We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Trump Oz

“Donald Trump has absolutely nothing to say. He has no agenda. He has no plan. He has no ideals or hopes or purpose”, according to a post-debate analysis by Jill Filipovic in the Guardian on 23rd October.

One side of the partisan divide agrees vigorously. Watching the unedited 38 minutes of Trump’s 60 Minutes interview with veteran CBS journalist Lesley Stahl that his campaign released – breaking traditions and agreement, as per – you’re most likely to come to the same conclusion if your worldview was formed in that same echo chamber.

Mine was and yes, I struggle to imagine how anyone could watch and not see him merely as a mean-spirited, intellectually incurious and empty bloviator.

And yet. Sam cites the latest Popbitch newsletter which reminds us that, while both betting markets and polling favoured Remain and Clinton in 2016, higher stacks of money were put on Leave (75%) and Trump (68%).

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Looking forward by looking back

Janus

As the Small Data Forum progresses through its early teenage years – our latest podcast is episode 14 already – regular co-hosts Thomas Stoeckle, Neville Hobson, and Sam Knowles are taking the opportunity to look forward by looking back.

Patients of our own medicine, you might say, we’re using the year end and what we’ve observed and learned in 2017 to enter the predictive analytics business.

We take our inspiration from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and time, after whom January is named. A sculpture of Janus appears at the top of this blog, from the Vatican Museum.

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04: Brexit, Trump and the challenge of better forecasting with better data

Our latest Small Data Forum podcast focuses on recent surprise political outcomes and the mechanisms at play: the psychology of predictions, the new phenomenon of fake news, echo chamber effects and the way data was analysed and interpreted.

Recent expressions of democratic political will – the UK referendum on EU membership, the US presidential election – have surprised most observers and commentators.

Both outcomes, ie Brexit and Trump, were not what most of the polling data indicated. This episode of the Small Data Forum is asking whether we should and could have seen this coming.


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