No ledge to stand on

Sometimes i don’t know to whom to talk at which point I realize I do not have the ability to talk to some one, so I talk to myself and get the wrong impression,

To me or not to me

When trump was elected I reread a little of Berlin Diary and essays of Hannah Arendt, studying  history even though  I read,  it was difficult to imagine how things evolved to a kleptocracy when there were many good intentions.

Bluwink of an I

Seeing the trump thing unfold—there is an elephant in the room, its listed in the DSM—I begin to have new questions about people and behavior,

A building in San Francisco

Understanding why people do things, individual  or groups, and by doing things I specifically mean human behavior. We can empirically define behavior if we do such as 1) he jumped two feet,; 2) She raised her arm there inches;

Chinatown, San Francisco

yett we cannot empirically say 1) Reading that book caused her to do that, or; 2) being raised in that environment caused him to become a drug addict. These are different kinds of measurement, the former based on quantitative  benchmarks which are commonly shared, the latter based on qualitative standards in which human judgment is involved, and  different people have different standards for judgement.


While the quantitate measurements are more definitive  it is the qualitative judgements that give us more understanding. We cannot read the minds of another person and in this sense we cannot know what motivates another person.

Shadow on the window blinds

While is impossible for people to predict the future of society or the behavior of individuals, people do make predictions. Scientific professional pollsters make predictions about human behaviour based on scientific statistical standards.

Walking along Alameda Creek

When  you make a prediction that is one possiblity. In the universe there are infinite different possibilities for the future,  and the chances of success are very slim: One/infinity.  Scientific polling methodology uses the “best practices statistical methods” which while not “perfect” —and as we have seen the odds of predicting are One/ Infinity.— are qualitatively more successful at predicting outcomes than all other methods.

Al Capone Pizza, Haymarket, Boston 1970

And while there are those individuals who make successful predictions, including multiple successful predictions, the “best practices statistical methods ” will always  be more successful, at least as benchmarked by the standard.

My beautiful wife

How does this  apply in “Real Life?” When trump supporters say that because the scientific pollsters failed to make the correct prediction in the election  is proof that any other of  their efforts are also failures is not empirically supported. Nor is their failure to predict mean that others who did not use “best practices of statistical analysis” and were successful in their prediction will be successful again or over the long run— those that use “scientific best practices” are empirically shown to be more successful in the  long run always and usually in the short run.

sp8895A_650Anyone who makes a prediction about human behavior might be successful in a single  or even multiple situations and while  some people are better at it than others they are not better than the “scientific best practices. ” Remember, once a prediction is made the odds are one/infinity of being successful, “Infinity” being some value we do know what to put there.

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