Sunday, May 7, 2017

Democrat Shows Why We Need “Alternative” Facts

By Professor Doom

     “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

--Bertrand Russel

     It really seems like reality is not nearly as objective as it should be. My pointing at empirical evidence regarding global warming, for example, does no good. “You are blind to it!” say my friends, even as I encourage them to look with their own eyes. “You’re not a climate scientist!” they say, even as they swear by the “teachings” of Bill Nye and Al Gore, although neither are climate scientists (not that you really need a slip of paper to understand science, truth be told…).

     “Trump is unelectable!”

--pretty much every major news site, pre-election day in 2016 presented this as fact, time and again. How’d that fact work out?

     People hear stuff on the news, and they are so confident that they’re hearing facts. It didn’t matter when I tried to explain the polls in the last election were obviously biased. “You’re a racist” cried one friend, “You hate women!” cried another…their claims were taken as facts, while my pointing out Trump rallies, Twitter feeds, and Youtube videos all were dwarfing Hillary’s by magnitudes of 3:1 or greater (heck, the “Hillary for Prison” twitter followers vastly outnumbered the “Hillary for President” twitter followers, and both put together didn’t match Trump’s followers).

“You just don’t believe in facts, do you?”

--a Leftist friend’s response when I tried to convince him that Lincoln was a Republican, that the Democrats were pro-slavery and continued advocating racist policies well into the 60s (and arguably today). No citation of evidence on my part was relevant, every source I cited was attacked.

      But my “facts” were treated as conspiracy theories, and more than once I was told that I was delusional. After all, every major news site was not merely predicting Hillary would win, and was more focused on how great the historic “Hillary landslide” would be.

“You’re being illogical!”

--a recent reader told me this. I tried to get him to explain his definitive statement, to demonstrate my improper use of logic…but no deal, simply saying my argument was illogical made it a fact, somehow.

     There’s this weird way of arguing nowadays. You don’t have to be right, you have to be extremely smug and overconfident. I’ve literally seen people say, with a straight face and no awareness of their idiocy, that other people are “objectively” wrong in their opinion over their personal preferences. 

      “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride.

      It’s not just the media, but lots of people keeping shouting “facts” at me…but the blustering confidence of such people just drives me nuts. The worst of it is when a politician quotes “facts,” and then those facts are now taken to be, well actual facts.

“You are wrong. ‘Consensus’ and ‘average’ mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. They are the same thing.”

--Some 9 different Ph.D. administrators told me as much, and there was no dictionary I could cite that would convince them that the consensus of a data set {1,1,1,1,0} was “1,” while its average was 0.8. I’m so pleased to no longer be working at a fake state community college. Even though I knew the definitions of the word “consensus,” I checked it time and again to make sure I was correct. While admin always has perfect confidence in their rightness, I have doubts, you see…

     Ok, my anecdote above about Educrats is just one of many, but even when I try to tell people about the difference between gold currency and fiat money…I run into brick walls by people super-confident about their facts. “You’re a gold bug!” gets shouted at me, among worse epithets. I’m a fan of precious metals, I admit, but in today’s “O% interest rate” world, it just makes far more sense to buy pretty rocks than have slips of paper with arbitrary numbers on them or digits in a bank’s computer file…the empirical evidence regarding fiat currency is unarguable, but for some reason empirical evidence means nothing next to “facts.”    

      While governments are generally incompetent, some of our state governments are dimly starting to protect themselves from the inevitable death of the US dollar (note: it might be next month, next year, or in 20 years or more, but my admittedly cloudy crystal ball predicts “sooner rather than later”). So, some states have been passing bills regarding the use of gold as money. Recently a politician stated some “facts” about gold:

“In 1868 Gold Was $27 An Ounce… Today It Is $1,218…”

     I’m….puzzled at his confusion here. Anybody can go to E-bay can see US $20 gold coins made in 1868. You can find similar coins from 1869 or 1867, so it’s pretty clear gold was around $20 an ounce at that time. There certainly could be fluctuations, mind you, but gold was basically $20 an ounce for a very long time. As long as the government kept making (nearly) 1 ounce gold coins with a face value of $20, that’s pretty much the “value” (whatever that word means) of gold.

     The Democrat Idaho House Minority Leader continues:

   “…you can’t say gold is going to protect us from inflation when you have that type of a price range over the last hundred years…”

     Now, he said this on March 14th of this year…I dare say that 2017 is noticeably more than 100 years past 1868. More importantly, he has absolutely no clue that what he just said demonstrates how gold protects from inflation. You spend 20 fiat dollars on gold, and many years later you can trade that gold in for more than 1200 fiat dollars (currently; this could change dramatically in the coming months). Now, this is not a money-making proposition. The things you could buy with $20 in the 18th century—a few month’s rent or food--are roughly what you can buy with $1200 today.

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value—zero.”

---Voltaire. Voltaire died in 1778, but the rules for paper money are the same now as then.

      That’s the point: fiat currencies inevitably become more and more worthless. You buy gold, and well, gee, it preserves value. That’s exactly what is meant by protection from inflation.

     Then the government official does what is so common today: pound on the table and acts like he’s made a valid argument:

“i just want to point out that facts are important…”

     You can see the video with your own eyes, it’s a wonderful demonstration of how brilliant our “professional” politicians are today (and completely destroying any criticism of Trump for his “amateur” status as a politician—our professional politicians by and large are morons). I know many people that would use this video, the politician’s words, as “proof” my opinions on gold are “objectively wrong.”

      We live in a world where “facts” every bit as valid as the ones I’ve quoted above from the politician really are the complete opposite of the facts I believe to be true. The mainstream media has been using “alternative facts” in much the same way as “fake news,” but I’m tired of having lies shouted at me, and offended by such rubbish being referred to in any way as “fact.”

      We really are at the stage where we need to start accepting alternative facts at face value, particularly when those alternative facts are the exact opposite of the “facts” being presented to us by our government officials and mainstream media—not that there’s much difference between the two.

     It’s a matter of empirical evidence, and self-defense.