Nate Silver

Right before everyone ran off for the holidays, we asked the Book Business staff and contributors one question: What was the best book you read in 2012. It didn't need to have been published in 2012, just one that they read in the calendar year. These are the results:

Have you been following the "Drunk Nate Silver" Twitter meme? Well, vanishing buy button or not, here's news that's bound to make Mr. Silver—the NYT blogger/statistician who predicted the election results witih uncanny accuarcy— intoxicated… with cash:

"On, sales for [Silver's book] The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t were up 850% the day after the U.S. election, according to CNNMoney. By Thursday, it was #2 on the site’s U.S. best seller list and #8 in Canada."

Then again, the odds are good that he predicted, that, too. —Brian Howard

Silver has interesting things to say about Big Data, for instance. While some have been focused on the mechanics of Big Data — building the infrastructure, for instance — Silver has the practitioner’s pragmatism. His concern is that we may be seduced into thinking that more data is the same as better data or the right data:

". . . our predictions may be more prone to failure in the era of Big Data."

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