Data Driven Nonsense

When I was a young man starting out in the world, I was once given an assignment for the marketing people. The job was to gather up and detail the costs of various marketing programs. For some reason they did not track these things in the accounting system. That meant I had to rummage through filing cabinets pulling out invoices and then tabulating the results in a spreadsheet. My guess is I was given the task mostly because I was the only guy who could use Lotus 1-2-3.

I gathered up all the data for the periods in question and put together a report. Out of curiosity, and to be a suck up, I created s chart that showed the impact of various marketing efforts on sales. I even factored in things like the number of peak sales days in a month and adjusted the results to reflect these variances. What jumped out to me was that marketing did nothing for sales. I then expanded the data range to include previous years and it was more obvious. Our marketing was a waste of money.

I was young, but I was not an idiot so I gave the VP of marketing the numbers without my analysis. He then used them in his presentation, in which he claimed to be the key to the company’s success. I sat watching it waiting for someone to point out that he was full of baloney, but no one did. What I realized was everyone believed in these types of marketing schemes. They had to work because everyone did them. The VP of marketing liked his job so he told everyone what they wanted to hear.

The point of this walk down memory lane is that people have been using data to lie to one another long before we had cheap database software and Chinese quants cranking out reports. My bet is the first modern humans to migrate out of Africa had a meeting where Grog held up a skin, with marks on it, that he claimed was proof that slow food and fast women were just over the horizon. Data analysis is often just another form of magic that we use to grease the wheels of life.

This always comes to mind when I hear political types talk about their data operations. Reince Priebus is running around saying it was the GOP data operations that got the Trump vote out on Tuesday. He was on the radio claiming that his team “knew what people ate for lunch, when they went to work and how they voted in the past” so they could target these voters and get them to the polls. He made it sound like they had studied all of us since birth so they could maximize their vote.

This is nonsense. Trump had none of this stuff in the primary and he poleaxed everyone in his way. His “ground game” was to go on TV and radio and be interesting. Then he went on Twitter to give reporters something to ask him. In the general, he preferred the old fashioned whistle stop tour. Instead of a train, he flew around on his plane and did stadium shows near airports. His campaign was lean and mean, avoiding the trap of hiring an army of experts. Trump was outspent something close to 5-to-1 when including outside groups.

The fact is people buy stuff because they think they need it. They buy your stuff because they think it is cheaper or they think it has high status. I have a $200 Windows phone because it does everything I would want to do on an iPhone. My friends all have iPhones because they think it makes them look smart and hip. No amount of analytics are going to get me to buy an $800 iPhone nor will it make the cheap mobile phones hip and trendy.

Similarly, people vote for a few reasons, one of which is tribal loyalty. I know people who will never vote for a Republican, even if the Democrat is an ax murder. No amount of data analysis is going to alter that reality. The persuadable, on the other hand, can be persuaded if the candidate is appealing and offers them something they want. Similarly, the loyalists will turn out if they like their candidate and he has something to offer. Again, big data has nothing to do with it.

I suspect Trump’s reluctance to sign off on the big data operations, in his campaign, was due to the fact he has spent his life sitting through presentations in which clever guys tried to baffle him with data. Early in his career, he was the guy doing the baffling, as he convinced bankers and investors that his projects were going to make money.  Over a long career he has figured out that the basics of sales are immutable and the rest if just window dressing.

That’s not to say that all data analysis is nonsense. Steve Sailer has used publicly available voting data to analyze the lunacy of Official Conservatism™. It’s just that big data is not terribly useful in selling a candidate or a political party. Hillary Clinton allegedly had the greatest data team in the history of data teams. She had Google, Faceberg and Twitter working with the DNC to aid her data team. She lost because she is an awful person with nothing to offer.

But, that’s not what the data says, or at least it is not what the quants analyzing the data will say it says. Instead, they will work for the next year building after action reports loaded with jargon from statistics and demography, that will prove she just needed a bigger data operation and more “granular analysis in real time.” In 2020, the one-legged Latina lesbian the Democrats offer up against Trump will have the best data team and ground game in the history of mankind.

78 thoughts on “Data Driven Nonsense

  1. ” My guess is I was given the task mostly because I was the only guy who could use Lotus 1-2-3.”

    Wot, No Visicalc?

  2. I run a small business via a franchise license. My favorite thing every month or two is the latest marketing gimmick the franchisor’s marketing people have come up with. None of it works, but they’ll breathlessly tell you that some outfit 1800 miles away in Florida tried it, and saw strong sales growth. So, I routinely beg out of the marketing. They do two things which I find actually useful: TV commercials and a strong website. TV generates awareness. The website moves people into the purchase funnel. Neither costs me anything beyond my normal royalties. It’s simple. It’s efficient. And, I can go onto my local website and personalize it to make I sound like I know what I’m doing.

    In my old job at a F100 company, same thing, but on a much more massive scale. What actually drives sales? A good product, priced appropriately, that meets the customer’s needs. That’s it. Good timing and a little luck helps.

    That’s Trump. He’s not the Second Coming. But, he is a billionaire. People in Conservative Inc. and lefty media (by I repeat myself) try to chip away with that…but there’s the small problem of the big blue plane with his name on it that he flies everywhere. Trump is cheap, joining his movement costs little, and he spent little by comparison. And, he meets the customers’ needs which is somebody who is not a Government Guy. Those Government Guys have screwed up the country royally, and people have kinda had it with that.

    Good timing and a little lucked helped too. Seattle beat the Pats last night because for once the ref kept the flag in his pocket. Did Gronk push off, or did the defender interfere? Who cares?! Let them play.

  3. Off topic but important. The Calexit movement is gaining steam and the alt-right needs to do everything we can to capitalize on the populist divisions in the US right now to keep this process moving. If we can get Trump to announce publicly that, as President, he will negotiate a peaceful and cooperative exit from the Union for California (or the portions thereof that choose to leave) this process will gain steam. If successful, the Democrats are finished as a national party in the US, permanently.

    The US loses a state that is a fiscal, political, and cultural disaster. Large numbers of Democrats and illegal immigrants will likely choose to move to California before Calexit. Similarly, large numbers of Republicans in California will likely leave to remain with the US. And if we’re lucky maybe the experience will motivate Illinois and/or New York to leave too. Win-win-win.

    Bonus: California’s economy will collapse when federal funds stop flowing to the state.

    Let’s make this happen, folks.

    • I just made that point this morning, but not so hilariously. We must be sure to send them our tired, our poor, our huddled masses after the secession as well. After all, there are no illegal immigrants, only immigrants.

    • Once they leave they’ll realize their poor position globally and will ask to join Mexico but Mexico will say no: too many illegal Mexicans.

    • I’d love to see it happen. I only disagree with your suggestion that federal funds will stop flowing to California. The U.S. would negotiate an agreement with them regarding the San Diego naval base. I’ve never seen it and know almost nothing about it myself, but my understanding is that the USN would really hate to lose it. The Air Force and NASA, reinvigorated after the end of its outreach program to the Muslim world, would then want to negotiate over Vandenberg AFB. Et cetera.
      Whether the funds would suffice to prop up the state is a good question.
      We’d have to build a wall across the southern border of Oregon, or Jeffersonia.

  4. Another disastrous example, this time from WWI: Fall of 1916, Germany has to decide whether to go for broke or open talks. Naval staff uses numbers to BS the command authority that U Boats can end the war in 6 months by starving out England, even if the Americans come in. Using linear modeling, they take no account of the obvious Brit. countermove, namely using conveys. We all know the results.

  5. For the record:

    I was vice chair of the campaign in my county.

    I’m also on the state executive committee.

    The GOP data base is garbage. It has been garbage. The RNC and state partyare adamant that they want it to continue being garbage. Their GOTV effort, beginning for some bizarre reason weeks in advance of the election, consisted of calling people up and reminding them to vote – effectively at random because they had no idea of the political leanings of the people called.

    We won because of thousands of grass roots activists around the country who bypassed both the GOP and the utterly useless Trump campaign structure and took it on ourselves to get Trump elected.

  6. Brilliant! We were hounded by the yellow pages for years to put in an ad for our business. Every year the poor sap would try to sell us ad space and every year I would tell them that if they could prove the ad brought me new business, I would give it a try. Never happened.

    • SIDEBAR for those that may in be in small business—> …after a few attempts I gave in to yellow pages ads as well…after trying radio ads. I am living proof that those two types of advertising only made me poorer. Ha Ha. I went exclusively homemade coroplast yard signs. I was in the A/C business. What I found out was that nothing could come close to my signs. Dollar for dollar my 20×24 coroplast signs ruled the day. I had a custom screen made and printed them myself in a two tone red/blue on white coroplast. They only cost me about $1 each because I printed them myself with a make shift screen printing table. So for those of you looking to make some money or start a small business give them a shot. Just be very selective where you put them. In the county you can get away with a lot more than in the city. Find strategic corners, T intersections, and get permission when placing on private property( sometimes I paid owner $20 on the spot to let me hang a sign on their fence at a great location.

  7. So here is an interesting piece picked up in the morning scan that advances a pretty good hypothesis that Clinton’s reliance on analytics may have actually turned out Trump votes.

    If a large number of your GOTV ground force starts telling you that their “model” has you knocking on a huge cohort of people that say they will vote for Trump, might be time to get your nose out of the models and look around. Had a related experience in my office in NYC where the SEIU member cleaning staff on my floor were all for Trump. On election day I even snapped a picture of the nice lady that comes into my office to empty the wastebaskets wearing her Trump shirt, Trump button and “I voted” sticker. And was urging everyone who hadn’t voted to go do so (for Trump).

  8. ”She lost because she is an awful person with nothing to offer.”
    Absolutely. This video is the highlight of that:
    Never mind comparing her against any Republican, picture Bill Clinton sitting there, listening to that, you think HE would have handled it that badly? Me neither, but Mr. ”I feel your pain” would have offered SOMETHING besides prevarication, SOMETHING to say ”I’ll try to help you”, Insincere maybe, pure BS maybe, but something besides ”I don’t know”.
    That, in a nutshell, is why she failed.

    • I was going to say she lost because she’s a dirty lying lawbreaking cunt, but that’s not a polite thing to say, so I won’t.

  9. “…I was young, but I was not an idiot so I gave the VP of marketing the numbers without my analysis. He then used them in his presentation, in which he claimed to be the key to the company’s success. I sat watching it waiting for someone to point out that he was full of baloney, but no one did…”

    Excellent story. Your writing is always interesting. Thanks.

  10. Radio, yesterday:

    The Left and Urban: “We won!” Full meltdown.
    The Right: “See, we have always supported Eurasia.”

  11. Here’s some number-crunching that’s done right:

    From George Mason U. and Old Dominion U.

    “We find that there is reason to believe non-citizen voting changed one state’s Electoral College votes in 2008, delivering North Carolina to Obama, and that non-citizen votes have also led to Democratic victories in congressional races including a critical 2008 Senate race [Al Franken’s] that delivered for Democrats a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”

    That’s “after-the-fact”, not predictive (although it sure as hell does predict the future if we don’t get our ICE, CBP and law enforcement back to, at the very least, enforcing the laws currently on our books).


    BTW, although she only posts about once a week (very short posts) you all should bookmark her site. She also wrote “American Betrayal”, a book everyone here should read about the Soviet incursion into our government before, during and after WW II. It was far worse than anyone believes. A real eye-opener. She also has some remarkable videos up on UTube).

    A *very* smart woman that was on the Trump Train from the beginning.

  12. I remember way back in the early 90’s I was working for a defense consulting firm supporting what was then the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Air Force Space Command was desperately trying to find a tool to evaluate different combinations of weapons and sensors to find what would be the best mix for an adequate defense. The entrenched support contractors rolled out proposed models that were detailed, expensive to make and run, and of course they would have to be hired on a 10 year contract to operate them. My boss and I thought about the problem a bit and came up with a model system that worked on a spreadsheet. Changes were easy so sensitivity analysis was quick and the system gave a good first order answer. That was plenty of fidelity for initial investment decisions. We briefed our findings to an Air Force colonel who was ecstatic. “I understand this. I can use this,” he said. The support contractors in the room glared at me as I was giving the briefing. You can say the court astrologers are wrong but be careful when you prove they are irrelevant.

  13. The election, in a few seconds:

    Looks like New Hampshire and Michigan are 100% counted, but still officially ‘Undecided’. Michigan will become another state that flipped from blue to red, pushing Trump’s electoral count over 300.

    By the numbers, Hillary has 280,646 more votes than Trump. The conversation will no doubt be held that she won a majority, save for that cursed electoral process, which of course is why the founding fathers and early leaders put it there – to prevent the tyranny of the majority. This is the uninformed Loser’s hypocritical argument, regardless of affiliation.

    In perspective, the only thing that can be said is that Hillary votes outnumber Trump votes. In a country of 325 million , there are over 230 million eligible voters – of which almost 100 million did not vote.

    Fun Facts:

    USA Population: 324,901,670, with a new birth every 8 seconds, a new death every 12 seconds, and a new international immigrant every 28 seconds (1,126,286 immigrants per year)
    That equates to a net gain of one person every 13 seconds (and a net gain of 2,425,846 per year)

    Eligible voting population: 231,556,622
    Registered voters (2016): 200,081,377
    Registered voters (2008): 146,300,000
    Registered voters (1996): 127,600,000

    This administration has been very effective at increasing the voter rolls. Most of the gains have been with Democratic affiliation, further highlighting the unlikelihood of a Trump win; Ultimately, it was the voter’s self-motivated turnout and focus that decided this election. In the final analysis, for all of the pearl-clutching, tear-streaked, take-the-streets and see-it-burn hysteria, only 30% of the country’s registered voting population actually placed a vote for Hillary – even worse, only 18.5% of the total population of the USA. And yet, the tantrums of the losers continue to make demands for Everybody Look At Me.

    By the same token, the numbers are almost exactly the same for the Winners, who (since they’re already calm) should mostly be figuring out what they are going to do with this huge, lucky gift of power, for at least the next 2 years. The Winners made it happen, now the Winners must Make It Count.

    • The reason D’s hate the electoral college is that it makes it very difficult, if not impossible to cheat. They can win in the cities, where the determined efforts of a very few can stuff ballot boxes, rig machines, and otherwise twist the will of the people to reflect what they want it to be.
      But, it’s very hard to do that in less dense regions. Too many people would have to be involved. So the vote in the rest of the country is relatively fair.
      Why is restricting immigration so important? Because the current plan is to offload those aliens – soon to be voters – onto the heartland, by sheer numbers overwhelming the natives. And, of course, predictably voting as grateful Democrats.

      • I read somewhere yesterday that The Donald won the Electoral College election due to a little over 100,000 votes, distributed across certain counties in states that flipped. These are the votes that allowed Trump to take the states, electorally. It might be a tough game to rig, but I would never put it past Democrats to give it a good try. I think we saw very clearly the sordid lengths and directions they were willing to cynically push the system in this election, to improve their chances. Illegal immigration is a much more methodical, longer-term gambit and they’ve had a 20 year head start.

  14. A couple of years back I built the data cleanse, match and householding routines, and some of the spatial tools used by both the RNC and i360 (Koch) to build their voter databases and get out the vote front-ends. Based on my experience I can tell you that the IT people in these organizations are pretty lame. Most of them are there because of connections or their ability to bullshit the guys with the money. The result is products that are inferior to what you find in run-of-the-mill business systems but still cost several times more. I was always amused to see how the politicos spun the importance of these money sinks during every election cycle. I left these groups a couple of steps ahead of the bus I was going to get thrown under when my time came around. Stupid me let it be known that I thought supposedly conservative political groups should not be supporting the gay agenda or unlimited immigration. I’ve been laughing my ass off during the current cycle watching Trump disprove the need for these alleged “invaluable” and expensive systems that we all spent so much time and other people’s money building.

  15. “In 2020, the one-legged Latina lesbian the Democrats offer up against Trump will have the best data team and ground game in the history of mankind.”

    Funny you should say that, because I am pretty convinced that Michelle will rise like some star-spangled Joan of Arc from the ashes (or am I mixing up my myths?) in 2020. But of course, she could undergo several transformations to fit your expectation, Mr Z. We shall see.

    • No, this was Michelle’s shot if that is what she wanted to do. I predict the Obama’s will divorce within 2 years of leaving office. Gay Barry will move to Morocco, and Michelle will have her stable of mandingo warriors.

      • Sorry I hadn’t scrolled down to see this comment which is def superior to mine! I just jumped in having returned from a long day at a Veterans Day event at the Doughboy Statue in Overton Park in Memphis.
        What a wonderful place that is!!

      • Shrillary doesn’t need Bill now, and maybe Michelle won’t need Barry soon. But Michelle is still a card-carrying member of the Socialist Collective and in desperation to get a female in the WH (and what could be finer than a black female who has been lauded as one of the world’s most beautiful women by whitey magazines?) the Soviets who go by the name of Democrats could well turn to her. Indeed, single mother and all that plays even better…

  16. Holey moley. Lotus 1-2-3. Haven’t thought of that in several, too many to imagine, years. I was a heavy Lotus user. Then we were forced into Excel, which I hated at first, but soon came to a new sexual relationship with the multi-page and VB aspects of it. It quickly took the place of my ex-wife.

  17. Thanks for the Priebus quote, Zman. I had flipped the radio on while he was prattling on and wasn’t quite sure what he was getting at.

    Based on my own experience (very technical, definitely not selling cereal), a good marketing department does three things:

    – Keeps sales from getting Stockholm syndrome and aligning his interests with the customer instead of the company.
    – Keeps sales from gaming the commission structure and robbing the company blind
    – Keeps engineering from building stuff the customer doesn’t want.

    A great marketing department does a few other things:

    – Talks to customers and figures out what they really need
    – Takes those needs to engineering and finds out what they can really do
    – Writes up a decent requirements document and stays constantly engaged with sales, customer, design engineering, and product engineering to keep everyone aligned, on time, and ahead of the competition.

    It seems to me that Trump is capable of all this.

    • You beat me to it.

      A good Marketing Department should also be doing research on markets and customers that will be used as targets for sales calls.

      I assumed everyone knows that blanket advertising in commercial markets is a waste of money.

      • I left out a lot of the black arts as well. Winning the standards wars, spreading FUD during product development to throw your competitor off, keeping the customer in line, preventing your manufacturing “partner” from gray-marketing your stuff… Best to let everyone think its just a bunch balding middle age guys going to trade shows. And in a lot of mature markets it is. Ah, to be in the fray again!

  18. She lost because she is an awful person with nothing to offer.

    Didn’t that depend on how big a check you could write her?

  19. Their are a few things about Trump that never really made prime time in the election. But you hit right on a couple of them. First, to be a successful real estate guy you have to perceive signals when they are still weak. Developers are in long haul business (my Dad was one), by the time the signals are obvious its too late to get in the game, many still do and they lose. Big. Look at Trumps first big deal on the Hyatt at Grand Central. When he bought it the property was a flophouse, the neighborhood a complete dump, but he could see where it was going and levered a loan from his Dad and pluck into a big score. He’s done many more. And lost a bunch too–but real estate is a business where you lose and often big, since you sign yourself onto those deals. Second, getting a project done requires getting a “Star Wars bar” of people together, governments, banks, investors, unions etc. You don’t succeed by being a complete asshole to everybody since any one party can be your undoing. You have to convince everybody there is something in it for them. Third, after 40 years in the business and growing up in it, you build a pretty damn good set of heuristics in your own head. And this is where the big data guys often go wrong. They approach every problem as though it is completely reducible to a data set and get so buried in the math that they miss obvious things. The Democrats were still trying to find the one legged, angry lesbians in each zip code when Trump was out connecting with people. Fighting that battle right now on how to employ AI in our business. It’s useful, but also a long haul. Trump kept his head out of the spreadsheets and spent his effort sizing up people–which again, in his business you have to be able to do. One theory I have is that the Clinton’s themselves confused the data side of Bill’s campaigns (where they were ostensibly pioneers) with the fact that Bill simply connected. I’ve been with both of them together and even in his dotage, the problem with putting Bill and Hillary on the state together is that she comes off as a screechy dish rag and Bill sucks in all the energy. And it blinded them to thinking you can win by algorithm, when in fact, you have to be an appealing candidate.

    • Repeat after me: Trump was a “good” candidate; Hillary was not, plus he got better as the months wore on. Also, Trump picked Pence, and he was a good candidate, although not to everyone’s taste. Hillary picked Kaine. That choice did not reflect well on her decision making abilities and he proved next to useless in furthering her campaign. We won’t be hearing from Tim again.

      • Agree on Pence. Lot of my family is from Indiana and you run across a lot of “Mike Pences” there. Daniels, Bill Hudnut, guys who are confident, not flashy, competent and get shit done. A perfect foil to Trumps personality. And, yes, a glimpse into how he picks talent. BTW you see the same in a lot of the Trump Organization people. Kaine? I mean, Jesus, couldn’t get the vision of an escaped, deranged Muppet out of my head. But what it told you about Hillary was that her insecurity was so great that she couldn’t pick somebody that might, in any way, come off as “better”. Trump, meanwhile was happy have a Pence to go out and do the smoothing over. But then that is how you build effective teams.

  20. This one made me smile. Many of us have sat in the high-level meetings where the chief number cruncher presents his data. Too often the end result, that trite “bottom line”, was what any thinking, common sense person would have come up with based on their own assessment of a situation and a healthy, uncluttered gut feeling.

    Donald Trump is a very smart man with a very strong gut feeling about what works.

    • I heard Priebus droning on yesterday about his and the RNC’s wonderfulness in getting Donald Trump elected. They are just letting him revel for a bit longer until Trump gets his Administration together. He could still be a useful idiot. For a little while.

  21. Hillary lost because she had nothing to offer 59 million people, unlike Trump who for 59 million people could be himself.

  22. It’s the difference between aspiration and rationalization. Trump’s a real estate guy. Making other people see castles in the air is his job, and he’s so good at it, he’s made billions. We all know what Trump’s vision is– we like it, lefties loathe it, but we’re all agreed on the basics of what “Trump’s America” looks like. He’s got a blueprint, and can use it to help us envision the building. Hillary’s America, on the other hand, would look like… what? Even her strongest supporters have seventeen different answers on any given day, depending on how xhey feel and how triggered xhey are at the moment. All her “data” nonsense is, and was, a frantic attempt at reverse-engineering — frantically trying to scrape together a blueprint while the building is going up.

    • “Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. ”


      • Yeah, but Aristotle’s an old dead white guy; what does he know? 🙂 Seriously, though, did Hillary ever articulate a vision of anything? I kept waiting for anyone to tell me why I should vote FOR her, instead of against Trump. I’m sure her massive data operation did key her into the kinds of folks who are susceptible to that kind of message… but she was going to get lots of them anyway, and any little thing would keep them from voting — no enthusiasm. Short version: “data” is yet another way for Dems to pretend it’s a messaging problem, which is what they always do, because they’re so sure that their policies can never be wrong. There’s theory, and there’s facts, and we all know that when the facts don’t fit the theory, liberals insist that we change the facts. “Data” lets them pretend to change the facts. Good luck with that!

        • You are not giving Hillary sufficient credit. She very clearly articulated her vision for America– a country with its borders thrown open to any black, brown, or Muslim who wanted to come in, and White people would pay for it all with their blood and treasure. Jobs would be exported at increasing rates, while financial parasites would be allowed to swarm like locusts, and bureaucrats would eat out the substance of any remaining productive urges.

          It’s terrifying that that vision was thoroughly appealing to just slightly more than half of the voting public.

  23. Data-driven predictions, Elliot Wave theory, Fourth Turning theory, all high-falutin’ supposedly infallible tea leaves reading systems forget that in reality every day is Wednesday per the old Mickey Mouse Club: Anything Can Happen Day. They also forget the wise words of King Willie the voodoo priest and leader of the Jamaican Voodoo Posse in Predator 2, or maybe it was a disciple, but it’s the only philosophical summation that says it all and in only two words: “Shit ‘appens”.

  24. A job with a catalog ad agency brought me to Atlanta 29 years ago. I was a photo stylist. It was an exciting, energetic, creative company until a “Communications” firm from Nashville bought them. Not creative – left-brained number crunchers. Suddenly all employees were required to log their day on a CAC (Creative Allocation Card) in six minute increments in military time.

    So. Here’s what happened. Given that we, the worker bees, running from set to set all day, in a 50,000 sq. ft studio didn’t really have time to sit and record how we spent our time every six minutes, if we even knew where the CAC was, we did what humans do. We made up stuff, the next morning, in the break room and turned in our works of fiction.

    Months later, they gathered us all together to announce how efficient we all were and that the system was working incredibly well. The numbers proved it. We did what humans who just want to keep their jobs do, smiled, applauded, and kept our mouths shut.

    • The same thing is happening with electronic medical records right now. Docs are being paid according to how they”document” their “work”, not according to what they actually do. Or they do things that aren’t necessary because they pay more, instead of focusing on your problem. I had a female partner who did extensive pelvic exams on every new female patient because that and the right combination of E&M codes could get her a level five visit and higher reimbursement, not because it was necessary. Even on people who already had CT scans and came from a gynecologist. But the patient thinks that they are getting great care, not that they are being run through a mill.
      If folks knew half the bullshit that goes on in medicine they’d probably kill their doctors.

    • I had a similar thing foisted on me years ago by a newly-appointed and oh-so-with-it ‘management’ team. I had to log my activities in web design with the rule being I would as a mere drone develop two new web sites a day. Given that developing a web site takes a bit longer than half a day and I had other jobs to do like making sure a weekly publication reached the printing presses on time (forget the ‘hold the presses’ rubbish you see in movies about the press: the most important thing — the only thing — was ink meeting paper on time) this was a stretch.

      Anyway, I made things up because I was too busy to be the genius they wanted (having already been told at some point I was paid too much and would never get a pay rise again) and they were happy with the fake reports. After all, me sending the document was the most vital thing, and receiving it meant our switched-on managers didn’t have to check whether it was true or not.

    • Remember the weekly “body count” during the Vietnam War?
      That master statistician, number cruncher , DOD Defense Secretary Robert McNamara (one of the dumbest, stupidest intellects ever), figured that he could analyze the progress of the war by assigning numbers to every aspect of that conflict.
      His number crunching worked at Ford Motor Co.; why not apply it to analyze war?
      Of course, the problems with “numbers,” is that they can only be applied to things, objects, items that can be described numerically. But most things cannot be described numerically, despite the best efforts of statisticians.
      Numbers cannot tell you when the enemy has or will lose the will to fight.

      Numbers cannot capture the entire edifice of human motivations, emotions and behavior, and it these human attributes that basically control what we actually do. For instance, the chance (expected value) of winning the lottery is basically zero.
      So why do folks – including me – buy lottery tickets?
      Because the CONSEQUENCES of losing are totally insignificant, whereas the those of winning are immense. The “math” does not and can not capture that.

      Another example is the use of correlations (backwards looking statistics) to analyze and predict the stock market. If it actually worked, no one would lose money in the stock market. But prices are driven by emotions and extraneous events as well as earnings, etc.

      The problem with math and statistics is that they are oft times applied incorrectly , or if correctly, conclusions are deduced that are just plain wrong.

  25. Two issues here. Early adoption, and ratio vs intellectus.
    I have a TV that was left in this house by the previous owners. They were pretentious people who had to have all the newest and best. They built their dream house and then got divorced. The guy had retired at age 42 or something. But he hadn’t done anything. It was all daddy. Found out in the course of things the house had two mortgages(???). Looked up the TV. It’s one of the first Sony wega HDTV’s they made. They paid $10,000 for it. Still works and has a great picture, but it seems to weigh at least 200 lbs. All this just to show off. I think people tend to get taken in by this stuff just like your marketing dude.

    The other part is ratio vs intellectus. I get feelings about this with people. Knew for sure when I saw a tweet saying that Trump was crazy for throwing data out of his campaign. He’s an intellectus. As I’ve said before, ratio’s hate intellecti. And our elites tend to be ratio’s because our educational system selects for them. They are a bunch of fucking robots and they think everyone else should be too.

  26. Now that Trump receives the daily presidential security briefings, it would appear that Obama will have to attend them as well. There is a first time for everything!

  27. An old family friend was renowned for his ability to, as some put it, “smell an election.” Various state party chairman would call him in to advise. His usual methodology was to walk a number of precincts, and just talk to people. I asked him how this helped. His reply was “do you think a voter knows how things are going in their own town? It’s up to the candidate to address it.”

    Or not.

  28. The error is old, but so too is the corrective: all is not gold that glitters.

    Alas, Trump’s old-fashioned pragmatism aside, I fear the Gods of the copy-book headings are coming, and with fear and slaughter.

    The Emperor said some awful nice things about Reince, and from what I hear his transition team isn’t exactly packed with folks on a first-name basis with Jared Taylor.

    A stitch in time saves nine. Let’s hope we’re in time.

    • A politicians are a disappointment. Trump will let us down in many ways. It is the nature of politics. The good news though is he is not a sociopath, he is starting from the right spot and he does negotiate with himself. We’ll get a lot of 1/2 and 3/4 loaf deals, but that will still be a great achievement compared to the past 30 years.

      • And that is where Trump has been brilliant so far in positioning. Will see about execution. Why not start with a wall and deport everyone here illegally? Then when you get Mexico to police their own border, stop take catch and release, and actually deport the felons that are here, you’ve actually solved much of the current problem and seem like a reasonable compromiser. Obama came to every negotiating table having already signaled the minimum deal then usually managed to back off of that. He lost every negotiation unless it was something he could do by fiat.

        • Obama came to every negotiating table having already signaled the minimum deal then usually managed to back off of that. He lost every negotiation unless it was something he could do by fiat.

          From my foxhole, that was true in every case.

          • Such a stereotype.
            Learned enough to work the hustle and live large.
            Too lazy and stupid to want to learn any more than where a good tailor was.

      • Agreed. Trump will do a few positive things, likely keep the country out of war, and bring real-life management skills to the job. However, the country is so fundamentally divided that nobody can do much more than that. Fundamental political change isn’t going to happen because the population does not agree on first principles.

      • Z, I agree. Trump will make deals. That’s what he does. A deal is by definition a give and take. Obama did not make deals. He surrendered completely on every international issue and insisted on having it completely his way on every domestic issue. He was a pussy abroad and a thug at home. He was driven by his Marxist ideology and his resentment against The Man, not by any wish to do what was best for his country. Trump will make good deals, not perfect ones, motivated by what’s in the best interest of America.

      • Saint Ronaldus Magnus was satisfied to get 80% of his initial position; I suspect President Trump may do the same.

        • Except of course, when he settled for 0%. The 1986 amnesty being the most obvious example, although there are others.

    • You worried before the election, you worry after the election. your brain is fukked sir, give it a rest. i recommend you get high, and stay high, for one solid month.

  29. Analysis indicates we are on the leading edge of an enormous and highly unpleasant restructuring of life as we know it. Trump blew every rigid established form into the ether. He won in spite of the norm. He’s prospered by analyzing the norm and outwitting it. There’s going to be a tsunami of expected and unexpected consequences that he has to deal with,and he will. He’ll do the job. The CommieCrats are regrouping,licking their self-inflicted wounds,as are the NeverCucks. These rusty Fucks never sleep.

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