Battle of the Nate Silver Twitter Memes

Esther Zuckerman
Battle of the Nate Silver Twitter Memes

Since Nate Silver was declared one of Tuesday night's winners two competing memes involving the now heroic statistician have popped up on Twitter: Drunk Nate Silver and #NateSilverFacts. Both are often amusing, sometimes hilarious, but since this week has put us in the spirit of competition, we wondered: which one should be the Nate Silver meme MVP? 

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Winner: #NateSilverFacts The hashtag brought out the more technical, and hence, the nerdier Nate Silver jokes. Folks who used the hashtag dropped in Alexander Graham Bell references:

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Nate Silver. #natesilverfacts

— Kevin Stephens (@kjstephe) November 7, 2012

And, as is to be expected, statistics and math jokes: 

Nate Silver wasn't born, the probability of his existence just increased #natesilverfacts

— weldon kennedy (@weldonwk) November 8, 2012

Results ask Nate Silver if they're significant. #natesilverfacts

— John Collison (@collision) November 7, 2012

Nate Silver's samples have only a median and a mode. Because no number would be mean to Nate Silver. #natesilverfacts

— Andrés Moreira (@dilefante) November 7, 2012


Winner: Drunk Nate Silver As is to be expected, the Drunk Nate Silver is more of a wild card. With party boy ways, you never know what Drunk Nate Silver might do.  For example: 

Drunk Nate Silver doing 50 lines of coke neatly shaped along the borders of a US elections map

— Ben Jackson (@benjaminjackson) November 8, 2012

drunk nate silver sexting gretchen carlson

— Dan Nosowitz (@dannosowitz) November 8, 2012

drunk nate silver, shirtless in a papaya king, almost doing a split, explaining to college students canonical body proportions

— max read (@max_read) November 8, 2012


Winner: Drunk Nate Silver While #NateSilverFacts mainly serves to extoll Silver (à la Chuck Norris facts), Drunk Nate Silver wins this category with both its relevance and creativity. A common refrain on election night centered was that Nate Silver must be celebrating, and hence he must be getting wasted. This meme takes it all to the next level. Take, for instance, the tweet that began it all: 

Drunk Nate Silver is riding the subway, telling strangers the day they will die

— Dan Levitan (@levitandan) November 8, 2012

Or the tale of Silver at a casino: 

Drunk Nate Silver strolling around a casino, whispering "you're on a roll" in strangers' ears

— John Herrman (@jwherrman) November 8, 2012

Or the story of his time getting late night munchies: 

Drunk Nate Silver sitting alone at Waffle House, feverishly sorting blue & red M&M's

— Bobby Ritzi (@rritzi) November 8, 2012

Or how he got into a fight with Taylor Swift: 

Drunk Nate Silver disagreeing with Taylor Swift, projecting with 91% certainty that we are actually getting back together next January.

— Luis Paez-Pumar (@paezpumarL) November 8, 2012

Most Likely To Be Mistaken For Reality

Winner: #NateSilverFacts Though both memes are outlandish, simply by the way in which they are written #NateSilverFacts can most easily be mistaken for real. We, for instance, are not ruling out the possibility of this one being true.

Nate Silver can recite Pi. Backwards. #NateSilverFacts

— Jessica (@Smedette) November 7, 2012

Most Staying Power

Winner: Drunk Nate Silver Ultimately this coincides with Drunk Nate Silver's win in cleverness. Drunk Nate Silver is about storytelling, which we think will allow it to live on longer than #NateSilverFacts, which grow old once we get over how impressed we are by Silver. Here's a take from The Atlantic Wire's Richard Lawson: 

Drunk Nate Silver using pi to figure out what everyone owes for Fire Island share.

— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) November 8, 2012


Winner: Drunk Nate Silver For funniness, silliness, and general relevance, we crown Drunk Nate Silver the ultimate Nate Silver Twitter meme. Or, if we're going to act like Nate Silver about it, let's just look at the statistics. Looking at Twitter's assessment of the "top" Drunk Nate Silver tweets, Dan Levitan's tweet has been retweeted 2,794 times. Meanwhile John Collinson's has only been retweeted 685