"Though shalt not sit with statisticians." (W. H. Auden)
A stray thought:
When statisticians like Andrew Gelman and Nate Silver write about politics we consider it the most natural thing in the world. After all, they know about populations, i.e., "the people". But when poets like Ezra Pound or Peter Dale Scott write about politics, we're just as likely to dismiss them as cranks. After all, they are only experts of the imagination.
The comparison isn't perfect. Pound is long dead. Scott is 84 years old this week. Gelman and Silver are much younger men. But is there a poet their age today that is writing seriously about politics (I don't mean that they might be writing political poetry), and being taken as seriously as a statistician?
None comes to mind as I write this. But it's one of those questions that you put out there and then someone immediately gives you two or three names that makes everything okay again.
I don't begrudge the statisticians their fame, by the way. But I am saddened by the irrelevance of imagination in political life. The status and function of poetry is a symptom of this.