Impotent Government

There are people who have long advocated and will continue to advocate for small, limited, even impotent government; a government that is so limited in its scope, reach, and power over the lives of individuals that the events of a singular election would not cause any person to flinch let alone convulse and become ill.

Perhaps the events of Nov 8, 2016, will encourage more people to do so.

-JD Cross



Vote Trading

You can “trade” your vote here:

Not a real market for votes, but it’s an attempt.

Is this what you imagine when you think of a democracy? Is this what you want “a democracy” to be? Is this a good way to govern?

-JD Cross


Political lobotomy

Below is a screenshot of a story link from the front page of the online NYT.

S.E. Cupp correctly points out that women would have to be lobotomized to believe anything the party of Trump tells them.

This is a disingenuous and/or naive viewpoint. Anybody would have to be lobotomized to believe anything that any politicians tells them.

Just because Trump is more…brash than other politicians doesn’t mean that his lies are any more lies than the lies told by every other politician. That his lies are easier to identify as such might even make them better in some (non-Truth-related) sense.



-JD Cross


Predicting the future: Obamacare

It turns out that between smart people being wrong and politicians being…wrong…the economics of Obamacare is turning out…wrong. The NYTimes reports.

This was predictable: that the future could not be predicted and that the marketplace that everyone forecast is not the marketplace that actually came to exist.

There is only one way to get markets that function the way we all hope markets will function (providing quality goods and services at competitive prices) and that is to have free markets.

Oh…and humans…yes, always remember, you can’t predict the future when humans are involved.

-JD Cross


If every vote counts…do you want them to?

For the sake of argument, let’s suppose that every vote counts (that is: every vote makes an impact such that Government or Civics or the outcome of an election or Whatever would be impacted (presumably negatively) if there was one fewer vote).

Then, consider this question: do you really want every vote to count?

Do you want the vote of someone who disagrees with you to count?

Do you want the vote of an uneducated (whatever you think that means) person to count?

Do you want the vote of somebody less educated than you to count?

Do you want the vote of somebody who is drunk or high or not in their right mind (whatever you want that to mean) to count?

Do you want the vote of somebody who has incorrectly voted to count? What I mean by this is: suppose that somebody is voting for a candidate or proposition or whatever and they believe that by voting X, then outcome A will occur. Really, though, by voting X, outcome B will occur. If they want outcome A, then they actually need to vote Y. But they do in fact vote X. They have deliberately, and in their right mind, voted for the opposite outcome they desired (or, at least, a different outcome than desired). They have, I would say, voted incorrectly. (For the sake of argument, suppose that in this particular case, it is definitive that voting X leads to outcome B and voting Y leads to outcome A.) Do you want that vote to count? (Do they want that vote to count?)

Now, move beyond what you want. Answer this: should every vote count? Is counting every vote and using the result of the outcome a good way to elect officials, establish laws, govern?

-JD Cross


Two Forecasts, One Question

Here are two forecasts, both from 538 (as of 6:30am Pacific, 2016-10-19).

First, we see that Hillary is forecasted to win the election. Also, we see the history of this forecast (more on the history of this forecast below…it’s actually the point of this post).

Second, we see the forecast for the World Series. Note – and you’ll have to take my word on this (or comb through Google’s cached web pages) – that the Cubs, yesterday, were forecasted to have a 38% chance of winning the series, tied with Cleveland which also had a 38% chance of winning.





So, here’s the question: Are forecasts useful for anything?

Here are three more questions that help to explain the above question:

If we consider a forecast to be static (not changing in time), and the forecast has “error bars” (that is, is, say, 95% accurate) what does that mean? and is it useful?

If a forecast changes in time, is it useful?

(What the word “useful” means is important in answering the questions. The answer to the questions will change dramatically depending on what specific utility is sought. I ask the questions from this perspective: by useful, I mean to say that an individual would make an exceptionally important (life changing perhaps) decision based upon the forecast. For example, a middle-class individual might take out a second mortgage on their home to place a $250,000 bet on the outcome of the World Series.)

-JD Cross


One Vote

Does one vote matter?

If you answered “yes” to the above, then please answer the next question, too.

Is a vote for a 3rd party candidate like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein a wasted vote?

If you answered “yes” to the above, please explain. (Note: if your explanation does not address the paradox of voting and involve something like fivethirtyeight’s voter power index, then your explanation is probably not complete or believable or correct.)

-JD Cross


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