I found this to be a weird criticism:
Unfortunately, Silver seems to have taken the wrong lesson from his election-forecasting success. In that case, he pitted his statistical approach against campaign-narrative pundits, who turned out to know approximately nothing. What he seems to have concluded is that there are no experts anywhere, that a smart data analyst can and should ignore all that.
But not all fields are like that — in fact, even political analysis isn’t like that, if you talk to political scientists instead of political reporters. So, for example, before glancing at some correlation and asserting causation, you really should talk to the researchers.
Similarly, climate science has been developed by many careful researchers who are every bit as good at data analysis as Silver, and know the physics too, so ignoring them and hiring a known irresponsible skeptic to cover the field is a very good way to discredit your enterprise. Economists work hard on the data; on the whole you’re going to do better by tracking their research than by trying to roll your own, and you should be very wary if your analysis runs counter to what a lot of professionals say.
I agree on the climate skeptic aspect, but this just reads like the kind of criticism that Krugman himself would hate. There was not one specific criticism or even the hint of an example of Silver ignoring experts, just a vague assertion that he may have learned the wrong lesson. I’ve read almost every article today at 538, after I read the Krugman post, and I have to admit, I don’t know what the hell he is talking about.
On the other hand, everything I have read and seen, from the bizarre and painful and uncomfortably earnest youtube introductory videos to the weird hires, makes me think that Klein/Yglesias Vox is simply destined to become a hybrid of Slate contrarianism and Politico puke funnel beltway insider bullshit. It almost feels like that is what they are shooting for, sadly.
I’ll place my odds on the guy who understands sports betting.