I’m a skeptic

Via a suggestion from Haunt Fox @Haunt_Fox I looked at a research paper claiming to show:

These findings illustrate the shooter bias toward both human and robot agents. This bias is both a clear indication of racism towards Black people, as well as the automaticity of its extension to robots racialized as Black.

See also Robots and Racism: New Study Suggests That Humans Apply Racial Biases, Stereotypes to Black and White Robots.

The study presented test subjects with a series of 128 images. Half contained a gun held by a person or robot. The other half had some other object being held. Half of the robots and people had a dark skin color and half were white. The test measured the response time of test subjects to make shoot/no-shoot decisions and their accuracy in making those decisions.

I found it “interesting” the researchers did not break out the supposed discovered bias by the various racial identities who participated in the study. Only seven subjects out of 163 in Experiment 1 identified as “Black or African American” so I could be persuaded this isn’t an adequate sample size. But 19 out of 172 subjects in Experiment 2 identified as “Black or African American”. I would think this should be a sufficient sample to test one or more additional hypothesis.

For example, were “Black or African American” people also biased against people and robots with dark skin tones? If these participants behaved essentially identical to “White, Caucasian, or European American”, “Hispanic or Latino American”, and “Asian American” participants then I would be strongly inclined to believe there was some aspect of the testing that caused what appeared to be the bias against dark skinned people and robots rather than actual bias. That is, unless it is claimed “Black or African American” people are also biased against their own race. From reading the study this could be true but it wasn’t made as clear as I would have liked it to be.

The authors did not mention doing this sort of validation of the test procedure and did not supply us with the raw data so that we could do this validation for ourselves. It would seem to me this is an obvious check on the validity of their experiment. If the racial identity of the subject did not correlate with the time required to make a shoot/no shoot decisions but there was a consistent bias toward shooting more quickly at black people and robots then doesn’t that strong imply it is an artifact of the testing rather than a bias of the subjects?

One could easily conclude they did not provide that information because it contradicted their predisposed conclusion. The study may well demonstrate the prejudice of the researchers rather than the prejudice of the study participants.

So, what could have the experiment measured rather than a racial bias? As suggested by Haunt Fox:

Just looking at the images of the targets it seems to me there are some serious visual-contrast issues that might prove major confounders.

The researchers supplied eight of the 128 images they used. Here are two of them:

image

image

As Haunt Fox observed there are significant contrast differences. The accuracy rates were generally slightly lower for the black people and robots. If the pictures above are representative then this is as expected. But if rapid identification of the gun in a low contrast situation contributed to time differences I would have expected the lower contrast images to take longer. This isn’t making sense.

I wonder about the 120 images they didn’t supply. Did they have contrast issues that were even worse and have some sort of bias not displayed in the pictures supplied? Were all the guns black? What about some chrome colored guns? Could an association of a dark skin colors with the presence of a gun have been created?

I’m skeptical this study tested what they claimed they were testing. I think there is a good chance they demonstrated their and/or test procedure bias rather than a “clear indication of racism” toward dark skinned robots.

Truth

Via Matthew Bracken @ Matt_Bracken:

The abuse of psychiatry was legendary:

See also Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.

Expect little difference if implemented here. What is going to be the default decision of a judge or psychologist? Risk letting a potential mass shooter keep their guns or risk an nonviolent person losing their guns?

When Prophecy Fails

Watch this (via Kevin):

Then read the book:

From a sociological perspective this is no different than a doomsday cult. And when the prophecy failed to materialize the reaction from the Democrats in their bubble is exactly as predicted:

Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen?  The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before.  Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.

Short of some religious faiths this has to be one of the largest instances of this phenomena in human history.

These people need intervention. If one or more of these five conditions is broken the hold of the cult on these people will be released. The question is whether we can accomplish this without ripping our nation apart.

Interesting times

Via a comment from Chet:

You have wonder if this is what it was like in the middle 1930’s for minorities in Nazi Germany. There was a double standard enforced by both society and government when laws and social norms were violated. And people just kept accepting the increasing levels of injustice. They must have thought, “This is crazy! It has to get better soon, right?”

No. It doesn’t have to get better from here. Mass hysteria can go to lengths that are unimaginable to people that haven’t lived through it.

Currently pointing out reality can get you censored, fired from your job, and banished from social media and by your friends. This bad, but not as bad as it can get. At many times and places insistence on reality has resulted in a death sentence.

Quote of the day—Thomas Sowell

The only reward for putting up with craziness is more craziness.

Thomas Sowell
March 6, 1999
THOMAS SOWELL: Back again – random thoughts
[Barb and I have decades of experience with this on a personal level. And we all are seeing the clear and irrefutable truth of this in the political arena. We see it in economics, immigration policy, and especially with our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms.

The only way to deal with crazy is to not tolerate it. In many cases it is quite surprising how quickly they can put on a semi-rational face when you just say “No!” and have the means and will to enforce it..—Joe]

Quote of the day—Brian Enos

Awareness in shooting comes from observation without thought. Awareness leads to action without thought. Awareness exists only in the present tense, along with shooting. Although awareness happens actively, it’s perceived passively.

Brian Enos
1990

Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals Page 16.
[I know what Enos is saying. I sometimes experience this when shooting and am trying to get into “the zone” consistently. I think this is the major obstacle to my further improvement at this time.

I’m not certain this is the best way to say what Enos means.

I went looking for Yoda quotes to supplement Enos but I couldn’t find one that was a good match.

A year or so ago I read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience to try and find out more about getting into this state of mind and body. It wasn’t as rewarding as I had hoped it would be.

Several decades ago, when I played a lot of tennis, I read The Inner Game of Tennis. This was when I first started understanding this state. I’m beginning to wonder if I should read it again and apply it to shooting.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Rescued Goddaughter‏ @XianCorleone

Americans, I’m watching the #GunControl protests from Italy. Take a European’s advice:

Last century our governments disarmed us. Now, in Germany & the UK they arrest you for Twitter & FB posts.

Lesson?

If the gov’t takes your 2nd Amendment, one day it’ll take your 1st.

Rescued Goddaughter‏ @XianCorleone
Tweeted on March 26, 2018
[My understanding is that term “Politically Correct” speech fully bloomed into usage during the Stalinist era in the USSR. You could be arrested and set to the gulag and/or executed if you were too careless in what you said. Read The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One) for a taste of what went on there. They murdered millions of people because of “politically correctness” ran amok.

People are being arrested and prosecuted in Europe but we are not far behind. There are lots of people who have lost their jobs for not adhering to the politically correct rules of the day.

My model for what happens is that the power to punish people attracts a certain type of person. The type of person who should never be allowed to have such power. When groups of those people get together they convince themselves they are doing good and find more people to punish. They get themselves worked up into a feeding frenzy and justify their escalation of punishment and the decrease in the seriousness of the offense which satisfies their criteria for punishment. Left unchecked they will execute the majority of a town and a sizable percentage of an entire country.

Read The Gulag Archipelago to see how it happened in the USSR. Look in the news to see the beginnings of it happening all around us now.

Own firearms, get trained, and practice with them to nip genocide in the bud when it escalates to the lethal level.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Oculusprince2017 (@Oculusprince201)

Actually I do get to tell you because its my freedom. You have the freedom not to listen. And its not about self defense you have a tiny dick complex and need something to over compensate for it. Have you considered a 357 magnum with extended barrel to make up for it?

Oculusprince2017 (@Oculusprince201)
Tweeted on May 27, 2019
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

I sometimes find it curious just how messed the brain wiring of an anti-gun person is (see also here). As Lyle often reminds us, they insist they have the “freedom” to do wrong. Also they believe that what we say is at total odds with they “know” what we are thinking. This whole “I know what you are really thinking” thing is a sign of certain personality disorders.

I wonder if these people can ever be cured or at least get the crazy under enough control such that they aren’t a threat to everyone around them. I understand that reality is sometimes difficult to discern but, wow, these people are really out of touch.—Joe]

Trump Derangement Syndrome

I’ve seen a lot of TDS over the last couple of years but mostly it was confined to individuals who I figured were already a few Coco Puffs short of a full bowl.

My general rule regarding groups of people is that they are almost always incapable of brilliance, but also less likely to do something extremely foolish or crazy, compared to individuals. So imagine my surprise that over 60% of a state assembly agreed with this:

New York is one signature away from allowing prosecutors to pursue state charges against presidential associates who have received federal pardons.

The Democratic-controlled state assembly on Tuesday passed a bill 90-52 allowing the state-level prosecution of people pardoned of federal crimes, provided that they worked for or were related to the president at the time of the pardon.

Sanity has its limits. Insanity has no bounds.

Quote of the day—Jose Nino

Previous social-democratic governments had implemented strict gun control, which Hugo Chavez not only took advantage of once he got into power, but expanded upon to disarm and subjugate the Venezuelan population. When the wrong political players are in power, today’s “common-sense” gun control legislation could be tomorrow’s stepping stone for gun confiscation.

Modern-day politics doesn’t care for unintended consequences nor long-term policy implications of regulations. For that reason, elected officials like Bernie Sanders have such strong followings.

As socialism becomes popular, other facets of human activity such as self-defense and privacy will be under the chopping block. Socialism does not operate under a vacuum and is indeed an all-inclusive package of human control.

As the great economist Ludwig von Mises said best, “Great conflicts of ideas must be solved by straight and frank methods; they cannot be solved by artifices and makeshifts.”

In this case, the forces of liberty cannot afford to back down.

Jose Nino
April 6, 2019
Gun Rights Will ‘Feel the Bern’ Under a Sanders Presidency
[Politically, even if not by constitution, many states are lost to socialism and the federal government, for the first time, has multiple legislators who are openly admitting they are socialists. The best hope we have is for the federal courts to keep them in check while we attempt to change the culture. Failing that we could see a shooting war break out.

Because of this we need to put a lot of effort into changing the culture. One would think that because of all the dramatic failures of socialism throughout history, and even those unfolding before our eyes, that it should be easy to convince people of the folly of socialism in all its flavors. This is not true.

I suspect there is a deep rooted, perhaps genetically implanted personality trait, that makes socialism attractive. Perhaps this trait had evolutionary advantages in family units and tribes of up to a few hundred people. But as soon as social units became large enough they can’t solve the free rider problem through peer pressure the sharing of resources by the whole group fails. That is the most basic failure of socialism.

As the free rider problem becomes obvious to the population, instead of transitioning to private ownership and an individual rights social organization, what almost always happens is they adhere to their preprogrammed attachment to shared ownership and implement a forced rider model. This, which can be shown by countless examples, is a death spiral into extreme poverty, mass executions, and even genocide.

I can explain this in a logical fashion. I can’t explain it in the proper, I suspect it must be emotional, fashion to override the preprogramming. Leaving deprogramming methods involving high velocity lead off the table, does anyone know how to do this? Any ideas?—Joe]

#EnjoyYourTrial

The anti-gun people have a narrative of “gun safety”. We know, as do they, they have never encouraged people to take a gun safety class or learn about guns. Ignorance and deliberate deception is all part of their game plan.

They insist background checks are “common sense” and save lives. They don’t save lives and are a deception for the real objectives:

  • Creating lists of gun owners
  • Delaying the exercise of a specific enumerated right
  • Increasing the costs (time and money) of exercising our rights

They insist we don’t need a particular type of gun or accessory and we end up trying to convince them we do need it. It’s a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. They should be the ones attempting to convince us there is a “compelling governmental interest,” and have narrowly tailored the law to achieve that interest (strict scrutiny). Until they can do that the proposed law does not pass constitutional muster and they are attempting to infringe upon our rights. The default position is the proposed law is invalid until they can conclusively demonstrate they have met the requirements.

As it is we are playing defense and losing in public opinion.

It would seem to me that we need an easy narrative of our own. It must be something that tweets and sound bites well. It must put them on the defensive. We must gain the initiative in social media and when we contact our political representatives.

I discussed this with Brian K. and we came up with:

These can be used in a variety of ways:

Think women shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns without a man’s permission? #EnjoyYourTrial (Aimed at may-issue states.)

Send teens to war but don’t let them own handguns? #EnjoyYourTrial

Disarm peaceful African Americans because they live in the wrong state? #EnjoyYourTrial.

Deny me the right to defend my family because of my skin color? #EnjoyYourTrial

You are trying to ban guns in common use protected by the Heller decision. #EnjoyYourTrial

A right delayed is a right denied. #EnjoyYourTrial

You are demanding people ask permission for a guaranteed right. #EnjoyYourTrial

Background checks don’t save lives (https://fee.org/articles/california-s-background-check-law-had-no-impact-on-gun-deaths-johns-hopkins-study-finds/) and infringe our rights. #EnjoyYourTrial

Gun control is prior restraint of specific enumerated right and is illegal. #EnjoyYourTrial

“Red flag” laws are prior restraint and are illegal. #EnjoyYourTrial

What you are doing is illegal. Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. #EnjoyYourTrial

In each invocation you can include http://bit.ly/EnjoyYourTrial1 (for private citizens) and/or http://bit.ly/EnjoyYourTrial2 (for politicians, law enforcement, and other government employees).

Yes, I know it’s not 100% correct in every context. But the point is to gain the initiative and put them on the defensive. I think this has a chance of doing that.

Quote of the day—Thales

If a Rightist is going to have a problem with you, the odds are he’s going to punch you in the face. Or follow you into a bathroom and beat you down. The Right is much more fond of directness. Does anybody really think, say, a redneck is going to dump bleach on you and run away? Do you think he cares about the symbolism of a noose, or that he’s going to go out of his way to wear a certain hat – so as to make the right fashion statement during the attack? No. If he has a problem, he’s going to get in your face, probably punch it repeatedly, and walk away when he feels his point has been made.

In this the Left betrays how little they understand us. For even their hoaxes seem like bad parodies to us. It’s what a Leftist would do, only reversed in ideological polarity. It’s not what a Rightist would do. They don’t get us. Their rank-and-file doesn’t have any clue who they are dealing with anymore. Even the Media is too stuck on Leftism to understand anymore. There was a time, perhaps, when wiser Leftists would have thought “well, that doesn’t sound a whole lot like them… maybe we should check into this a little more.”

That time has passed.

This is profoundly dangerous to us all. Because, not knowing us, they cannot understand where the limits are. They’ve been butting up near our maximum levels of tolerance for some time now. Sooner or later, one of them is going to exceed that boundary because he doesn’t even know it’s there, anymore.

Thales
February 22, 2019
Leftist Hoaxes: A Failure to Understand the Right
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—America’s 1st Freedom Staff

Rasmussen’s telephone and online survey of 1,000 American adults asked the question point-blank: “In crimes involving use of a gun, which is more to blame—the shooter or the availability of guns in America?” An astonishing 31 percent of people placed the blame on the inanimate object, the gun, and not the person pulling the trigger. Unsurprisingly, Democrats were much more likely than Republicans—51 percent to 13 percent—to blame the object over the person.

It’s worth asking: Do these same people think access to vehicles is more at fault than drivers? Are knives more at fault than stabbers? If not, why? What makes guns different?

Actually, we can tell you what makes guns different—a political agenda. Liberals have long been on a mission to obliterate guns, the Constitution and freedom in America. Gun control has never been about guns; it has always been about controlling people. The only difference today is that anti-gunners are openly admitting their end game. And if they must give ridiculous answers absolving human beings from any responsibility governing their own actions, well, so be it.

America’s 1st Freedom Staff
December 25, 2018
Blaming Guns, Not Killers
[They are twisting things a bit here. The question wasn’t about whether guns or people were to more to blame. The question was whether the availability of guns or the shooter were more to blame. Still, it’s an interesting insight into the mindset of people.

I suspect that if the question about gun availability had been preceded by appropriate other questions the result would have turned out much different. For example:

Question 1: In crimes involving alcohol such as spousal abuse and date rape which is more to blame—the person or the availability of alcohol in America?

Q2: In crimes involving knives such as murder and assault which is more to blame—the person or the availability of knives in America?

Q3: In crimes involving cars such as bank robberies and manslaughter will driving at high speeds which is more to blame—the driver or the availability of cars in America?

Q4: In crimes involving use of a gun, which is more to blame—the shooter or the availability of guns in America?

Then, what I would like to see is how many people, if given the opportunity, would go back and change some of their answers.

If I had a big enough sample I would order the questions at random for each person and see how many “preloading questions” were needed to get a different answer to the gun availability question.

And then perhaps a week, a month, and a year later, ask each of the people who seemed to be responding to the “preloading” just the gun availability question. Is it possible that if they were lead to a certain conclusion by asking questions in a particular order of they will remain of that mindset for an extended time?

Psychology is so very interesting. Rational thought is just a thin veneer over a swamp of emotions.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Crichton

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

Michael Crichton
September 15, 2003
Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion
[Or as I sometimes say, truth and falsity.

It’s critical, and extremely difficult, in all things. I see it most often in the fight to preserve our right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Larry Correia

To pull off confiscation now you’d have to be willing to kill millions of people. The congressman’s suggestion was incredibly stupid, but it was nice to see one of you guys being honest about it for once.  In order to maybe, hypothetically save thousands, you’d be willing to slaughter millions. Either you really suck at math, or the ugly truth is that you just hate the other side so much that you think killing millions of people is worth it to make them fall in line. And if that’s the case, you’re a sick bastard, and a great example of why the rest of us aren’t ever going to give up our guns.

Larry Correia
November 19, 2018
The 2nd Amendment is Obsolete, Says Congressman Who Wants To Nuke Omaha
[The quote above is the conclusion to his post. The post is basically a confirmation of my Boots on the Ground analysis.

The political left doesn’t understand numbers and they don’t understand the psychology of gun owners. Correia gives them some insight:

A friend of mine who is a political activist said something interesting the other day, and that was for most people on the left political violence is a knob, and they can turn the heat up and down, with things like protests, and riots, all the way up to destruction of property, and sometimes murder… But for the vast majority of folks on the right, it’s an off and on switch. And the settings are Vote or Shoot Fucking Everybody.  And believe me, you really don’t want that switch to get flipped, because Civil War 2.0 would make Bosnia look like a trip to Disneyworld.

Don’t expect the political left to let facts get in the way of their beliefs.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jen Zamzow

Anyone serious about building consensus on gun policy needs to be slower to judge and quicker to listen to those who disagree. I understand why gun-safety advocates might not want to listen to those who are skeptical of gun-safety laws. People are being killed in their places of worship and kids gunned down at school; this kind of crisis can make people feel they don’t have time for dialogue.

However, listening to those who are resistant to gun-control laws is more than just a sign of respect. Understanding what motivates people can help us come up with better solutions that are more likely to stick. Instead of focusing on what motivates us, we need to ask what motivates them. We don’t all need to take the same path to get to the same destination. We can get more people to the destination if we can find a path they’re willing to take.

Jen Zamzow
November 14, 2018
Why we can’t agree on gun control
[Great advice! The truth cannot be learned if people do not listen. Listen to others on the condition they listen to you and then see where you both end up. To see if both sides are really listening try a role reversal in your second session. If you can’t argue your opponents side then you probably aren’t listening.

Numerous studies have shown that conservatives understand progressives far better than the other way around. So this actually something of a “trap” for progressives. —Joe]

Quote of the day—John Schussler

No, the difference is that the Republicans controlled the Senate in both cases and thus could both prevent Garland from getting a hearing and force a hearing and vote for Kavanaugh, forcing the Democrats to get as dirty as possible to have any chance at influence.

And the assertion that these are empty accusations is just wishful thinking on the part of Republicans. There’s no conspiracy here, the guy’s pretty clearly an infantile little douchebag — and hanging on to him was a big mistake. Women in both parties are now incandescent with rage and will make what was a likely moderate turnover of Congress into a landslide. After which point they’ll impeach Kavanaugh for perjury (his lies are now well documented…that testimony the other day will be the rope they hang him with) and the Republicans will have both lost Congress and the SOTUS seat they want so badly.

John Schussler
September 29, 2018
Comment to Quote of the day—Matt Walsh‏ @MattWalshBlog
[My response in the comments:

It’s interesting to read your viewpoint on the situation. It is quite different from some others. I talked to a big Trump supporter (best president EVER!!) last week who saw the fallout from the Kavanaugh confirmation process to be a huge win for Republicans in the elections next month.

As Scott Adams puts it (paraphrasing), “People are watching the same screen and seeing different movies.” My QOTD post for tomorrow has a lot more related information but I think you probably get the idea.

To determine who is “watching” the movie which most closely matches reality we only have to wait a month until the elections and see which is the better match. I’m going to make your comment my QOTD post for the day after the elections to remind us to review the predictions. This will also allow us to explore the predictions made by the book “When Prophecy Fails“. Either my Trump supporter will have their “prophecy” fail or you will have your prophecy fail. It will be a great test! I’m really looking forward to it.

Today is the day we evaluate the test results.

So…. which person has the better grasp on reality?—Joe]

Saving face

For several years in the early and mid 2000’s I worked for a government laboratory and occasionally had contact with the CIA. One of the things I remember more clearly than any other is talking to a manager who had a team of psychologists working for him. They studied the psychology of Arabs and Muslims and how people in the west might influence them. I asked if he could share any insights with me.

He told me, “They think very differently than we do. Perhaps, more different than we can think.”

I don’t know if this came from that same team but the timing is pretty good. It was first published in 2007 and I found it absolutely fascinating:

‘Face’ Among Arabs

In Western cultures a fact is an objective absolute not subject to mutation through human interpretation. But the Arab mentality treats fact and truth as relative, to some extent a projection of the mind for the benefit of the self or ego. With this subjective processing the facts become what the Arab emotionally wants to believe is true. They can thus be made to mesh harmoniously with criteria which stand higher on the value scale because connected with the maintenance of face. Neither facts nor their connotations can stand up against the Arab’s facade of personal dignity or be arrayed to form an attack on his surrogate of face.

Knowledgeable Arabs realize that their people and countries fall in some measure short of the progress and development that some other nations have achieved. Unable to find themselves at fault for this, they are naturally led to seek the cause of their troubles in outside sources-the will of Allah, the imperialists, Israel, family and personal obligations, and many real wrongs which have been done them. This saves the collective face from appearing defective and allows those who can accept subjectively interpreted facts to maintain their sense of personal dignity and self-confidence.

In any situation in which shame or guilt threatens the Arab he will be able to explain away whatever impinges on his personal dignity with an array of facts that are meant to be accepted by the listener and not challenged. Whether the story is believed or not and whether the facts are objective or logical are secondary considerations; it is considered quite unmannerly to embarrass him by challenging his explanations. Many of the stories of Juha and his donkey which abound in Arabic folklore have their point for the Arab not in the happenings, logical or illogical, they portray but rather in the quick wit and inventive genius with which the hero survives each incident.

In many phases of the Arabic cultural setting the Westerner with his fetish for objectivity is decidedly out of place, for a subjective interpretation of facts and truth is most suitable in a milieu where face and personal dignity are the things of prime importance.

In summation, the face concept can be said to have three interrelated aspects. The Arab’s extreme effort to show himself blameless, an effort which seems too transparent and unrealistic to Westerners, is the product of the high value his culture puts upon personal dignity, of his feeling answerable for his conduct to society rather than to any divine conscience within himself, and of his sense of the subjectivity of fact.

While reading this I was struck by the similarities between the psychology described and people and organizations which advocate for socialism, gun control, and other causes of the political left. Think of the sexual scandals of Bill Clinton and the responses by him and his supporters. Think of Hillary Clinton claiming she dodged sniper fire. Think of the Fast and Furious, IRS targeting conservatives, Solyndra, and  Benghazi scandals of the Obama administration and yet today many in the political left claim there were zero scandals.

Quote of the day—Ashe Schow

There is absolutely nothing an accused person can present that would actually be considered exculpatory. Meanwhile, any and all evidence just reinforces the accuser’s trauma and truthfulness.

Ashe Schow
5 Signs You’re In The Midst Of A Moral Panic
[Salem “witches”, the satanic panic of the 1980’s and 90’s, and others are discussed in the article.

It’s not a scholarly article but it’s good enough that you can see some common patterns that would have a low chance of false positives when broadly applied.

When Prophecy Fails also applies in many ways. Read my short synopsis of the book to get the gist of it.

The political left had a firmly believed prophecy that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election. When that failed they made a series of new prophecies involving the evils of a President Trump administration and prophesized all the more fervently. One of the more memorable was the prediction by Nobel Economics Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on election night:

It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?

Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.

Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.

All the predictions about the various investigations of President Trump and his advisors will result in his impeachment have repeatedly been proven false. But evidence cannot convince them. These people are in a state of hysteria.

As long as the Five Conditions are met they will continue to remain in their irrational state and increase the passion with every prediction that is proved false:

  1. There must be conviction.
  2. There must be commitment to this conviction.
  3. The conviction must be amenable to unequivocal disconfirmation.
  4. Such unequivocal disconfirmation must occur.
  5. Social support must be available subsequent to the disconfirmation.

Their numbers are growing smaller and while a good sign for the long term the short term consequences of the increased passion means there is also increased potential for violence.—Joe]