50 of the Most Inspirational Nate Silver Quotes

Which are your favorite Nate Silver quotes? 

Nate Silver is an American statistician and writer who analyzes baseball and elections. He is currently the editor-in-chief of ESPN’s Five-Thirty-Eight and a Special Correspondent for ABC News.

Nate is also well known for his best selling book, The Signal & The Noise, which is based entirely on predictions, and why the majority of predictions people make tend to fail.

Here’s our collection of the 50 greatest Nate Silver quotes of all time:


50 Nate Silver Quotes

1. “A belief in the objective truth – and a commitment to pursuing it- is the first prerequisite of making better predictions.” – Nate Silver 

2. “Extrapolation is a very basic method of prediction – usually, much too basic.” Nate Silver

3. “If there is a mutual distrust between the weather forecaster and the public, the public may not listen when they need to most.” – Nate Silver 

4. “Most of you will have heard the maxim correlation does not imply causation. Just because two variables have a statistical relationship with each other does not mean that one is responsible for the other.” – Nate Silver

5. “Prediction is important because it connects subjective and objective reality.” – Nate Silver

6. “Successful gamblers, instead, think of the future as speckles of probability, flickering upward and downward like a stock market ticker to every new jolt of information.” – Nate Silver

7. “The most effective flu prediction might be the one that fails to come to fruition because it motivates people toward more healthful choices.” – Nate Silver

8. “There is strong empirical evidence that there is a benefit in aggregating different forecasts.” – Nate Silver


9th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

9. “We can never make perfectly objective predictions. They will always be tainted by our subjective point of view.” – Nate Silver


10. “When catastrophe strikes, we look for a signal in the noise – anything that might explain the chaos that we see all around us and bring order to the world again.” – Nate Silver

11. “A certain amount of immersion in a topic will provide dis-proportionally more insight that an executive summary.” – Nate Silver

12. “Finding patterns is easy in any kind of data-rich environment; that’s what mediocre gamblers do. The key is in determining whether the patterns represent noise or signal.” – Nate Silver

13. “If you have reason to think that yesterday’s forecast was wrong, there is no glory in sticking to it.” – Nate Silver

14. “New ideas are sometimes found in the most granular details of a problem where few others bother to look.” – Nate Silver

15. “Recently… some well-respected statisticians have begun to argue that frequentist statistics should no longer be taught to undergraduates. In fact, if what you read what’s been written in the past ten years, it’s hard to find anything that doesn’t advocate a Bayesian approach.” – Nate Silver

16. “The irony is that by being less focused on your results, you may achieve better ones.” – Nate Silver

17. “The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth.” – Nate Silver

18. “This is another of those Information-age risks: we share so much information that our independence is reduced.” – Nate Silver

19. “We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty.” – Nate Silver


20th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

20. “When we advance more confident claims and they fail to come to fruition, this constitutes much more powerful evidence against our hypothesis.” – Nate Silver


21. “Before we demand more of our data, we need to demand more of ourselves.” – Nate Silver

22. “Good innovators typically think very big and they think very small. New ideas are sometimes found in the most granular details of a problem where few others bother to look.” – Nate Silver

23. “Ignoring data is often a tip-off that the forecaster is overconfident, or is overfitting her model—that she is interested in showing off rather than trying to be accurate.” – Nate Silver

24. “Not only does political coverage often lose the signal—it frequently accentuates the noise.” – Nate Silver

25. “Risk greases the wheels of a free-market economy; uncertainty grinds them to a halt.” – Nate Silver

26. “The March toward scientific progress is not always straightforward, and some well-regarded (even “consensus”) theories are later proved wrong- but either way science tends to move toward the truth.” – Nate Silver

27. “The story the data tells us is often the one we’d like to hear, and we usually make sure that it has a happy ending.” – Nate Silver

28. “Under Bayes’ theorem, no theory is perfect. Rather, it is a work in progress, always subject to further refinement and testing.” – Nate Silver

29. “We must think more carefully about the assumptions and beliefs that we bring to a problem.” – Nate Silver


30th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

30. “Wherever there is human judgment there is the potential for bias.” – Nate Silver


31. “Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge: the serenity to accept the things we cannot predict, the courage to predict the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Nate Silver

32. “He does not depend on insider tips, crooked referees, or other sorts of hustles to make his bets. Nor does he have a “system” of any kind. He uses computer simulations, but does not rely upon them exclusively.” – Nate Silver

33. “In many cases involving predictions about human activity, the very act of prediction can alter the way that people behave.” – Nate Silver

34. “One of the pervasive risks that we face in the information age, as I wrote in the introduction, is that even if the amount of knowledge in the world is increasing, the gap between what we know and what we think we know may be widening.” – Nate Silver

35. “Shakespeare’s plays often turn on the idea of fate, as much drama does. What makes them so tragic is the gap between what his characters might like to accomplish and what fate provides them.” – Nate Silver

36. “The more interviews that an expert had done with the press, Tetlock found, the worse his predictions tended to be.” – Nate Silver

37. “The track record of science as a whole is a remarkable one. It is probably safe to conclude that the same method attempted over and over with little variation is unlikely to yield different results. But science often produces “unpredictable” breakthroughs.” – Nate Silver

38. “We are undoubtedly living with many delusions that we do not even realize.” – Nate Silver

39. “We need to stop, and admit it: we have a prediction problem. We love to predict things – and we aren’t very good at it.” – Nate Silver


40th of 50 Nate Silver Quotes

40. “While simplicity can be a virtue for a model, a model should at least be sophisticatedly simple.” – Nate Silver


41. “Economy is not baseball, where the game is always played by the same rules.” – Nate Silver

42. “I am convinced that the best way to view the financial crisis is as a failure of judgment -a catastrophic failure of prediction.” – Nate Silver

43. “In science, progress is possible. In fact, if one believes in Bayes’ theorem, scientific progress is inevitable as predictions are made and as beliefs are tested and refined.” – Nate Silver

44. “Perhaps the central finding of behavioral economics is that most of us are overconfident when we make predictions.” – Nate Silver

45. “Some stone-age strengths have become information-age weaknesses.” – Nate Silver

46. “The most calamitous failures of prediction usually have a lot in common. We focus on those signals that tell a story about the world as we would like it to be, not how it really is.” – Nate Silver

47. “There are entire disciplines in which predictions have been failing, often at a great cost to society.” – Nate Silver

48. “We can never achieve perfect objectivity, rationality, or accuracy in our beliefs. Instead, we can strive to be less subjective, less irrational, and less wrong.” – Nate Silver

49. “What a well-designed forecasting system can do is sort out which statistics are relatively more susceptible to luck; batting average, for instance, is more erratic than home runs.” – Nate Silver

50. “Who needs theory when you have so much information? But this is categorically the wrong attitude to take toward forecasting, especially in a field like economics where the data is so noisy.” – Nate Silver



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