On Tuesday, at 2pm EST, Nate Silver will hold a reddit AMA session, allowing the online audience to ask the uber statistician — well — anything.
What makes Silver's appearance on reddit's AMA so special? Unlike other AMA hosts, which include Barack Obama and Bear Grylls, Silver may be able to calculate the answers to readers' most pressing questions. Many redditors also hope he will confirm or deny the persistent rumor that he is actually a wizard himself after this photo fueled the rumors.
After jaw-dropping success in predicting the winner of all but one state (Indiana) in the 2008 presidential election, and going 50 for 50 in 2012, Silver has become well-known among politicos and pundits. However, his success is not without its detractors. Silver was criticized in 2010 for holding out for a Martha Coakley victory in the Massachusetts special election for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, but she lost to Scott Brown
Silver came back in 2012 with spot-on General Election predictions, making other pollsters and media outlets jealous of his prominence and attention-getting accuracy. One skeptic who was critical of Silver in 2010, reversed his opinion, admitting Silver is "saying all the right things."
Part of what makes Silver seem "wizard-like" is the narrow scope of experience through which he is able to make such successful predictions. A journalism major, he has little to no experience with political organizing. He was criticized for this by Geoffrey Dunn of the Huffington Post. I'd like to see Silver address this. Where did he get his start in political predictions? Why the transition from baseball to politics? Does it take a special kind of genius, or can anyone really do this work? I suppose many of these questions are answered in his book, which I received for Christmas and is on my reading list. Either way, I'd like to see him answer in person!
People like certainty. Silver seemingly has the ability to accurately predict the uncertain. Redditors are already abuzz with comments and questions. One reads, "Nate Silver's samples only have a median and a mode. Because no number would be mean to Nate Silver."
These guys are punny!
What would you ask Nate Silver?