Sunday, May 29, 2016

Trump, and predicting what you want to happen

One of the biggest lessons of Trump's candidacy - and there are a lot of lessons - is that people tend to predict what they want to happen anyway. Especially when their predictions are public.

Part of that is because a prediction is often packaged with persuasion. 'The outcome will be X because actions/desires A, B and C are Bad Things which we should not do or desire.' Opposing illegal immigration is undesirable, therefore we cannot argue that it will go over well with the electorate. Whether or not that's actually, you know - true - is entirely a secondary concern. To predict is to persuade, and who the hell wants to persuade people in a way that goes against their interests?

You'd think analysts would be aware of this and avoid this kind of thinking like the plague. But that works under the assumption that both the analysts and the people who hire them are hiring them for their accurate predictions to begin with. You'd think so, right? I mean, when they talk up Nate Silver, they point at his string of successful predictions, don't they? (Well, not anymore - ha ha.)

But when's the last time you heard about an analyst, particularly a political analyst, being fired for their bad predictions? You hear about them being hired, being hot commodities, for successfully predicting this or that. But, at least where media outfits are concerned, heads never tend to roll just because people screwed up forecast after forecast.

It's almost as if the whole point of boosting 'look at their accurate predictions!' is to make them seem more persuasive when they predict, eh?

On apologies

At what point can I expect an apology from the Pope for the poor job the Church has done in defending the faith?

When will a GOP leader stand up and apologize for having done such a rotten job of protecting and advancing conservative ideals?

When will atheists apologize for the role of the atheists in the spread of communism and regressivism?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A cure for the racially colorblind

If you want to cure the racially colorblind, here's a surefire way: keep talking about their race and how much you hate it. Sustain that attitude for a bit and you'll provoke a whole lot of 'I was blind but now I see' moments, though I can't attest to how much you'll like the transformation.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Trump the con-artist, or Trump the obedient footsoldier?

This sentiment is not original to me, but it bears repeating.

Some people assume that Trump is using his supporters. He's not REALLY very conservative, he's not pro-life, he's not even anti-immigration. He's just saying what Republicans want to hear, playing them for saps just to get what he really wants - the presidency.

What these people don't seem to understand is that a lot of us have been waiting for someone to say what he's been saying for a long time. Speaking and standing up to SJWs, to PC authorities, is what so many of us wanted, a necessary first step to get what we really want. Trump is providing that. Note: he is not promising to provide this. He IS providing it. Trump's candidacy is not a promise that may or may not pay off. It is an immediate payoff in and of itself.

Trump is not using us. We're using him! He can't trick us into thinking he's merely anti-PC, no more than a hammer which has just finished slamming 20 nails into drywall was just pretending it can hammer nails. It did it, ladies and gentlemen, and so long as it keeps doing it, a lot of us are happy.

That we may get screwed is not a dangerous possibility - it's the status quo! Trump doing even part of what he promises would be a change of pace and a bonus besides.

If ISIS aren't muslims, are they really atheists?

Grant that ISIS aren't really muslims. Grant that their motivations are not, at heart, religious at all - they are entirely secular. They are moved by desires for wealth, for housing, for jobs.

Alright. Carry that to its conclusion then - ISIS is a group of atheists, with secular motives. They're about as religious as a huckster televangelist saying God demanded donations. They do not kill for the glory of God - they want money, for the sake of comfort, and shelter, and food, and all the usual reasons.

I have a feeling that this will turn out to be wrong as well, but at that point ISIS becomes utterly mysterious, and we're left with the grim irony that their motivations cannot be attributed to natural forces.

But wait, that won't be accepted either...

It's amazing how complicated issues get when the most obvious and straightforward conclusions are declared impossible lest they offend regressive sensibilities.

Negotiating on converting the jews

All the high-minded theological talk about the necessity to convert / not convert the jews always seems to trade on an oddly out of date image of a jew. Very 'Fiddler on the Roof'.

You tell me that there's no need to convert the practicing orthodox with the big crazy beard and interesting rules about men and women riding the same bus, and fine, I'll at least hear you out. But pick out the orthodox, practicing, believing jews, and you're not picking out the lion's share. Tell me 'no, no, this means Jon Stewart too' and I'll laugh at you, and everyone else should too. The most tenable position for theologians to take would be a position that modern, politically motivated jews would reject furiously.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The happiest election in memory

Has anyone else noticed - right-wingers, I'm talking to you in particular - just how happy this election is compared to others?

Remember when McCain was the nominee? I do. Man, that sucked. We had to pretend to be enthusiastic for the asshole 'maverick' and pretend he wasn't some kind of habitual left-wing sellout with a hawk tendency that made W look isolationist. Sure, we got Palin out of it - entertaining and surprisingly prescient, if not exactly leadership material - but that was an accident at best. And of course the media-darling became media-reviled (to his shock) and went down in flames to a closet muslim. (Just kidding, everyone knows he's an anti-Christian atheist.)

Then Romney. Now, I liked Romney. I think I framed him ass 'an unreliable sellout, but hey, he seems like a decent enough guy, and maybe his being mormon means something', which is more than most. I thought he was unfairly hammered, but largely insofar as he was clearly a big government left-wing trojan horse. For God's sake he was the architect of state-level Obamacare, and they decided to run him when Obamacare was supposed to be reviled? But right-wingers looked at Obama, sucked it up and said 'ya gotta do what ya gotta do'.

The point is, wow. Those were two shit sandwiches, weren't they? Hell, if you dig further, the presidency of W was two servings of a shit sandwich. Meandering yokel of a leader who, while clearly not legitimately retarded, was still a jackass who single-handedly shat all over the GOP's respectability. It used to be everyone pretended that wasn't the case out of feigned party loyalty, but that's gone now. The point is, these were miserable times. We never got excited for these guys, except at the start, and then out of desperation.

But now?

I know some of you disagree. And most of you, I respect. But the fact is, even when he was polling 15 points under Clinton... I've been having the time of my political life.

This is how it should be. No listening to some absolute fake of a leader insisting that of COURSE we Republicans don't want to deport illegal immigrants, that is so heartless. No meekly bowing our heads when lectured about some idiotic racism claims from someone whose ancestors probably had more cotton baled on their behalf than any of us. In a world where would-be SJW jackboots exists, we have a guy willing to call one of the biggest fakes in politics 'Fauxcahontas' and blow off journalists who huff that that's so offensive. We've got a guy who makes us cheer because of what he says and the stances he takes, a guy who fights fights that we actually want to have.

Notice, by the way, that this pleasure has been in the air even when he was polling 15 points down against the supposed Sure Thing that is Hillary Clinton. He was going to lose? We'll see. And also, who gives a shit? We've got a champion -now-. We can enjoy this immediately, we're not totally banking on hopes that this works out in six months. We're not holding our noses

I like this. I like how this feels. I want it to remain. I'd like to win, yes, but I'd rather feel like this and get charged up to fight and support a fighter than spend one more goddamn month pretending some cuck from the Bush clan is someone I just can't wait to vote for. I'll take this and a gamble than a sure thing with a Paul Ryan or a Romney III, over and over again.