Friday, March 22, 2019

Non-Conventional Thoughts

Howdy. I'm hating conventional wisdom.

● You see conventional wisdom in all fields of endeavor from politics to sports to business, and the one thing I can tell you is that it is always wrong. Conventional wisdom seems to be based on the correlation fallacy. When two items appear together, shallow thinkers assume the correlation must mean causation. They spread their "wisdom" to the herd and soon this crap gets elevated to the level of dogma. Good luck getting them to see its flaws then.

● In fact... I had an interesting debate the other day. Stick with me on this. The sport media has this conventional wisdom that "people" don't like James Harden (a basketball player) but love Steph Curry (another basketball player who comes across as smug). This comes from the fact that "experts" don't like the way Harden plays, seeing Curry as pure in talent and Harden as a dive-specialist. I would disagree with both assessments, but that's not the issue. The issue is that they are wrong about which the public likes and I can prove it. How?

Harden has six national ad campaigns. He's on TV all the time everywhere. This is his latest ad and it's hilarious (CLUTCH). Curry has none. He had a Britta ad that ran for a short time a couple years ago and then some black history thing a year ago, but that's about it other than the usual things like Nike. That's really telling for someone with multiple championships (Harden has none). What this tells us is that advertisers know that the public likes Harden, but does not like Curry. How do they know? Because they track sales when they run ads and they look for a response from the public (pro or con). When the public responds, that means that the presence of this person in the ads has swayed the public enough to change the way they spend their money. That's a much more reliable measure of likability than polling because (1) there is no chance of polling bias, i.e. using a misleading question or telling the pollster what they want to hear, because the public doesn't know anyone is listening, and (2) spending money requires commitment to the belief, answering a poll does not -- it's also an indicator of intensity of belief. This means that the continued use of Harden (or Peyton Manning), just like the shunning of Curry (or Tom Brady), tells us what the public really thinks because they are voting with their money.

Nevertheless, a great many people refuse to believe this. They see all the articles attacking Harden and they assume there must be some truth behind it because all those people can't be wrong (the biggest logical fallacy): it's conventional wisdom! What's more, they reject analysis like the appearance in ads I just discussed because it's not conventional thinking to look at evidence like that, i.e. it's not part of the herd-approved logic.

My point is this: the best evidence is never the conventional evidence, because it is conventional because it seems the most simple and obvious to the most simplistic thinkers... thinkers who fail to grasp that it suffers from bias and lack of fitness for purpose. Always look for evidence that is divorced from bias and requires a real commitment. In politics, this means, follow the money. Look how politicians in danger act, not someone safe like AOC. Look for the difference between words and deeds. Look for contrary behaviors, such as someone reading "Fifty Shades of Gray" but claiming to believe in #metoo. If you want to know if something is true, you cannot discover the truth by asking the direct questions. Look for the actions of people when they think no one is looking or when they face potential of loss. Make sense?

● The left is praising New Zealand for trying to ban guns. More conventional wisdom: if A is a problem, ban it and don't worry if it was only a small percentage of A that caused this. Guns are a problem... ban them, even if only a handful of guns become a problem. This makes sense to liberals. It is conventional wisdom on how to solve a problem. But it's stupid. How stupid? Change the object and see: a New Zealander is a problem because he shot up a mosque. To prevent a threat of something similar happening here, we should ban New Zealanders from entering the US. That's the identical logic. Does it make sense?

BTW, lest you think this is gross exaggeration, until a recent spate of mass shootings by blacks and one woman, the left was writing articles saying that guns weren't THE problem... white males were. This type of mis-logic is much more alluring to idiots than you realize because it makes the complex seem simple and it promises easy solutions.

● Here's a fascinating issue of demographics. The left is counting on all those immigrants voting Democrat. That's conventional wisdom. The problem is that Mexico is out of Mexicans, so the immigrants coming now are Chinese. We are up to 3 million Chinese in the US, with more coming. However, the Chinese are closet Republicans in waiting (with an increasing number coming out of the closet). Why? (1) They are a small business community and resent government interference. (2) They embrace traditional values like self-reliance and hard work, and they do not like lazy people, i.e. Democratic voters. (3) They are upset that affirmative action is being used to keep their kids out of colleges in favor of unqualified black kids. (4) They despise abortion because of recent experience with China's abortion policies and they aren't into liberated women, which is the new foundation of the Democratic Party. (5) The older ones fear socialism because they remember the Cultural Revolution. In California, they are starting to become political and they are doing so to stop Democratic plans.

I predict that the Chinese will slowly take over the California GOP over the next decade, and you will see a dramatic shift in Democratic opinion about illegal immigration as a result. I'm also starting to wonder if Jews won't slowly shift parties. Not sure of that yet, but the more Muslim the Democrats become, the more "Jewish flight" will occur. And no one will see this coming because conventional wisdom says: nonwhites vote against Republicans... except Vietnamese and Cubans and Eastern Europeans.

● Bud Light has been running a fun series of ads for a while now about a medieval kingdom. The glitterati who opine conventionally on Super Bowl ads declared these a failure (voted worst Super Bowl ad actually), but the fact they keep running (almost exclusively for Bud) suggests they are a big hit. Anyways, Miller Lite just took a rather nasty shot at Bud in this ad: Angry Ad. I have never seen a more disjointed, mark-missingly poor attack as the Miller Ad. The ad lacks substance, it's unclear what is going on, and it openly feels derogatory, like they wrote it when they were in a pissy mood.

Well... within a couple days, Bud fired back with this brilliant ad: Brilliant. This ad is devastating. It slaps back at Miller as petty and basically accuses Miller of being afraid of the truth, but it does so in a lighthearted and funny way. That's great writing. Pay attention to this folks. This could get good depending on what happens next. Odds are that Miller runs away with its tail between its legs, but if they don't, they are going to make a mess of themselves... they are outclassed and Bud Light has set them up for disgrace.

● Finally, when are the McCain's going to go away? Ug. I have little good to say about their father and far less good to say about his stupid kids whining that people were mean to their rather nasty father.



tryanmax said...

Another conventional wisdom thing that people have dead wrong. We should do away with the Electoral College because it closely tracks the popular vote most of the time anyway.

AndrewPrice said...

Grr. Kansas State just did serious damage to my bracket. I'm 16/20, but I had them winning two more. Now they've el crappo'd the bed.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, the "conventional wisdom" there is that anything except one person one vote is unfair... until it isn't for them.

AndrewPrice said...

If I'm reading this right... Mueller has handed over his report and is not recommending any more prosecutions.

That wretching exploding sound you hear is the collective agony of never-Trumps and Democrats.

AndrewPrice said...

My bracket is 32/40 so far. Surprisingly good! :)

As for the Democrats, they are quickly going insane on the news shows and online. They have all but said they don't care if he isn't guilty... he is guilty.

Anthony said...


1) Gun control only became a thing again for Dems after it stopped being a possibility (once Obama left office). As I've noted many times before, the political consensus (Obama never forgot that gun control was a big part of what killed Clinton's majority) and the practical reality which has led us to where we are now on guns will not change.

The reality is America is awash in guns and nothing will change that. The federal courts have developed an appetite for striking down local gun control that has existed for longer than anyone has been alive, but that is fine because gun control is meaningless. I live outside of DC, which has very strict gun control laws but for a long time experienced a crazy (mostly crack fueled) amount of gun crimes.

2. As for demographics, I agree. Also as I've pointed out before, the notion of a 'forever majority' is a pipe dream. Both parties are broad coalitions that wax and wane based on the talents and philosophies of their leaders. A thousand year reich is not in the cards for anyone. Having power means making choices, making choices means making some people unhappy.

3. As for the independent counsel thing, its meaningless to everyone. Trump and his cronies would rip Mueller if he had reached the wrong conclusion and Trump's enemies would have praised Mueller if he reached the right one.

Despite the fantasies of Trump, his cronies and his opponents that Mueller was going to bring down Trump, the most likely result was always Trump walking. I'll quote what I said in 2017.

Like I've said before, I don't doubt Putin put his thumb on the scale, but Hillary was dumb enough to negligently handle classified info (which is like leaving a pile of money on your lawn then whining when someone takes it) so I blame Hillary far more than Putin.

Along those lines, I see no reason why Trump and Putin would collude. The risks are too high and the payoff is too minimal. I just think they honestly admire each other


4. Speaking of Trump and his love of dictators who blow smoke up his butt...

President Trump said Friday that he has ordered the Treasury Department to halt plans for "additional large scale" sanctions against North Korea on the same day that Pyongyang abruptly announced its withdrawal from a liaison office aimed at easing tensions with South Korea.
"It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea," Trump said on Twitter. "I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!"
In a followup to Trump's tweet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president "likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary."

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, The Democrats believed that they could create a forever demographic majority. Now I don't think they're that sure. Oddly, their response seems to be to focus like crazy on just two groups now -- angry black, single/feminist women -- rather than trying to find a new way to become a majority. That's a tantrum response, not a strategic response.

Critch said...

If any member of the military had handled classified material the way Hillary and her gang did they would be thrown under Leavenworth prison. The Left's exploding heads are making my weekend..I love it. The guy who shot up the mosque was an Australian. So how did he get the guns? NZ has fairly restrictive gun laws, even if they are not as tight as most Commonwealth Countries. The guy wasn't even a citizen. I still haven't been able to find out if he used an AR type rifle, all I can find is that he used a semi-automatic rifle, that can be any of a number of types of weapons. The press is again closing ranks to control the story. I'm still lost why a right-wing person would kill a bunch of people in NZ to spark gun control in the USA? It makes no sense. My contractors who mostly from Mexico, some from Guatemala have Trump stickers on their trucks. They have all applied for citizenship. They all are practicing Catholics like me and don't agree with the Dembeciles on abortion and many other topics. Trump's way of handling NK has still made more progress than all the other presidents combined. The Dims already have a problem, their young commies can't stand the old guard at all, even Bernie isn't that popular with them. But, their current crop of heroes are clueless,,,Beto, AOC (Apparently on Crack) and others can't think their way out of an economic argument. EVerytime some liberal tells me we need a gun confiscation I ask them if they are the ones that going to go door to door getting them? None of them have volunteered so far.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, Apparently on Crack! LOL! Nice!

I'm starting to see more evidence of Trump support, like your Guatemalans. I think it was interesting that Chris Rock open went golfing with him too.

I like what Trump is doing with North Korea. I think he's slowly getting somewhere with them. Don't tell that to the neverTrumpers though.

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