Scalia nails it. I would say that SCOTUS has failed, except failed is putting it infinitely too mildly.
Is Scalia Chuck Silberman? It’s the same dysfunctional world they both find themselves in, and us, too. Words, alas, no longer have any meaning.
Note that this commentary is NOT about whether the ACA is good or bad or whatever. It’s just about language and whether language is important or not.
George Will writes about campaign finance reform (Citizens United) and includes this gem at the end:
The limits the reformers hoped would decrease cynicism about politics are increasing it, which is just another unpleasant surprise for reformers who are repeatedly surprised by their own consequences. Someday even they might understand the wisdom of choosing what the Constitution, properly construed, actually requires: unregulated politics.
Senator Beal is repeatedly surprised by the consequences of her and Commissioner McGrady’s actions. They never learn or understand any wisdom, but they are forced to live with the consequences of what they’ve built.
The NYT has this fairly trivial piece on Hilary Clinton’s polling numbers post-Emailgate. I know I’m nitpicking here, but this paragraph bothers me a lot:
This approach is misleading for two reasons. First, CNN gives its own poll too much weight compared with polling averages, creating a perception of decline in Mrs. Clinton’s ratings that could be a result of sampling error.
What bothers me most is that the article continues. Why does this bother me? Because if there is sampling error, then no other reason matters. The poll should be thrown out. Period. End of story.
Furthermore, the author suggests that there could be sampling error. Ok…but is there sampling error? Is this a baseless accusation? If we’re lining up a bunch of “coulds” for why the polling could be incorrect, then the article could go on for dozens of pages. This strikes me as ridiculously sloppy and poorly thought out.
Is there sampling error? Or not? That’s the real story.
The future is hard to predict, especially if you pretend that you can see it.
The blind forecaster beats a panel of industry “experts“. This isn’t really news, as reports like this are published as articles or books quite regularly. It is good, though, to always remind oneself of how most of economics and all of sociology is NOT at all like physics. There is no determinism. There are no equations of motions.
People, as the actors in the system, mess everything up. Second, are at least equally important, is that the number of variables in the system is fantastically large.
Can you think of any other systems with fantastically large numbers of variables for which people regularly make headlines for predicting the future?