Breaking News #19: Number Go Up For November

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Join Ben Hunt, Matt Zeigler and Jack Forehand as we break open the news to reveal the Nudging language behind the headlines. Media bias is real, but not in the way you think.

In this episode we discuss how the upcoming November election is shaping the current political and economic landscape. We discuss why inflation, the stock market and the war in the Middle East are all being viewed through a political lens as the election approaches and those with a vested interest seek to influence its outcome . We also discuss the prevalence of conspiracy theories, the erosion of trust in institutions, and the importance of curiosity in a left brain focused world.

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  1. Avatar for Tanya Tanya says:

    Oh my, that Tweet of the Week was: :woman_facepalming:

    And last year I apparently visited the portal to the gates of hell!! :metal:

    In the part about “epsilon” in equations, my first thought was, epsilon = error term = the devil’s in the details (best exemplified by this song):

    But after Ben mentioned humanity, I thought maybe the epsilon = emotion?

    Another great episode, thank you gentlemen!

  2. It seems to me that there is some sort of compounding effect of bias on the part of people in power to begin with whereby the ostensibly disinterested - in the 19thC sense - person who is 50/50 on let’s say the truth of Russia Collusion if they’re left leaning or the stolen vote if they’re right leaning gets some reward, money but more likely fame or recognition for leaning toward the wrong idea. This happens before the confirmation, recency, endowment et al biases but they all kick in for everyone who benefits simultaneously. Once the chorus emerges spontaneously others join which helps confirm the leaders. One could be forgiven for believing there is a little man behind the curtain. Retail investors have been prone to this nonsense forever. As a little kid I can remember my mother railing against the insiders who control the stock market because of something she’d read in the Reader’s Digest but now every chorus of nonsense has its own stage and its own audience and nobody has to go to anybody else’s play. I find it hilarious that Bari Weiss and Uri Berliner have ‘exposed’ NPR. I heard it when there were no choices for radio news but then they weren’t competing for listeners. Back then they were lefties but they were more objective…well yeah and they weren’t competing for listeners.

  3. While third parties may not have much of a chance against the Monoparty, I don’t think that a vote for a third party candidate (or even a write-in) is a waste, especially if one votes for “standard” candidates on the rest of the ballot.

  4. I struggle with the estimate of 1 out of 3 Americans believing the chemtrail story. Of course I don’t care about the chemtrail story specifically.

    I’ve come to believe that when we find ourselves holding the belief that large numbers of people are irrational, much of the discrepancy with ‘truth’ tends to owe itself to our own lack understanding. It might be a belief that I simply insist on holding even when confronted by evidence to the contrary, but I’m ok with that because I still think it might be a good belief. The belief is that true irrationality is very rare.

    Presumably we each know from experience that our sense that irrationality exists can easily and naturally arise from what we later realize is a difference of perspective.

    I mean, I guess it’s just the semantic universe strikes again. In a space beyond language.

    My own guess is that more than 2 out of 3 Americans has never even heard of this story.

    We see the guiding principle at work in so many systems and at so many levels in the universe, starting from the bottom:

    You cannot measure a system without changing that system. You cannot make the implicit explicit without damaging it. Formal systems cannot be both interesting and complete. Computational irreducibility. Three body problem. The Dao which is known is not the true Dao. The Semantic Universe?

    WTF am I saying? I suspect strongly that the very act of putting a question to someone: “Do you think chemtrails are a government conspiracy?” instantiates that very belief (or it’s counterfactual) in a large number of people in whom relevant beliefs essentially did not exist prior to the question being asked.

    If you tend to dislike answers from people with different perspectives than your own, be careful what questions you ask!

    edit to add another takeaway: In this view the best answer to the question of ‘how many Americans believe this crazy thing?’ is to see it as undefined. It is undefined because the only way to define it is to ask it, and when you ask it the act of asking it creates it. It becomes well-defined only if it is asked.

  5. You captured it here - if we know everything shows up this way, if we always ask “why am I reading this now,” and we try to remember we’re all just humans trying to be/do stuff, we can hopefully have better conversations about it.

    ps. David McRaney has written and spoken a lot about this, not just the science but the psychology of it. If you don’t know him, worth a google.

  6. Avatar for KCP KCP says:

    Throwing in a tangent here on the Contrails…or cloud seeding as i understand it. I ski Telluride for 10 days almost every year. I’ve watched many a beautiful sunny day turn to haze after the Seeding Aircraft criss cross the sky.

    My only question is - do the climate activists understand/account for the impact of directly influencing the atmosphere?

    Any chance for unintended consequences for tossing a bunch of stuff (silver dioxide, i believe) into the sky in order for it to rain somewhere else?

    Or do climate activists conform to a narrative?

    I dunno, i just think it’s sadly comical that we are led to be concerned about so many “existential” threats when putting stuff into the atmosphere could be making one of the “threats” even more existential to humans, animals, birds, insects…

  7. Well to be perfectly frank I think that Ben’s point on this issue is that you are seeing causality where none exists. This is one of the things our brains are absolutely fantastic at doing to us.

    I really have not looked into the conspiracy theory at all. I’m generally with Ben’s mentality that the complexity and cost of doing such a thing makes it inherently very unlikely.

    If you wanted to cloud seed I think there are much better ways to do it then aircraft. Neal Stephenson recently wrote a modestly interesting take on political, economic, and climate repercussions of an eccentric billionaire taking it upon themselves to begin cloud seeding (Termination Shock). I thought this was a much more likely scenario than government coordination (exempting China).

    Of course climate activists conform to a narrative. We all do! Literally this is what our cognition is designed to do.

  8. To toss back to a meme, depends on what the definition of “believing” and “story” is. :smile:
    I struggle with that percentage as well.

    Cloud seeding is a real thing. At scale, though, the idea that either a.) aircraft are designed and deployed with tanks that dispense silver iodide or some similar concoction, or b.) seeding chemicals are mixed into jet fuel are both either beyond credibility or not in the Bayesian priors for more than 2/3 of to poplulation. Hence -

    The upshot being if you had no prior belief, then the question only triggers your attempt to integrate the concept. (The above was an enjoyable way to spend 15 minutes, by the way.)

    Probably a day with conditions ideal for both the formation of contrails and cirrus clouds.

    Sorry to expand on the tangent.

  9. Avatar for KCP KCP says:

    i’m pretty sure this is what i’ve witnessed over the years. I don’t believe that it’s some sort of conspiracy or planting chips in our heads.

    I have read that military forces have experimented with ways to change the weather as an offensive/defensive tool. Great idea in theory think it was proven too difficult to implement…

  10. I’m glad you clarified, I definitely stand partly corrected in that I had no idea cloud seeding was so relatively common in the Rockies. If I understand the conspiracy theory I think the causality question is about contrails and ‘chemtrails’. Contrails just being water…essentially the conspiracy theory rests on people not understanding this. In your case if you are seeing aircraft that are known to be releasing silver iodide then this is not really the conspiracy theory.

    Now that I understand what you are saying better you could post your question to the Sustainable Energy TM thread. The cloud seeding is not energy related obviously but the general idea that environmentalism has been badly corrupted by narrative and nudging forces is well represented there so cloud seeding narratives would fit right in.

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