hocus-pocus for this model is easily found in the climatology departments of most major universities. Simply contact the global climate change experts.

Bobber Fleck said...

Ann Althouse said...
What kind of hocus-pocus do you need to do to take those numbers and to see Burke ahead?

The necessary hocus-pocus for this model is easily found in the climatology departments of most major universities. Simply contact the global climate change experts.

garage mahal said...

There is something wrong with the polls, the model, or the people. Because Scott Walker is the bestest governor ever.

n.n said...

A complex statistical model is often exploited to obfuscate a political scheme or racket.

Alex said...

Blame the polls if their guy isn't winning. Praise the poll when their guy is winning.

Typical partisans.

However garage is more part of the reality-based community.

John said...

Bobber Fleck said...

The necessary hocus-pocus for this model is easily found in the climatology departments of most major universities. Simply contact the global climate change experts.

Reminds me of an extremely long and active thread on global warming/cooling/chaos climate change/whatever over on the Isthmus (since that came up yesterday)

I have pointed out that the historical temperature measurements are garbage, at least for the precision they are claiming.

The response is always the same: If you apply enough complex statistical analysis to the garbage you can turn it into good data.

Proving that some people really do think it is possible to polish a turd.

Leading to another question: Why would anyone want to?

John Henry

JRoberts said...

Brando, I live in the Atlanta area and I agree that both Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn seem to be lightweights. However, Nathan Deal has had an air of scandal around him and, in general, there seems to be a really strong anti-incumbent mindset this year.

Brando said...

This isn't much different from all those Republicans who were positive that the polls putting Obama a few points ahead of Romney in '12 were wrong because they overcounted Democrats, only to find out on election day that their own polls were skewed towards Romney voters.

What makes little sense to me is why anyone would want a poll to give them a rosier scenario--wouldn't you want the most accurate and precise information? If my candidate was actually down a few points, I'd rather know that. I'd also be interested in why, and what could be done to fix that, but for the life of me I don't see why anyone would rather set themselves up for a nasty surprise.

Brando said...

JRoberts--thanks--I hadn't heard of any of Deal's scandals and just figured he was a fairly conservative but not toxic congressman. I guess the other thing is with the growth of the Atlanta metro area over the years, GA is a lot bluer than it was even a decade ago.

hombre said...

There was never reason to suppose Walker could overcome the assault of the lefty media, parasitic government unions and chickenshit Democrat prosecutors in a place like Wisconsin.

I don't expect Republicans to retake the Senate either, particularly while lying Democrats whining for campaign finance reform outspend them.

The moron mass now exceeds 50% - among voters and politicians.

Rusty said...

They're counting on imaginary voters to cast complex votes.

When you consider that garage and his friends cast ballots for those imaginary voters, then of course, Burke is going to win.

RecChief said...

NO idea if the statistical model that they used produces accurate results or not. Don't really care.

However, having a poll, even an outlier, show Burke as ahead allows wide spread vote fraud to be seen as plausible.

Given teh "unskewing" fantasies a couple years ago, if Sean Eldridge could produce one poll that showed him up by two points, when the fraudulent votes hand him the seat, he could say, "see, it's just like the "unskewing" debacle a few years ago, you republicans really are a dying breed."

DanTheMan said...

>>Scott Walker is the bestest governor ever.

Here's garage answering the age-old question about what an infinite number of monkeys would do with an infinite amount of straw...

Hazy Dave said...

Military ... Industrial ... COMPLEX!

Whoa. Mind blown.

phantommut said...

Romney should be an object lesson for both sides of the argument. If you think the hocus-pocus used to make Romney look close (or winning) in 2012 was on-the-face-of-it stupid, you shouldn't be dancing over a poll that uses hocus-pocus to make Burke look like she's doing better than Walker.

Somebody said that the politicos working for the campaigns should want the real numbers and crunch them towards worst-case scenarios, because how else are problem spots identified and addressed? That's exactly right.

But for the "rah rah go team" people out there polls are psychological tools. (Tools for tools, as it were.)

Me, I'll believe Burke has a shot when (a) the Wisconsin on the right track/wrong track polls go negative or (b) photos of Walker doing rude things in the nude are published. As it stands now her brand is eroding and she's playing defense, poorly.

DanTheMan said...

Oldie stress reduction therapy for teenage angst:
"Stop that! You'll give yourself a complex!"

I Callahan said...

The moron mass now exceeds 50% - among voters and politicians.

And every 2 years, a group of senior citizens dies, and 2 more years of indoctrinated, stupid kids become registered voters.

This can only get worse.

Original Mike said...

"And every 2 years, a group of senior citizens dies, and 2 more years of indoctrinated, stupid kids become registered voters.

This can only get worse."


Yeah, but they'll have to live with the result. Karma's a bitch.

n.n said...

I Callahan:

Instant or immediate gratification with promises of no consequences feels good, man/woman/gender fluid.

The indoctrination consists of pay no attention to the machinations behind the curtain, and in return we will enable you to just do what feels good. It's a choice, which at minimum sabotages character development, marginalizes individual ability to compete, and at most with brutal consequences.

richard mcenroe said...

I've seen better math in a 50's "B" sci-fi movie.

richard mcenroe said...

"Here's garage answering the age-old question about what an infinite number of monkeys would do with an infinite amount of straw..."

Chisel Shakespeare on an infinite number of bricks?

garage mahal said...

Court reinstates John Doe probe into Walker's campaign. Ruh roh.

DanTheMan said...

>>Chisel Shakespeare on an infinite number of bricks?

Only if he knew a swift from a stylus.

RecChief said...

"Court reinstates John Doe probe into Walker's campaign. Ruh roh."

I didn't even bother to check if this is real or jsut a product of GM's fevered imagination. I just assumed that a partisan hack judge could be found that would do it. Now THAT is a sad commentary on the third, ostensibly non-political, branch of our government.

Mark said...

The 7th Court of Appeals overruled Judge Randa and pretty much tossed Club for Growths case out of federal court.

If you recall the posts at that time, the oral arguments made it fairly clear this would happen. Go read Althouse's posts about it. The Club lawyers totally failed to make their case.

RecChief said...

Mark said...
The 7th Court of Appeals overruled Judge Randa and pretty much tossed Club for Growths case out of federal court.


Sounds to me like an altogether different outcome than "Court reinstates John Doe probe".

garage mahal said...

I just assumed that a partisan hack judge could be found that would do it.

3 judge panel: Reagan, Ford, Clinton.

I wonder how many times Batshit Rudy has been overturned by the 7th?

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

The only poll that counts will be conducted on November 4th

F said...

It's battle space preparation for when they "find" a bunch of uncounted ballots late at night after the first count is done.

Drago said...

I Callahan: "This can only get worse."

Agreed.

I've often stated that I think our trajectory is set in at least congealing cement, or something to that effect.

The lefts complete capture of the major institutions has set the stage for the inevitable. There will be some lefty setbacks on the way, but overall, meh. We're headed to Greece-ville.

It's just a question of time.

Chuck said...

Wisconsin Democrats have a Scott Walker complex.

RecChief said...

"garage mahal said...
I just assumed that a partisan hack judge could be found that would do it.

3 judge panel: Reagan, Ford, Clinton.
"

State judges are appointed by presidents? Apparently you weren't following my line of reasoning. I thought you meant the following:
1. the 7th circuit kicked it back to the state
2.A state judge had been found within hours to reinstate the "investigation".

Completely my fault, I didn't realize I had to break everything down Barney-style for you. duly noted.

hstad said...

"
Blogger garage mahal said...

Court reinstates John Doe probe into Walker's campaign. Ruh roh.

9/24/14, 3:10 PM"

Since the State Courts effectively have halted the investigation. How do you come up with such an idiotic statement?

ken in sc said...

At one time I could tell the difference between Miller and Bud. Miller had a sweet undertaste, and PBR gave me a stopped up nose. Nowadays all mass market beers taste like soda water. They would all, especially Coors, benefit from a shot of scotch.

Anthony said...

There once lived a man named oedipus rex.
You may have heard about his odd complex.
His name appears in freud's index
'cause he loved his mother.