Monday, November 07, 2016

Looking beyond the election - a divided society.

I know a lot of people feel strongly about the upcoming election - and whatever happens one is going to have to cope with those views.

I tend to believe the data and any model that is reasonably well tested. I find Nate Silver's projections to be reasonably accurate and barring a massive difference between the likely voters polled in the surveys underlying Nate's model, and the actual voter turnout - I don't see any reason for the probability projections to be vastly different.

So as Nate says - Donald Trump has little chance of winning a popular vote, but he might win the electoral vote and become president. Again - this is nothing new in the American context. We all remember the 2000 election of George W. Bush.

I am not surprised by this, although I confess that in mid October - I did believe things might be different and that the country might somehow get past the divisiveness and focus on a national vision which was more unified. But that was not to be - it appears as soon as Sheldon Adelson opened his purse strings, the Republican party quickly defaulted to its politically opportunistic roots and the polarization returned.

What one now sees is a very divided society.

A society where one segment is completely mentally unprepared to accept the empowerment of women, sexual, racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities and another segment can't get enough of the empowerment agenda and wants to seek the agenda expanded far beyond where it has reached.

A society where one segment pines for the days of the past - where you could call someone whatever you felt like and never be held to account for your actions and another segments which wants to see all aspects of the social interaction under a perpetual review.

A society where one segment relies entirely on conspiracy websites to grind out confusing and self-serving facts and another segment demands extremely high quality and highly vetted data with clear trends.

A society where one segment survives on short term memory alone and another segment remembers every last detail of everything.

A society where one segment accepts vaguely worded non-prescriptions for hard policy issues and another segments wants to see detailed answers to questions that can't possibly have real answers.

A society where one segments thinks feelings are facts and another segments thinks that facts are facts and feelings are feelings and the two should never mix.

It is difficult to see how society as whole could function with such completely divergent views. What we see in the electoral process is a kind of social shearing that is happening as these divergent views appear to pull the narrative in different directions.

I wonder if I should dust off my old set of Pakistan analysis tools and use them to discuss America at this point. America today is behaving like Pakistan did on the eve of Sept 12th when General Musharraf pledged his support for the American led War on Terror.


At 8:38 AM, Blogger Wise_Ass said...

1)It was Hillary's paid agents that were creating violence in the Trump rallies
Check out Project Veritas to see Hillary Machine systematically rigging the election

2)Obama/Hillary were the ones who actually divided nation by fear-mongering Trump as next Hitler and supporting BlackLivesMatter narrative which is racist as well.

3)Most of the "controversial" Trump statements are usual fact-check overload of Trump hyperbole.Like huge fake hullaboo over when Trump says he will jail HRC when it obvious means he will open through investigation into Clinton Foundation mafia.or when hullaboo regarding rigged election when it is proved beyond doubt there was rigging in democratic party primaries by wikileaks forcing the then chairwoman to resign.Now we know current chairperson leaked debate questions to Hillary multiple times and got fired from CNN..

4)Regarding people resorting to conspiracy websites,people no longer trust mainstream media.WHole vetting thingy is laughable.The people now rely on information dissemination in social media&messenging apps.Same happened in India.Delhi-based english media abused and make up stories on Modi&had the exact opposite effect on popular sentiment..

I find it hilarious elites are blaming people for relying on conspiracy websites,youtube channels&messaging forwards precisely because mainstream media as well as celebrity pundits have transparently lost credibility in the eye of the public.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger maverick said...

And this proves my point.

As a counter example -

I don't see Veritas as a credible source.

The only rigging which I see clear evidence for the kind that the Republican party has been pulling over the decades - i.e. coming up with innovative ways to keep black voters away from polling booths.

To me Trump clearly wanted the notoriety so he courted a certain media reaction and he clearly uses alt-right sources as his digital vanguard. If Donald Trump is to be believed, he clearly gained billions of dollars worth of free publicity from the very same media he loves to loathe.

I find it highly amusing that the same people who allege that 9/11 was a conspiracy and there were no planes hijacked, flip around and say Muslims are terrorists. If 9/11 was an "inside job" - how can Muslims still be terrorists?

Similarly I find it laughable that the same people who pine after the 5c can of pop they used to get in 1950 are unwilling to accept the Mexicans who slave under harsh conditions so that the price of pop stays 50c.

I also find it highly entertaining that people talk about high notions like human rights in one breath while in their second breath they talk about taking all rights away from minorities and women.

Clearly there is much to disagree on.

So how does one proceed any further from here?

Does one go to civil war as Dylann Roof wants? - I mean why bother trying the guy at this point? If Trump wins you might as well anoint him the next John Brown.

Does the US become like Pakistan on 9/12/2001?

Do we see an major upsurge in domestic terrorism? Which bullet or bomb can one look forward to dying from one planted by a black/muslim/woman/gay/transgender extremist or white extremist?

More importantly where does the NSC devote the bulk of its domestic counter-subversion resources? to far-right groups or far-left groups?

Should the NSC start its own conspiracy website or YouTube channels so that its own ideas are presented in this "new news format"?

Where does this end?

At 4:41 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear WiseAss,

Let me pose the question differently.

Assume for a moment that I am a senior director on the NSCS/NSS. I have on my desk 50 gold standard fully backstopped legends. Each legend is a million man hours - painstakingly assembled over several decades.

Traditionally 10 of these are reserved for Counter Narcotics, 10 for Counter Intelligence, 10 are reserved for Counter Terrorism (International) and 10 are part of a strategic reserve for emergent issues.

That leaves me with 10 legends that I can use to launch domestic counter-subversion operations.

I have 150 operators on the ground in various domestic subversion targets. About 15 of them are what I would call high level penetrations. The rest are lower tier operators with less effectiveness.

My current penetration operations have yielded an estimated 75 or so ongoing schemes to impair public security. I can't exactly pin-point which of these will take root and turn into something serious. My only tool is a provocation operation or some similarly high complexity strategy which will hopefully push the schemes that closer to their action thresholds over the edge in a safe way.

How do I distribute the 10 legends and 150 agents so that I maximize my coverage of the likely public security scenarios?

Where do I send my agents?

At 4:50 AM, Blogger maverick said...

This was the choice that faced Pakistani security planners on Sept 12. 2001.

They had no clear idea which group would revolt and against which segment of the population the violence would be directed.

At 5:06 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I kind of like's idea of calling him Mr. President regardless of whether he wins or not.

He'd like that.

At 5:43 AM, Blogger maverick said...

And most of his fans will too.

Since neither really follows the wonky policy stuff - most will miss that the label doesn't really translate to what they think it does.


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