Terrible news – Nate Silver predicts the Netherlands are doomed

I enjoy soccer (or football, or whatever one wishes to call it). And the sport’s four-yearly World Cup often makes for great viewing – especially watching England lose.

I also have a great deal of fondness for the Netherlands, having lived there for a year during my attempt at career-avoidance. Which means that, given New Zealand didn’t make the World Cup this time round, the Netherlands is my team.

This afternoon, I checked out Nate Silver (he who predicted the outcome of the last US presidential election so accurately) and his interactive World Cup Predictions. To my horror, he predicts that the Netherlands will fail to advance out of Group B, having fallen to Spain and Chile.

Now, I have a great deal of respect for Mr Silver’s political prediction model, and his views on “foxes” and “hedgehogs” (loosely summed up as a fox knows a lot of small things, while hedgehogs know one big thing – the point being that foxes adapt their predictions based on the data they receive, while hedgehogs don’t). However, on this occasion, I am going to be a hedgehog. I cannot believe, no matter how much data may have informed Mr Silver’s prediction model, that the Netherlands won’t make the quarter-finals.

Like Martyn Bradbury, with his belief in the “Missing Million”, I shall trust my instincts, safe in the assumed knowledge that the Netherlands will crush both Chile and Australia, and may even pull a draw with Spain (oh, who am I trying to fool – they’ll kick Spain’s ass!).


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