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Taking Sides

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AP Photo

Silver is blowing it. He’s blowing years of credibility with his target audience with this pissing match. Not because Krugman is some beloved Olympian sage whose comments are above reproach or contest simply by virtue of his status as a sage, but because he’s demonstrably wrong and Krugman is demonstrably right. He’s blowing it, as commenter Walt French at Noah Smith’s blog said, because he seems to think the economics and climate science fields are “populated by the same kind of bloviators and shills he encountered in politics.”

At this point, Silver is looking an awful lot like a guy who’s invested so much ego in his project as it is developing he is incapable of pulling back and reconsidering whether he is, in fact, foolish asserting the superiority of his opinion and his math modelling in data-driven fields populated by real experts who do real math. And I would have to wonder whether at some level his defensiveness is born of the fact that he’s contractually locked in with some of these guys he’s hired for a period of years.

Silver is becoming the very thing he purports to disdain before he even gets the site up and running.