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January 10, 2019 | 5 Comments

Liar’s Logic — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

I enjoy listening to creative liars. Good lying takes work, you know. Hard work. You have to remember so many things you’ve said. And you’ve got to weave everything just so. Not too blatant, but not too soft. Persuasive, but not pushy. That’s why it’s so hard to listen to today’s liars. Especially when you’ve heard so many great ones before. It’s like comparing Hollywood actors of yore to these macho pipsqueaks today. Does anyone really think a Cruise or a DiCaprio could (or even would) beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of someone in real-life?

Liars, the really good ones, smooth guys, could talk you into or out of anything. Nowadays, all we have is sobbing shriekers who try to Hector you into something ridiculous. Something like ‘trans-genderism’ or ‘anti-fascism’. The funny part is, even as they are lying through their teeth, they actually seem to believe their own lies. And maybe they do. In which case, they’re actually something worse than liars. They are ignorant liars. Which destroys their intended effectiveness. The best descriptive for them is this: they are idiots. They are totally ignorant of everything, but most importantly, the reality of the past. Unfortunately, the public is just as ignorant. So the playing field is level.

A really good liar knows the facts. Which means he knows which ones to avoid. A good liar also knows his mark. It does you no good to lie unless you’re going to gain something from it. And if you’re going to gain something, then someone else has got to lose that same something. Forget the ‘marketplace synergy’ that creates more than the sum of the parts. Lying is a true zero-sum game. You got it. I take it. Bye-bye, sucker.

Now a really good liar has to have a good technique. And nerves of steel. A great smile helps, too. The technique is simple, in theory. Liar’s Logic, I call it. I’ve explained this before, but let me re-cap for you. A good liar has two things he’s looking for. The liar has to determine if the mark is either prideful, or fearful. Or some mix in between, which is usually the case, because these two traits seem to travel together. But one or the other of these two traits will be dominant.

To persuade the mark, the liar has to identify and then play to the dominant trait. If the mark is mostly fearful, then he must be persuaded that whatever he fears will actually happen. Unless, of course, he takes your advice. In this situation the liar must exude extreme confidence in himself. Fearful people (especially women) are always looking for someone strong.

Now this approach requires that you must know something about the fears of the mark. You must be conversant with the issues that consume (and paralyze) him. Which means you must know the lay of the land, from his point of view. This actually requires some work. And some smarts. Like I said, creative lying is hard work. Anyway, once you have identified the mark’s greatest fear(s), all you need do is to act confident in the face of the situation that has paralyzed him. He will then seek to find the source of your confidence, at which time you sell him the snake-oil. For a discount, of course. Why? Because you like him, and you see so much of yourself in him, of course!

If the mark is a prideful soul, then the liar must simply play to his mark’s ego. He must tell the mark how smart and clever he is. How good looking too, of course. You’ve got to be careful here. Pure obsequiousness can be repulsive, so again, the liar must still exude confidence in himself. But he must also find something in the mark that he finds ‘admirable’. Something that inspires confidence. There’s a reason they are called ‘confidence-men’. Con-men. Get it?

One of the best ways to disarm the prideful is to tell them, in so many ways besides the direct statement, how moral and upright they are. Don’t get too specific though, because that becomes obvious when it is obviously not true. Just use the morality system the mark has embraced (as everyone embraces something of this sort, in order to rationalize their own behavior). Questions are so much better than statements. You must find something admirable about them, even if it is by today’s standards. It’s not that hard.

In any event, once you can get the mark to believe you are sincere in your flattery, the rest is easy. But again, you must appear to be much like the mark. Then it becomes the old ‘mutual admiration society‘. It means that you too must be prideful. The difference between you and the mark, however, is that you are so grateful to have found someone else who is as smart (or strong, or righteous, or good looking, or all of the above, in some mixture) as you. It also helps to be able to flash a wad while tipping the waiter. But don’t over-tip.

Soon enough (but don’t rush it, make him beg you) the mark will want to get a piece of your action. Why will he want that? Because he’s greedy. Greed and pride are bedfellows, didn’t you know? And while you really shouldn’t, you’ll cut him in (at a discount, of course), because, after all, you need other smart guys like him in your world. Have your stock-certificate book ready (they sell them at any good business supply store) when the moment arrives. Take the money, but reluctantly. Then book your flight to Rio. Fast.

Well, there’s the basics. You gotta know the mark, you gotta know the territory. And you’ve gotta have patience. That’s the kind of guy I can, in some sense, admire. As Georges Danton knew, sheer audacity is breathtaking. All revolutionaries understand this. Because all revolutionaries are liars. And the bigger the lie, the easier the sell. Ask Trotsky. Or Stalin. Or best of all, Nikita Khrushchev. The best liar since Lucifer. Anatoly Golitsyn can tell you about Little Nicky.

(Note: check out Putin’s latest announcement about his new Mach 20 Aero-ballistic missile. Then tell me again Golitsyn was a fool, or a tool.)

I’m thinking of the professional liars of today. Forget Marx and Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin. Forget Wilson and FDR and Obama and Bush. Think big. Think Bigger! Think instead about the Associated Press. And all their associated minions. Yes, think of the Oracles of Delphi, in all their current incarnations.

Let me ask you a simple question, my patriot brother. Do you believe that the left (or right) directs the modern media? Or do you think the media directs them? No, I’m not an idiot. At least, not in this field. I actually have one degree in Journalism. Another as an MBA. But back to the question: do the Parties follow the Press, or vice-versa? Most people think the press (including that subtler version known as entertainment) follows the dictates of the left or right, take your pick. I beg to differ. I say the Parties follow the Oracles of Delphi. That is, the Media, in all its many forms. And the key to the trick is this: the purpose of the Oracles is to divide the people, for Caesar’s benefit. It’s as simple as that.

The purpose of the Parties is simply to voice this division in their platforms and candidates. The common vehicle for this division is known as ‘democracy’, the religion of modern Western man. Thank you, Georges Danton. Every smart Emperor knows a divided populace is safer than one united. Especially when you raise their taxes.

That is the bottom line, as they say in business. The bottom line is profit. That’s what democracy is all about. Making a profit by dividing the people, and then dividing the spoils. When the people (the ‘marks’) are divided, how can they resist? All you have to do is play to their human weaknesses of pride and fear, and profit is guaranteed. The problem, for the liars at least, comes in dividing the spoils. That’s when it gets personal. And that’s where Donald comes in. The Donald, The Bastard Emperor. The man which no Oracle foresaw.

Both sides of the Oracle-media world were totally stunned by his rise. Therefore, they must totally despise him. The Wall Street Journal is no different than the New York Times in this respect. That should tell you something. Something big. And here is what that something is: both sides of the aisle are Imperialists. The only argument between them is about who should steer the Imperial ship for the next four years. In other words, who gets to divide the spoils in this current Olympic cycle.

Both parties are Imperial to the bone. The latest screech-fest uniting them is the Donald-declared withdrawal from Syria. Just what is it about Syria that is so God-awful important to the American Nation? Our shared cultural heritage? Our dependence on the Syrian markets for camel-dung? Our desire to see Syrian Democracy succeed, like in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, etc.? Wait, give me a minute, I’m sure to think of something. Hang on while I take a drink. Oh yeah! Our common belief in a monotheistic God? Wait, I take that back. Way back. They still believe it. We no longer do.

Well then, why is there so damn much howling over this decision Donald made, and which is totally congruent with his campaign platform? That’s simple, patriot. Donald is announcing, in a way these Imperialists so clearly detect, that America needs to regain her nationality. And the only way to do that is to renounce her Empire. It’s one or the other. You can’t be both. Caesar and the Senate never got along, and for good reason. There ain’t room in this town for both of us, pardner. Here Vlad, take the reins.

Donald is starting to revert to form. He’s starting to go back to his nationalistic roots. Whether it’s a conscious decision or simply instinct, he has decided to go back to his desire to make America THE NATION, great again. I’m of the opinion that Donald moves on instinct. But whatever the case, he has cast his lot for an American nation, and not the Empire. And this is what has sent the Oracles (and their respective slave-parties) into orbit. They sense a mortal threat to their existence. Donald has embarked on a course that is diametrically opposed to their mutual interest in world domination. And that domination, in case you haven’t noticed, begins with the domination of Americans. Ask Nancy if you don’t believe me. And Chuck, too.

Now you can say all you want about the basic differences between the left and the right my friend, but in the end, they have one common characteristic: they are both a fraction of the whole. The whole of the nation. And by definition, it is a fractured whole. As long as they are allowed to keep us divided, we can never regain our unity.

Lincoln started this problem. The mechanical march of technology (reapers, combines, threshers, balers) would have obliterated the value of slavery in another 20 years. And the South made multiple offers to phase out slavery, but Abe’s power-lust wouldn’t let him wait. He couldn’t allow a peaceful buyout of the slaveholders like William Wilberforce engineered in England in the 1830’s. No, it was time for The Empire, and Abe was our first Caesar. Want proof? Look at the death toll. And the 150+ years of racial strife that has ensued, keeping us divided. Divided from our true heritage. Divided from our national unity. A unity based on religious faith, however malformed it was among the people. But not her leaders.

Well, you can believe that or not. I do. But the fact is, we have been thoroughly divided, and bloodily so, since that time. Slavery isn’t the only issue dividing us. Ultimately, they all come down to one thing, property. Free people own it, slaves do not. And now, thanks to The Empire, none of us do. We’re all slaves. Remember that when you’re paying your rent (property taxes) next April. You don’t really own your home. Or your car. Or your 401K.

Here are the main ingredients of our division. Each side exploits one of these ingredients. The ‘ownership’ idea is exploited by one side. And the ‘freedom’ idea is exploited by the other. And neither can see that Caesar owns everybody and everything. Neither can see that only Holy Rome can successfully oppose Imperial Rome in its drive to enslave everyone, American or not. It’s not hard to see why no one can sense this reality, given the chaos within the walls of Holy Rome today. Thank’ee, Franky.

Let’s get back to Donald the Bastard Emperor. Donald, who would willingly give Syria to the Russians and Iranians. What would we gain from that, Donald? Simple, compatriot. Blood. American blood. Wait, you say, only a few American lives have been lost in Syria of late. Well, even one is too much, given the total disconnect between what Syria is (and always has been, since Mohammed arrived) and what America supposedly was at its founding; a Christian nation.
Yes, I know all the stuff about how we weren’t really Christian. That does apply to our rebellious deistic leaders, but it never applied to the people. Imperfect Christians they were, Samaritans all. Can you show me anything better, west of Canterbury? I thought not.

Besides, this Syrian move is simply the down payment on Donald’s next move, Afghanistan. Time to come home, my brothers. Time to come home. Seventeen years it’s taken us to realize that the price of Empire is never fully paid. Victory is never achieved. Why? Because it’s not meant to. The real purpose is to keep us divided while the Legions enforce Caesar’s global will. The craziest part of this crazy play is that those who should be most interested in America as a nation are the ones who most easily succumb to the siren song of Imperial greatness. I’m talking about the American heartland. It is the red states of America that most willingly give their red blood for the image of an exceptional nation. A nation that no longer exists, as a nation.

Why is that? It’s because they listen to the Oracles. The Oracles of the WSJ and Fox, who tell us that we must shed our red for this religion of democracy. To make the world ‘safe’. For whom I cannot tell. Certainly not for the millions of dead and displaced civilians (many of them Christians) throughout the Mid-East. Nevertheless, we continue to listen.

The Left is no better, as they tell us that the way to make the world safer for all is for all of us to disappear as a homogeneous entity. That we should simply roll out the red carpet to any and all, regardless of our own well-being. Regardless of anyone else’s disdain for our faith, our families, and our fatherland. The only way to appease the Left is to commit hari-kiri on the altar of Diversity. They too have tuned in to the other (opposing) Oracles, the NPR’s and the CNN’s that tell us that humanity is a cancer upon the earth. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s in store for everyone, American or not. Get ready to die. So that the snail-darters may thrive.

Here’s the reality, my American friend—the Empire is simply a machine. A machine that dwarfs (and seeks to destroy) the concept of nationality. Think of it like this. Think of a simple pickup truck. Now think of a Monster Truck. The two couldn’t be more alike in shape and utility, yet couldn’t be more unlike in scale. And there is the heart of the matter. Real nations are built upon the culture of homogenous peoples and their culture. Empires are heterogenous beasts built upon discrete and dissimilar nations and cultures. Enslaved nations, to be exact. Remember the Warsaw Pact, Komrade?

From a distance, where scale is obscured, the Ford F-150 and the Monster Truck may look alike. But in reality, they are opposites. The key here is in their limitations. Specifically, nations have borders. Empires have none. Now you might begin to understand the resistance, on both sides of the Democratic/Republican ‘divide’, to Donald and his Wall. To Donald and his ‘withdrawals’. To Donald and his tariffs. Both sides of the ‘mainstream’ parties oppose all of this. Why? Because both sides are Imperialists. Both sides believe in America as the Empire. And neither side believes in America as a nation, and everything Donald has been doing is good for the nation. Not the Empire.

Both sides of the political world in America, regardless of the names they assume (left/right, conservative/liberal, Democrat/Republican), have only one goal in mind. And that goal, truth be told, is to seize the wheel of the machine. For the Empire is just a machine. A machine that will take you where you want to go. Where is that, specifically? Anywhere, my friend. And everywhere. The only difference in drivers is this: where do you want to go first? Lefties wanna see Venezuela? No problem! Righties wanna see Damascus? Sure!

There is the difference between a nation and an empire. Again, nations have bounds, and empires have none. You may think that the best part of borders is that they are meant to keep others out. In reality, at least from your neighbor’s point of view, is that they are meant to keep you in.

But if you have the imperial wanderlust, fueled by your need for new sources of slaves (‘outsourcing’) and loot (‘natural resources’), then you can easily see the utility of a monster truck when the time comes to overrun the next frontier. How easy it is to crush the opposing pickups. Just like in the arenas throughout the heartland, where Monster Trucks crush the little F-150’s, to the cheers of all our supposedly nationalistic believers, who all drive F-150’s.

How can this fate be dodged, good neighbor? After all, Donald can’t do the job alone. What can we do to help him, and thus help ourselves? And more importantly, our children? What is the only worthy and true opponent of The Empire? Well, who was it that chased The Emperor (Diocletian) out of Imperial Rome? Yes, it was Holy Rome. The Rome that then conquered Constantine. The Rome that built Christendom. The Rome that was the architect of Christian Europe.

But wait, you say, how can anyone think to join Holy Rome today, when it is so obviously un-Holy? Well, friend, maybe now you understand why it had to be subverted if The Emperor was to survive. El Diablo understands this. Do you? Because, as the only worthy opponent to Caesar, the Church is the only real hope for mankind, in all their nations. She’s done it before. She can, and will, do it again. But all of her troops will die in the effort.

Joining up won’t save you in the here and now. But it might save your nation (a.k.a. you and your children) in the end. And a lot of other nations. For as long as Caesar is unchallenged, there will never be any real peace among the nations. Isn’t that what we should want? Isn’t that what we should be willing to fight for? Let us fight Caesar, and not our neighbors.
So then, citizen, if you’re up to the task, if you’re a real man, the choice is clear. Uncle Sam wants (and needs) you. Report to your closest local recruiting station. The closest Catholic Church. You’ll pay the ultimate price. But you’re going to pay it anyway. So, what are you waiting for?

January 9, 2019 | 16 Comments

Proof Global Warming Is Asinine

Now that the Democrats are poised to triumph over the House, we shall soon daily hear from the likes of Nancy Pelosi and the appalling Raul Grijalva on the tedious subject of global warming. Which means we’ll have to begin talking about it again, like we did in the old days. I hate to do it because I am sick unto death of the whole subject.

What’s it’s been? Twenty, thirty years? Fifty if you throw in global cooling. Decade upon decade of increasingly shrill promises of plummeting—rather, soaring—-temperatures, with nothing much happening. Month or so back we heard there were no strong tornadoes in the US last year. But there were increase in threats that tornadoes were growing more frequent, destructive, et cetera. And also an increase in the believe the threats are reality.

Remember when I (as minority member) and three others published a paper that said, yeah, we’ll get some warming, probably, but not too much? And the crap storm from it that followed? Older readers will recall all that when I speak of “the hacking”. Some environmentally minded zealot pegged my site because I didn’t agree the world would flame out. All of that dull history can be read in articles on the Classics page.

Isn’t it obvious by now the whole thing is political? Well, if not, today I present conclusive proof.

Here’s a CNN tweet (ellipsis original): “‘We must hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created. … and say to them you cannot continue risking our future like this.’ Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg calls on young people to use their anger as activism.”


That we have ignorant brats admonishing us about global warming is all you need to demonstrate climatology has succumbed almost entirely to politics. One hopes there are at least some scientists left who cringe at these embarrassing displays.

I didn’t hear of any who complained of this, or of the many, many similar idiotic displays, though. Meaning scientists who work in this field are pleased to have demonstrably stupid spokespeople. (I almost qualified spokespeople with “celebrity”, but realized the redundancy in time.) I’m not picking on this earnest yet foolish young lady. I am saying CNN, the girl’s parents, and everybody else responsible for the PR stunt should be horsewhipped.

Global warming is politics. QED. I have demonstrated what I set out to prove.

But wait! There’s more! There will always be more. Global warming—under its nom de guerre climate change—will never go away because of its global nature which, as is clear, causes reflexive drooling in globalists. (“Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty,” said Angela Merkel. “In an orderly fashion of course.” Give up sovereignty to be ruled by whom? She doesn’t say.)

Anyway, here’s another headline: “$1 Million Climate Change Prize Awarded To Unlikely Candidates.” This, depressingly, is in Forbes.

Yesterday, The Roddenberry Foundation awarded four organizations $250,000 each as winners of its 2018 Roddenberry Prize. The $1 million prize focuses on food waste, plant-rich diets, girls’ education, and women’s rights—all generally underfunded and often overlooked for their impact on climate change.

Now you can, at a stretch, and if you are sleepy, kinda sorta make a case about food waste and meatless diets and global warming. But you cannot carp about girls’ education and women’s rights unless you have no idea whatsoever about fluid flow on a rotating sphere. Or if you don’t really care about cloud parameterizations but you really do care about being a social justice warrior—or in spreading cultural Marxist ideas and are looking for the scariest excuse you can find.

Global warming is politics. Again, QED.

And how about that perpetual truth fornicator, Jerry Brown. Take this headline: “Jerry Brown: Climate change challenges as serious as those faced in World War II.

I would point to the fact that it took Roosevelt many, many years to get America willing to go into World War II and fight the Nazis. Well, we have an enemy, though different, but perhaps, very much devastating in a similar way. And we’ve got to fight climate change. And the president’s got to lead on that.

Well, he worked in Nazis, which is always a winning tactic for the left. Now here’s a quote with some facts: “World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history an estimated total 70-85 million people perished, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion).”

Three percent of today’s population is about 230 million. Total global warming deaths so far: 0. [Update: My enemies slipped in a typo into this paragraph that has been corrected.]

Jerry Brown is an ass. And global warming is asinine. QED.

January 8, 2019 | 9 Comments

New Paper! Everything Wrong With P-values Under One Roof

Here is a link to the PDF.

Briggs, William M., 2019. Everything Wrong with P-Values Under One Roof. In Beyond Traditional Probabilistic Methods in Economics, V Kreinovich, NN Thach, ND Trung, DV Thanh (eds.), pp 22–44. DOI 978-3-030-04200-4_2

Here is the Abstract:

P-values should not be used. They have no justification under frequentist theory; they are pure acts of will. Arguments justifying p-values are fallacious. P-values are not used to make all decisions about a model, where in some cases judgment overrules p-values. There is no justification for this in frequentist theory. Hypothesis testing cannot identify cause. Models based on p-values are almost never verified against reality. P-values are never unique. They cause models to appear more real than reality. They lead to magical or ritualized thinking. They do not allow the proper use of decision making. And when p-values seem to work, they do so because they serve a loose proxies for predictive probabilities, which are proposed as the replacement for p-values.

“Dude, that’s harsh.”

It is, indeed. Here are more words from the The Beginning of the End (i.e. the Introduction):

A book could be written summarizing all of the literature for and against p-values. Here I tackle only the major arguments against p-values. The first arguments are those showing they have no or sketchy justification, that their use reflects, as Neyman originally said, acts of will; that their use is even fallacious These will be less familiar to most readers. The second set of arguments assume the use of p-values, but show the severe limitations arising from that use. These are more common. Why p-values seem to work is also addressed. When they do seem to work it is because they are related to or proxies for the more natural predictive probabilities.

The emphasis in this paper is philosophical not mathematical. Technical mathematical arguments and formula, though valid and of interest, must always assume, tacitly or explicitly, a philosophy. If the philosophy on which a mathematical argument is based is shown to be in error, the “downstream” mathematical arguments supposing this philosophy are thus not independent evidence for or against p-values, and, whatever mathematical interest they may have, become irrelevant.

Trust me, you haven’t seen many of these arguments against p-values.

“What’s your favorite?”

Glad you asked, friend. It’s the Infinity of Null Hypotheses, which is as damning a proof as can be. But it’s not just a negative proof. It also constructively points the way toward the replacement (predictive methods) and it highlights the hidden notions of cause in statistics, which badly need our understanding. I’m working on a paper on that subject, to highlight the material in the award-eligible book Uncertainty, which all the better sort of people own, or will own.

Here’s a quotation about that proof—but you have access to the full paper, too.

For every measure included in a model, an infinity of measures have been tacitly excluded, exclusions made without benefit of hypothesis tests. Suppose in a regression the observable is patient weight loss, and the measures the usual list of medical and demographic states. One potential measure is the preferred sock color of the third nearest neighbor from the patient’s main residence. It is a silly measure because, we judge using outside common-sense knowledge, that this neighbor’s sock color cannot have any causal bearing on our patient’s weight loss. The point is not that nobody would add such a measure—nobody would—but that it could have been but was excluded without the use of hypothesis testing.

If we can exclude an infinity of hypotheses without hypothesis testing—based on causal decisions using probability notions, mostly—we can exclude the few more we put into a model without testing.

I’ve been getting emails from certain named persons in statistics who think they have found reasons to keep p-values (and mainly ignoring the arguments against in the paper). A popular thrust is to say smart people wouldn’t use something dumb, like p-values. To which I respond smart people do lots of dumb things. And voting doesn’t give truth.

I’m sympathetic to why it seems p-values seem to work—sometimes. When they do it’s because they either mimic predictive methods, or they already agree with the causal knowledge we have in place. That’s in the paper, too.

The moral of the story is: do not use p-values.

January 7, 2019 | 5 Comments

New Paper! The Replacement For Hypothesis Testing

Here’s a link to the PDF.

Briggs, WM, HT Nguyen, D Trafimow, 2019. The Replacement for Hypothesis Testing. In Structural Changes and Their Econometric Modeling, Springer, V Kreinovich, S Sriboonchitta (eds.), pp 3–17. DOI 978-3-030-04263-9_1

Everything in the paper, by Messrs Briggs, Nguyen, and Trafimow, is peer-reviewed. And is therefore correct in all it says, and must be believed by everybody.

Here is the Abstract:

Classical hypothesis testing, whether with p-values or Bayes factors, leads to over-certainty, and produces the false idea that causes have been identified via statistical methods. The limitations and abuses of in particular p-values are so well known and by now so egregious, that a new method is badly in need. We propose returning to an old idea, making direct predictions by models of observables, assessing the value of evidence by the change in predictive ability, and then verifying the predictions against reality. The latter step is badly in need of implementation.

Those who have been following the free online statistics class in predictive methods will not find much new. The paper is succinct and can be passed on easily, though. So send it to your friends and enemies and let them marvel at its magnificence.

Bonus hint! There’s a newer, better, more astonishing peer-reviewed paper that will be posted this week. I suggest readers build up a buzz in its anticipation. Local launch parties would not be out of place. Since this will be a breakfast affair (for readers in the States), coffees can be Irish, and mimosas are a must. Subject? Here’s the hint: The death of p-values.