57 Comments

Wow I love Maria Konnikova -- looking forward to listening to the podcast and readying the book!

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"I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten more emails/texts/DMs from friends in the past six months about things I wrote at Silver Bulletin than in the nine years I spent at 538@Disney."

I've gotten more texts from friends about you in the past six months than in the nine years you spent @Disney. I think you're onto something about how pushing emails to people builds more of a connection.

Funny how that is! So many apps were marketed as getting writers closer with readers just for simple old email to circle back and be there.

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Thanks for sharing your metrics. While I don't always agree with your opinions, I appreciate how thorough you are in articulating your analysis. Looking forward to The Edge - The Signal and the Noise was a classic.

Paywalling is a necessary evil, but it's nice to leave comments open on the free articles. Will do our best to be civil. Here's a primer on anon culture: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-stay-anonymous-top-anons-creativity-trust

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I'm glad that 2023 was very happy for you, and I hope that the plans that you've sketched out for 2024 bring you even more happiness. That's what should be prioritized over anything else. Looking forward to the book and to more work over here.

I do hope that the sports models find a good home, even if you're not the one providing or stewarding its home. I definitely missed them as the NFL playoff race this season was kicking into high gear. I could calculate the scenarios myself, but the probability of each scenario based on opponent quality is tougher.

A question on the election models: does Substack have the functionality to do what you want to do with them? That's been a long lingering question on my mind ever since you started this blog. You mentioned making a "low-fi" version here, but how low-fi do you envision that, and will that be satisfactory to what you want to do here in that regard?

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Nate: 12% conversation to paid IS fantastic! I think 4 or 5% is more usual.

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Nate, have you considered getting some sort of assistant to help with things like comment moderating? I like this newsletter, but posts older than a few days have nearly unreadable comment sections - e.g. https://www.natesilver.net/p/why-liberalism-and-leftism-are-increasingly has something like 100 different spam comments from the same schizophrenic Nazi. I realize that hitting the optimal balance of stopping low-value posts from gumming up the works while still encouraging real and and times heated debate is challenging, but at a minimum banning pure spam is a no-regrets move.

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I really miss the Sports statistics and percentages that were on 538. Is there anyone doing something similar now?

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Being totally honest, I would pay for Nate's takes on electoral politics and polling models but have little interest in the gambling content or other things you mentioned. So this is not an appealing list to me personally but glad you're able to follow your passions and I'm sure you'll find an audience whatever you do

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>about two-thirds of readers on a typical post are coming from places other than the email list

Be aware that "from places other than the email list" probably includes Substack app notifications. I think this comment I'm making counts in your statistics as "from the email list" because I happened to be looking at my inbox on my laptop when your message came through, but most of my reading probably counts as "from places other than the email list" because I typically click on a Substack app notification on my phone.

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As sad as I would be to see your election model put behind a paywall or completely privatized, I understand that it is your original work and you have full control over what happens to it.

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The references to economics are making me nervous, because one of the rare times I've seen you totally strike out with an analysis was the other day when you were posting the economics graphs.

If this is related to the game theory work, that gives you a good foundation for getting into industrial organization (business competition issues). But it won't get you far with other parts of econ like macroeconomics. It's not really possible to correctly do that kind of econ commentary without spending a lot of time specializing in it.

Another potential econ landmine is that economists have very rigorous statistics training -- more than basically any other scientists -- so you have a lot of really serious competition, and the opportunities for an outsider statistician to make contributions are not that common. The point is that it would be a major challenge if that's what you had in mind.

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I trust your election modeling more than any other forecaster out there so I hope we see a lot of it discussed here at the newsletter for paying subscribers like me.

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I love the newsletter. I read most of them (I’m not a poker player or big gambler). I recommend the newsletter to friends, especially those interested in politics. I’m looking forward to your data-driven election content, and would also be interested in reading your thoughts about college football if you have time and interest. I think NIL and the transfer portal will drive significant change, as will the 12-team playoff and would be interested in your thoughts. I very much appreciate having access to your insights.

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Thanks for letting us know your plans. I would be much happier reading one or two thoughtful pieces a week as opposed to 4 pieces of product that you felt compelled to get out. Looking forward to you new book as well as your future insights. Go Blue?

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For other readers, what's your likely go-to election model if Nate doesn't make one available?

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Love it! Eager to see what you produce.

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