Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Predicting the future is fraught with downside, just ask anybody in Vegas. People rely on statistics as a way to legitimize their fortune-telling, and statistics do work in many situations, which has made them a tool of the exploiters: the people who leverage the credibility of statistics for their own self-interests. For example, there's electioneering forecasting; the tendency for news outlets to minimize the gap between candidates at the top of the ticket, particularly the presidency. It's in nobody's interest to report honestly on a presidential election if it's a lock for one side: for example, if a Democrat candidate has an insurmountable lead, and rank-n-file Republicans know that, they wouldn't show up at the polls, and that would affect all down-ticket Republican candidates, so we get a fabricated horserace based on tweaked election forecasts when in reality there was never any real contest, except in made-up numbers.
But then there's the bizarre counter-example of Trump's election, when forecasters were entirely compromised by powerful vested interests to make Hillary's election seem inevitable, so that Republicans would stay home, and we all got to see how that turned out. That single exercise in manipulation has seriously undermined the status election forecasters once held, leaving no forecaster's reputation untarnished. Now, except in the most extreme cases where a candidate leads by 20 points, does anyone take a forecast seriously. Election forecasting has been relegated to entertainment.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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