FiveThirtyEight

Details names FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver a ‘Leading Man of the Millennium’

Details Magazine names FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver as one of the Leading Men of the Millennium. (Photo courtesy Details Magazine/Tetsu Kubota)
Details Magazine names FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver as one of the Leading Men of the Millennium. (Photo courtesy Details Magazine/Tetsu Kubota)

As the presidential race heats up, more and more people are looking to FiveThirtyEight’s political coverage and Nate Silver to help separate the signal from the noise – but that’s nothing new.

Since 2008, the founder of FiveThirtyEight has been the preeminent expert on data and politics – so much so that Details Magazine decided to profile Silver in their 15th Anniversary issue as one of the “Leading Men of the Millennium.” The group of 15 includes baseball star Alex Rodriguez, actor Bradley Cooper, members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces and musician Pharrell Williams.

Front Row caught up with Details Executive Editor Alex Bhattacharji to talk about the process for deciding who made the list.

How did the process begin to create the list?
Back in January, a group of us editors convened to discuss how best to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Details’ relaunch in 2000. That relaunch coincided with the millennium and was the start of our mission is to call attention to men who are shaping the culture and our readers’ lives. Celebrating the most influential men of that time seemed like a natural for us.

What were the attributes that make someone a “man of the millennium”?
Influence, first and foremost. The accomplishments — whether in music, fashion, sports, social media — need to have changed the cultural landscape. And sweep — those accomplishments need to span much or all of the 15 years of the new millennium. There are no flash-in-the-pans allowed.

. . . He has bred a generation of powerful followers — people who see God in the numbers. He’s operating on a plane that transcends the bias and bluster that is so prevalent these days.
Details Executive Editor Alex Bhattacharji on Nate Silver

Why did you think Silver would be a good fit?
There’s no denying Nate has been hugely influential, first in sports and politics and now both. He was someone we first approached in 2008 when his electoral analysis became apparent to us. We named him one of our 2009 Mavericks in an issue in which A-Rod, another of our Leading Men, was the cover star.

Nate’s reach has grown exponentially since, as evidenced in the next Presidential election and with fivethirtyeight.com broadened to include economics and science. What’s more, he has bred a generation of powerful followers — people who see God in the numbers. He’s operating on a plane that transcends the bias and bluster that is so prevalent these days.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Silver and the team from FiveThirtyEight will be live blogging the GOP debate tonight. Questions can be submitted to @FiveThirtyEight via Twitter.

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