Skip to contents
Journalismism
Free

Nate Silver…Stop

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been cooped up in my house with two screaming children and a diabetic dog for the past month, but I’ve gotta say, my tolerance for other people’s inane bullshit has truly dipped to record lows lately (tolerance for my inane bullshit, however, remains at an all-time high.)

It is in this spirit of cabin fever that I kindly ask Nate Silver, professional numbers guy, to please shut the fuck up. Specifically about this:


Just to be clear, this is Nate Silver — a man who has predicated his entire career on looking at whether lines (occasionally bars, and sometimes even pie wedges) on a chart go up or down — pointing out the scintillating, downright barn-burner of a fact that New Yorkers are googling “cough” less than they were before.

What point is Nate is trying to make here? That somehow our pandemic apocalypse is leveling out because of this Google thing? Has he considered that the entire planet has been pummeled with people explaining the symptoms of the coronavirus for the past month and a half, so perhaps people don’t feel the need to Google “shortness of breath” as much as they once did? I’dunno, I’m just spitballing here. For what it’s worth, here’s the New York search trend for the word “COVID,” which still seems pretty high:

“But Rafi,” you ask. “What’s your point?” Folks, I’m thrilled and delighted to tell you that I have none. Because using Google search trends to sound authoritative and insightful is the sort of thing you do if you don’t actually have a point to make—but want to make it seem like you do.

Look, “independently of the hospitalizations data,” you can clearly see that over the past couple of weeks, New Yorkers are taking a slightly increased interest in penis enlargement.

What does this all mean? Nothing!