Nate Silver has certainly given the mundane topic of data a spanking new makeover with his book, The Signal and The Noise. Silver, who correctly predicted the winner in 49 out of 50 states during the 2008 presidential elections, said he was able to make a dent in political forecasts only because other political pundits were so bad at it. Then he pointed to other industries such as finance and weather forecasting where predictions fail. It’s not all hopeless, however.
Silver has made data fun and buzz-worthy. He has recently infused data into such topics as finding the best burrito in America. The process to determine the 64 burrito-selling establishments nationwide that would be in the bracket involved something called a VORB, or Value Over Replacement Burrito, score, according to his blog. The judging system was based on 20 possible points in five categories: tortilla, main protein, other ingredients, presentation and overall flavor profile. The results led to a flurry of reactions (not all positive) on social media.
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