There are standard reasons to like Nate Silver, which I do not wish to deny. But here is what I find striking: whenever he considers political or normative questions, he continues to use his full range of intellect and emotional maturity.
Many other commentators, once they run into normative or philosophical issues, or perhaps issues of political theory, or even political science, pull out arbitrary unsupported dogmatisms and partisan mood affiliation. Or perhaps they will use correct but shallow truisms they heard on the radio or read in a magazine or newspaper, without realizing that deeper levels of analysis are possible. Or they may use incorrect but shallow truisms from MSM. Either way, at some point the analysis simply falls apart, even if many of its constituent parts are well-informed or perhaps even expert.
It seems to me that Nate avoids this. I now consider this an increasingly important quality in commentators, especially if those commentators are active on social media.
And it is not that I agree with Nate all of the time on politics. I’m not saying this “because he ends up where I am.”
I will try to think about who else is very good in this regard, and how we might nourish this quality in ourselves.