Industry veterans, degenerate gamblers & besties Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks & David Friedberg cover all things economic, tech, political, social & poker.
Sun, 29 May 2022 19:46
This talk was recorded LIVE at the All-In Summit in Miami and included slides. To watch on YouTube, check out our All-In Summit playlist: https://bit.ly/aisytplaylist
0:00 Nate Silver gives a presentation on how gamblers think
19:25 Bestie Q&A with Nate Silver: building probabilistic models, getting blamed for Trump winning in 2016, polarization reality, 2022 midterms
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We're really excited to have our next speaker here. Nate Silver is the editor in chief of 538 and he. Came to our poker game recently. Ohh Nate came to our game come on out. Nate ran the game over. See you. Good morning. Who is the big, who's the big loser that night? I think Wade, who was the big loser? Because Nate was the big winner, right? Well, I he was the big winner. I was basically trying. I think Jason is there, just kind of bruiser that night. I think I donated a little bit to Nate Silver's new model model, Model S blood. I think you got the model squad coming to the game. This was the largest poker when you've had in your life's largest cash game win. Yeah, by a factor of 522. OK. Yeah. Well, we're happy to donate. You're getting, by the way, your speaker for you. I just cancelled it, OK? But, ladies and gentlemen, Nate Silver on the mind of a gambler. Cool. Let your winners ride. Man Davidson. We open sources to the fans and they've just gone crazy. Queen. I'm really excited to talk to you all today. I'm working on a book about gambling risk and rationality. I prefer the term critical thinking to rationality. It's partly involved talking to people about global societal risks, so talking to people about the risk of nuclear war, which is like not very cheery conversations, by the way, but also people who take risk for a living, or at the very least manage risk and have real skin in the game. And not just some actuary getting a salary. They're they're assessing risk and making big. Visions financially, mostly based on on that assessment. So I've started out talking to poker players and sports betters. I'm a former poker player myself. I still play recreationally a lot. I'm currently, I think, #301 in the global poker rankings, not that I looked up every morning. But mostly it's the examples of talking to other fantastic poker players and sports bettors about their process. And I'm also talking now more to VC's. Two founders to hedge fund managers, for example. There are a lot of similarities. There's a certain type of person that's been talking about today, personality traits, modes of thinking. It even affects maybe their political views a little bit. And you see a lot of things in common. If I gave you some context already, this is a work in progress. I mean, the book is kind of halfway 0% written about 50% research. So things may change. I'm evolving and learning and correcting things. But it's fun to write a book, it's fun to have great conversations with the best use of other people and really kind of experience this first hand. So I'm going to start with some things that I think are relatively straightforward and obvious, and then getting to things that are maybe less so toward the end. But one really obvious one is that successful gamblers think probabilistically. It's not just a matter of. Understanding probability, but being comfortable with uncertainty, being willing to take bets on an uncertain basis. That's kind of Table 6, or even getting into any field involving risk in poker at least. You probably also need a fair amount of mathematical ability. There are now these things called solvers in poker that come up with a game theory optimal strategy for every situation. It's a very complex situation. It's way too hard to memorize. You have to kind of develop a mathematical. Tuition behind it, but even players with rare exception. Phil Hellmuth might be the one exception actually, right? But even players who are known as being field players or exploitative players, people who rely on tells and psychology and table talk. I talked to Dan Negroni, for example, one of the probably 5 best players of all time, and he told me that about four years ago he realized that these solver kids, as he calls them the math whizzes, were were better than him, at least at certain forms of poker, and he totally remade his game to look at. Computer solutions to be more studious and mathematical, and it's improved his results quite a bit. In the BCC field. I don't know if you're necessarily doing as much modeling as I might in election model, for example, but at the very least people understand the intuition, and the intuition is you need both. But I think the intuition is more important than the application. #2, this one ought to be really obvious, but it needs to be said. Successful gamblers are highly competitive. Things that you hear from people over and over again is, I want to kind of prove people wrong. I want to outsmart the competition, I want to show who's best. It's almost more of this motivation than financial motivation. I think it's partly a matter of you can't settle for being average as a gambler. The average poker player loses money to the house. So does the average sports better. So therefore you have to deviate from average. In some ways, but kind of 1 conclusion I've come to talking to people for this book is that human beings are are competitive species, right? To get people to get along in society is pretty hard. You know, one good thing about capitalism is that you have some managed type of competition. Democracy is kind of a type of competition, and that's probably a better way to kind of challenge these conflicting urges we have than things that are too centrally planned. But certainly people in this room, people I talk to, are on the high end of the competitive scale. Successful poker players and sports bettors have to care a lot about small edges. It's the nature of placing bets in the field where you lose money on average. So a very good sports better might win 55 or so percent of his or her bets. You have to win 52 1/2% to make up for the House cut for the rake or the big as different names. That means you can't afford to make 1% errors, right? You really have to squeeze every last drop of expected value or EV. Kind of any situation that you're in. This makes people a very, very, very detail oriented poker players tend to be very studious about their craft. They really kind of love poker. You can't just get the big things right in poker, you have to get the small things right too. It's too competitive afield right now. This might not be as true, by the way, of VC. The average investment makes money. It may not make a above market return, but it'll make money. Which is not true for the average poker hand that you play, by the way. Casinos too. If you talk to casino executives, you might think you walk into a casino and everything that you do is maximize them to make the maximum amount of revenue possible. Not really, right. They're pretty good at the big stuff. They protect their downside risk a lot, but they're not maximizing as much as you think because when you have like a license to make money, you don't have to get the small stuff right. But in poker, where only 10% of players probably make money in the long run, you have to be very, very detail oriented. #4 you see here a A Paul Graham thread about Elon. Actually, successful gamblers are contrarian, at least to some degree. And again, I'm kind of repeating myself a little bit, but there's there's no edge if someone, if everyone does the same thing in the same way. You have to have some angle that you think makes you better than what the market thinks, and the market's pretty good, so it's a hard thing to manage. I think risk takers tend to view themselves as outsiders. Where they are or not is probably an open question. What they think of themselves as thinking differently from the rest of the world, potentially. This can also make them potentially like a little bit annoying, like outside of investing and gambling context, right? Where if you're kind of always the person who says, well actually that can get kind of pushed back in social settings for example, or on Twitter, but you can't kind of settle for having the average view because the average view doesn't do better than the market. There is a fine line between being ahead of the curve and a permanent contrarian. In sports betting. There's a line that's constantly mispriced. Then I can just bet that. And I don't want that market to correct itself. I want to keep exploiting that error and pricing, right in VC. I mean, you might want to find a founder or a sector or a company that's undervalued by the market, but eventually you want that sector to grow. You want to attract more talent, you want to attract future fundraising rounds. So you kind of are more being. Ahead of the curve by by half a year to a year. I think in some ways it's analogous to real estate. We are trying to kind of anticipate where the market will be in the future and that's it. Subtly different skill than being maybe contrarian per se, but related at least. #5 and again this might be a little bit redundant, but successful gamblers take shots and this is very intuitive. In VC where you have a field where you might might only have a Unicorn or deck of corn, you know 1% of the time or 10% of the time, of course you have a whole portfolio. It may not be that risky in the aggregate, but you have to be willing to make decisions under under pressure and be somewhat fearless as a result, right? Timing is important. You want to be first to market. In poker you have a finite amount of time you can spend on a hand. In practice, sometimes people take these risks in a calculated way, right? I talked to Sam Beckman freed for the book, for example, and he's like, yeah, I knew this would have like, only a 50% chance of succeeding, but the payoff was so high. I would take it some people just kind of more intuitively just kind of want to put skin in the game, want to take risk at some excitement or pleasure from it. Again, we're talking about the very extreme tales here too, right? The people who are super Uber successful maybe are almost taking on more risk than they maybe should you. And instead likely have a very happy and complacent life as an investment banker or something that people were true entrepreneurs. They think at scale and think and think very, very big. I should say one challenge of writing the book is that talking only to successful people, you risk survivorship bias, right? So, kind of which people fell along by the wayside? If, you know unsuccessful investors are gamblers, then send them my way. I need to talk to some of them as well. #6 successful gamblers, especially in poker, work well with incomplete information. One thing that differentiates kind of people in academia and academia is very useful for basic research and for advancing science and things like that, right? But like but you don't get months and months and years and years to develop a hypothesis when there's actual money on the line. But that time the people who were faster will already have moved. So the skill is kind of knowing what information was available at the time you made the decision. I I think there is a limit to how useful like an after action review might be if you kind of pretend as though you had perfect hindsight. We can say what would we have done about COVID now if we had known all the things we know now about it back in February 2020? And it would be an easier problem to solve. But like, that's not how the real world works. So decision making under uncertainty is, I think, a understudied and underappreciate appreciated topic. You can't be too much of a control freak. Certainly in a game like poker you can lose your temper very easily. Emotional management is a big part of people were successful in these fields, but you know all the value is in making the hard decisions, right? Hard because they're edge cases. Hard because you have some information but not others, and you're gonna get some things wrong. But otherwise, if it's easy, then everyone else is gonna do it. There's no excess returns to be made. I think related to this is that successful gamblers focus on process much more than results. One thing I found good for the book and refreshing is people. If you ask them kind of what makes you tick, what's your advantage, they're quite thoughtful and deliberate about it. They step back and think about what skills do I possess? What's the bigger kind of problem that I'm trying to solve? Again, emotional displacement is a big part of this. I'm not saying that you're supposed to be totally emotionless. I mean, emotion can help to guide intuition. Talk about in a bit, but it does mean you have to be willing to like, lose a poker hand, lose 10,000 bucks, and then play the next hand as best as you can, right? Or have an investment or many investments that go sour and still be on your kind of best state of mind for making future investments. It's pretty hard. Most people aren't very good at this at all. You can't go too far and sometimes make excuses. There are lots of different ways to get unlucky in poker or investing, but having that? Focus on kind of what was my thought process. It seems intuitive people in this audience maybe, but it's not intuitive for the average person. It different differentiates successful gamblers quite a bit. This next slide here, you may have seen this video online where there are a bunch of girls bouncing basketballs and they ask you to count how many times the basketball passed back and forth. And during the video, kind of unbeknownst to the Watcher, a gorilla walks on stage like things change colors, weird things happen. And the point is to try and say, OK, well, you were so focused on counting the number of basketballs being passed that you ignored the gorilla in the room, so to speak, right? Though that if you're instructed to count the number of passes, that actually a sign of intelligence that you do focus on that, right? If you're an air traffic controller and you're trying to land planes at Miami airport and you get a bunch of text messages from your teenage daughter, right, you shouldn't be distracted by that. You kind of focus on the task at hand. But the point is that people have an amazing ability to vary what they're paying attention to, especially in the moment and in pokers is very important because most of the time poker is pretty boring, right? Good players fold 70% of their hands for the most part, right? A lot of decisions are fairly automatic, but maybe once an hour or once a day you'll have a decision for 10s of thousands of dollars or where you'll be knocked out of the tournament or win the tournament, right? And so having that kind of knowing where you focus your attentions and underrated skill that I think people who were at least in poker are pretty good at. By the way, one thing I've noticed is that you used to kind of think of poker players as being kind of quite slubby and sloppy. And some of them. Dollar, but more and more the good players are focusing on physical and mental illness fitness. It is like a demanding game. It's a little bit demanding physically to kind of keep your composure and not give away information from your from your mental state and to really concentrate is like actually out of work. I mean the kind of famous studies of chess players and how Magnus Carlsen will lose, you know, £5 over the course of a chess match. Just thinking, which might seem ridiculous but like, but if you're really playing poker at your a game, at your A+ game, which you don't achieve. Often I often find that when I am able to do that, rarely I'm completely wiped out afterward. It is a physically demanding game, but in general kind of being having your ear to the ground, looking out for opportunities, and being flexible to take advantage of opportunities is an underrated skill set. #9 successful gamblers apply practiced intuition. So I'm 44. One of the things about becoming middle age, do you start to kind of potentially trust your gut a lot more, which can be, which can be risky in some ways? I think people can. In matters that happen only occasionally, like a presidential election, people think, well, my gut is that so and so will win. You don't have enough practice at forecasting elections to really for that to be very useful, right? We have one election every four years. If you're a poker player, though, you're playing. 10s of thousands of hands every year. If you're a VC, you're hearing thousands of pitches every year, right? And part of what experience does is kind of take things that were once hard and then become more automatic, right? I mean, you'll hear people say, oh, I made a decision very quickly, right? And I make snap decisions. You hear someone give a pitch and you decide maybe in 30 minutes whether or not to fund them or not. You hear examples like that. But that doesn't really reflect the fact that this person has spent years and years and years. Honing their insight and listening to pitches, that produces value down the line. So it's intuition of a sort, but it's practiced, refined, well calibrated intuition that involves working really hard and learning, right? I mean, in poker you kind of go through cycles where where you kind of are grinding and get better at something. You feel like you achieve some condition of mastery, then you kind of sleep, you get complacent. Maybe you tilt a little bit, having the ability to step back and reevaluate your game, like in the ground you or someone and say, look, I have to make some adjustments. Here, maybe I'm doing better than I ever have, but now I learn different flaws that I have right? My opponents are getting better too. That bottom of this chart here where you reevaluate and grind back up and expect that you're going to have to keep doing that for your whole life, frankly, differentiate successful people, I think. #10, this is one of the more subtle ones, I think. But successful gamblers are structured thinkers. They want to understand the process behind the outcome. Again, in poker it's too complex a game just to purely learn through memorization and rote skill, right? You want to understand how things adapt, what the underlying kind of curvatures are, and everything heuristics or rules of thumb are are pretty useful, right? Like in poker heuristic might be that you should call with your medium strength. Hands, right, your best hands you raise. Your worst hands, you fold or check, right. And then you kind of call with medium strength hands. But their acceptance of that and you risks only go so far. But the kind of flip side of this is like, so at this conference there's a lot of talk about investing and gambling, but also politics. I do think when you're kind of a highly structured philosophical thinker that politics is very frustrating, right? People in the other world I work in, which is I, you know, I, I run a website, I talk to people in politics. Talked to academics here, trying to get on see TV and stuff like that, right? It's a lot of very hypocritical and ad hoc thinking in politics, right? It's instrumental reasoning toward trying to win an argument at that moment in that day. And so you can see why someone like Elon Musk might get very fed up with the kind of hypocritical nature of political discourse. That's another conversation we might have in the Q&A, but but it does lead to some personality clashes, I think. The last one here, which is maybe a little bit counterintuitive, but I've kind of learned, I think from observation, is that the most successful gamblers don't actually care that much about money. You know, they tend to be, for the most part, very generous. They're always going to pick up the tab. They're going to spend a lot on good wine and things like that, right? They're in it really for the love of the game. And when they get bored, they tend to quit. Again, this might differentiate the 0.01% or, oh .01% from like the 1%. Certainly you want to manage your money carefully in poker, but still, when you have people whose net worth fluctuates by, the amount that poker players does, like in poker is basically like. You know three states, right? Super rich, somewhat rich and dead broke. Like, not a lot in between when that's the nature of your field. And you've been in those states for different parts of your life, and many good poker players have had periods where they're broke. You tend to recognize the ephemeral nature of success and to celebrate life in the moment a bit more. So that's all. Thank you very much. Look forward to the Q&A now. Ladies and gentlemen, Nate Silver, I don't know if there was this in the introduction that you run 538 like does everyone know the the site? Well, like during the election cycle. Nate does the best job of anyone on Earth gathering together, polling data and then using statistical models to represent a distribution or a set of expected outcomes and making that note on his site in a way that's super, I think informative, better than anything else that's out there. So thanks for that. Now I get really addicted to them leading up to elections. I'm like, I got to go in and check what, what, what Nate's changed on the site every day, and I know a lot of people did. Then what I observed on Twitter, which I think speaks to your first point here, was a lot of people followed your prediction on the Trump election, right? And they're like, Nate made a prediction that Trump was going to win. But what you said was that there was a 43% chance that Trump would win and therefore people assumed he was going to lose. And that the nature of a lot of people's understanding of things is very deterministic and binary. It's like win or lose as opposed to, hey, the the future is not. Binary, the future is not deterministic. It's there's a set of outcomes that may occur and you can get a better sense of what that set is. You make that determination enough times, you'll you'll be right most of the time. You'll be wrong some of the time. How do you think most? So my question for you, based on how I saw people react negatively to your polling, which was crazy because it was like, dude he he gave a really good set of statistical models. No people blamed you. But my question is, like, do people have the ability to think probabilistically? Because you say you need to think probabilistically. With that, a minority of people that can really get themselves there because so many people just want a yes or no answer. They want to say, this is the future, this isn't. They don't want to think about a distribution of outcomes, which is really the way the world works. I mean, I think people think probabilistically all the time in real life, right? If you're like, running late for a meeting, you have to decide, should I speed, what's the risk of getting into an accident? What's the risk of getting pulled over or things like that, I think in you don't realize they're doing that. Yeah, I mean, they don't. They don't know. They're doing that. Like, I think part of the answer is that I think politics kind of breaks. People brain, right because like before the 2016 election we got a lot of criticism from like liberals for being too bullish on Trump. The market price is about 15%. We have it 30%, right. So we are very bullish on Trump relative to to other people. But like people thought we were like playing with the numbers to try to, I don't know, affect turn out somehow or or try to cover our ***** or things like that and so, so I just don't think that like. Politics teaches people to think critically. And it's like, yeah, part of that is like, they're not thinking probabilistically, but it's more like people just want to see their kind of priors confirmed. What was it like when people blamed you for Trump? When? Yeah, there was a lot of that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and why did you pick Trump as president? They literally, I think they pointed to you and basically said you tipped the election like you. You. It's almost as if, like, you convince people to go and like, how did you, how did you deal with that? You just kind of have to say, like, **** you and move on with your life. I mean, I don't like, I've been very lucky in my life overall, right? Including that, like things that I think are not that remarkable, like, you know, saying, oh, the polls are going to be right usually, which they were in 2008 and 2012. Like, I think we got way too much credit for that. But you can't like, I mean, again, we're all poker players here, right? So it's kind of like if you kind of get your money in really good, right? And you make a flush or something, like you kind of have to have that attitude about it. So you were able to just basically shut it out and say this and and what about just the fact that like you live inside of an organization now 538 is owned by ABC, ABC News, ABC. Was that before the election? That was so we were, we were ESPN at the time of 2016 election now where ABC News currently. And so does that change sort of like? Like, how do you make sure that you can actually just do your job, no matter how unpopular the answer may be or the distribution of outcomes may be? OK, so while I'm working on this book, it's partly because I wanted to diversify away from just first of all, I think forecasting elections is an interesting problem, but it's not like the most interesting problem, right? But no, I'm not going to spend the rest of my life just like being there. Like the election forecasting guy. It's it's. I mean you also face disincentives where like the downside like we got some elections like really right like 2018 midterm we like. Nail like, perfectly about as good as you could, right? And people are like, oh, that's nice, right? I think it kind of like the 2020 primary, like we were very bullish on Joe Biden when people weren't and thought he was going to lose. And so you don't get like a lot of credit and you do face like a lot of downside for being actually wrong or perceived to be wrong. And so yeah, I'm not going to spend the rest of my life making election forecast. I hope that's part of the portfolio of things that I do. But like, I'm interested in like a lot of other questions about the world. What do you think about like social markets that are defined about social behavior, like an election people are going to vote? One way or another, you then make a prediction and then that changes the way people vote and so like and the same is true in stock markets. I was gonna ask you about your experience in stock markets because people have an assumption about rate hikes. The the the market then reacts to the assumption about rate rate hikes, then the market tanks and then the Fed is like, let's change the rate hikes system because the markets tanking. How do you think about building probabilistic models that account for social feedback loops where the social decision that's made is driven by the forecast? Or by the the market making a forecast. I think the evidence is that in two way elections so Democrat versus Republican that there's no clear effect from and by the way like what we do is is a tradition there's always been horse race media coverage has always been polling going back for many years right. You know we think our version of it is a little bit more grounded and objective in two way races. It's not clear if there's any impact either way where candidate effect is when you're having a multiple candidate race right in 2020 when Elizabeth Warren. Started to fall behind Bernie Sanders in the polls, right? If you're a left wing voter who prefers Warren to Sanders but Sanders to Biden right, you may kind of switch your vote as a result of the poll. That can create momentum mathematically. Trying to not to model like a multi way election. We do it. It's very hard. It's way more complex in part because of the feedback loops that it introduces for sure. And stock markets are the same. Again, I don't have anymore any financial market behavior. It is funny by the way, that like if I like lose 1000 bucks at poker, I'd be like furious, right? But like, I lose like much more than that in the stock market. And like, I don't care, I just invest in, you know, low fee like mutual funds and stuff like that. I mean, for sure. I mean it's. I know you guys would know more than I would, but I think there are, there are certainly complexities that involve feedback loops for sure. Nate, we live in a very polarized world right now. We all spend too far too much time on Twitter and we're seeing this, you know, sort of House of mirrors and curious how. You know, the 19% of people who believe in, you know, banning abortion and their impact and their outsized voice versus the far left and their outsized voice with, you know, sort of democratic socialism affect your ability to predict what's going to happen in the country. Because the majority of the country's beliefs sometimes are in stark contrast to political things that happen and even on our podcast people. Wanna pit? You know, sacks and I was being incredible rivals. No, no, no. You you want to pit yourself. But just to be clear, in fact, we agree on almost everything, yet it feels like in our society, you know, they they want to push us to to pick very binary belief systems. And I'm just curious how that impacts what you do day-to-day and your job in predicting what's going to actually happen in reality. And maybe you could tell us. Based on what you've learned over time, are our people as polarized as it seems or is America actually got a a majority consensus on most of the issues that we struggle with? Well, OK, I one reason that markets work is because you get feedback in the market, right and you adjust your strategy as a result of negative feedback from consumers, people voting with their feet. I think one problem with Twitter and with kind of the political atmosphere more generally is that both the left and the right are now insulating themselves from from feedback in a lot of ways. And if you're someone who kind of like tries to call BS, I mean when you know if there's a 12 characters like having a good ******** detectors kind of an implicit theme of people were successful. Gamblers, right. And if you're like somebody who like I, that's kind of ********. I can't let that sit there. I have to say something about it, even though it will **** *** my followers. Like, you really get boundary policed a lot and totally. Yeah. Boundary policed, yes. Yeah. And when feedback systems are broken, then you run into potentially some really dangerous outcomes, right? Like, I think both the left and the right have become more authoritarian in certain ways. I think the type of authoritarianism on the right is quite a bit more dangerous in the moment, but. They're both kind of moving away from kind of liberalism in some kind of classical sense in some ways. And I think that has to do with the feedback loop that social media tend to tend to produce that they're very thing about social media is like, it really, really flattens things, right? One thing that people in Silicon Valley get right, for all their faults and self-serving this in some ways, right, they kind of get the orders of magnitudes right. They understand scale and social media and the Daily News cycle really collapses that, right. So. Some extremely important problem and some trivial nonsense are kind of treated on the same level when one is 1000 times more important than the other and that and that produces in a feed, it's one right after the other. Yeah. And and you know, again, I don't know if there are ways to redesign Twitter to make that better, but, like the fact that you're kind of always on, right? And even before Twitter, the kind of cable news cycle, we have to have, like some controversy to talk about and things are completely dropped. The next day, there's another news event. I mean, some should be maybe actually this thing was terrible, but something is like. Way more important. And so we should continue to focus on that. And so that's damaging, I think. Is there a way out of this? Will this pass in your estimation? Is this, you know, an intractable problem? I'm a little bit. Cherish and concern in the short term, yeah, to be honest. I mean, can you say more? What does that mean? I mean, there are different types of risks that we face, right. I mean, you know, one problem in particular is that if we have a close election next time, particularly one that's close, where the where the Democrat appears to narrowly win, right. I mean, you're having more and more Republican elected officials, secretaries of state, some of the candidates running for governor, for example, who kind of believe the election was was stolen in 2020 and like, which it wasn't to be clear. And like that's a very dangerous argument to have. It may not resolve itself in the end of democracy, but like that's like a. You know. A risk that's, you know, in the 10% range or maybe higher of a severe constitutional crisis in 2024 and maybe repeated that in 2028 and so forth. And so I mean that's the, I think the most immediate threat, but also kind of government capacity to deal with big problems, right. You know, I don't necessarily take the standard line about COVID where you say, oh, we should have done this and that and managed it more, top down more. But clearly like state capacity seemed to be not so great, right, as we deal with. Other existential risks, from climate change to AI, potentially to nuclear threats. A little bit bearish about state capacity to make good decisions in complex situations, which is not perfect information. Yeah, you know, everything like being down in. Miami, you know, or probably in other parts of the world, you see like there's more reason to be optimistic, right, where where people at least are excited and dynamic and there's something happening. It may not be exactly the right thing, but people are happy. But no, I think, I don't know. I'm usually an optimistic person and I'm a little bit worried about what should we expect then going into the 2020 midterms. 22 midterms. 1.2 midterms. So the baseline is pretty strong, which is that the president's party loses seats the large majority of the time. And given that Democrats majorities are so narrow, they're pretty big underdogs to keep both the house and the Senate. With that said, in Senate races in particular, individual candidates do matter to some extent, and you might have enough off the wall. GOP candidates nominated that would cost them two or three seats, potentially, and that might be enough to save Democrats in the Senate. The House for the candidates are more anonymous and there are more seats in play is a little bit tougher. I do think something like Roe V Wade is important. Democrats talk a lot about Republican extremism, but a lot of it is theoretical, right? It's saying, well, what? Will happen in 2024. Will be this or that. This is the kind of rare example of big social change by the opposition party, and that could, I think, motivate Democrats a little bit. But but midterm elections are more predictable than presidential elections, and the base case is that you wind up with with Republican majorities of some magnitude, Sac County. That's on Nate's handicapping of the situation and. Description of the political climate we're in. Well, I mean, pretty clearly the Republicans are expected to have big pickups in this midterm, right? I mean, I agree with you. The Senate is tougher for the GOP because there aren't that many mostly at risk seats are on the Republican side, right, not the democratic side. Yeah. I mean, there are there also seats like Pennsylvania the GOP held and could lose potentially. But you have like, I mean, I know how technical you want to get. If you have a generic ballot that favors Republicans by like 2 points, the Democrats can probably keep the Senate. If it gets to like 6 points or seven points, then then the wall topples. And like, there's just too many forces going the other way. And so yeah, so, so where do you where is it right now? Are you looking at that right now? It's two or three. However, that's among registered voters and doesn't reflect voter enthusiasm. So typically the Challenger Party is more motivated to turn out. You saw that. In states like Virginia last year, that gap seems to be closing a little bit. I do think some of the anti abortion legislation, right. Some of the fact that the GOP kind of is now back on offense, on culture wars against LGBT people, right. I think potentially is is going to help motivate Democrats to turn out right. It wasn't the stuff in Virginia where they were talking about oh schools and kind of, I mean you always want to like play counter attack in politics, right? And Hopkins found some effective counterattacks with respect to educational policy, certain attitudes where kind of very left wing ideas that crept into discussions of education and race and other things, right? But now they're like kind of calling like gay and lesbian people and trans people pedophiles and stuff like that, right? And it's like surprisingly mainstream discourse. And like, it's not, I don't think. Politically wise, it's also a little bit dangerous in terms of potentially, you know, triggering violence and things like that. So I don't know. I mean, neither party can really like help itself, I don't think, and kind of being like the worst. Version of itself. Right. Yeah, it's interesting. But Younkin is an interesting case because one year after Biden won that state by 10, younkin wins that race by two or three. So it was 12 point swing in one year. How emblematic is that of how quickly the mood of the country has changed? Is it like a one off because Younker was a strong candidate against a weak candidate or does it represent you know a much stronger generic Republican ballot? I think it's it's I mean that's what you might get if you had 50 Glen Younkins running for for Senate right he clearly I mean there's usually a pretty big midterm shift but that was a little bigger than normal in Virginia and that reflects the fact that. I mean, you can like model it out mathematically. We have lots of data points. We have 35 Senate races every two years, right? And you can actually see the effect of being more moderate. We'll gain you an extra two or three or four points, right? Being less moderate, more radical, in some cases will lose you two or three or four points. And so and so the fact that the GOP didn't kind of take that lesson and say we can actually kind of occupy. The mainstream and have potentially really large majorities, at least in 2022. I mean, I think that's kind of kind of disheartening in in some ways. And of course, Trump is still a big figure in the Democrats learned the lesson of that race either because of course they have. Yeah, I don't think anyone really learned. Lesson at this because it's OK. That's right. The lesson for Democrats would be to tack towards the center as well, and instead of embracing sort of the the progressive left. I mean, the Democrats are still talking about canceling student debt, which is a fringe issue that affects 8 to 10% of the Democratic Party without realizing that it actually is because it represents 50 or 60% of the working majority of the democratic infrastructure. And that's really mean people are people are people are self-serving. And if you don't have good BS detectors then. You become more self-serving right? Like clearly like the class of people who are high student loan debt are people who are well educated and aren't necessarily making as much money. And those describe people that are tend to be Democrats right? Describes well like academic. Some people in media like I'd be very simple Democrats used to also be the the Workers Party for the welders, the truckers, the construction workers. You should say you should say let's forgive up to $10,000 in debt. For public university students, undergraduate educations, right, that really does capture a lot more people who are, who are, you know, truly middle class, right, half of student loan, that is people going to Graduate School. You know, I'm not that sympathetic. You went to Dartmouth and got a philosophy degree. Masters masters, right? Yeah, you're on your school. And yeah, I got a degree in nursing and are kind of why should an electrician bail out the person getting a masters in philosophy? But like, this is kind of a matter of like the. I mean that's that's a reasonable thing to say. Yeah it's doesn't seem partisan, doesn't seem unreasonable surprisingly. But but you know but I know and again people are are it's also different. I think if you needed more financial stimulus then it might make more sense to find some way to do that is something that the President can probably do by executive authority. It's a little bit disputed but no you kind of have. I mean both parties are are quite self-serving and if you're kind of not listening to critiques or feedback. Then you can kind of wallow in in, in that self-serving this I think a little bit more easily. All right. Everybody please thank Nate Silver. Thank you. Let your winners ride Rain Man David Sachs. We open sources to the fans and they've just gone crazy with it. Why? Besties are gone. That is my dog in your driveway. Ohh man. We should all just get a room and just have one big huge order because they're always useless. It's like this, like sexual tension that they just need to release somehow. You're a big beat your feet. Where did you get merchants? I'm going.