It shouldn’t be a surprise that Nate Silver (statistics whizkid behind FiveThirtyEight.com which did an outstanding job of predicting the results of the 2008 election) is turning his attention to matters other than politics. After all, before he became a political pundit his forte was baseball statistics.
If you want to read the published predictions head over to the New York Magazine’s movie section. Some are calling them spoilers – I guess that’s showing total faith in Mr. Silver’s forecasting ability. The article includes some close calls (including a 51% prediction for supporting actress). The only prophecy I’ll share here (partly because I have to admit that its the only one of this year’s Oscar nominated movies I’ve seen so far – shame on me) is that Nate is convinced that Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture and Best Director).
Read the comments on the New York Magazine article for a little discussion about prediction methodology versus quality perceptions (or wishful thinking if you prefer). I hope to see some more comments before the Academy Awards, that will perhaps shed some light on general understanding of forecasting. Or not…