Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in
what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I refer to it by this name because I once
discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater
importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article
on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the
article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues.
Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and
effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then
turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was
somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page,
and forget what you know.
That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I'd point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In
ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything
they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means
untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against
evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it
almost certainly isn't. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.
Michael Crichton, April 26 2002
I am experiencing an epistemological crisis.
A little unpacking here - the "% q/q saar" for "q3 21" means "quarter over quarter Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate" in this case for "GDP growth" for the United States. If you're curious, "q3" is July 1st through September 30th. So this isn't a "forecast" per se until you realize that this is Barclay's best educated guess as to what the Fed is going to say Q3 2021 was, at 10am on November 24th.
This graph reflects one group of analysts guesstimating how another group of analysts will describe our now economy three months from now. if you want to see more, pay half a million dollars.
Notice how far removed we are from, you know, facts on the ground here. And recognize that there is a financial incentive to pay Barclay's a half million dollars to guess what the Fed's gonna say in November because "what the fed says in November" is far more important than "what's happening" to financial markets.
Crypto went down yesterday, ostensibly because hurr durr El Salvador or some shit. Except
(1) volumes were light - like $4b on Binance, a heavy day is $12b, lightest I've ever seen is $1.2b
(2) All the moves were related to quick dumps on big exchanges, a hallmark example of market manipulation
(3) the dumps coincided nicely with the East Coast waking up so that it'd be in the financial news
The great thing about crypto is it's stripped naked of all the SEC pretense. You can see the front-running and boiler rooms out there in the open. But only if you look. And nobody looks. So obviously this is "the market", whoever that is, freaking out about El Salvador. It certainly isn't a deliberate move by large financial institutions to control the narrative.
I'm four pieces from done. That sentence will make sense some day. Cast three pieces on Friday, investment mixed up thin as water, hardened into something softer than packed powdered sugar. Managed to cast it anyway, despite it crumbling in the caster. Figured I fucked up the water ratio (which is tough, I do this stuff to the gram) so paid extra attention yesterday. Shit came out like spackle. Hardened up in 5 minutes, it's supposed to give me 10.
Called Rio Grande, "they've had no problems." Called my father-in-law, "you must have screwed up the tare. Twice." Called up my buddy the caster, who goes through 50lbs a week, "yeah it's garbage. I'm having to switch after 15 years. I've had like two bad bags in a row, my other buddy has had three." That's 250lbs of garbage investment. Used to be made by an American company in Kentucky. That concern got sold to the Italians, who OEM it out of an office in New Mexico, but it's manufactured in Turkey now. So I'm switching to another Turkish investment, that's repped out of New Jersey. I lucked out in that I'm only paying a dollar a pound to have magic plaster shipped to my door.
And I mean... there's a jewelry consultant who charges $250 an hour to tell you what you're doing wrong. He hasn't figured out my techniques for getting photopolymer resin to get along with platinum cure silicone. The largest jewelry supply house in the world (owned by Berkshire Fucking Hathaway) is straight-up LYING to their customers.
My diet has fallen apart. Once you get past the "eat nothing but raw vegetables forever" they're straight-up out of justification. They've also stopped responding to me. It's the 80/20 rule through and through - most lardass Americans will function on their diet simply by not eating elephant ears with gravy but the 20% that require a little expertise? "have you tried broccoli?"
AND IT'S EVERYWHERE. A colleague who should know better is presecribing Iver-fucking-mectin for COVID. Fuckin' parable of the jeweler's pliers, man. I've spent most of my life in weird little corners of knowledge where there's depth but eventually you get to know everything and everyone and you realize just how small and specialized things are. Scratch an old person and you'll get archaeological folklore that often gives you an edge over teh new hotnezz.
But I mean... half a million a year to tell people "fed be bummin'?" NO SHIT.
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a hypothetical cognitive bias stating that people with low ability at a task overestimate their own ability, and that people with high ability at a task underestimate their own ability.
As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the bias results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others". It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from people's inability to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their level of competence.
I shouldn't know more about casting than a guy who charges $250 an hour having spent what? 15 months fucking around in my garage? except the only thing anyone casts anymore is wedding rings. And wedding rings are EEEEEEZZZZZZZZZEEEEEEEE goddamn it. My dad made one with a candle, plaster of paris, a coffee can, a string and a blowtorch.
Half a million a year. These are the guys that run the economy.