Putin on the Writs

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JasonL
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 30 May 2019, 11:33

That’s because everything is important. There’s no one thing because any of the things could tip things the other way.
I think this is wrong. If all variables of trivial magnitudes swing the outcome, talking about them as being important is wrongheaded. What was important is that it was close enough to be a coin toss. Isolating small magnitude events is a fool's errand.

I also, as always, strongly dislike this thing people do where the news cycle "made" people stay home or "animated" the base or whatever. Part of "we are aggregating what people want to happen" is the willingness of people to stay home or become activists or whatever. You start second guessing the baseline projection as "real" then apply external factors as distortions to what was the "real" outcome - but for some reason people only do that for outcomes they hate. The process is profoundly limited.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Mo » 30 May 2019, 12:01

I would say the things lunchstealer brings up rise above trivial magnitude. I mean maybe things were close enough where Hillary's Gandalf the white outfit won the election for Trump, which is trivial. But Comey letter, hacked email, Fox quashing the Stormy Daniels story in October 2016, etc. rise above trivial.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Ellie » 30 May 2019, 12:29

"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected." I love this wording. :lol:
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Warren » 30 May 2019, 12:39

Ellie wrote:
30 May 2019, 12:29
"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected." I love this wording. :lol:
Which begs the question, Did he have anything to do with getting elected at all?
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 30 May 2019, 12:55

Warren wrote:
Ellie wrote:
30 May 2019, 12:29
"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected." I love this wording.
Which begs the question, Did he have anything to do with getting elected at all?
No. The fault lies in the complete fucking stupidity of the American people.

Frankly, this whole fucking country should lose its voting rights.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 30 May 2019, 13:01

No. The fault lies in the complete fucking stupidity of the American people.
THIS is the thing. If not stupidity per se, understanding the demand (yes I say this a lot) for something like Trump. Focusing on this or that variable of, yes relatively speaking small magnitude, is missing 95% of the real issue but it's all anyone wants to talk about.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 30 May 2019, 13:13

I've been saying for a while that we should tear up the Treat of Paris and return to the status of subjects under a foreign monarch. These dumb motherfuckers don't deserve self rule.

My experiences teaching at a state university have something to do with my opinion of the American people.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Warren » 30 May 2019, 13:24

thoreau wrote:
30 May 2019, 13:13
I've been saying for a while that we should tear up the Treat of Paris
You want to throw away the crepes and eclairs? Madness!
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by lunchstealer » 30 May 2019, 16:01

JasonL wrote:
30 May 2019, 11:33
That’s because everything is important. There’s no one thing because any of the things could tip things the other way.
I think this is wrong. If all variables of trivial magnitudes swing the outcome, talking about them as being important is wrongheaded.
Well you're just wrong about that. I'm not trying to dis you or anything, but you're just wrong.

If it's so close that Russia not interfering means she wins, then Russia interfering is vitally important. Yes she had opportunities to mitigate their impact and failed, and that's all important too, but the fact is that every single thing is important in a close election. Anything that is a necessary condition is vitally important. You're wrong about 'trivial magnitudes' because in a race this close a 'trivial magnitude' is only a magnitude smaller than the margin of victory. Trivial magnitude isn't some objective number that floats impervious to conditions. It's situation dependent, and in this case, trivial numbers are only numbers that are very very small. In Reagan v Mondale, all sorts of big swings could be called trivial because it would take a huge event to swing that back to Mondale. For Hillary v Trump, practically nothing is trivial.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 30 May 2019, 16:13

Yeah, that's outcomes based thinking that allows you to plug any just so story you like into the mix because you get to pick small magnitude variables. It's a coin toss and if you insist on calling your dependent variable The One you are missing the important part that it was a coin toss. I get that Person A became president and person B didn't, but that is always the case and you can always pick on events. Bad weather here, broken machines there, timing of news cycle in this area, Fox didn't talk about thing A but NYT didn't talk about thing B. If you adjudicate the outcome of elections by picking on those things, you are misunderstanding what democracy can ever accomplish. It's a consensus aggregator that is super crappy with margins of error a mile wide and unless you have a fairly dominant victory you are living with a large number of small perturbations that could have had your guy win but things didn't go that way. You are railing against a coin flip.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 30 May 2019, 16:24

One can assign causality to things that influenced people without denying their responsibility to avoid being influenced. To wit, both of the following statements can be simultaneously true:

(1) Some people were influenced by troll farms, therefore troll farms had an effect on the election.
(2) People had a moral responsibility to think critically about what they hear and not let troll farms sway them.

Now, the first statement makes claims of fact, so it needs to be tested against empirical evidence. My point here is not to analyze survey data but to note that the first one could be true without invalidating the second one.

Likewise, a third statement could also be true:

(3) A head of government has an obligation to implement lawfully-enacted sanctions against foreign governments that meddle in our internal affairs, irrespective of whether said foreign governments did him personal favors.

The third statement does not change the fact that, per (2), voters have a moral responsibility to make good choices. Responsibility is not some finite, indivisible object. Different people can have different responsibilities, even conflicting responsibilities. For instance, both of these statements can be true:

(4) A GRU officer has a duty to hack the emails of US politicians and influence elections in ways that benefit Russia.
(5) An FBI official has a duty to take lawful and reasonable measures to prevent GRU officers from doing that.

Both of these are true statements about duty. One of them does not obviate the other. We can live in a world where responsibilities overlap, so that voters have a responsibility to ignore certain attempts at influence, while FBI officials have a responsibility to prevent those attempts at influence from happening, and GRU officers have a responsibility to attempt that influence.
Last edited by thoreau on 30 May 2019, 16:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 30 May 2019, 16:29

Say I pay money to an assassin and he carries out an assassination. He clearly failed in his ethical responsibility to not murder people, so he is responsible for the murder. I also failed in my moral responsibility to not hire people to murder, so I am also responsible. And nobody would freak out if someone said "Vincenzo Mattore killed someone because he was paid to do so." Nobody would be all "No! No! He did it because he chose to commit a crime, not because he was paid!" Everyone would know damn well what was meant.

Likewise, one can say that people were influenced AND that they had a responsibility to not fall for certain things and do stupid shit.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Mo » 30 May 2019, 17:25

So if Trump lost, would you say the Access Hollywood tape didn’t matter because it’s a coin flip?

To go back to the football analogy, if a game ends 21-20 on a last minute touchdown and the losing QB threw 4 INTs, one that happened in the last minute, you wouldn’t say that turnovers cost the losing team the game?
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Warren » 30 May 2019, 17:52

Mo wrote:
30 May 2019, 17:25
So if Trump lost, would you say the Access Hollywood tape didn’t matter because it’s a coin flip?
If Trump lost the story would be, Hillary is so fucking awful, look how close she came to losing to a clown.
To go back to the football analogy, if a game ends 21-20 on a last minute touchdown and the losing QB threw 4 INTs, one that happened in the last minute, you wouldn’t say that turnovers cost the losing team the game?
The point is that you could rightfully claim any one of a dozen plays cost them the game. And if you're the heavy favorite and you lose to an unranked team, you should be more concerned over how they got in a position to beat you than whining over that one bad call the refs made late in the game.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by lunchstealer » 30 May 2019, 18:40

"It's a coin toss and if you insist on calling your dependent variable The One you are missing the important part that it was a coin toss."

See I'm not calling it "The One" though. I'm saying that all of them are Ones and every single one is vitally important if it has a >0.5% impact in the close states. Not campaigning in WI/MI/PA is critical and she should've done that.

I've been watching a bunch of Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel. A lot of crashes are the result of a lot of contributing factors, and most of the time fixing any single one could've saved the plane. The last one I watched had a series of factors for a Northwest flight that crashed on takeoff. They were delayed by weather and were getting to the point where they might not be able to make their final destination if they didn't leave soon. There was a chance that more weather would move in and delay the flight even further. A change in wind direction meant that they had to switch runways halfway through their takeoff checklist. The checklist didn't have an easy way to note what they'd done before taxiing to the new runway. They forgot to set the flaps. And the takeoff alarm that shrieks at you if you try to take off without flaps malfunctioned and didn't scream at them.

A couple of those might be trivial. If they had to switch runways but weren't late, maybe they still make the mistake. Or maybe if there was an easy way to tell what they'd done they might still have overlooked the flaps. But the runway change, cockpit stress, weather, pilot error, and malfunctioning warning all contributed such that none of them were trivial, but none of them was sufficient to cause the crash anyway.

There was no One Reason. There were a bunch of small reasons and they were all really important because the result of those reasons all piling up was two people on the ground and everyone but one four year old girl on the plane lost their lives.

Trivial things are trivial until they aren't. But when they stop being trivial it's wrong to say that they're still trivial.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 30 May 2019, 18:53

Mo wrote:
30 May 2019, 17:25
So if Trump lost, would you say the Access Hollywood tape didn’t matter because it’s a coin flip?

To go back to the football analogy, if a game ends 21-20 on a last minute touchdown and the losing QB threw 4 INTs, one that happened in the last minute, you wouldn’t say that turnovers cost the losing team the game?
I think people look at the last play way more often than is warranted and assign causality because it is the most direct story. I enjoy blaming Pete Carroll for the decision not to hand off to Lynch, but it's really bad reasoning in a probabilistic event where the whole game came down to ... basically a coin toss. In most sports a game within one score in the final minutes shouldn't be viewed through a lens of x,y,z cost them the game. It's technically true, but if you are modeling that event you would use statistical tools to say essentially that team A won a close game that you would only expect to win half the time over the long run. So yeah, a dropped pass cost a team a victory in the narrow sense, but how much does that actually tell you about the performance of the teams? Not much. It was basically a push.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 30 May 2019, 19:01

lunchstealer wrote:
30 May 2019, 18:40
"It's a coin toss and if you insist on calling your dependent variable The One you are missing the important part that it was a coin toss."

See I'm not calling it "The One" though. I'm saying that all of them are Ones and every single one is vitally important if it has a >0.5% impact in the close states. Not campaigning in WI/MI/PA is critical and she should've done that.

I've been watching a bunch of Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel. A lot of crashes are the result of a lot of contributing factors, and most of the time fixing any single one could've saved the plane. The last one I watched had a series of factors for a Northwest flight that crashed on takeoff. They were delayed by weather and were getting to the point where they might not be able to make their final destination if they didn't leave soon. There was a chance that more weather would move in and delay the flight even further. A change in wind direction meant that they had to switch runways halfway through their takeoff checklist. The checklist didn't have an easy way to note what they'd done before taxiing to the new runway. They forgot to set the flaps. And the takeoff alarm that shrieks at you if you try to take off without flaps malfunctioned and didn't scream at them.

A couple of those might be trivial. If they had to switch runways but weren't late, maybe they still make the mistake. Or maybe if there was an easy way to tell what they'd done they might still have overlooked the flaps. But the runway change, cockpit stress, weather, pilot error, and malfunctioning warning all contributed such that none of them were trivial, but none of them was sufficient to cause the crash anyway.

There was no One Reason. There were a bunch of small reasons and they were all really important because the result of those reasons all piling up was two people on the ground and everyone but one four year old girl on the plane lost their lives.

Trivial things are trivial until they aren't. But when they stop being trivial it's wrong to say that they're still trivial.
This is great mechanical reasoning but not great probabilistic reasoning in my view. If you react to the thing that was small in magnitude but Became Important conditionally when the big picture is that you are looking at a probabilistic set of events with a distribution of outcomes, you are over assigning importance to that one thing. It's like thinking you played a hand poorly when you made the wrong play but some other guy got lucky. If you react to his set of conditions and set your strategy, you are deviating from the important thing about your decision.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by lunchstealer » 30 May 2019, 23:40

JasonL wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:
30 May 2019, 18:40
"It's a coin toss and if you insist on calling your dependent variable The One you are missing the important part that it was a coin toss."

See I'm not calling it "The One" though. I'm saying that all of them are Ones and every single one is vitally important if it has a >0.5% impact in the close states. Not campaigning in WI/MI/PA is critical and she should've done that.

I've been watching a bunch of Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel. A lot of crashes are the result of a lot of contributing factors, and most of the time fixing any single one could've saved the plane. The last one I watched had a series of factors for a Northwest flight that crashed on takeoff. They were delayed by weather and were getting to the point where they might not be able to make their final destination if they didn't leave soon. There was a chance that more weather would move in and delay the flight even further. A change in wind direction meant that they had to switch runways halfway through their takeoff checklist. The checklist didn't have an easy way to note what they'd done before taxiing to the new runway. They forgot to set the flaps. And the takeoff alarm that shrieks at you if you try to take off without flaps malfunctioned and didn't scream at them.

A couple of those might be trivial. If they had to switch runways but weren't late, maybe they still make the mistake. Or maybe if there was an easy way to tell what they'd done they might still have overlooked the flaps. But the runway change, cockpit stress, weather, pilot error, and malfunctioning warning all contributed such that none of them were trivial, but none of them was sufficient to cause the crash anyway.

There was no One Reason. There were a bunch of small reasons and they were all really important because the result of those reasons all piling up was two people on the ground and everyone but one four year old girl on the plane lost their lives.

Trivial things are trivial until they aren't. But when they stop being trivial it's wrong to say that they're still trivial.
This is great mechanical reasoning but not great probabilistic reasoning in my view. If you react to the thing that was small in magnitude but Became Important conditionally when the big picture is that you are looking at a probabilistic set of events with a distribution of outcomes, you are over assigning importance to that one thing. It's like thinking you played a hand poorly when you made the wrong play but some other guy got lucky. If you react to his set of conditions and set your strategy, you are deviating from the important thing about your decision.
So what you’re saying is that because it’s a coin toss, Russia is trivial. So is not campaigning in MI/PA/WI, and being the kind of person who woodenly is chants Pokémon Go To The Polls. And sexism. And 30+ years of paranoid secrecy she learned during Watergate.

It's just a coin toss so it's all trivial.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 31 May 2019, 00:00

I mean, some of those things are native to the candidate and are part of what you’d consider the baseline expectations for the candidate. I’m guessing that the first order effects leading to a close race were choice of candidate and populist sentiment. The second order was failure to campaign. The third order is a bunch of stuff that don’t matter much relative to those other things.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Mo » 31 May 2019, 04:57

JasonL wrote:
30 May 2019, 18:53
Mo wrote:
30 May 2019, 17:25
So if Trump lost, would you say the Access Hollywood tape didn’t matter because it’s a coin flip?

To go back to the football analogy, if a game ends 21-20 on a last minute touchdown and the losing QB threw 4 INTs, one that happened in the last minute, you wouldn’t say that turnovers cost the losing team the game?
I think people look at the last play way more often than is warranted and assign causality because it is the most direct story. I enjoy blaming Pete Carroll for the decision not to hand off to Lynch, but it's really bad reasoning in a probabilistic event where the whole game came down to ... basically a coin toss. In most sports a game within one score in the final minutes shouldn't be viewed through a lens of x,y,z cost them the game. It's technically true, but if you are modeling that event you would use statistical tools to say essentially that team A won a close game that you would only expect to win half the time over the long run. So yeah, a dropped pass cost a team a victory in the narrow sense, but how much does that actually tell you about the performance of the teams? Not much. It was basically a push.
In fairness, if you look at win probability type stats, last minute plays have the largest impact because there's no time to recover from them. And for things like elections, something like the Comey letter coming in the 11th hour is going to have a much larger effect days out than even 2 weeks out because you'll typically see events cause a polling surge and the ebb. If the election happens during the surge, as it did, it's going to have a disproportionate impact relative to the event itself. If Bush lost in 2000, the 11th hour reveal of his DUI would have probably been why.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Dangerman » 31 May 2019, 10:41

If the last play at the buzzer matters, so does the play in the first quarter, and I don't know how to express a mathematical explanation of why the late game matters more

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 31 May 2019, 11:58

Regardless of whether a particular thing was pivotal, if it was against the rules then a person seeking a job atop the rule-enforcement apparatus shouldn't be applauding it.

If tomorrow it were proved conclusively that hacked DNC emails didn't move enough voters in key states, the guy who's ultimately in charge of the rule-enforcement apparatus would still have a responsibility to enforce sanctions against the people responsible for the illegal hacking. If he dragged his feet on that, if he instead applauded the people who did it and tried to deny the plain findings of everyone who looked at the matter, he would be showing himself unfit for the job. It wouldn't matter whether the illegal play actually mattered for the final score or not.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 31 May 2019, 11:59

I mean, suppose we all agreed that a particular foul was not critical to the outcome of a sporting event. Would that make it OK for a ref to say "Wow, nice move!" to the player who fouled?
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 31 May 2019, 12:32

There were many factors that led to Trump's 2016 win. Everyone except the stable genius and his fanboys agrees that the combination was flukish. Part of that was the Russian hacking, but it certainly wasn't the only determining factor, just a very minor one that piled on top of a lot of much more significant ones.

I'm not clear on what Trump did or knew prior to 11/08/16, but I would agree his actions since then amount to obstruction. By rights, he should be gone.

Factually, however, it isn't going to happen, for reasons we have discussed here many times. I'm not particularly happy with that, but I do not see any point in fighting a battle you are going to lose. I have previously given my reasons why I think a failed impeachment might be worse than no impeachment at all.

If I am wrong and Trump does win on November 3, 2020, then impeachment might be the only option left, but it still isn't going to succeed unless the Blues win every single one of the GOP seats up for re-election or a significant number of GOP Senators defect. The latter isn't going to happen until Trump's fanbase loses its death-grip on the party - which is possible if Trump suffers the usual '2nd Term Slump.'
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 31 May 2019, 12:34

Aresen wrote:
31 May 2019, 12:32
I'm not clear on what Trump did or knew prior to 11/08/16, but I would agree his actions since then amount to obstruction. By rights, he should be gone.

Factually, however, it isn't going to happen, for reasons we have discussed here many times. I'm not particularly happy with that, but I do not see any point in fighting a battle you are going to lose. I have previously given my reasons why I think a failed impeachment might be worse than no impeachment at all.
What you are arguing is different from what some people here seem to be arguing. Some believe that impeachment is not only improbable but unwarranted because...well, I'm not really sure. I guess that they want to give presidents every conceivable benefit of the doubt, because we all know what a bunch of stand-up trustworthy guys presidents are.
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