The world belongs to Nate Silver! Briefly. Silver, the number-crunching baseball stat geek who decided to become a political poll-cruncher in his spare time and only turned out to be the most freakishly accurate election predictor ever, is now the toast of the media, Obamaphiles, and stat nerds alike. The Times has even weighed in now, several months behind the curve! Now is your chance to capitalize, Nate; screw this up and you'll soon return to the depths of nerd-only notoriety. After the jump, our professional advice to Nate about building his entire future in five easy steps—five being a number that statistics show gets a lot of page views!: 1. Stay off of television: You got yourself a (well-deserved) spot as a TV election pundit during the election cycle, Nate. But your future is behind a computer. You're not particularly telegenic (don't feel bad, neither are we!), and besides, the punditocracy is already overflowing. We don't need another talking head; we need a true guru. Plus, TV appearances require you to learn to apply makeup, which the Times has already packaged as an anecdote to poke fun at you. Don't fall into this trap. 2. Follow the money: Statistics show (never gets old) that corporate America has all the money. Baseball fans and political junkies are fine people, but they're not the ones holding an extravagant portion of the world's wealth in their dessicated, greedy hands. In order to have a long-term career you're going to have to do something that appeals to the corporate types. Luckily, they love numbers too! 3. Open a consultancy: "Consultant" is the best job of all. You get to sell your advice for steep prices—then, if your advice turns out to be awful, it doesn't matter because you already got paid. Your future is in selling your statistical magic to evil corporate overlords. And you're already ahead of the game, because you have a catchy name. "Silver Consultants" or something like that should look good on a business card. 4. Don't be evil: Just because we stole this slogan from The Google doesn't mean it's bad advice. Just as there are plenty of TV pundits, there are also plenty of consultants willing to pimp out their expertise to the highest bidder, regardless of how many sweatshops they run. Your advantage, Nate, is that you're actually better than your competition right now, which gives you some leverage over your clients. That means you can pre-screen to ensure that Silver Consultants does not provide its trademarked Mystical Statisticals to any firm that wants to do terrible awful things with the knowledge! In this way you become both rich and ethical, at least by the standards of the rich. 5. In four years, sign on with Obama: Might as well make it official. This election was your audition. We all know it. Everyone knows you're good. You have three years to get your consultancy up and running, make a pile of money, and then become the chief pollster for Obama '12. This is truly Living The Dream. Nate Silver, you are the new Mark Penn. Only younger, smarter, and less evil. We hope. [Pic via Newsweek]
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