Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Thoughts From Outside The Bubble

Two weeks ago, without watching the Presidential debate, I analyzed my twitter feed to determine who I thought "won". You can read my initial attempt at this new methodology here.

Last night, I did the same. I could have watched the debate, but it is interesting to not watch, avoid the noise and try to sort out the signal from a different data set ( apologies to Nate Silver, I promise a plug later ).

Once again, my twitter feed consists of three subsets: partisan Republicans, partisan Democrats and fairly objective analysts. Here's my off the cuff thoughts from last night:

-It was obvious the President was more aggressive earlier. I didn't even need to see all the partisan Democrats in jubilation, it only took one Andrew Sullivan tweet.

-Early on it was apparent the aggressive/defensive posture's from the last debate switched. As I posited before, to me this is an indication of winner vs. loser. Defensive doesn't work well in close in combat. Examples below.

- I knew it was going badly for Romney, or perhaps more accurately, well for Obama when partisan Republicans swarmed to the comfort of the most familiar canard: media bias. Add on to that the heuristic that he who blames the moderator loses and things headed south pretty early.

-The ultimate tell of dwelling on the minutiae is a losing position was the number of people clock counting. When you are moaning about one side getting an extra 4 minutes ( oh the humanity! ), larger points are flying by faster than Felix Baumgartner

-About that "act of terror" thing.  Both camps are right. Both camps are wrong. And Candy Crowley was right to walk it back. But walking it back misses the larger point and ultimately leads a larger sin. But more on that later.

And with that I'll leave you with more words of advice from Nate Silver;
There is a more subtle form of bias, however, that a lot more of us are prone to. That bias is to look at all the data — except for the two or three data points that you like least, which you dismiss as being “outliers.”
By the way, I'm currently reading Silver's "The Signal And The Noise". It's fascinating and I highly recommend it.

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