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Sailer in Taki's: Reading the Tea Leaves
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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Reading the Tea Leaves
Steve Sailer

September 15, 2021

Why is it so hard to predict the future?

For example, why didn’t the Biden Administration guess that few soldiers of the now-defunct Afghan National Army would feel like risking becoming the last Afghan to die for the American-backed government, so once the U.S. closed Bagram air base there’d be an unseemly rush for the exits?

For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

“What’s a little boom in murder when littering and loitering arrests were down, down, down?”
Similarly, with all the scientific expertise at the disposal of the White House, why did Biden more or less announce victory over the virus on July 4, almost the exact day of the upward inflection point of the Delta wave? And why did Biden then proclaim vaccine mandates just as the Delta wave appeared to be burning out in states where it had first taken off, such as Missouri?

As I type this, I notice that I might have spoken too soon, as case counts rose on Monday.

After all, it’s hard to predict the future.

There are two common explanations for these failures of anticipation. The first is that while it may look like the deep state is botching badly, they actually have accurately prognosticated every contingency and even their apparent fumbles are all part of their nefarious triple-bank-shot master plan.

Alternatively, the powers that be really are nitwits and many outsiders could do better in their place.

Read the whole thing there.

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  1. AaronInMVD says: • Website

    It’s even harder to act on predictions for the future when decisions are made by always made by a committee talking into a geriatric’s earpiece.

    Receive instructions to salute the Marines? Why not just mutter salute the Marines instead?

    The drive for consensus and agreement instead of doing the right thing makes everything harder.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  2. Also, while murders skyrocketed in 2020 many other crimes didn’t, because many people stayed at home, frightened by the media frenzy over a deadly epidemic. And, uh, that murder thing.

    Then of course there’s the fact that much crime, like the riots and looting, never even got acknowledged, much less enumerated. Can’t count what you pretend not to see.

  3. Steve

    May be relevant:X-Events by mathematician John Casti….

  4. How can one predict the future when it appears so many are living in a fantasyland present?

    for example.

    The biggest threat to America is white supremacy
    hands up, don’t shoot
    “white rage” Milley thinking Trump would launch nukes just for kicks
    Every Covid case appears to be a matter of life and death
    etc. etc. etc.

    There are 1000’s more of these “truths” that are completely divorced from reality.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri, Mrwolf, res
  5. duncsbaby says:

    OT: Meanwhile on the homefront, North Dakota constantly reaping rewards from immigration.

  6. Anonymous[700] • Disclaimer says:

    My take is that many of these ‘experts’ – the professional analysts upon which the modern breed of politician – as distinct from earlier generations who generally had confidence in their own abilities – in areas which are not strictly scientific, and thus are amenable to understood laws – do not really have any ‘feel’ or ‘intuition’ about that which they pontificate about.

    The analogy is with the angler, the fisherman. Someone who actually lives that life, who is, literally, immersed in that life, a man obsessed about his passion, the life and lore of fish, where to find them, how to find them, all about them. The deep understanding that only comes from years of hard won experience and actual practice.

    Such types don’t exist in modern Economist-whipped government agencies.

  7. It really is the obvious predictions that matter. For example, if you breed out all the white people in a country, it’s downfall into misery is obvious.

    Charles Murray had to come out of retirement this year to write a short book pointing out two things we need to know before we completely blow up the country in our frenzy to search out and destroy Systemic Racism and White Supremacy: Actually, blacks do tend to be less lawful and less intelligent.

    You might think that everybody knows that, but my impression is that many pundits are shocked to hear these extremely well-documented facts.

    Since those pundits live in blindingly white areas, I’d say they know it. But if there are some dodo heads out there who don’t, another book isn’t going to convince them.

    • Replies: @guest007
  8. Rob says:

    Speaking of reading tea leaves. The tea leaves spell out, “Gavin Newsom is still Governor” quite clearly, though not yet officially.

    They also spell out, “Gavin Newsom just got elected President.”

  9. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:


    I turned on Sky News and they were discussing World Afro Day and the Big Hair Assembly 2021 (Sept. 15).

    Here’s the Hair Equality Report 2019:

    It seems to be most a British thing at this point, to change discriminatory grooming codes in schools that say your hair cannot have a diameter greater than 1 meter.

    Why September 15? “15 September 2016, the US State of Alabama passed a law which allowed employers to deny jobs and promotion to people with dreadlocks”

  10. For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

    “For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that [Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring] wouldn’t have weapons of [an atomic nature]?”

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Jack D
  11. I predict that next year St. Louis will have a higher murder rate than San Diego.

    Rate? They have five times the total in absolute numbers!

    • Replies: @res
  12. As long as the murders continue in the same neighborhoods, the press (and public) won’t care.

  13. Boy, I didn’t have to get very far before could see what’s missing here. What’s missing is any discussion of the stupidity of having a centrally controlled and commanded State and economy such that any of these predictions make a difference in our lives to begin with.

    Life is complicated, and people are complicated. Life in a multicultural Tower of Babel is even more complicated. Even in a country of a large majority of the same culture, central command and control has never worked. We have plenty of history to go by. It didn’t work in 70 years of Soviet Russia and the East Bloc. It didn’t work in Chairman Mao’s China.

    Decisions made by politicians on the basis or predictions of the Flu Manchu or black crime shouldn’t have been made in the 1st place. We can see how stupid it all has been. Then there is the economy in general. This is why smart people understand the invisible hand of the free market regarding not just prices but, everything you wrote about (I don’t care about the World Cup).

    As for this example: Charles Murray’s book may be interesting, but it should have no bearing on any policy. If people were still free to live where they want and associate with whom they want, it would be very obvious how they feel about black violence. If business had not been not shut down by government edict during this PanicFest, customers could decide whether they felt comfortable going into a store or going out to eat. Business owners could have decided how far they’d go with the face diapering, stickers, and wipes.

    The invisible hand of free markets and a free society. I guess lots of you can’t even imagine how that works anymore.

  14. Because guessing the future is challenging, I seldom attempt it. What I try to do instead is to notice the present.

    For example, having spotted how the first Black Lives Matter era of 2014–2016 unleashed rioting, murder, and terrorism in cities where it triumphed over the police, within days of the death of George Floyd I was hollering that the second Black Lives Matter era was turning into an even bigger disaster for America’s cities than the last one.

    Upon close inspection, it turns out that your present includes some sort of future (what will happen after George Floyd). – Well, in a way that is only natural, because the absolute present is rather inexisting (the more you emphasize the word absolute her, the harder it gets to define what you’ve got timewewise). – Present and future are structurally intertwined. Seen from a practical standpoint present an future are no either-or entity, but rather an either and continuum.

    See Achilles’ turtle paradox. Augustinus framed this continuum problem famously by saying that time is a funny thing: If not forced to explain it, everybody (him included) knows what it is – – – but trying to nail it down (=explain it/define it) makes it vanish… – “We are“, Ernst Bloch said, “but we don’t have us – thus we have to become” – – – have to become is a stand in here for the existential (=risky/ hard to predict) side of – our – reality.

  15. @Rob

    Rob wrote:

    They also spell out, “Gavin Newsom just got elected President.”

    We can only hope.

    Newsom is incredibly stupid, even dumber than Biden (though not as senile, of course).

    One can only hope that one’s enemies are led by morons.

    Personally, I favor Kamala for Dem Prez nominee next time and Gov. Nusiance for VP.

    Let’s give the country a ticket even more personally repellent than Nixon/Agnew and much, much dumber!

  16. For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

    They did. They lied. They preferred to be thought incompetent rather than evil and were confident of the support of the lapdog media.

    They were right on both counts.

  17. @PhysicistDave

    Personally, I favor Kamala for Dem Prez nominee next time and Gov. Nusiance for VP

    Not likely (alas?) because they are both from the same state, unless Kamala claims DC residence.

  18. El Dato says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

    Isn’t this like moaning about Heydrich or the Abwehr not being able to predict the attack on Radio Gleiwitz.

    They actively constructed the case. Everything was ready for an attack, Curveball had delivered, Judith Miller at the NYT had delivered their tubes/yellowcake stories, Scooter Libby had “unmasked” the CIA official who had dared say “this is bullshit” (Scooter was pardoned by Trump btw), the public was primed, Israel was on the phone. We are go. Pew Pew Pew de la Cruise!

    Much more interesting is this one about the Pentagon LARPing as Hari Seldon and failing utterly

    Pentagon’s Prediction Software Didn’t Spot Egypt Unrest


    In the last three years, America’s military and intelligence agencies have spent more than \$125 million on computer models that are supposed to forecast political unrest. It’s the latest episode in Washington’s four-decade dalliance with future-spotting programs. But if any of these algorithms saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, the spooks and the generals are keeping the predictions very quiet.

    Instead, the head of the CIA is getting hauled in front of Congress, making calls about Egypt’s future based on what he read in the press, and getting proven wrong hours later. Meanwhile, an array of Pentagon-backed social scientists, software engineers and computer modelers are working to assemble forecasting tools that are able to reliably pick up on geopolitical trends worldwide. It remains a distant goal.

    I wonder how the software is working now. They probably have a shitton of Tensorflow processors trying to read tea leaves from large databanks and AP feeds.

    (Sometimes I wonder why I dropped WiRed. Then I see the addies. Then I remember.)

  19. @Dieter Kief

    You are correct that conscious existence is a continuous, paradoxical movement from the present to the infinitesimally small immediate future. Also, a person cannot be aware of the present without the memory of the preceding moment, so the immediate past is also part of this continuum.

    However, Steve is writing about the difficulty of predicting things further into the future, what we commonly mean. The complexity grows, perhaps exponentially, becoming impossible beyond a small horizon.

    Investment pontificators, for example, mostly put on a short-term show of describing what is just now happening, extending it backward a short way and forward a short way. In this manner they seem correct, but they seldom do better than a monkey throwing darts when it comes to long term prognostication. Few fund managers beat the index consistently.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Dieter Kief
  20. As a veteran conspiracy theorist, the broad strokes of our current situation make a lot of sense to me, with a clear progression from the Kennedy assassination to 911 to the endless pandemic, engineered both biologically and socially. On the other hand I admit to being baffled by some of the sheer, staggering incompetence, especially in regards to Afghanistan, but also in regards to PC madness, e.g. among the Joint Chiefs. I’m tentatively attributing this to the hazards of multi-generational social engineering projects. You really have to ensure the continuity of an esoteric circle in the elites that maintains control and that knows the lies used for social control, and can distinguish that dream world from reality. Failing that, you can totally destroy the most powerful and successful society in just a few generations.

  21. El Dato says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The complexity grows, perhaps exponentially

    Worse than exponentially.

    Look at the weather: it’s a chaotic system, hard to predict, and your predictions will be exponentially off the more coarse-grained your computations are, the more noisy your input data describing the current situation is, or the further you want to look into the future.

    But it’s a physical system. Interactions are local and fully known.

    Population-based systems are not. They are information-processing system. Things can change a lot depending on how a politician words things on TV, on whether a Mullah gets up with the wrong foot today, on whether a guy in a basement assesses the threat level higher than yesterday, on whether there feedback loop develops because some black guy didn’t survive arrest, on whether some worthy gets a brain aneurysm this evening. A single bit flip counts to lay out a completely different path.

    As an idea that just pops into my mind but is as yet ill-thought out:

    “A generalization of this class of fully observable problems to partially observable problems lifts the complexity from EXPTIME-complete to 2-EXPTIME-complete”

    This means that deciding whether there is a winning strategy for a fully specified game for which the current state cannot be fully observed (e.g. playing chess with a part of the board invisible) takes 2 ^ 2 ^ (some polynomial in a number expressing the size of the board for example. Very not tractable!

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  22. Rob says:

    I’ll take your word for it, mostly I live on the other side of the country, and I don’t follow Cali politics. As far as I know, I’ve never seen so much as a video of Newsom, and I doubt I’ve heard him speak.

    I Say “mostly” because you’re s bright guy, but people are often biased in seeing the other side as dumb, when in fact, they just weigh values differently. Cons tend to be more “liberal” in recognizing the other side as operating in good faith. Maybe that’s because prog control of media and education shove their worldview down their (your?) throats, but also because progs don’t think they recognize any of the three conservative values that Haidt recognizes. To wit, from Wikipedia

    Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm
    Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating
    Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal
    Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion
    Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation
    liberty (opposite of oppression)

    Loyalty, respect, and sanctity are the ones progs claim they don’t hold. We can recognize that they hew to them in spades. And yet, while the dissident right derides “Saint Martin Luther King,” the people in public life who really treat him as an authority are cons, Glen Beck comes to mind. Perhaps that’s protective coloration? Cons value him for that content of character thing, perhaps as a way of justifying continued racism. Blacks, the underclass, in particular, lack character by white, middle-class standards (accidentally wrote “muddle class” – perhaps a Freudian slip)

    OT anyone follows the news, a schoolteacher in Blacksburg, Va, just down the road, did a TikTok (TikTokked? Unsure of whether that can be properly verbed) decrying expecting children to sit still and pay attention as white supremacy. Leaving aside that expecting kids to be quiet and pay attention is widely prized in many (most?) traditional cultures, it seems that one can say any disparaging thing about blacks as long as one phrases it as opposite-of-thing-I’m-criticizing is-white-supremacy

    Not murdering one’s ex-wife and a waiter is white supremacy
    Being intelligent and thinking ahead are white supremacy
    Having books in the home is white supremacy
    Eating vegetables instead of junk food is white supremacy

    There, having seen these, you can create your own, and be immune to white supremacy cancellation forever.

    • Thanks: El Dato, Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  23. There is much truth in this, but the article didn’t (perhaps I overlooked it?) mention the central one: cognitive dissonance.

    In way too many cases, people in power are as if hypnotized by their narrow world-view.

    Hitler considered eastern Slavs to be subhumans. And then, astonishingly so, subhumans had produced perhaps the best WWII tank, T-34. How so? Time to correct his policy & show some elasticity in his strategies? Perhaps to radically alter many elements in his world-view? No, nothing…

    Of course, some would object that Hitler’s position was that of a fanatic, that Nazi Germany was not democratic, so no dissent etc. etc.

    I don’t buy it.

    Current US elites are as narrow & as hypnotized in their small, limited, stupid Weltanschauung as onkl Adi was in his.

    • Replies: @Forbes
  24. Puppets are only shocked at their master’s command.

  25. El Dato says:

    It is time again: With all the faults and good occasions dropped on the floor and constructed Putin-bashing (in an ironic Oruboros as this docu tells us exactly about perception management) this Curtis documentary has some goods

    “Managed outcomes” at 01:14:40 which starts with mentioning Ulrich Beck

    Risk society was coined by Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens during the 1980s. According to Beck and Giddens, the traditional industrial class structure of modern society is breaking apart. Globalization creates risks that concern people from all different classes; for example, radioactivity, pollution, and even unemployment. Affluent households act to insulate themselves from these risks, but cannot do so for some; for example global environmental change. The poor suffer them. He points out that risks are also socially constructed and some risks are perceived as more dangerous because they are discussed in mass media more frequently, such as terrorism. Risk society leads to analysis of risks, causing prejudgment.

    Fuck there is not even enough life to get deep into these questions.
    Pretty spot on COVID, if you ask me.

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
  26. One of the most important things I’ve learned from decades in business is that predicting the future is a fool’s errand. Of course you need to make plans based on your best guess of what the future will be. But what is waaaaay more important is what your backup plans are when you are inevitably wrong in your predictions.

    The lack of contingency planning is the real problem, not poor prognostic skills.

  27. kihowi says:
    @Dieter Kief

    If we all admit that you’re really, really, really intelligent, will you stop trying so hard?

  28. Coemgen says:

    Hm, are the apparent mistakes made by the apparent PTB due to groupthink?

    Aren’t the apparent PTB smart enough to compensate for groupthink?

    I can make a prediction: Real and apparent centralized control of the economy, government, media, business, etc., will continue to increase (until it collapses).

    I can make another prediction: We won’t know who the megalomaniacs effecting the centralized control are. We can be pretty sure Joe Biden is not one of them but won’t do anything to stop them.

  29. @Buzz Mohawk

    I agree with everything you wrote – except the “however”.

    My comment was not intended to negate the difficulties of predictions. I focus on the grammatical fact, that Steve obfuscates (a little bit) the fact, that saying what’s up is already a form of prediction. He too embodies (necessarily) the – let me put it this way: The weakness of those reading in the intestines (of our times).

    (My last paragraph is a – maybe rather indirect – way of stressing how right Steve oftentimes is – even though he takes the epistemological risk of making carefully considered predictions – – – and I might add: How much of an achievement that is. I know of no other writer who would have seen the George-Floyd event in a historical light so early – and so consistently (he kept track of the George Floyd case because his initial – predictions/ gut feelings – about it were – – – – sound – and thus – as time went by – turned out to be right – – – the longer the more. If I compare this with other essayists and political pundits etc. – – – lots of them still haven’t figured out the basic dynamic of the George-Floyd case (some of them never will….). In a just world, this would be Pulitzer-material – or – why not: Nobel price stuff.

  30. The plan is working. I do not care. I don’t care if negroes kill each other, or if Congressmen are corrupt, or that everybody in the media lies almost all the time about almost everything, or that the Lions still suck. I just don’t care. It is too late to care, we are in a post-caring environment. The entire world has jumped off a tall, tall building and is sure that they won’t hit the ground. Well good luck to them. Me? I don’t care. I am protected by angst.

  31. Spud Boy says:

    “For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?”

    People keep saying this, and it’s flat out wrong. We invaded Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein had used poison gas, classified as a WMD, against the Kurds in 1988 in the Halabja chemical attack. Whether he had them in his possession in 2003 is completely irrelevant. He was a WMD threat, and he needed to be taken out.

    Christopher Hitchens, hardly a Neocon, lays out very compelling arguments for why we had to invade Iraq. You can look them up on YouTube.

    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
  32. kihowi says:

    People mostly don’t publicly predict the future well because there’s no point. There’s nothing to gain by telling people what’s going to happen. “Predictions” cater to needs of the present. They provide rationalizations, they argue convincingly that catastrophe could averted if only more people agreed with the reader.

    Wrong predictions aren’t punished, right predictions aren’t celebrated, because by the time the future has happened there will be new problems and who has time to start totting up a score about who was right about what isn’t relevant anymore?

    There’s enough craziness going on to wonder who predicted any of it. Gay marriage, trans sexuality, atheism, media manipulation, hoaxes, internet pornography, etc. I’m sure a thousand rural preachers wrote a thousand books that came pretty close, but are we crowdfunding statues of them? Nope, because we don’t care.

    • Replies: @NOTA
  33. When cities stop arresting shoplifters hang burglars of course the crime rate drops. Murder would be almost eradicated if the Soros DAs could treat it the same way. If it’s not reported by the authorities there is no crime.

  34. El Dato says:

    From the article:

    For example, why didn’t the Biden Administration guess that few soldiers of the now-defunct Afghan National Army would feel like risking becoming the last Afghan to die for the American-backed government, so once the U.S. closed Bagram air base there’d be an unseemly rush for the exits?

    Why not set up “simulation cells” – dedicated teams who really try to think like the other side and can reasonably emulate what the other side will do. Those people will be shielded from the usual office bullshit – presentations, diversity training, forced black/trans xemen on the team, holocaust worship etc. to “think different” and should preferably be sourced from the correct ethnicity.

    When a decision is being constructed, someone will phone the simulation cell and ask “what would you do if we did this”. If the message comes back “we would f*ck you in the ass” the current plan could then be quietly abandoned.

    Maybe it’s already being done?

  35. @PhysicistDave

    Let’s give the country a ticket even more personally repellent than Nixon/Agnew

    Let’s not forget; Nixon/Agnew when incumbent won a historic landslide victory in ’72.

    • Agree: El Dato
  36. @Rob

    They also spell out, “Gavin Newsom just got elected President.”

    Why would surviving a recall in deep blue California make his Presidency likely? I suspect he is this generation’s John Lindsay, a handsome superficially plausible candidate with no chance in hell.

  37. guest007 says:

    Since the topic of sports gambling came up, maybe someone should try looking at sports betting as an undergraduate science experiment. The independent variable is not whether a team beats the spread or not but is whether any particular sports book is good at putting the spread where there is a 50% change that a team covering or not covering the spread.

    Instead of thinking about teams exceeding the expectations of the sports books maybe the key to sports betting is determine who well the sports books are at predicting semi-random events.

  38. Afghanistan, with no economy to speak of, was expected to field an army 5 times larger than Canada’s.

    Predicting a collapse after the withdrawal of American support wasn’t a stretch. The empire had no clothes, but nobody would say the obvious.

  39. Anonymous[177] • Disclaimer says:

    It is even harder to predict the past, with accuracy, any longer. Yesterday, Washington and Jefferson were heroes, today they are evil slaveholders. Yesterday, 9/11 was an Islamic terror attack, today it is an attack on the heteronormative capitalist patriarchy. Yesterday, green jobs were good and today they are sexist and racist. The future? I can predict this: It will belong to those who show up for it, as always.Demography is destiny.

  40. Anon7 says:

    It’s a tough nut to crack:

    1) Everyone desperately wants to know what is going to happen in the future.
    2) Nobody knows the future.

    The 21st century method of augury is computer modeling. The Powers that Be have discovered that, even if the model is wrong about the future, it can be very useful in compelling desired behavior in the present.

    Billions of dollars are showered on “academics” in order to get the right data put into the right computer models. Since the PtB know the result they want to get, namely the alteration of current behavior, it’s easy.

    As opposed to actually knowing the future, which is impossible.

    • Replies: @martin_2
  41. surly says:

    Canada’s homicide rate this year is a little less than last year

    Provincial rates are interesting too:

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  42. @kaganovitch

    Why would surviving a recall in deep blue California make his Presidency likely?

    That’s more or less how Biden got into the Oval Office. “Backfire” Biden was the laughing stock of the Senate: too incompetent even to do corruption well, he lagged in the league tables of piling up ill-gotten loot despite his long incumbency and highly capitalized Delaware financial constituency. His prior presidential campaign ended in farce when he ham-handedly plagiarized a second-rate British politician’s stump speeches. The only person I ever met who was sincerely enthusiastic about Biden was literally certified mentally retarded.

    Then the Dem party needed someone who was reliably dull enough that he wouldn’t upstage their darling but over-praised Obama and who was lower class white enough that he would reassure the old school Dem base. By 2020 Biden’s only asset was that people had become kinda sorta used to him being somewhere around the White House. The 2020 election was purely pro- vs. anti-Trump. And the result was engineered in a few blue cities with practiced ballot stuffing machines. Biden was just there as a placeholder.

    Newsome is the same thing for the same party, but younger and tbh somewhat smoother. He was on Adam Carola’s open-ended podcast some years ago. Adam kept mischievously corralling him into the middle of politically correct circular firing squads, but Newsome always sensed the trap and always had a cliché ready with which to make his escape. After surviving many rounds of this rodeo, Gavin’s only comment was “well I’m never coming on this show again!” The Dems might be happy to have a younger, handsomer nonentity who is better at avoiding embarrassing soundbites.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @Currahee
  43. @Dieter Kief

    Augustinus framed this continuum problem famously by saying that time is a funny thing…

    Erika Lewis must have been reading Augustinus.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @obwandiyag
  44. MEH 0910 says:

    Because guessing the future is challenging, I seldom attempt it. What I try to do instead is to notice the present.

  45. There are two common explanations for these failures of anticipation. The first is that while it may look like the deep state is botching badly, they actually have accurately prognosticated every contingency and even their apparent fumbles are all part of their nefarious triple-bank-shot master plan.

    Alternatively, the powers that be really are nitwits and many outsiders could do better in their place.

    I promise to read your Taki’s essay when I get a minute, but I’ll go with the nitwits alternative. I just started rewatching the wonderful “The Big Short” which opens with the Mark Twain quote: “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for certain that just ain’t so.”

    The FedGov is staffed by cloud people, ex-academics, journalists and lifetime government employees. These are people who have never had any contact with the real world. These are people whose careers advance by “failing up”. It should not surprise anyone that any real world project they undertake turns out to be a disaster.

    Kind of like the mass murder committed by Anthony Fauci who prevented the use of therapeutic drugs like Ivermectin, Azithromycin and Budesonide, because to admit that there were such therapeutics would have prevented him from issuing the Emergency Use Authorization for his so-called vaccines. Just like he did for HIV, Fauci was willing to kill people by preventing the use of therapeutics in a quixotic search for a safe and effective vaccine that never was found.

    • Replies: @res
  46. anon[302] • Disclaimer says:

    Or as NBC puts it: The study shows that homicides went up last year, but it found the category to be an outlier.

    I found Stats 101 boring, because it was intended for people who were going to do QA in widget factories. I’m sure I’d have paid more attention if it had been marketed as an I F-ing Love Science way to make inconvenient facts disappear in a puff of smoke.

    In Stats for Widgets, you’d grab a sample of widgets from the end of the assembly line, measure their lengths, and then calculate whether your set of measurements could reasonably have come from the population of ideal widgets, or the ideal population of widgets, or whatever.

    An outlier in that course was a widget length that was physically impossible and could reasonably be assumed to be a measurement error. Sometimes the procedure required us to automatically throw away the highest and lowest values, like they do with the judges’ scores in diving competitions, but I didn’t understand the statistical reasoning for that.

    But the takeaway point was that an outlier widget was a widget that didn’t exist: if the assembly line really was spitting out these weirdly large or small widgets, you wouldn’t get very far in QA if you suppressed that information on the basis that they’re outliers.

    So I don’t think “outlier” makes sense at all in the murder-rate context. It’s not like we’re comparing bags of homogeneous crimes, one of which happens to be labeled “murder”. And (as Sailer is always pointing out) murder is the crime stat that’s least likely to be affected by measurement errors.

  47. I was going to write and offer my opinion that the problem with an electoral system that produces citizen leaders, is that you get leaders who are just average citizens, usually wealthy ones, often ones who have inherited wealth, who have no particular aptitude for political leadership or high-level diplomatic decision making and foreign affairs policy management.

    But then I got to Steve’s last sentence in which he asks if the leaders are nitwits. I think he has pretty much nailed it. There simply aren’t that many George Washingtons any more out there growing tobacco, but ready to lead the army and govern firmly but fairly.

    In the days when people rode horses, we simply got a better kind of leader.

    • Agree: Joseph Doaks
  48. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, as to Covid, because Biden didn’t follow the science. Successive episodes of variants of concern are pretty easy to follow.

    But this is not about science any longer. It’s about using the bidenite spent cartridge for political control.

  49. Anonymous[234] • Disclaimer says:

    Alternatively, the powers that be really are nitwits and many outsiders could do better in their place.

    And that is actually the case, despite the veracity of your next statement.

    A less popular middling view is that making accurate guesses about topics of broad, pressing interest is simply innately difficult.

    There are still degrees of being closer to truth. In general, power structures do not incentivize accurate forecasting and in some instances where they do, the selection is not for the best forecasters. It’s that simple.

  50. the triennial PISA test of 15-year-old students across dozens of countries.

    I am so sick and tired of the edu-bureaucratic imperative of testing, Testing, TESTING; no one could have predicted that.

    Right/Left -wingers use the always-dismal test scores to further their political arguments for more tax dollars for non/traditional schools. Students (test subjects) might as well be rats in a maze, scurrying for cheese.

  51. @Almost Missouri

    The speech that Biden plagiarized was actually authored by a college friend of mine who was at the time a speech writer for the labor party leader Neil Kinnock, now Baron Kinnock, who narrowly lost an election to become British prime minister.

    The speech was noted in political circles at the time because Kinnock’s poll rating jumped by a massive 14% after his conference speech who was made part of a video infomercial that was televised nationwide in Britain.

    The part of the speech that Biden copied word for word was about how a free access education system had provided working class Welsh coal mining families with the opportunity to go to university and enter the middle class.

    I don’t think it was just ham fistedness that led to Biden to copy this speech, that even before the days of YouTube, had attracted a lot of attention in professional political circles. There was also a strong element of calculated mendacity plus an astonishing naivety and contempt for the electorate and the press in thinking that the Biden campaign could do this without attracting attention.

    I exchanged messages with the original author of the speech a few months ago and he said that he was now thinking of asking Biden for royalties, since he had made Biden famous(but he was joking.)

  52. Jack D says:

    The 12th Amendment says: “The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;”

    In other words, the California electors can’t vote for both Gruesome and Harris. Losing California’s reliably blue electoral votes would be very risky.

    Of course, one of them could do what Cheyney did and declare his vacation home to be his residence (as CEO of Halliburton, he actually lived in Houston). Harris could claim that she is an inhabitant of Jamaica or Canada, but that might cause other problems. Or Gruesome could claim that dining at the French Laundry is the same thing as being an inhabitant of France.

  53. @NJ Transit Commuter


    The deep problem is not the incorrect prognostication itself — it’s the dead certainty with which it is held, despite so many failures in the past in prognostication.

    If an expert hasn’t learned that he can be wrong, what has he learned?

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
  54. @Rob

    Last night’s best line was “Fox News calls Arizona for Newsom”

  55. Tallyrand says:

    “After all, what’s a little boom in murder when littering and loitering arrests were down, down, down?”

    Aren’t the two at least partially related? Backing off aggressive policing because of the risk of being “Chauvinized” has led many big city policemen to stay in their cars, station houses, and donut shops. They aren’t making nearly as many stops leading to arrests for carrying drugs and weapons. Thus, those fine citizens are now being allowed to go about their business, which, for some reason, seems to include a fair amount of lethal mayhem.
    Murders will always be reported, but non-enforcement of lesser offenses will show up as their having gone down, rendering increased murder the “outlier”.

  56. A less popular middling view is that making accurate guesses about topics of broad, pressing interest is simply innately difficult.

    Heck, as a certain recent 9/11 thread shows, people can’t even make accurate guesses about the past, or even the present, never mind the future. If people cannot accurately assess what already happened, how much more impossible to assess what hasn’t happened yet?

  57. Wilkey says:

    And why did Biden then proclaim vaccine mandates just as the Delta wave appeared to be burning out in states where it had first taken off, such as Missouri?

    As I type this, I notice that I might have spoken too soon, as case counts rose on Monday.

    Which is the same pattern we’ve seen for much of the COVID pandemic.

    The pandemic is still bad because so many people have given up on masks, and so many people are still unvaccinated. Vaccines work. Masks work. They aren’t 100% effective, but they’re a big help.

    For most of the pandemic the four states with the highest COVID death rates were New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Connecticut is now all the way down to #11, and Mississippi and Louisiana are threatening to displace New Jersey for the #1 and #2 spots, and probably will. Of course those two states have a very high % of residents, many of them black, with comorbidities. But Mississippi only started to make its way into the top spot since the introduction of the vaccine. There is absolutely no reason it had to happen.

    Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. You will be less likely to get COVID and far less likely to die from it in the case that you do.

  58. Art Deco says:

    Alternatively, the powers that be really are nitwits and many outsiders could do better in their place.

    Some are nitwits, some have ulterior motives, and some are too obtuse to make sense of the vectors in their head which actually motivate them. On the Minneapolis City Council, you indubitably have all three forces operating.

    • Agree: Calvin Hobbes
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  59. Completely Off-Topic here, but sort of iStevey: A NYT article from 6 days ago about the plight of “rural” schools (with “rural” in the article meaning rural + black).

    The Tragedy of America’s Rural Schools

    I think the whole article is also here:

    This article of course studiously ignores everything related to IQ or general patterns of black dysfunction. If only those stingy racist whites would build them new schools and send them books, those pesky gaps would just vanish!


    “The district had struggled financially since the 1970s, and in 1982, the year after Henderson graduated, students averaged a score of nine on the A.C.T. — more than six points lower than the Mississippi average and less than half of the 18.4 nationwide mean. As he looked over the district’s latest test scores, he imagined a boy — someone a little like Ellington — growing up in conditions Henderson knew were subpar. The district’s average A.C.T. score rose to 15 in the years he was away — still three points below the state mean — but only 9 percent of Holmes students were proficient in math.”

    [An ACT score of 9 is apparently about what you’d get guessing randomly. If the average went from 9 to 15, there was probably something funny going on, at best that after a while it was only the relatively non-dumb students who were taking the test.]

    “When Henderson became superintendent, roughly half of Holmes County teachers were long-term substitutes or uncertified workers who hadn’t passed the licensure exam. He had since booked a dozen recruiting events at local colleges and purchased 13 billboards across the state, imploring teachers to consider Holmes. He had netted a few applicants, but not enough to fill the district’s openings, so in his second year, he began helping uncertified workers earn their licenses. Just that week, he told the teachers at the Chat-N-Chew, he had started free night classes to show substitutes how to add and multiply fractions, skills they would need to demonstrate on the certification test.”

    [So substitute teachers (in many cases permanent “temporary” teachers) can’t add or multiply fractions.]

  60. What were formerly hierarchies of merit are now abysses of responsibility avoidance. Those who end up at the top (bottom) are those who are worst at avoiding it.

  61. Jack D says:

    For example, why didn’t the Biden Administration guess that few soldiers of the now-defunct Afghan National Army would feel like risking becoming the last Afghan to die for the American-backed government, so once the U.S. closed Bagram air base there’d be an unseemly rush for the exits?

    For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

    These are really two entirely different things.

    The first one involves the inability to know the future. The natural human tendency is to think that the future will not be radically different from the past, so for example if you are a CIA analyst in 1987, you are probably going to assume that the Soviet flag, which has flown for 70 years, will still be flying over the USSR for at least the next 5 years. The Afghan National Army had, albeit in a somewhat rickety fashion and with a lot of help from the Americans, stood up for 20 years so you had to figure that they had at least a few months left in them. The safest prediction is that tomorrow will be much like today. And most of the time that is correct, but when events start to move, they often move with sudden and surprising rapidity, whether it is government collapses or stock market crashes or whatever.

    The second had nothing to do with knowing the future but rather with an incorrect understanding of the CURRENT state of affairs. This had to do with a number of things. First of all, the poor state of the US intelligence apparatus. Americans have an open and trusting nature and really suck at human intelligence. There’s something unsporting about espionage – it’s like cheating, the kind of thing that the Rooshians do. Americans win wars fair and square by bombing the hell out of the enemy.

    Is the defector really a defector or is he a double agent who is going to blow himself up along with a bunch of your top people? Is he truthful or a liar or mentally ill? Can we plant human spies at the highest level of enemy governments, as the Soviets did and the Israelis sometime do (no way). Were some of the Taliban mullahs on the American payroll instead of the Pakistani payroll (nope)?

    Instead we have an overreliance on electronic intelligence – satellite photos, signal intercepts, etc. AND we combine these with a lot of wishful thinking. Photo evidence is by its nature ambiguous and must be interpreted. A man is seen loading containers into the trunk of his car. Is he building a car bomb to bring to Kabul Airport and blow up some more Marines or are they containers of water for his family? (We think the former so we blow him up along with 10 other civilians (mostly children) but in fact it is the latter – oops. Our little goodbye present to the people of Afghanistan – Afghanistan, we hardly knew ye.)

    The same thing happened in Iraq. US analysts were instructed to look for evidence of WMD so they SAW evidence of WMD – the power of wishful thinking again. First of all, even though most people thing WMD means nukes, you expand the definition of WMD to include “bioweapons” even though these have no track record of being used successfully (too much risk of infecting your own troops). Maybe an Iraqi defector tells some story about mobile bioweapons labs. Was he primed by his interrogators or is he just making shit up that he thinks that they want to hear and will reward him for? Iraqis are fluent liars but Americans have terrible bullshit detectors.

    Second, your photo analysts see some suspicious looking trucks. They play Jedi mind tricks on themselves – these ARE the mobile bioweapons labs you were looking for. You get a big promotion for finding these! High fives all around! You’ve been staring at satellite photos for years and mostly you just see trucks loaded with goats and dates and such but now you’ve finally hit pay dirt!

    The trucks have some funny looking tanks on them. If you squint hard and apply wishful thinking, you can see a mobile bioweapons lab – the casus belli we were looking for. Over here is the fermentation tank. That’s the control panel. That black box is the filling machine and those other two are the spray driers. (Later on it turns out these are hydrogen generators for artillery weather balloons, sold to Iraq by a British firm in the 1980s, back when Saddam was our friend. Ooops.)

    So, two completely different things – the past (which is knowable but not always known accurately) and the future (which is truly unknowable, but about which it is at least possible to make better guesses). What links them is the power of wishful thinking, a very powerful force.

  62. @Rob

    And THAT spells “citizenship elsewhere.”

  63. This was one of Steve’s worst articles. There is an obvious alternative answer to why people inside an institution like the military couldn’t predict something like the fact that none of the Afghan army would fight the Taliban. They “couldn’t” because it is not in their self-interest, and that because it contradicts the narratives the institutional leaders tell about themselves.

    Recently, Steve made a post in which he converted pictures of himself and Mencius Moldbug into cartoons and proposed a faux Pixar movie about young apprentice Moldbug learning from Sailer. The reality is that the apprentice has surpassed the master. Compared to “Gosh, the future is mighty hard…,” Moldbug’s explanations for institutional failure are much more savvy and have the mathematical virtues of paucity and beauty.

  64. prosa123 says:

    Predictions are fine, as long as they don’t involve the future.

  65. You forgot an example of one of the most heinous elite/deep state/permanent politician/MIC/Monopolistic Corporations and Wall St screw ups in the current century.

    The easy mortgage loan goat fck..

    No one could see that the whole damn house of cards was going to collapse? In March of 2008 before the collapse a coworker of mine had the Washington Post classifieds on her desks… I looked down at it and thought Holy Shit… look at the size of it. It had page after page of legal foreclosure announcements… And get this… many were in Woodbridge and Dale City Virginia… For those of you not familiar with the east coast… these two towns are lower income areas where the nation’s recently immigrated hispanics went to live around the DC metro area. See unlike California where Sailer and Unz live, there were no hispanics here until the waves post Reagan’s amnesty. None. It was white and black. Well…the ads were filled with hispanic names… I guess W was trying to get the beaner vote via cheap money loans. And of course the Dems went along with that.

    So… No one saw this coming.. I guess with the exception of the Big Short guy and a few others. No mother loving Fed official… Auditor… bond rating agency… Big Accounting Firm… Wall St analyst or the parasites in the District of Corruption…

    In the words of Bawney Fwank… Theres nothing Wong with Fannie Mae or Fweddy Mac…

  66. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I don’t think these are remotely comparable. Germans were the leading scientists of their day and indeed beat us to the punch on the building of ballistic missiles. By the end of the war they were sending rockets to London while we had nothing comparable and wouldn’t have had anything comparable for many years if we hadn’t brought the German rockets along with the Germans over to show us how.

    Iraqis are a bunch of idiots who can’t even keep the electricity going in their own cities. The only reason they even HAVE any electricity at all is that they have a valuable natural commodity in the ground that happens to lie under their feet and they are able to trade that for manufactured goods made by smarter peoples.

    Whether or not the Germans were close to obtaining nukes was not the cause of WWII nor did it really change our actions. Part of the rationale for the Manhattan Project was ostensibly “you had better get this wonder weapon before the German do” but even if we had known that the Germans weren’t close to getting a nuke we would have wanted nuclear weapons – they were war winning weapons in their own right. Indeed, as of May, 1945 we knew these exact things and kept going with the Manhattan Project anyway and in fact used them to win the war with Japan, so this is not at all speculation but known fact.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  67. theMann says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    We are so far down the road of relentless coercion that most people dont even recognize it for what it is anymore.

    As one small example, when I try to explain to face-diapered morons that they are lab rats in a maze with no exit, they stare at me like I am a quacking duck. A fact I consider self evident, because every demand is always a precursor to the next demand, is beyond the grasp of the average American.

    We are the end of Enlightenment Civilization for no better reason than that a simple majority of people took a permanent move to the corner of coward and moron. And there they whimper, waiting to be ordered.

    Pathetic, foolish, insane, and supremely despicable

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  68. Currahee says:

    “The study shows that homicides went up last year, but it found the category to be an outlier.”

    Absolutely, stunningly hilarious.

    These are the people in charge of our country.

  69. Clown World is a complicated place with many moving parts. But when they throw the bucket of water at the audience it’s always full of confetti.
    Once you can feel free enough in your mind to acknowledge that, like every good clown show, literally everything is fake, you will achieve the Zen-like state necessary to make sense of the current situation.
    If you ever make the mistake of taking anything they tell you seriously, you will constantly be chasing your tail, trying to quant it out, and deciding that, dang it, they just must all be morons – it’s the only conclusion. There is a third way between incompetence and 4D chess.
    Evil doesn’t need to make sense. Evil doesn’t need to add up. Evil doesn’t need to be smart, cunning or devious. Evil just wants to destroy. You can’t plot evil on a graph.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
  70. @interesting

    “completely divorced from reality”

    Reality is not a fixed concept. And time is elastic.

  71. @Wilkey

    “Vaccines work.”

    Agreed. I’ll be getting my annual flu vaccine in late October. But the mRNA vaccines are not vaccines.

  72. @PhysicistDave

    Zero tolerance for R.M.Nixon (pbuh) critique.


  73. Rob says:

    Well, if that’s the case, then I take solace in being too unimportant for anyone to screencap that to lord it over me. NB I gave no time frame, the prediction is good until he’s dead. If Biden starts a trend, it’s good even then!

    But honestly, if Biden were driven (solely) by his staff, then we never would have withdrawn from Afghanistan. Sure it polled well, but immigration restriction did, too, before Trump got ahold of it. The Borg of both parties wanted to stay in Afghanistan. I think leaking the Milley thing is Pentagoners trying to get Biden on the record approving of insubordination by generals. Like for their screwing up withdrawal. Either that or protecting Milley from being asked to resign – how could you ask a man to resign when he betrayed Trump for you, SIR.

  74. The easiest things to predict should be demographic trends since it follows arithmetically from birth and fertility rates and age structure of the population.

    But nobody does the easiest thing.

    Steep population declines in many advanced nations (Korea is the most eye-popping example but this applies to some degree in almost every advanced country) would seem to guarantee economic collapse in the most extreme cases or very rough sledding economically in milder cases.

    GDP after all is GDP per capita x population.

    But the powers that be can’t seem to even follow this concept to its basic conclusion.

    All this is complicated by blank-slatism which can imagine no difference in economic productivity of a Scandinavian as compared to a Somali.

    Steve, keep sounding the alarm on this! Then at least you can say you tried.

    If getting TPTB to notice is an exercise in futility then we are left with: Smarties out there, how do you trade demographically driven economic decline (or at least very strong headwinds) of advanced economies in the market?

  75. peterike says:

    The first is that while it may look like the deep state is botching badly, they actually have accurately prognosticated every contingency and even their apparent fumbles are all part of their nefarious triple-bank-shot master plan.

    Correct-ish. Steve, what you do too often is assume some degree of decency among the Powers That Be. As if Biden really wants to be a President that’s good for America, but he’s just too stupid. Well he is too stupid, but he has no interest whatsoever in doing what’s good for anyone but him, his family and his fellow ruling elites.

    The Covid baloney is all a political game to them. The ever shifting “latest science,” the patently ludicrous reversals and re-reversals of policies, the magical virus that doesn’t effect anyone at BLM rallies or Met Galas but kills everyone at a Trump rally, the demand to get everyone wearing masks that don’t work and taking a vaccine that doesn’t really work and may very well kill you — it’s all about anarcho-tyranny. Why do you think nobody gives a damn about the thousands of unvaccinated invaders crossing the Southern border every day? They don’t care about the virus, and in fact may like it cutting back on the old, white population. It’s about controlling you. So they made a mediocre virus problem that has killed an utterly insignificant portion of the population and by itself affected nothing whatsoever into the new Black Death.

    Steve, are you forgetting your own who-whom principle? Everything has to be looked at through that lens and only that lens, with the assumption that the Elites haven’t the slightest concern about collateral damage. They either don’t care about who else gets hurt or it’s actually a thrill to them, depending.

    Biden handed Afghanistan to China, full stop. The dead Americans and lost equipment mean less than zero to him. The infection of the nation with 100,000+ utterly useless, measles infected Afghan life-long welfare cases is a huge plus. So who cares if the pullout was a “disaster”? Was it really, from the ruling class point of view? How did it hurt them? Oh, Biden’s approval ratings went down! So what? He didn’t win the election in the first place. That doesn’t matter either.

    You can predict the future a lot better if you understand what’s happening in the present. It’s who-whom all the way down, and the who’s are a gang of malignant psychopaths.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  76. @AaronInMVD

    “The drive for consensus and agreement”

    None of that is happening now. I understand 2021 is spectacularly ugly; but you’ll have to update your perspective to be of any use to Steve.

  77. @Art Deco

    As in Minneapolis City Council member Lisa Bender’s classic statement.

    Looking at and listening to Bender, you can’t help but suspect she has mental problems.

  78. dearieme says:

    Masks work.

    It would be wonderful if they did but they don’t. Research published before the pandemic was practically unanimous. Ordinary surgical masks don’t work.

    They don’t stop outward bound infection – in operating theatres where masks weren’t used, there was no change in the number of infected wounds in patients.

    They don’t stop inward bound infections. The paper that impressed me most involved dentists, a profession that spends its time with its nose immersed in your exhalations. No protection was achieved by masks.

    I am as happy as the next man to scoff at people who are too sissy to wear masks in case they are seen as sissies. But, as it happens, the evidence is on the side of the mask-eschewers.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Thanks: Coemgen
  79. BB753 says:

    “Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. You will be less likely to get COVID and far less likely to die from it in the case that you do.”

    Getting covid is too unlikely for most people to risk getting an experimental vaccine or wearing a mask, which is unhealthy. But suit yourself! Or better yet, why don’t you isolate yourself at home and pray COVID away?

  80. Old Prude says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Here’s a prediction you can take to the bank: The chances are tomorrow will be pretty much like today.

    You can’t plan on what you can’t predict. The only thing you can predict with a fair amount of certainty is “tomorrow will be pretty much like today”. Anybody care to place a bet against that?

    Plan and act accordingly.

  81. Old Prude says:

    If masks and vaccines work, then why isn’t this thing licked?

    Oh, right: We just haven’t masked hard enough or taken enough vaccines.

    Dumb-asses. Keep doing what hasn’t worked yet and hope it will work if we just do it more and harder.

    Hey, I’ve got an idea. How about just not masking our toddlers, locking up our oldsters and getting on with our lives?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  82. Board says:

    Nobody could do better. IQ, aka a neural network’s capacity to answer arbitrary questions, maxes out, and we now know that quantitatively (to an approximation) thanks to Google and Alpha Zero. In the human cognitive world, we’re even further limited by cranial capacity and pelvic girth.

  83. As much a fan of baseball as you are, Steve, how could you leave the big, fat softball in the form of a Yogi Berra quote hanging in the air?

    “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    Then again, he also said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

    If you really want to go down a rabbit hole for an hour and forty-four minutes, here’s some hard core prognostication for you:

  84. Currahee says:
    @Almost Missouri

    “The only person I ever met who was sincerely enthusiastic about Biden was literally certified mentally retarded.”
    LOL! How apt.

  85. Jack D says:
    @Old Prude

    Oh, right: We just haven’t masked hard enough or taken enough vaccines.

    That is correct. The vast majority of people who are currently in ICU’s with Covid are unvaccinated. It’s not licked because those people refuse to be vaccinated.

    • Agree: El Dato
  86. @Wilkey

    Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. You will be less likely to get COVID and far less likely to die from it in the case that you do.

    Assuming the vaxx doesn’t kill or maim you outright, they might make you a superspreader.

    As for masks, read some actual research rather than parroting the official narrative.

    Results: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%). The between-group difference was -0.3 percentage point (95% CI, -1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38) (odds ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.54 to 1.23]; P = 0.33). Multiple imputation accounting for loss to follow-up yielded similar results. Although the difference observed was not statistically significant, the 95% CIs are compatible with a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection.

    That last bit about the confidence interval is called “putting lipstick on a pig.” Masks are of dubious value.


    • Replies: @El Dato
  87. Rob says:

    This is off-topic, but a gift from the gods of grammar this is what the FDA has to say about PrilosecOTC

    5. How is Prilosec OTC taken?

    Prilosec OTC is a delayed-release 20mg tablet, taken once a day (every 24 hours) for 14 days before eating. You should not take it for more than 14 days or repeat a 14-day course more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor.

    I take prescription Prilosec, so it would not feel right to do this, but would anyone like to write the FDA. Say, something in the spirit of:

    Subject: Urgent!!! Please Respond immediately!!!


    I bought PrilosecOTC for chronic heartburn 8 days ago. I went to the FDA website, as no one trusts big pharma. I read that I am supposed to “take Prilosec once every day (every 24 hours) for 14 days before eating.” I haven’t eaten for 8 days, but I don’t think can make it another 6. Eating is a natural human function! I am so hungry. It is a dull gnawing pain. I feel woozy. I broke down and had a glass of water with lemon two days ago (i am so weak) does that mean I have to start over? I squeezed the lemon slice, and I accidentally swallowed a seed? Woe is me if lemon seeds are food. Please tell me they are not, you are the FDA. This important information should be on your website.

    Do have some inspirational literature I could use to help me get through the next 6 days (144 looong hours) until the blessed moment when I can eat again?

    I don’t mean to be a gloomy Gus, but this week and a day have been hard. I should be more upbeat. I can hardly remember anything about the Before Time. I remember not knowing terrible hunger. I remember being naive as to the true meaning of life – it is eating! (be strong) It is eating without heartburn. I have lost weight. I have saved money not eating out. I no longer do #2, so my hemorrhoids have calmed down – they should market that to doctors as an off-label use. Also the weight loss! I have more time during the day and evening. Also, at night – when I pace incessantly through the house, consumed by all-consuming (i am not concerned by a need to avoid repetition. I was in the Before Time, though) desire for food. For food without heartburn, I mean.

    How did people make it through the clinical trials without reporting this terrible side effect? Did they chew gum? Surely, gum counts as food, right? Or if not, gumball machine, here I come! Oh, it probably has to be sugar-free. I’m so hungry I could, well not eat a horse! I am an animal lover and would never want one of God’s creatures to suffer. A huge, juicy steak would be wonderful!

    Further scenery-chewing may be up your alley. Discussing your lawyer might be appropriate or a bridge too far, your call. If the FDA uses google, this email on won’t even come up on their search. You might even tell them this is a matter of:

    Let’s eat grandma!
    Or. Let’s eat, grandma!

    Proper punctuation saves lives!

    I just had to share. Your government at work. And no, anti-vaxers, missing a comma does not mean the mRNA vaccines cannot be trusted.

  88. @Dieter Kief

    Turtle, flippers; tortoise, feet. For crying out loud.

    • Thanks: Coemgen
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  89. @El Dato

    lifts the complexity from EXPTIME-complete to 2-EXPTIME-complete

    Maya’s veil hard at work.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  90. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    It’s not going to be licked by the current generation of vaccines, which in their social effect are more like annual flu shots than something along the lines of the polio vaccine. They reduce risk but do not eliminate it. The delta variant isn’t particularly virulent. The ratio of the change in the death count to the change in the recorded case count has been about 0.0075 in this country, lower in Britain. However, in raw numbers, the seven day average of death counts which saw it’s peak around 4 September 2021 was actually about 8% higher than the death count recorded on 2 July 2020, the previous summer peak. November to March may prove very disagreeable this year.

    (I’ve seen contentions that a large bloc of the patients now hospitalized were admitted for other things and discovered to be infected when tested and that ‘deaths-with-COVID’ are now a larger share of the death count than was the case last year. No clue if this is true or not).

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @AnotherDad
  91. epebble says:

    Today’s Ranking (deaths/million):

    1. Mississippi
    2. New Jersey
    3. Louisiana
    4. New York
    5. Massachusetts
    6. Arizona
    7. Rhode Island
    8. Alabama
    9. Arkansas
    10. South Dakota

    • Replies: @Jack D
  92. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    The comments about efficient market versus paid predictions are very interesting. I still remember McKinsey mini-MBA with Phil Parker saying that The Firm was just one step along the pay/shakiness spectrum extending to Nancy Reagan paying astrologists. Kind of bummed me out a little–he also said forget your Ph.D.’s –you’re in the BS business now.

  93. SafeNow says:

    Admiral Nimitz, concluding his report on the tragic “Halsey Hurricane,” wrote: “It is dangerous to be grudging about safety precautions for fear that they might turn out to have been unnecessary.” (I am quoting from memory). Today, the risk meter is often incorrectly calibrated. Intel people, politicians, and military planners are aware of negative-outcome risks, but too hesitant to speak-up and address them. In fact, many people in everyday life act the same way. This is understandable, I realize. After all, why wear a life vest on a fun boat ride – – you would be “predicting” that you might fall overboard. This ruins the fun spirit. You might be ridiculed.

    • Agree: El Dato
  94. @John Derbyshire

    “Turtle, flippers; tortoise, feet.”

    Oh, thanks!

    My Webster knows nothing about your distinction between the two though. Tortoise: Any of an order of reptiles. Turtle: Any of an order of land, freshwater and marine reptiles (am. English).
    Since they are no frogs, we can’t ask.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  95. @Dieter Kief

    What about the tortugas, Dieter?

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the tortugas?!

    • LOL: El Dato
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  96. @interesting

    How can one predict the future when it appears so many are living in a fantasyland present?


    But also, i’d say our elite’s poor predictive capabilities aren’t really a salient issue in the current mess.

    Basically we have a verbalist overclass that has a willfully anti-empirical minoritarian religious ideology driven by
    — ethnic resentment (Jewish, black, Muslim, immigrants)
    — class virtue signaling

    which dovetails with more direct (rational but short term and anti-national) interests:
    — pursuit of political power
    — super-state growth, mission creep, providing employment and \$\$\$
    — big finance pushing globalization
    — businesses grubbing for cheap labor

    “The future is hard to predict”, really doesn’t enter into it. The minoritarian ideology is deeply anti-empirical and dismissive of what’s right here, right now, plain as the nose on your face.

  97. El Dato says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Well, it looks like base reality is a huuuuge database of qubits – or rather a timeless network of qubits structured according to certain rules which are beyond our ken – forming associations out of which drop various things including “empty space”. “Where” does that thing exist and what gives it the fire of existence? Not sure humans will ever be able to unveil the basics of that one but maybe one get a toy or two out of knowing more. That would be just another feeback rule for that network. Anyway, way beyond Turing Machines which is currently all we have.

    Btw, a treatise on possibly free will:

    Have some Maya Ibuki from NGE

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  98. @peterike

    Excellent comment, Peter. That is the problem – Mr. Sailer is too nice and can’t imagine people who care about nothing but themselves, money, fame, and power. His writing is great reading and important for showing very logically the stupidity in our current American society, especially the ctrl-left Establishment. However, THEY! DON’T! CARE! ‘BOUT! NO! STINKING! LOGIC!

    Steve Sailer is a great peacetime consigliere errr, blogger but perhaps not so much a wartime blogger. I suggest Peak Stupidity for that.

    BTW, about Zhou Bai Dien and giving away Afghanistan to the Chinese, Peak Stupidity speculated on the possibility that the CCP could easily blackmail the President using video of his only surviving son to get America out of the place so that they could do bidness – read here, but I’ll put a big excerpt after the MORE tag.



    Peak Stupidity has had not one good thing to say about Zhou Bai Dien so far, but we give him all the credit he deserves here. He has the Neocons of both squads of The Party all over his ass, from the pundits to the generals**. Conservative Americans ought to be happy about this. I am glad to see that our favorite literary pundit, Miss Ann Coulter, is happy about this too** The big question is “WHY?”

    Why did this lefty puppet President end this war? It’s not making him popular with his people on the left. Is it just his dementia? Did he forget what the Deep State has been trying to drill into his head for the times when he puts on his Commander-in-Chief hat?

    I had another thought. The reader may be wondering why Peak Stupidity insists on using the “Zhou Bai Dien” Chinese PinYin style moniker for the guy. Well, back before the election, you all might recall all that Hunter Biden / Chinese corruption/connection business. (Well, the corruption part wasn’t confined to China.) With his only living son being the screw up would-be playboy Hunter Biden, I would guess Joe would care about Hunter more than anyone else in this world (including “Doctor” Jill and his Kameltoe sidekick). The Chinese government/CCP could have anything they wanted to blackmail Joe Biden with through his son Hunter.

    Do the Chinese just want the American armed forces the hell out of that land? There are important minerals in those parts. Having some control of that territory could help a lot with control of China’s Moslem problem out west. Of the 14 countries**** that border China, 5 of them are a western cluster of “stans”, Afghanistan being near the middle (4th one south) that all border that troublesome “province” of Xinjiang.***** They could follow up on some of those “one man’s terrorist is another man’s genocide victim” types.


    I didn’t transfer any of my links.

  99. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    It depends what you mean by “licked”. Is it going to stop circulating in the community – no, doesn’t seem that way, unfortunately. It’s going to be with us like the flu from now on. Thanks, China!

    But if 95% of the people in the hospital for Covid are unvaccinated, then it stands to reason that if we could get everyone vaccinated (and revaccinated periodically if necessary) then the # of people in the hospital for Covid would go down by 95%. It just doesn’t make sense that people are crying that “the vaccines don’t work” because the hospital/death count hasn’t gone down when the people in the hospital or dying are overwhelmingly NOT vaccinated. Sure vaccines don’t work if you don’t take them.

    Regarding your last comment, apparently 17% of the breakthru cases involve vaccinated people who are in the hospital for some other cause and test positive for Covid but are completely asymptomatic.

    • Agree: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  100. Currahee says:
    @Spud Boy

    Saddam’s gas bombs were obsolete even by WWI standards. He dropped them on civilians from helicopters and managed to kill some women and kids.
    Hardly war fighting weapons and no danger whatsoever to anyone out of helicopter range.

  101. No mention of immigration, but this is an exceptional article on how “housing” is the cause of so many problems.

    Immigration naturally plays into this by increasing demand, especially in concentrated areas, and also by reducing the political will for supply, as per Malibu – the cheaper the housing, the more people will move from abroad to occupy it.

  102. @Art Deco

    It’s not going to be licked by the current generation of vaccines, which in their social effect are more like annual flu shots than something along the lines of the polio vaccine.


    I agree with Jack to the extent that my take is “the vaccine is out there and dramatically cuts the death rate to something more “just the flu” like … so let’s declare this over and get back to it.

    But the vaccine development is ridiculously disappointing. The whole premise of the mRNA thing, is you just code up a protein and whooeee … you’re off to the races. Once Xi-Fauci was sequenced they had their spike protein target and were off to the races in a few weeks.

    But since then … crickets. Where’s the Delta version? More importantly where are the versions targeting these various proteins–which seem to be more conserved–that the virus produces when it infecting your cells. (Proteins that the people who’ve had the bug have anti-bodies for.)

    Pfizer seems to want to do nothing but keep jabbing me with the same shit. Another round in America … another \$1 billion dollars profit from the feds. Screw them. You want more \$\$\$, get your ass back to work and come up with something better.

    November to March may prove very disagreeable this year.

    My take too.

    • Agree: MEH 0910, Hangnail Hans
  103. G. Poulin says:

    Third Way’s analysis is a prime example of “baffling them with bullshit”. Just keep bringing up irrelevant data until people stop thinking and start believing. That seems to be the way a lot of experts operate these days.

  104. Anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:

    Predicting the future.

    While no one’s 100%, there are two useful guidelines as to what will happen, barring black swan events like an asteroid appearing out of the blue and blowing things up. But then, there are Black Swans and black swans. The former would be like an asteroid blowing up the world, something no one could have predicted and/or done anything about. Then, there are ‘black swans’, more like purple swans, which could have been predicted but for the willful blindside of exuberance(usually associated with stock markets) or anxiety of taboo. For example, many people probably sensed that Bush’s ‘no child left behind’ wouldn’t work because of racial differences, but no one dared say it, not even conservatives. The crash of housing bubble was something any sensible person could have predicted, but that was a case of exuberance and anxiety. Lots of money to be made and worries about saying the wrong thing about enabling easy loans to certain groups.

    Two things determine the bulk of the short-term future, which extends to about 25 yrs.
    (1) The natural tendency if things are left alone
    (2) Who has the power to will a certain outcome.

    Take water. If left to its own devices, water will flow from higher ground to lower ground around the most amenable terrain. Likewise, if children are allowed to do as they please, they will watch a lot of TV, ignore homework, and goof around.

    But with irrigation, water can be made to flow in accordance to those with the power.
    And with discipline and education, children can be educated and taught socially more constructive behavior.

    The power, in working against natural tendency, can do good or bad. The natural must not be denied but must not be indulged either. It must be usefully directed. The best formula is 50% natural energy and 50% willful control.

    Will that works 100% against natural energy is doomed. Too repressive and counter-natural. Excessive repression of sexual drives leads to social neurosis. On the other hand, excessive surrender to natural sexual drives leads to pornification of society, the current malady.

    Also, there are three kinds of energies: Stress, Harness, and Process.
    Stress is when man uses raw power to do something, like a man pushing a boulder up a hill with brute force. The sort of thing one sees in Strong Man Contests. Big guys lifting logs and hurling them. Impressive in a way but rather dumb.
    Harness is far more useful, and it allowed the West to navigate the world and prepare for domination. It seems incredible that the great Western voyages were fueled by harnessing of the wind. Before steam engines and the like, what else was there? There was the smart understanding and use of wind power, sufficient to take man from Europe to all corners of the world.


    And later, with advance in chemistry and physics, man was able to process energy in the form of electricity that now fuels the entire world. Of course, Process depends on energy already there but, whereas energy is already active in Harness — wind power and water power — , process depends on sophisticated unleashing the bountiful energy latent in certain elements. Fire was perhaps the first breakthrough in process but it took a long time for people to understand the chemistry behind it.

    Throughout history, two kinds of forces have been at odds but at times in alignment. The natural tendency and willed agenda. The natural tendency of the mob is to grab and loot and party, like the Golden Calfers. The willed agenda of the powerful is to maintain control over the masses, like when Moses backed with God punishes the Calfers. But there are times when the willed agenda and natural tendencies converge. Young people tend to be restless, impatient, and destructive. While the powerful is usually anxious about such tendencies, there are times when such drives are deemed useful. Like when Mao unleashed the Cultural Revolution. Use youthful energies against his perceived enemies. And in the West, the Liberal Elites decided to harness youth energy and black rage to enact major changes in the Sixties. And of late, we witnessed it again in the elite’s use of Antifa and BLM rages and youthful idiocy in general. (For Muslim radicals, Jihad amounts to harnessing the natural tendency for violence among Muslim youths, some of whom joined ISIS as their punk rock moment. For Zionist elites, US military is about harnessing the natural tendency for violence among white Christian males, mostly in the south. Fresh out of high school with unsure prospects and raging with young male aggression, why not lure them into the military and use them as warriors for new crusades against the enemies of Israel? Anarcho-youthful-energies can be very useful to the powerful.)

    But then, as the Greeks well understood, natural tendencies of the mob usually give into tyranny of the powerful. Once the mob indulged their whims and had their fun, the end result is chaos and terror. There’s nothing left to loot and plunder, and the world has turned dog-eat-dog. It is then the mob pleads for any kind of concentrated power to restore order.
    Now, why couldn’t the existing power maintain order when things were falling apart? It could have been because it lost its moral and political authority. In the past, whites had the confidence and pride to use force to restore order. These days, at least within the perimeters of the West, whites have no such authority to enforce order when things fall apart. Thus, if things get really bad and the people come to hankering for tyranny, it will have to be non-white as non-whites have the moral authority to use force, something denied to whites.

    Since the end of the Cold War, there have been two ways to roughly predict what will be.

    1. Ask who has the power. Then, the future events will largely be decided by that power. Hardly different from state of affairs in Germany under Hitler, Russia under Stalin, China under Mao. From 33 to 45, German history was essentially what Hitler wanted. Until his death, Soviet history was what Stalin wanted. And Chinese history was shaped by Mao while he was alive. Of course, not all their plans worked according to the powerful. Hitler lost the war. Stalin was shaken by the resistance during forced-collectivization. Great Leap and Cultural Revolution went off the rails. Still, those events happened because of who was in power. So, even if the Wars for Israel turned out badly, they weren’t difficult to predict if one considered which group held the power. If (non-Jewish) Iranian-Americans held the power, the US would likely have a pro-Iranian and anti-Zionist policy.

    US and West are called democracies, but the oligarchies determine their future. Not all but most of it. Consumer-capitalist oligarchs make their money by harnessing the natural tendency of people toward fun and pleasure. And those who control the media have the means to process certain narratives that infect and influence people’s minds. Legalization of gambling and marijuana. Promotion of homosexuality. Attacks on whiteness. Pornification of culture. Promotion of interracial relations and so much more. All of these could have been predicted from who has the power. Also, the rise of boomers into elite positions meant their once counter-cultural attitudes became the mainstream. But the sense of betrayal is also more palpable when one considers boomer power. More than any generation, the boomers were defined by youth and rebellion. So, when the boomers took power and implemented social controls that limited freedom in speech and association, they became a bunch of bummers.

    Given who has the power, much of US policy, success or fail, is predicated on “Is it good for Jews?” And that also explains the explosion of the homosexual agenda.

    2. Ask what the natural-animal tendencies of humanity are? Even though democracies aren’t really free, they’ve become free(at least in the libertine sense)enough for many people to indulge in their natural drives. The end-result is more narcissism, vulgarity, and shamelessness(even though the pseudo-moralism of PC woke-ism has turned everyone in judge-and-jury, resulting in the shameless shaming those with some vestige of shame left). Things have gotten so ugly.

    This is especially problematic among blacks with their greater natural propensity for criminality and disorder. Now, since the 1990s the elites have been using willful policy against natural black criminality. Many more blacks were incarcerated. Stop and Frisk policies were implemented. Homos were favored over blacks in public celebration.
    But even as legal and criminal policies were devised to suppress black criminality, the academic and media institutions processed ever more ludicrous narratives about angelic blacks being oppressed by Systemic Racism. What was being done and what was being said were at odds. The fault lines would eventually have to break.

    And this all came to a head in 2020, not least due to the presidency of Donald Trump who, the elites feared, might have some ‘gangsta rap’ credentials among blacks(who btw weren’t too keen on mass immigration). So, instead of trying to control black criminality, the elites unleashed and harnessed it with the pretension that it’s mostly for social justice(mostly peaceful protests) than criminality on a mass scale. Meanwhile, to cover up the obvious craziness, the power processed even more ludicrous narratives about ‘white fragility’ and ‘systemic racism’ to keep the fools fooled.
    And it was so convenient for blue city elites to dump all the blame on Derek Chauvin. They’d implemented the tough policies to control black crime, but they suddenly took the knee in honor of the sainted George Floyd while Chauvin was railroaded into 20+ yrs sentence.

    In other words, 2020 was when Jewish agenda and Black nature were totally in sync once again. Of course, one could argue the Jewish agenda is an expression of Jewish natural tendency for power, but there is a difference between Jews and blacks. Whereas Jews understand they must manipulate events cerebrally, blacks just run into the streets and do as they feel. Jews irrigate their flow of power whereas blacks act like a burst dam. (In 2020, Jews helped to bust the dam.)

    So, what is the future of America in the next 25 yrs? Much of it will what-Jews-want as they have the power. That will be the Willed Power from above. The other determinant will be the natural tendencies of the masses. As blacks are more aggressive and expressive in this regards, their natural tendencies will have great impact on society. It will be more criminality and chaos.

    Of course, black criminality may be curtailed once again like it was in the 1990s, but it will be far more difficult because the level of sacralizing of blackness has gone through the roof. 2020 was when a useless thug who died of drug overdose was made the holy saint of the West and when even white flight suburbanites put up BLM signs on their lawns. Blacks were objects of some sympathy in 199os but not yet holy icons. Today, they are, so much so that advertising is more black than white, and the only kind of white that is acceptable is the interracial kind. Try bringing back stop-and-frisk to NY today.

    There was a time when it was understood that black natural tendency is problematic and something must be done to control its flow toward more constructive ends. More effort must be made to civilize black nature. In the Old South, it was racial discrimination and denial of equal rights. The well-meaning Liberals in the North hoped for a Negro as credit to his race.
    But over time, black natural tendency was seen to be totally fab for what it is, not least due to impact of pop music. So, the new way is to encourage black indulge in their grossest natural tendencies, and some blacks(with few extra neurons) were admitted to colleges and wrote theses on how humanity can be saved by rhapsodizing endlessly about how great blacks are, a disease that has spread not only to EU but to Japan.

    Perhaps, modern humanity, so far removed from the energy of Stress, is fascinated by black advantage of stress in sports. After all, as effective as Harness and Process are, those kinds of power are about man relying on energy independent of man. A man on a horse goes faster than a man on foot, but the former is relying on the horse whereas the latter is relying on his own power. Thus, a corner of human psyche might deem Harness and Process power as cheating whereas Stress power is honest. And so, when whites see blacks winning the 100 m sprint, they come to associate blacks with honesty of power, and since blacks are best at honest power, they must really be superior over whites.

  105. guest007 says:

    Most of the pundits do not live in white areas. Most pundits live in areas without any blue collar or lower middle class whites. Look at NYC, DC, Boston, LA, SF, Chicago, Philly (the cities themselves, not the urban areas). All of those cities where the public schools are less than 20% white.

    The pundit class live in a world where virtually all service and menial jobs are done by non-whites. Pundits send their children to college prep private schools that have curated diversity. Pundits vacation in places that are very white. Their children attend universities where whites are overrepresented versus the number of whites graduating high school in the same year. Those pundits work in jobs with curated diversity where a few, elite blacks (and even fewer Latinos) to the high level jobs but all of the low level jobs are performed by non-whites.

    To the pundit class, blue collar and middle class whites are a demographic group that is too stupid, too lazy, too foolish to be able to succeed in the large urban areas and thus, are no better than the menial labor non-whites they see every day.

    • Replies: @TrevorShan
  106. @Achmed E. Newman

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the tortugas?!

    Not to mention the Tortugas Dry Mod. – Well, why knot, as the sailors say in The Marx Brothers at Sea*** hehe: A dry Martini on those Dry Tortugas would be a splash, wouldn’t it?

    *** Ok I made this one up: Yellow Submarine would have been a nice sequel to it though – sigh: You can’t always getwhat you – – dream about.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  107. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    It just doesn’t make sense that people are crying that “the vaccines don’t work” because the hospital/death count hasn’t gone down when the people in the hospital or dying are overwhelmingly NOT vaccinated. Sure vaccines don’t work if you don’t take them.

    The vaccines work, but not to the extent advertised. Not sure where your 95% datum comes from.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  108. @Calvin Hobbes

    Thanks. Blue tears – is this expression colloquial – or rather made up? – Nice (nasal) singing, interesting song. Exciting topic, relaxed mood. Philosophical.

    • Replies: @Calvin Hobbes
  109. martin_2 says:

    Nobody knows the future because a necessary condition for knowledge that “P” is that “P” be true. That is to say, that “P” is a fact. But facts about events only come into being after the event in question has passed. Even if there were a lottery with a trillion tickets I cannot know beforehand that my ticket is a loser.

  110. El Dato says:
    @Spud Boy

    Christopher Hitchens, hardly a Neocon, lays out very compelling arguments for why we had to invade Iraq. You can look them up on YouTube.

    You need to classify people in the “assholes” bag by what they say, not by whether they are bereft of the label “neocon” on their perky buttocks.

  111. Jack D says:

    At least Mississippi is #1 in something (besides illiteracy). As Wilkey pointed out, the raw rankings don’t really tell the whole story since the Northeast states suffered very early in the epidemic before vaccines (and even before they had figured out any sort of decent treatment protocols) while the Deep South deaths are very recent.

    • Replies: @epebble
    , @Johann Ricke
  112. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    There are many similar data points from other states. These are not hard to find.

  113. epebble says:
    @Jack D

    There is another dimension that numbers don’t tell: Unlike the 2020 deaths, the post Vaccine deaths have been trending lower in age, from the 70s and 80s year olds to 50s and 60s, leaving more damage in the wake – younger children, loss of bread earner, greater grief for untimely death. Another shocking fact – pediatric cases are raising exponentially.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  114. @Dieter Kief

    Yes, it would Dieter, maybe on a day when there are none of those annoying tourists. It’s almost 70 miles off the end of the US #1 – one can only get there by seaplane, helicopter, or boat. You could fly Lufthansa to Miami, get a car and drive the 2 hours to the southernmost point in the US, then try to find a Jimmy Buffet type ne’er do well to fly you out there on a flying boat, drop anchor and drop you and your dry martini mix off for a spell.

    It’s not impossible.

    It does get down to the mid-60s at night, I warn you, but only in the winter.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Dieter Kief
  115. NOTA says:


    Outside of futures markets and Tetlock’s prediction tournaments, most predictions of the future are judged and rewarded/punished based on how well they gel with the consensus view at the time the prediction is made. When all the high-status people are saying “Saddam will have nukes any day now” or “Defunding the police will make the streets safer,” predicting the opposite gets you yelled at, fired, deplatformed, and shunned. Having been right just means bragging rights on your Substack, as the people who got everything wrong keep being quoted in the NYT because they’re the serious people.

  116. @surly

    Homicide dropped in the UK last year because nightclubs were shut and there were a lot of restrictions on pubs. BLM did their thing but there just aren’t enough black people (outside a few cities) to make a bump in the figures, though they tried.

    Related, a glimpse of our new Britain from the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets, East London

    A man had his hand cut off after being attacked with his own machete by angry vigilantes, according to locals.

    A 19-year-old man was found with “life-changing injuries” after it was alleged a machete was used to strike his hand off at the wrist in Golding Street, Whitechapel at 5.45pm on Sunday.

    Grisly footage on social media showed a hooded man sitting on a curb nursing his arm and surrounded by a pool of his own blood.

    Two men were taken to hospital. Police have launched an investigation into the footage, which is too gruesome to be shared, but said no arrests had been made at this time.

    Cllr Khayer Chowdhury, crime lead for nearby Redbridge council, said on his Facebook page that locals had cornered a man who had reportedly brought a machete to the scene.

    He wrote: “Yeah…you don’t mess with the people of Tower Hamlets.

    “On a more serious note: Armed with machetes, this group has allegedly targeted innocent people in that area a few times. Locals decided to take matters into their own hands.

    “Nobody should ever condone vigilantism like this but it should also be a lesson for people who carry knives: your weapon can easily be turned against you.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  117. NOTA says:

    There are a lot of ways for collections of smart, sensible people to make ridiculous decisions in a group. I expect a lot of our elites’ inept fumbling is basically this–the internal incentives for each participant in these decisions don’t align with making good decisions for the nation, but rather with whatever gets them one more step up the food chain in the organization, wins them allies, punishes their enemies, etc. Organizational structures often mean that there are genuine experts on topic X in an organization that is making a decision that needs knowledge about topic X, but none of the experts are consulted. Organizations sometimes have incentives and cultures that prevent making good decisions–FDA’s culture is super conservative and slow-moving, for example. That’s probably okay most of the time, but not so great during a pandemic. And often decisions are made as the result of a political struggle between organizations or players within an organization. If the high status people in the investment house are the traders, they win the political struggles against the risk people, even when the risk people are 100% right. And so on.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  118. @Rob

    Speaking of reading tea leaves. The tea leaves spell out, “Gavin Newsom is still Governor” quite clearly…

    Are these medical tea leaves?

  119. @guest007

    Yes, but the actual neighborhoods they live in are almost all white. George Will lives in. 97% white area while preaching the joy of diversity.

    Yes they have non-white menial labor come in but they don’t live in their neighborhoods.

    • Replies: @guest007
  120. @Jack D

    At least Mississippi is #1 in something (besides illiteracy).

    Both are possibly caused by its 38%, and climbing, black population.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  121. @Jack D

    I don’t think these are remotely comparable. Germans were the leading scientists of their day and indeed beat us to the punch on the building of ballistic missiles.

    The US, the USSR, the UK, France, Israel, and South Africa all possessed one critical resource Germany lacked– Jewish scientists. Only titanic China and India were able to develop them without.

    North Korea is still fumbling with baby steps, similar to Brazil’s space program.

    (BTW, “USSR” is underlined in red on my Kindle. Do they think history began with Bezos?)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  122. Jack D says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    There’s both a regularly scheduled ferry and seaplane leaving from Key West – neither one is cheap for a 4 hour excursion at the park plus 5 hours traveling in the boat (unless you camp overnight) – something like \$180 for the ferry ride and twice that for the plane ride. Still I suppose the price tag tends to keep the riff-raff out. They only get around 70k visitors/year which works out to less than 200 people /day (although I assume there are seasonal peaks and valleys). Yellowstone gets 4 million although obviously spread over a much larger area.

    The big attraction (literally) is the fort which is supposed to be the largest brick structure in the world with a bazillion bricks all lovingly laid by slaves or something like that.

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  123. @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s not impossible.

    This – extra dry remark of yours made me laugh – and laugh, – still laughing, Achmed.

    Then I thought in the Marx-Brothers vein: Why not make it a bit simpler and – drill for hose dry Martinis – they must be somewhere beneath the water on the Dry Tortugas, right? – – See – case solved!


    I roamed Cape Hatteras once, Martinis included. But that was an easy one. Except that I did not know the big fish that swam not too far away from me, with dark triangles sticking out of the water every once in a while. Could’ve been all kinds of creepy things. Then a storm hit the coast and tore my ultra-lightweight backpacker tent apart. Not a single tree on the campground. While repairing the tent I got sunburned real fast. Impressive. Not many people there in early June too, which was nice, not least because some of those who were there I would not have wanted much to multiply.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  124. Jack D says:
    @Johann Ricke

    It’s only 38% because they offloaded millions of blacks onto the North. In 1860 the population was majority black.

  125. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    You forgot Pakistan. Not many Jewish scientists there.

    Yes of course it’s a big irony that Hitler’s anti-Semitism probably cost him the Bomb. But without anti-Semitism, Nazism wouldn’t have been Nazism, so if he had to chose one to keep, I’m pretty sure he would have kept anti-Semitism and skipped the Bomb, which is in fact what happened.

    Did you try U.S.S.R.?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  126. @Jack D

    You forgot Pakistan. Not many Jewish scientists there.

    They have hundreds of millions of people, with a smart fraction of near-Indians, yet were still decades late to the game.

  127. @Dieter Kief

    Sorry about your tent and the sunburn, Dieter.

    We landed there one time in a light twin – Frisco, it’s called, on the south end – almost went off the ~3,000 ft runway into the sand. I cranked the pedals to turn off, and you’ve never heard an airplane squeal tires like that!

    We brought a 250 lb. blue-fin tuna back, but I didn’t catch it. It was freezing-ass cold, and we almost couldn’t get an engine started before it was too dark, and there were no runway lights.

    If you ever get back to the coast of the South, you could try Cumberland Island – the last barrier island off Georgia before Amelia Island, Florida (Fernandina Beach). You need to reserve a pass of some sort, but you can be alone on the beach looking a mile in each direction.

  128. res says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Because the rates make it even more dramatic.

    For 2019. San Diego (why is St. Louis not in this table?!).
    St. Louis

    Area | Population | Murders | Murders per 100k
    City of San Diego | 1,441,737 | 50 | 3.5
    St. Louis | 300,576 | 194 | 64.5

    Rate difference is 18.4x while absolute numbers are “only” 3.9x.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  129. @kaganovitch

    John Lindsay really made 1970-80s Fleetwood Mac! imho.

  130. Suffrage wasn’t a win for women, they were largely against it. It was the displacements it rapidly caused that sapped the strength from the movement that had led to its passage in the first place.

    Alcohol is estrogenic, nicotine the opposite. The same effeminate forces which pushed through suffrage eventually got Prohibition overturned and nicotine proscribed and run utterly rampant today.

    Women have been the winners in none of this, nor ultimately have most men.

  131. res says:
    @Wade Hampton

    Speaking of COVID countermeasures, has there been any discussion of lysine around here? I did a quick search and only see this comment from last year:

    Interestingly, that comment aligns pretty well with the protocol discussed in the paper from July.

    Some details after the MORE.


    For disease prophylaxis

    One dose daily of the full core formulation regimen, containing:

    25 mg zinc;

    10 drops of Quina™ (on average; the quina-bark extract may be titrated, as tolerated by some subjects, starting at 1 drop then building up to 8-16 drops daily, but which latter may be taken as two 4-8 drop half-doses twice daily);

    400 mg quercetin;

    1000 mg vitamin C;

    1000 IU (25 μg) vitamin D3;

    400 IU Vitamin E; and

    500 mg l-lysine.

    For early-stage disease amelioration/alleviation

    Multiples daily of the prevention-dose were administered. The multiple dose followed in the study was 2; i.e., for study test group subjects presenting symptoms of flu-like illness, we followed use of 2 prevention doses per day, administered separately or together. On the second day of administration in those mild to moderate flu-like cases, we initiated incremental increase of the zinc over 2-3 days to as high as 200 mg/day, as tolerated.


    While both groups were moderate in size, the difference between them in outcomes over the 20-week study period was large and stark: Just under 4% of the compliant test group presented flu-like symptoms, but none of the test group was COVID-positive; whereas 20% of the non-compliant control group presented flu-like symptoms, three-quarters of whom (15% overall of the control group) were COVID-positive.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  132. @El Dato

    About the unsolvable interpenetration of our language-based with our worldly (factual) knowledge*
    (* J. Habermas, Between Facts and Justification – p. 40 & 246 german ed.)

    Öhh – your above link to – and Scott Aaronson’s essay about The Ghosts in the Quantum Turing Machine – I read the abstracts and liked them quite a bit. Especially the part about decoherence and Aaronson’s conclusions:

     “The result of all this is an unusual perspective on time, quantum mechanics, and causation, of which I myself remain skeptical.”
    Is he secretly referring to Bob Dylan here: The strongest walls / They crumble and fall (Slow Train Coming). And / or the baroque poet Andreas Gryphius: How shaky the ground / On which all our hoping is founded. – – – ? 


    Whatever: This Scott Aaronson is a free and playful thinker. Presenting a rather advanced kind of humbleness (see the mystics’ metaphysical geometry (a circle of circles which’s center(s)  don’t exist). Soul brother of Enzensberger (Zig Zag, in English 1993) , and his reference Baker’s Map (Bäcker-Tranformation) and Novalis**** too.
    **** Novalis – the opium-tinted mining-engineer and overseer: Before all the wondrous shows of the widespread space around him, what living, sentient thing loves not the all-joyous light — with its colors, its rays, and undulations, its gentle omnipresence in the form of the wakening Day? The giant-world of the unresting constellations inhales it as the innermost soul of life, and floats dancing in its blue flood — the sparkling, ever-tranquil stone, the thoughtful, imbibing plant, and the wild, burning multiform beast inhales it — but more than all, the lordly stranger with the sense-filled eyes, the swaying walk, and the sweetly closed, melodious lips. Like a king over earthly nature, it rouses every force to countless transformations, binds and unbinds innumerable alliances, hangs its heavenly form around every earthly substance. — Its presence alone reveals the marvelous splendor of the kingdoms of the world.
    About Monika Schleier-Smith in the first paper you linked above: 
    In a paper posted in June, her team announced their first experimental step along this route: a system of atoms trapped by light. – This would have been to Novalis’ ultimate delight! – Substance bowing down to the powers of the light!
    May I note, that we are still on track here with my first remark to your comment above, which I wrote without knowing what you would mention in your answer – but here we are: Monika Schleier-Smith (Schleier = veil) elaborating about Maya’s veil hard at work under the force of the light – a time and matter-crumbling meta-happening, that could be read without a doubt as a metaphorical proof of the metaphysical decency of all of this and – – – – as some kind of incarnation of its different self in almost the same place & time ( the two of them only separated by a single veil). That’s all that is to say about this. (Helmut Heißenbüttel, The End of the Alternative; Stgt. 1984).

  133. @Dieter Kief

    Thanks. Blue tears – is this expression colloquial – or rather made up? – Nice (nasal) singing, interesting song. Exciting topic, relaxed mood. Philosophical.

    Your guess is as good as mine concerning the meaning of “blue tears”. I don’t remember hearing it before. Tears when depressed, maybe?

    And I can’t even understand many of the words, though I’m pretty bad at understanding words in songs in general.

    I still like the song a lot, and she’s a great singer. Here’s a good one (also with Blue!) where I do understand the words:

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  134. Jack D says:

    This sounds to me a lot like a multivitamin. They have been studying multivitamins for 50+ years and no one has been able to demonstrate any beneficial effect. On paper it sound good – some zinc for this and then the lysine enhances the zinc and blah, blah, blah but when you do a real study (not one with an n of 200) or a meta-analysis, it’s no better than placebo. Which BTW they didn’t administer, nor did they double blind.

    But for the most part multivitamins aren’t harmful either so if you want to take them for Covid or to prevent Covid have at it. But get vaccinated first – that actually works.

    • Replies: @res
  135. Forbes says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My observation is that cognitive dissonance is avoided by ignorance of the contradictions/conflict with the set of facts/assumptions one is beholden to. In other words, being single-minded, rather than open-minded to consider a change of course should the underlying (facts, assumptions) change.

    For many, all they have is their belief/agenda/objective, and by god, they’re gonna hold on to that come hell or high water.

    Who hasn’t heard the advocate of socialism/communism defending for the reason that the true form of it has not been tried…

  136. @Jack D

    Yellowstone gets 4 million although obviously spread over a much larger area.

    And a much shorter tourist season.

  137. @Rob

    Rob wrote to me:

    I Say “mostly” because you’re s bright guy, but people are often biased in seeing the other side as dumb, when in fact, they just weigh values differently.

    Yeah, though I acknowledge that Schumer is smart (reptilian but smart), and Pelosi is at least smart when it comes to political savvy.

    For that matter, Newsoms’s predecessor (Jerry Brown) seemed bright enough, though I think he was kinda out of it during his second tenure in office.

    A neighbor of ours, who sadly passed away in July (a WW II vet who was in his nineties), was an ex-cop who was involved in lobbying the state for police issues. He said the word among those who had dealt with Kamala was that she was indeed dumb.

    By the way, the neighbor was an Army Air Corps aviator in Europe during the War and was shot down behind Axis lines. My understanding is that Al managed to make it to the Russian lines with help from the Resistance, and finally made it back to the States.

    Just another ordinary American.

  138. Art Deco says:

    There is another dimension that numbers don’t tell: Unlike the 2020 deaths, the post Vaccine deaths have been trending lower in age, from the 70s and 80s year olds to 50s and 60s, leaving more damage in the wake

    You exaggerate. The median age at death has fallen from about 76 to about 70 and the share under 50 increased from 5% to 12%. The share under 30 remains, as it has been, < 1%.

    • Replies: @epebble
  139. res says:
    @Jack D

    Targeted nutritional supplementation with a reason given for each component is the same as a multivitamin… OK… I guess in the sense that more than one component is involved.

    if you want to take them for Covid or to prevent Covid have at it. But get vaccinated first – that actually works.

    Tell you what, Jack. I’ll do (and say) what I want and you can do (and say) what you want.

    Agreed it was a low quality study. Given how the Covidiocy is proceeding I see little chance of seeing a better one though. In a sensible world those results would be good enough to at least convince someone doing a better study was worthwhile (assuming no gross malpractice I missed, say if the control group averaged 20 years older than the test group).

    As far as multivitamins. There have been beneficial effects demonstrated, but the biggest and “best” studies generally don’t show any. It is often interesting to read the studies carefully and pay attention to things like:
    – The subjects (are they deficient or not in relevant nutrients? what is their starting condition?).
    – The dosages (are they enough to make a difference?).
    – The duration (is it long enough to reasonably expect to see an effect?).
    – The outcome variables (how specific are they? is there any cherry picking in either direction?).

    This page is written at a very basic level, but it is good about including a mix of study outcomes (usually you get one side or the other).

    I suffered for years because I (used to) listened to people like you (and the medical establishment) on this topic. Mainstream advice on food and supplements is terrible IMO. Health is one area where personal experience trumps everything else. Even if it does not generalize to everyone.

    • Agree: Forbes
    • Thanks: Calvin Hobbes
  140. Forbes says:

    I think Steve misses one point in our current world. All legacy media is obsessed, not with reporting the news–what happened–but with “reporting” what’s to happen next.

    It’s not necessarily making predictions, per se, but regularly filling the news with what’s next, e.g. all kinds of financial data, inflation, unemployment, earnings, housing prices, etc. And this behavior seeps over to other societal realms–crime rate, test scores, or forecast trends for those and other socio-economic matters, e.g., homelessness, poverty, single motherhood.

    The media activity is “reporting tomorrow’s news today”–or next week’s, next month’s news now.

    It’s as if every walk of life is the weather report and the five-day forecast: Who cares what yesterday’s weather was?? I want to know tomorrow’s weather today.

    Or, the sports action regards the line on this weekend’s game–not the actual game itself. The money is on the point spread, not what happened in the game.

    It’s the way to dress up the boring news and capture an audience by making it “exciting.” What would you rather talk about–how wild it was “they” got it right, or how wildly off-the-mark “they” got it wrong–or just the facts, Joe Friday style??

  141. Simon says:

    For that matter, why didn’t the vaunted intelligence community foresee that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction?

    Wasn’t it the case that many of Saddam’s own generals were fooled as well? He felt it was to his advantage to convince the world — especially his enemies — that he had, or was working on, such weapons. He was done in by his own successful ruse.

  142. El Dato says:
    @The Alarmist

    That last bit about the confidence interval is called “putting lipstick on a pig.”

    I’m sure you understand the meaning of “confidence interval”? But yeah I can use that info.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  143. Old Prude says:
    @Jack D

    Like I said: Dumbasses. Vaccine harder. vaccine more. Listen , nit wits: I got the prick to please the Wife, but that and face diapers haven’t stopped the hysteria. Because it’s hysteria and not worth any bother…unless you’re like…..hysterical. (Shame on you, Another Dad. I expected better from you….)

  144. epebble says:
    @Art Deco

    The median age at death has fallen from about 76 to about 70

    That means for every 80 year old that dies, there is a 60 year old and every 85 year old has a 55 year old. Due to late marriages etc., many of them (55 – 60 y/o) have kids in college and even in schools (second marriages etc.,)

  145. Anon[184] • Disclaimer says:

    The main problem is that the military is getting low on guys who have actually directed a complex and large-scale military operation.

    Instead, the higher ranks are loaded with Obama-era butt-sniffers who gained promotions on the basis of being good Democrats, not good military men. Biden has only continued this politization of the military, and the result is the forces are loaded with worthless Democrats who don’t know how to do anything except administer (ineptly) social welfare programs.

    If we have to fight a war with these yo-yos we’re in trouble.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Forbes
  146. Anonymous[299] • Disclaimer says:


    Thieves should be hanged and gibbeted, not chopped into pieces.

  147. @Spud Boy

    We invaded Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein had used poison gas, classified as a WMD, against the Kurds in 1988 in the Halabja chemical attack. Whether he had them in his possession in 2003 is completely irrelevant. He was a WMD threat, and he needed to be taken out

    Yes, that’s the NeoCon party line.

    But Saddam’s regime had no long range aircraft or missiles to carry poison gas or arnthrax far from the borders of Iraq. His WMD’s were only regional WMDF’s. They were no threat to the USA.

  148. @HammerJack

    Agreed. De-policing figures hugely in fakestats.

    “Or as NBC puts it:

    “The study shows that homicides went up last year, but it found the category to be an outlier.”

    Murder is the king of chaos. There is no way that murder could explode, without numerous other categories also exploding–agg assault, robbery, rape.

    For generations, major cities have “gone down” with particular categories. For example, Philadelphia pioneered treating rape this way. The PPD’s detectives would “unfound” many rape cases, not because they were false accusations (which many accusations are) , but because “the job” needed to improve its numbers. Ditto for burglaries.

    One year, the Chicago PD got caught “disappearing” 4.17% of the city’s murders, by turning them into “accidental deaths,” “suicides,” etc. And of course, PDs everywhere began routinely re-defining agg assaults as “misdemeanor” assaults.

    NYC’s trick was, beginning no later than with Bill Bratton in 1994, to “go down” with all categories

    “‘Everyone Knows’ that Crime Went Down for over 20 Years—Everyone but Me” (Link Archive)

  149. @Jack D

    “The vast majority of people who are currently in ICU’s with Covid are unvaccinated. It’s not licked because those people refuse to be vaccinated.”

    Jack! I can’t believe you fell for that hoax. The hospitals are full of vaxxed Covid patients.

    • Agree: Forbes
  150. @Calvin Hobbes

    Somebody finally links to some good music on here instead of dumbass classic rock.

  151. @Calvin Hobbes

    May be one of her last recordings. She needed thyroid surgery last I heard. I think her Go Fund Me is still up. Donate if you are so inclined. She needs it.

    • Replies: @Calvin Hobbes
  152. @El Dato

    Sure, could be better, could be worse. Mean values can be cruelly imprecise.

  153. duncsbaby says:
    @El Dato

    Looks like Patti Smith in the screen grab for that video.

  154. @res

    San Diego usually is last in murder rate of the 50 biggest cities. It’s a pretty nice place.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  155. Anonymous[797] • Disclaimer says:

    The machete armed muggers were blacks from East Ham, apparently.
    The vigilantes, who applied summary sharia law on the muggers were Bengalis. So, a subcon Labour councillor from east London is crowing about this ……

    When the Powellite wars do finally come to London, it will be blacks versus subcons. Whites will have long ago vanished from London by that point.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
  156. guest007 says:

    There is no zip code in Montgomery County Maryland that is 97% white. Bethesda Chevy Chase High School is only 57% white. Walt Whitman High School (the other high school in Bethesda is only 67% white. Unless one wants to count Korea, Chinese, and Desi as white, every zip code in Montgomery County has a large number of non-whites. However, what Montgomery County Maryland does not have is very many blue collar or lower middle class whites. If one meets the elevator repair men, the HVAC, the fire alarm technicians, they are majority blue collar white and all drive in from Hagerstown or Anne Arundel County. Montgomery County Maryland is the type of place where the firemen and police officers live two counties away due to housing costs and diversity.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  157. “After all, who’d you rather watch on TV: the introverted nerd who is right 52 percent of the time or the dope with the big personality who is right on 48 percent of his calls, but who tells you why your team is going to win?”

    To paraphrase Jim Bouton in Ball Four, it’s not what is stated, but who is stating it. If you get Peyton Manning to do a five minute soundbite on the disparity between blacks and whites over the IQ and crime gap, then perhaps people would start paying attention. Of course assuming that Manning would get through the five minutes without the plug being pulled, the fallout would be tremendous. Perhaps he wouldn’t be outright cancelled, but…there’d be some hell to pay for noticing (or rather reading the teleprompter from interns who noticed the unmentionable crimethink stats. The interns would be have to pay big time).

    “The societal downside of efficient markets is that there isn’t much accountability for experts who aren’t actually very expert. Because audiences can’t stay interested for long in predictions about boring questions like school test scores or crime rates, far more attention is paid to more interesting but trivial questions like which team will come out best from the NBA draft.

    The problem with the ever-growing amount of fascinating but ephemeral who-is-going-to-win coverage in the press is that fewer and fewer people know much about important but tiresome realities.”

    One way to slowly correct this defect is for sites like Vox and others to directly tie controversial crimethink to betting. Making it interesting by placing a bet on things. That would help. Americans like to bet on sports majorly, so directly tie stats such as IQ, crime, race, etc toward betting. And make it exciting with big personalities a la Peyton Manning giving takes, and others announcing their takes as well. Like this: “Listen up! Today we’re gonna wager that black crime rates are FIFTEEN TIMES less than they were before Ferguson! We’re gonna start taking 3-1 odds, and maybe go to 4-1 odds by the end of the day if we have to! Ready? GO!”

    And then another big personality states the stats over the last year, and then gives prognostications on how things will turn out. Until the end of the day when the actual stats are read on air, in the studio, with bells and whistles a la Jerry Springer or FOX News studio atmosphere.

    Funny how they always say that TV is supposed to be a “cool” medium, and yet daytime talk shows and FOX news is anything but “cool”. Perhaps they are more “warm”, if not quite “hot”, like talk radio tends to be.

    But that’s how you get predictions on the future. Get Payton Manning like personalities to read the stats and make the opinions. It’s all about who is saying it, not just the actual stats per se.

  158. Travis says:

    Back on July First it appeared the vaccines were working. Fauci had told us in May that when 70% of adults were vaccinated the pandemic would be over and we could get back to normal. So it was correct to assume a return to normal in July when 70% of Adults were vaccinated. so it was surprising that Hospitalizations began to rise dramatically in late summer when 75% of adults were vaccinated and an estimated 45% had natural immunity. Of the 260 million adults in the US , 200 million are now vaccinated and of the 60 million unvaccinated half of them have natural immunity. Yet deaths are 100% higher over the last month compared to 2020 when nobody was vaxxed and fewer Americans had natural immunity. Clearly the vaccines lose efficacy after 5 months and have less efficacy against the new variants.

  159. Biden listened to the experts. Anthony Fauci told us that 50% of adults needed to get vaccinated to get past COVID , now he moved the goalpost to 90%.

    Yet in Israel even with 90% vaccinated and 40% of them triple vaxxed they had 55% more deaths in August 2021 than August 2020.

    in the US hospitalizations are 360% higher this September compared to last year, yet deaths are up only 120%. It appears the Delta variant is less deadly with an IFR of just .1% . The drop in the fatality rates could be due to better treatments.

    Some experts are predicting the new variants will evade the vaccines. This was a known risk of mass inoculations with a non-sterilizing vaccine. This encourages the spread of new variants which cannot be stopped by the vaccines. COVID seems to mutate faster than we expected which makes the vaccines less effective while the high vaccination rates increase the risk of new variants that evade the vaccine emerging. Thankfully the new variants thus far seem to be less deadly.

  160. @obwandiyag

    May be one of her last recordings. She needed thyroid surgery last I heard. I think her Go Fund Me is still up. Donate if you are so inclined. She needs it.

    Erika Lewis is performing again, so the thyroid surgery must have gone well.

    Here she is with Tuba Skinny from a month ago:


  161. Forbes says:

    Seat-warmers are good at warming seats–and other maneuvers with backsides…

  162. Art Deco says:

    If the high status people in the investment house are the traders, they win the political struggles against the risk people, even when the risk people are 100% right. And so on.

    I seem to recall in Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book on the financial crisis there was a crucial meeting in Lehman Brothers last months where the chief risk assessor was told to leave.

    • Replies: @res
  163. @Steve Sailer

    San Diego… It’s a pretty nice place.

    Indeed it is, but what’s the deal, then, with proximity to the Mexican border? One would think that would be inversely proportional to proximity to the Canadian border and San Diego would be a crap hole, but it isn’t.

    Why is that? This is probably too late in the thread, and I know you tend not to respond to me anymore (with good reason) but this might merit your attention. Seriously, I am curious as to why that city is as nice as it is and yet is right on the damn border with Mexico.

    Answering this question would make for an interesting mission, should you choose to accept it. I promise to disavow any knowledge whatsoever.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  164. @Buzz Mohawk

    I think the short answer is that Mexican crime is generally more purpose-driven and pecuniary in nature (drug dealing and whatnot). They don’t wander into ritzy areas to commit random acts of violence or to loot the Foot Locker. Class status is respected in Mexico and you don’t mess with the jefes. Hence Ron Unz’s misleading crime reporting.

  165. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Spud Boy

    Hussein was a cruel dictator, used poison gas, tortured and killed his own people, but he did not do that to us, not to the USA. There was no justification to invade. And there is no Constitutional mandate for it. Germany under Hitler was far worse than Hussein but we did not declare war on Germany after Pearl Harbor. Germany declared war on us. Had Hitler not done so, we would have fought only Japan. We had a Constitution then. No one has ever given a cogent reason for the US invading Iraq. No one has said this pipsqueak with his pathetic weak army even threatened us, much less attacked us. Iran or Israel or Kuwait or the Kurds or the Shia may have had their reasons to hate Hussein, ok, I accept that. But that is not the US.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  166. Tom Grey says: • Website

    “The societal downside of efficient markets is that there isn’t much accountability for experts who aren’t actually very expert.” So true, so sad.

    This was the reason Arnold Kling wanted to include bets and probabilities in his Fantasy Intellectuals Team. It would be better to have written records of bets and how right on or off they are, about the more important questions. Scott Alexander (whose writing is too too long), does make yearly predictions and checks his accuracy.

    But most things aren’t quite 50-50, so it gets tougher in the 60-40, or 80-20, or 90-10 kind of odds. I’m as yet not comfy with most prediction markets, either, and they seem to have been a fad that’s fading a bit.

    I’d say St. Louis is over 90% more likely to have more murders this year (2021) or next year, than San Diego. But such a factoid isn’t hardly worth even betting on, really.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  167. @Tom Grey

    The murder rate is down in St. Louis this year after last year’s sky high number.

  168. Art Deco says:

    If one meets the elevator repair men, the HVAC, the fire alarm technicians, they are majority blue collar white and all drive in from Hagerstown or Anne Arundel County. Montgomery County Maryland is the type of place where the firemen and police officers live two counties away due to housing costs and diversity.

    Montgomery County’s an affluent area, but 1/3 of the households have incomes under \$75,000 a year and 20% have incomes under \$50,000 a year.

    • Replies: @guest007
  169. Art Deco says:

    And there is no Constitutional mandate for it.

    George W Bush had a concurrent resolution authorizing it and money was appropriated to fight it every year.

  170. @Nicholas Stix

    There is evidence the vaccines efficacy collapses after 6 months, which is the reason Jack got his third dose of the vaccine in August, he saw the data coming out of Israel that 85% of hospitalized patients were vaccinated. Jack believes a third dose is required to avoid being hospitalized with CV which is why he got his third dose already.

    Getting double vaxxed did not prevent record hospitalization in September. Back in Sept 2020 the 7 day average of 26,000 hospitalized for CV …..this year the 7 day average is 97,000 hospitalized with CV

  171. guest007 says:
    @Art Deco

    Those are the households of blacks, Latinos, students being subsidized, and immigrants. In the world of George Will, all of the service/menial jobs are held by immigrants. That is why the elites in the U.S. hate blue collar whites. They see those blue collar whites are losers who cannot separate themselves from poor immigrants.

  172. res says:
    @Art Deco

    Thanks. More at

    Later, Antoncic got into trouble when she warned Dick Fuld, the company’s chief executive officer. that the company was “too risky.” In 2007, as the true extent of risky mortgage-backed security bets became evident, “the CRO’s warnings were ignored by senior management,” he says. As a result, in 2007 CRO Antoncic was fired.

    Antoncic was replaced by CFO Chris O’Meara. “The new CRO had two important qualifications,” Williams said, “He was Fuld-Friendly and he had no formal risk management training. A dangerous combination and hardly an adequate counterbalance against oversized risk taking.” Through its actions, he said, Lehman demonstrated it had a weak risk management culture.

    In March 2009, the Dow hit a 12-year low (6,500). As a result, trillions in capital evaporated, 8 million U.S. jobs were lost, policymakers realized that not saving Lehman “was a disastrous mistake and Lehman’s Collapse supported the ‘Too Big to Fail’ doctrine,” he observed.

    Lehmann’s went bankrupt 9/15/08.

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