Nate Silver is a fucking idiot… The New York Times' resident election nerd--Nate Silver, the guy who does frivolous horse race columns for readers tired of substantive issues--has been all over the blogosphere or whatever this thing is. Tongues are wagging because he has a model that is supposed to predict the outcome of the election to an absurd precision (e.g. 83.7%). Don't forget the decimal point, it's more scientific!
As Sean Davis pointed out in The Daily Caller:
Silver stormed onto the scene in 2008 when, according to his acolytes, he correctly predicted how 49 of 50 states would vote in the presidential election (he missed Indiana). Do not remind his disciples that of the four close states -- those with margins of 2.5% or less -- Silver only forecast three of them correctly. And definitely do not remind them that the polls in swing states correctly forecast all but two states (Indiana and North Carolina).
One of the things that really annoys me about Silver's lapdogs, and Silver himself, is when they throw out "49 of 50 states" in 2008. This is maybe impressive if you just fell off a haystack, because not very many states were actually close in 2008. McCain was a terrible candidate who ran a terrible campaign as Party successor to a terrible president after the economy had just tanked. And given the geographic split in the country, at minimum 30 states have surefire, can't-miss outcomes--they are so strongly tilted in one direction that you can predict them four years out. (WaPo only identified 10 swing states that were in doubt.) Silver and his ridiculous followers massively overstate his accuracy.
Then there's the obviously unfalsifiable nature of Silver's ever-shifting estimate that Obama has something like an 80% chance to win based on the electoral map. Silver produces useless numbers that don't really tell you anything--anyone can already say that it is a close race and that if state polls show Obama up slightly the weekend before the election, he's slightly likelier to win--whoops, that's if the state polls themselves are accurate. As it turns out, they've conflicted with some of the national polls (which give a slight edge to Romney), and Silver has yet to offer a convincing reason to believe the state polls are more accurate. (State polls led him astray in 2010, when his accuracy dipped.)
Silver tries to weight the polls based on what he thinks are their historical bias or reliability, which is also fairly dumb. It's like trying to figure out what the stock market will do by examining past patterns. The problem with doing this is that the stock market and presidential elections don't run as closed loops, and there is always going to be a certain level of risk in assuming that "predictable" factors stay predictable. Things stay the same until they change. That's why it's ultimately silly to claim two decimal points of accuracy in your garbage-in, garbage-out Excel model. I mean you're just bullshitting people.
The bottom line is that Silver is jizzing all over his fucking stupid poll spreadsheet (in which he averages polls together, as if this is scientific) but he's not telling us anything we don't already know. No matter which way the election turns out he's not "wrong", but then again he's not "right" either. His input is one big null value.
Silver is useless when the race is close, because even a small bias in a handful of state polls could foul up his model, and he's useless when the race isn't close, because who gives a shit that this Jew's spreadsheet tells you what you already know? My model therefore gives a 100% useless rating to Nate Silver. Well-earned. (Next time, Nate, do three decimal points!)
And 538's commenters are almost all abject morons. I'll bet most of them have libarts degrees.
Follow a discussion of this at My Posting Career.
The biology of social relationships… The social is physical. Without physical contact, social regulation mostly doesn't work. Google advertises the lie of deep, meaningful connections via technology. It's bogus but people take it at face value, because they mistake social connections for the short term advantages of "networking" with people in their profession.
But real social connectedness is multi-level and it doesn't exist for self-advancement but to defend a physical community. The biology is that of a superorganism. That it is a physical community with a bounded geography is the biggest truth our technocrat elite can't see (it's anathema to multiculturalism, globalism, everything they hold dear).
I keep pushing the idea of looking at man as just another animal because I think it is our biological limitations that create these physical boundaries, that set the rules that result in tradition-based societies. It extends from our deepest level of cognition and social "processing", so it's not a problem we can technocratically solve. There's no sign that the managerialist/globalist power structure is capable of accepting this.
My guess is that Calhoun was right--our last chance to do something about our scale was around the early 80s. Since then, rapidly growing technological complexity, the end of the cold war, people movement, and immigration have completely obliterated what was left of healthy organic communities. Now we have generations that have never known anything but atomization. It's going to be difficult to make them see that the key problems are not "marriage equality" or bullying or whatever the latest stupid fad is, but the loss of coherent physical communities (the anti-Internet). They drink the Google koolaid and actually think that linking to their friends on Facebook is a form of social interaction. No, it's a form of social gaming. It bears as much resemblance to real social interaction as my playing Call of Duty does to serving in Afghanistan.
More at My Posting Career.
Testosterone linked to truthfulness… The racehist blog linked to an experiment linking lower testosterone levels to lying for personal gain:
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 91 healthy men (24.32+/-2.73 years) received a transdermal administration of 50 mg of testosterone (n = 46) or a placebo (n = 45). Subsequently, subjects participated in a simple task, in which their payoff depended on the self-reported outcome of a die-roll. Subjects could increase their payoff by lying without fear of being caught. Our results show that testosterone administration substantially decreases lying in men.
Naturally this will ruffle all the right feathers. Such a finding has considerable implications, but also verifies something I knew anecdotally: the infusion of women into the male workplace has led to the rise of an effeminate corporate culture which downplays achievement (a source of pride) and replaces honorable, ethical conduct with pathological manipulating. Similarly, the influx of women into politics has led to the rise of a particularly stupid and unworthy political culture, refracted through a media dominated by women, gay men, Jews, and other low test parasites.
More at My Posting Career.
Blogwatch: The View from Hell… This verbose, jargon-filled collection of pretentious musings reads like Moldbug on acid, and could have been titled Koanic Reservations. Blogger is a liberal nerdette who revels in clever silliness and seems to have a polyamorous relationship with the English language.
Try this from the beginning of an extremely long post titled Trying to See Through: A Unified Theory of Nerddom:
There is a single characteristic, I argue, that defines and unites the cognitive community that you and I share if you are reading this (the community of nerds). These days we often identify as rationalists, skeptics, or atheists, interested in cognition and cognitive biases; we are likely to eat LSD at Burning Man. We read analytic philosophy, science fiction, and LessWrong. We are intelligent, socially awkward, and heavily male. Is there a good name for that?
More at My Posting Career.
Gay marriage, gay everything… So we're not simply going to get gay marriage, gay sit-coms, gay propaganda; as Chick-fil-A's situation shows us we're going to get a totalitarian enforcement of speech, using social ostracism, economic warfare, and censorship. This should come as no surprise.
Conservatives have been crouching under the sink while liberals looted their house for years, every now and then shaking an emaciated fist (as quietly as possible).
BUT WE PASSED THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT!
And then? Curled into a nap using a brillo pad for a pillow.
Conservatives have largely not been talking back about the depraved morality of social liberals; conservatives just want to be left alone. No surprise then that with each PC victory liberals are more emboldended, rage-filled, and eager to sadistically punish anyone who differs with them.
Conservatives haven't bothered to figure out how to reframe these issues, thus they are always on the defensive, making weaker and weaker arguments, and seldom do they come together to defend one of their own -- ladies, it's just not done! Conservative pundits won't unite on issues like this because half of them (at least) are quislings, trembling to disagree with the liberals in their social circles, while the reverse is never true -- liberals are always happy to thrust their divisive opinions into a conversation and then pretend it's you who is being upsetting if you raise your voice to disagree.
If we are to ever succeed in anything, this cannot go on -- liberals must be challenged, outargued, and slapped down whenever they have the audacity to pipe up. This goes double for pseudo-cons, whose repulsive timidity is usually the first sign that the left is about to get its way.
It's often said that certain conservatives see only enemies to their right, but let's face it: the right is in a sad way all over, from the lunatic fringe of esoteric Hitlerists to the self-marketing loudmouths on the airwaves to the NYT opinion poodles like David Brooks. We have our work cut out for us, but I'll be damned if I'm going to simper agreeably the next time some lefty assumes everyone present is a lover of depravity.
More at My Posting Career.