Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bloomberg the nerd won’t beat Trump

Excellent article that touches on a very interesting aspect of life 

Quote:Bloomberg the nerd won’t beat Trump
The data-obsessed ex-mayor doesn't understand that politics is an art, not a science

here is nothing new about the observation that nerds make terrible politicians. The term itself may be born of the information age — first as a term of abuse, then increasingly as a badge of pride — but thousands of years ago, the philosophers of the ancient world were grappling with a distinction that helps explain why nerdy politicians keep tripping themselves up in the public square. Politics is an art, not a science. It requires techne, not episteme.
Take the current row about self-confessed “data nerd” (see Twitter profile) and Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg and his recently unearthed comments about farming. Bloomberg is a poster boy of the digital age. A Harvard Business school alumnus, he made his billions — more than 60 of them — from selling computer software to the financial services industry. That made him the 12th richest person in the world. But for all this lucrative data savvy — or perhaps because of it — Bloomberg has shown himself to be excessively clumsy in his reflections on the degree of difficulty required to grow crops. Speaking to a group of Oxford University students in 2016, soon after Trump became President, Bloomberg reflected on a contrast between the intellectual demand of farming and that of the information age:
Quote:If you think about it, the agrarian society lasted 3,000 years, and we can teach processes. I could teach anybody — even people in this room, no offence intended — to be a farmer. It’s a [process]. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that.”
“Now comes the information economy, and the information economy is fundamentally different because it’s built around replacing people with technology, and the skill sets that you have to learn are how to think and analyse. And that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set. You have to have a lot more gray matter.”
Supporters of Bloomberg have insisted that these remarks have been taken out of context. His opponents, from Trump to Sanders, have used them as evidence that Bloomberg is out of touch with middle America, and with the all-important rural constituency in particular. And there is little doubt these comments have damaged him. But what is going on here is more foundational than mere optics. For what data nerd Michael Bloomberg is revealing in these comments is the tendency of the nerd mentality to reduce certain forms of practice, and the practical intelligence required by them, to pieces of information. It is the subjection of techne by episteme.
To use the philosopher Gilbert Ryle’s 1949 representation of the issue, the distinction here is one between different forms of knowledge; as he put it, the difference between “knowing-that” (roughly speaking, episteme) and “knowing-how” (techne). Here is an illustration of the difference. Imagine I ask you if you know how to swim, and you say “yes, of course”. But when you get into the water, you sink to the bottom and need rescuing. “I thought you said you knew how to swim,” I challenge. “Oh, I do,” comes the reply. “I have read many books on the physics of buoyancy and about the mechanisms of human propulsion through water. I know all there is to know about how to swim.”
In other words, knowing-how is not necessarily reduceable to knowing-that. You can know all the science there is of swimming or bicycling or farming, but be absolutely rubbish at doing it. Conversely you can be Mark Spitz in the water and not know the first thing about the physics of buoyancy. In other words, farming may (and does) contain a wisdom that cannot be boiled down to “you dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn”.
Among those things that Plato identifies as a techne — including weaving, music, cookery, riding a chariot, farming — is that of politics. Politics is a craft as much as it is a science. And those, like Bloomberg, who have been schooled in the information age may have a handle on all of the graphs and data points that are available, but without a sense that politics is an art, and without the knowing-how talent at practising it, the nerdish would-be politician is bound to fail. Take heed, Dominic Cummings.
And they will fail, not least because confusion between knowing-how and knowing-that is extremely funny. And being laughed at is political kryptonite. Why funny? Let me offer another example — and bear with me here.

The American author John Updike is — like both Bloomberg and Trump — golf obsessed. So am I. And like me, Updike must have spent hours poring over detailed instructional literature explaining how best to hold the club, and the detailed mechanics of how the human body might deliver the club face to the ball at exactly the right angle and speed. Irritatingly, I have friends with what we call “natural ability” who don’t have to go through all this nonsense. They just stand up and hit the ball. Mere mortals like me have to break the process down and carefully reconstruct it. And inevitably, something of the ‘natural ability’ bit gets lost in the process.
In 1959, Updike wrote a very weird short story about how to drink a cup of tea in the style of a golf instruction manual. “In seizure, first touch, with feathery lightness, the rim of the saucer with the pad of the index finger of the right hand… A split second — perhaps .07 — later, the first knuckle of the middle, ‘big’ finger, sliding toward of the centre of the saucer’s invisible underside, and the tip of the thumb must coordinate in a prehensile ‘pinching’ motion.” It goes on like this, on and on, for pages. The comedy here is the comedy of trying to reduce knowing-how to various assertions of knowing-that. And, of course, it’s totally ridiculous to try. Laughable.

This is the comedy that brings down the nerds from their political thrones. From Cummings’ science-obsessed reduction of politics to information and statistics, to Bloomberg’s inability to recognise the inherent wisdom in a form of practice such as farming, the nerdish desire to collapse knowing-how to knowing-that will tend to be exposed at moments of philosophical comedy where they reveal themselves to be ridiculous.

And this drives the nerds mad. For despite the fact that the information age has granted data nerds great fortunes and cultural power, when faced with the ballot box, it is knowing how, not knowing that that tends to triumph. From Clinton (Bill, not Hillary), to Trump and Johnson, the information age has given us very un-data-y politicians, those whose political intelligence is located in the gut and not on the spreadsheet. Sure, as Plato himself recognised, techne and episteme have a more complex and mutually supporting role than I have described for the purposes of illustration.

These days, top golfers require both. But in the political realm at least, the Cummings-style knowing-that always finds itself playing a supporting role to the Johnson-style knowing-how. In all those worlds where wisdom can be digitised — finance, computers — the nerds will win. But my prediction is that faced with the rat-like political cunning of Donald Trump — someone who knows how to exploit Bloomberg’s knowing-that ridiculousness — Bloomberg will lose. Just as he would on the golf course.
As it happens, Bloomberg and Trump are golf buddies. And, notwithstanding all the claims that he is a terrible cheater, Trump is nevertheless the better player. And Trump rubs it in. “Mini Mike is a short ball (very) hitter. Tiny club head speed”, he tweeted about Bloomberg’s golf game last week. This is the sort of nastiness that nerds have long been subjected to by the playground bully. Bloomberg may be far richer than Trump, but in the wide open space of a democratic contest, Trump knows how troll Bloomberg. And it will probably work. Because at the ballot box, just as out on the links, knowing-how usually beats knowing-that.
[Image: 87176748_502491614030603_260084818517373...e=5EC6DF45]
Lots of Bloombergs around. He probably can't boil, poach or fry a decent egg.

We have a guy in our company who is all theory, no practice. Studied for an MBA after being technically trained in large systems for 12+ years. He asked me to write an assembler program because he says his "assembler is rusty". Somehow mine isn't rusty, despite the fact that I learned assemblerm in 1976?

So far he can't even write down the requirements because that would expose his extreme ignorance on program design, so I'm going to hold off doing anything for him.

With Bloomberg it seems like he is a bright bloke with a very narrow skill set. Perfect for the way his company developed. I wouldn't want to be stranded on the island with him, no practical skills at all.

He does seem quite philanthropic too. Overall not the monster the Dems paint him as.
Quote:Overall not the monster the Dems paint him as.


He's an amateur debater that's for sure. When attacked by Warren for 'stop & frisk' he should have come back hard and said:

 "It saved lives, including black lives and leadership involves making tough decisions based on reality rather than academic theory or a narrow ideology. That's why I'm the best candidate"

With that one statement he would have secured the candidacy. Terrible mistake to apologize!
(02-23-2020, 11:17 PM)andrew_o Wrote:
Quote:Overall not the monster the Dems paint him as.


He's an amateur debater that's for sure. When attacked by Warren for 'stop & frisk' he should have come back hard and said:

 "It saved lives, including black lives and leadership involves making tough decisions based on reality rather than academic theory or a narrow ideology. That's why I'm the best candidate"

With that one statement he would have secured the candidacy. Terrible mistake to apologize!

Yes, he has no shtick at all. 

I guess when you are worth 70 Bn, you might as well take a pay cut and become president. There are millions of people who would make a better president than the psychos running.
Why would dems want to run a moderate Republican against Trump ?

[Image: rss.tribunecontentagency.com20200220edsh...89bc9a1c94]
Q: "Why would dems want to run a moderate Republican against Trump ?"

A: Because it's the only chance they have of winning
[Image: 12805692_10153905635895281_6219852750073...e=5E84F46C]
(03-03-2020, 06:43 PM)andrew_o Wrote: Q: "Why would dems want to run a moderate Republican against Trump ?"

A: Because it's the only chance they have of winning

Rolleyes  So......you see no chance for a moderate "New Dealer" like Sanders or Warren winning ?
Warren is effectively already out.

Sanders should be a gift for Trump - he's America's Jeremy Corbyn in so many ways.

Can Sanders win? I would say yes, it's possible given the state of the USA right now, the explicit bias in the media and the power of a handful of big tech billionaires to influence. Anything can happen.

The Pottery Barn thing comes to mind: If you break it you own it. If you vote Sanders in then you break the USA.

Most likely the DNC won't let Sanders near the candidacy

Ah! Here's an interesting article:

3 Reasons Bernie Sanders Is a Tougher Trump Opponent than Joe Biden

The entire Democrat establishment is moving heaven and earth to kill the Bernie Sanders campaign, and unfortunately for them, Joe Biden is their only alternative.

Okay, I know I’m going to be accused of concern trolling for this, accused of trying to con Democrats into voting for Bernie, because I secretly want Bernie to win. There’s nothing I can do about that. All I can say is that as a Trump supporter, as someone who very much wants four more MAGA years, Bernie worries me more than Biden.

Here’s why…

  1. Polls
In the RealClearPolitics poll of polls, Bernie and Biden are both beating President Trump by about five points. So all things being equal in the numbers, my thoughts turn to the following…

  1. Political Movement
Have you seen Bernie’s rallies? They look like Donald Trump’s rallies. Bernie is leading an honest-to-goodness political movement. He has a real constituency, a huge base of support to build on.

Have you seen Biden’s rallies? They look like Hillary Clinton rallies. Biden has no following, no base of support, no constituency. Biden supporters will argue he has the black vote, but whoever wins the nomination will have the black vote, including Bernie. And black voters are not turning out in throngs to attend Biden’s rallies. Sorry, the excitement just isn’t there.

Excitement matters in presidential elections. You need people excited to vote for you. You need to turn out voters.

  1. Change
Bernie is a change candidate.

Biden represents the past. He’s a placeholder.

Change excites people. Placeholders don’t.

The future excites people. The past doesn’t.

We’re Americans. We look forward, not back.

Did I mention excitement matters?

  1. Mental Acuity
Bernie is sharp as a tack.

Biden is exhausted, elderly, frail, and has more brain-freezes than one can count.

Trump is going to do to Biden what he did to the ailing Hillary — work him into the ground.

Presidential elections are won on competence. More than issues or anything else, it is competence that wins elections, that makes the difference.

When’s the last time an incompetent candidate won the presidency?

Biden spent two weeks lying (or fantasizing) about being arrested as a U.S. Senator in South Africa in support of Nelson Mandela.

Bernie is competent.

Biden is not.

  1. Political Ability
Bernie is a much better politician than Biden, who’s undisciplined and forever shooting off his stupid mouth (see #4).

  1. Intelligence
Bernie is smarter than Biden.

Being smarter than Biden is a low bar, so I want to be fair: Bernie is just smart. On the ball.

  1. Debates
Bernie is a much better debater than Biden, and I look forward to their one-on-one debates after the Democrat field clears.

  1. The Iraq War
Bernie opposed the Iraq War.

Biden not only supported the Iraq War, he vigorously supported it and is now trying to lie his way out of that fact.

Trump will beat Biden senseless over Iraq.

  1. Corruption
As of now, I know of no major scandals in Bernie’s past.

Biden, however, still can’t explain his son Hunter’s looting of Ukraine and China, and he still can’t explain why he did what Trump was falsely impeached for — using the threat of withholding U.S. aid to extort Ukraine into firing a government prosecutor looking into Hunter’s corrupt company.

  1. Record of Failures
Bernie’s record is of a Senator who never did much.

The Obama-Biden administration oversaw the worst economic “recovery” in a hundred years, bungled Libya, spied on Trump’s campaign, spied on journalists, gave deadly firearms to Mexican drug lords, botched Obamacare, allowed red lines to be crossed, and did nothing effective about ISIS.

  1. History Repeats Itself
In 2004, we saw Democrats do the exact same thing to Howard Dean that they are now attempting to do to Bernie — destroy the insurgent who creates all the excitement with their base, especially young voters. With the help of the media — and the infamous Dean Scream — they wiped Dean out in order to prop up the nice, safe, dull, establishment John Kerry, who went on to lose to George W. Bush.

At the time, Bush was running for re-election on a much weaker record than Trump’s, and Kerry is more on the ball than the 78-year-old Biden, who has never really been on the ball.

Then , in 2008, the Democrats got smart and chose the insurgent Barack Obama — the guy who excited the base and young voters — over the dull, establishment, and entitled Hillary Clinton. With Obama, they won two presidential elections in a row.

Then, in 2016, Democrats chose the dull, establishment Hillary over Bernie, the guy who created all the excitement… And they lost.

Don’t make me mention excitement again.

  1. Racism
Unlike Trump, no one has to lie to prove Joe Biden’s a racist.

Bernie doesn’t have any racial issues I’m aware of.

  1. Serial Young Girl-Touching
Biden’s creepy behavior with young girls is on film, and there’s a lot of it. If Biden wins the nomination, Trump supporters are going to — and justifiably so — go crazy with it. Trump can tie Biden up in knots with this stuff.

I’m unaware of anything similar in Bernie’s past, and I don’t want to hear about his silly fiction writing. There’s a big difference between purple prose and sniffing up a schoolgirl.

Bernie or Biden?

The smart, savvy politician, the change candidate who has a real following, or…

The tired, old mentally exhausted, gaffe machine with a terrible record and no vision for  the future?

I’m not saying Biden can’t beat Trump.

I’m not saying Bernie can’t lose to Trump.

I’m just pointing to the lay of the land.
I’m also saying that, just like establishment Republicans in 2016, establishment Democrats would rather lose the presidency in 2020 than lose control of the Party to Bernie.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)