Trump and Kanye Dine on Their Own Souls and Elon’s Twitter Gets Darker
The Shame of Needing a Same-Sex Marriage Bill, Why Do Men Rule Girls Soccer, Football Scholarship Unfairly Withdrawn, and More
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the Monty Hall Problem and how it relates to the way we stubbornly hold on to beliefs that aren’t true and may even be self-destructive. Briefly, the Monty Hall Problem is a statistical puzzle that refers to the game show host who was for many years synonymous with Let’s Make a Deal. Here’s the puzzle (go to Better Explained for a full statistical breakdown):
There are 3 doors, behind which are two goats and a car.
You pick a door (call it door A). You’re hoping for the car of course.
Monty Hall, the game show host, examines the other doors (B & C) and opens one with a goat. (If both doors have goats, he picks randomly.)
Do you stick with door A (original guess) or switch to the unopened door? Does it matter? According to their statistical analysis, if you switch doors, you’ll win 2/3 of the time.
And yet, most of us struggle to understand how it’s not just a 50/50 chance. The reason it’s not is because once Monty chooses a door to reveal the goat, he’s given us additional information we didn’t have before. He’s told us that he didn’t choose door B. That info now weighs our choice more heavily toward B.
Yes, I know it takes some thinking about, but when you do, you realize that’s how we operate in the real world. We refuse to acknowledge important information when it’s given to us because it rattles how we are used to thinking. It makes us have to reconsider the conventional wisdom we have clung to. It makes us have to wonder if we’re wrong about one thing, what other fundamental beliefs might we be wrong about. It is better to to simply reject all new information and hold on to our comforting biases, whether they be about the 5-second rule of dropping food (there is no safe time) or about people’s gender, race, or religion.
Politics: The Three Stooges of Mar-a-Lago
Summary: “House and Senate Republicans are speaking out against former President Donald Trump's dinner last week with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
“‘There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. ‘And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.’
“Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy denounced Fuentes, who is labeled as a white supremacist pundit and organizer by the Anti-Defamation League, in language similar to McConnell's, though he stopped short of condemning the former president.”
My Take: The big story here isn’t this misguided dinner of three of the least intelligent and most divisive people in the country. It’s that the meeting created such a massive media hullabaloo, clogging the news cycle like a clump of greasy hair in the drain. After all, this wasn’t exactly the Yalta Conference of Churchill, FDR, and Stalin. More like the Yahoo Conference (Yahoos in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels were “a brute in human form”) featuring Spray-Tan Stalin, Delusional Stalin, and Mini-Stalin.
Nick Fuentes, 24, is a Holocaust denier, 2020 election denier, fanboy of Mussolini and Putin, and aligned with neo-Nazis. Ye (formerly Kanye West) has announced his candidacy for the presidency in the 2024 election and reportedly joked with Trump at the dinner that the former president could be his running mate.
And then the drama really hit the fan: Ye’s political advisor (and recent intern for Marjorie Taylor Greene) Milo Yiannopoulos claimed that bringing Fuentes to the dinner was his way to publicly humiliate Trump because he had grown disillusioned with him. Fuentes, now also a member of Ye’s campaign, reputed that claim: “My intention was not to hurt Trump by attending the dinner, that is fake news. I love Donald Trump.” Trump’s alleged response was, “He tried to fuck me. He’s crazy. He can’t beat me.” Moe, Larry, and Curly would probably look at this dinner, shake their heads and say, “Too over the top.”
A frightening fact: Following his recent anti-semitic rants, Ye’s social media followers increased to over 30 million people. If you want to do something practical to send a message about your principles, unfollow Ye. Let him scream his madness into the void.
Yet, for all their ridiculousness, it would be a mistake to dismiss these publicity-seeking missiles as nutty outliers because social media can instantly make heroes and martyrs of the dumbest, most despicable people. Americans used to strive to improve themselves—economically, sure, but also intellectually. We wanted to be smarter, better informed. We believed our reach should exceed our grasp. Now, many are content to find others who share the same uninformed opinions because they are only a computer click away. Requires no reading, no thinking. Just the purchase of a slogan-emblazoned hat or t-shirt that announces to the world: “I’ve just given up on myself.”
But the rest of us can’t give up on ourselves—or the country—by allowing these empty vessels desperate for a spotlight to have any influence beyond their sad minions in need of a Stalin.
According to Variety, “Kanye West went on a horrific antisemitic tirade during an appearance on Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’ talk show in which the controversial rapper praised Hitler…West told Jones that Hitler, like every human being, brought value to the world. He also said he sees good things about the Nazi founder. Later in the interview, West made antisemitic jokes about former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
My Take: So far, the first two announced candidates for president of this country are Trump and West. If you think about it too much, you’ll start to cramp up. It’s not that they have a chance, but that they disrespect the country and democratic process so much that they believe the country exists only to feed their pampered egos.