Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Our alt-facts president

Enabled by his alt-facts press secretary.  Bold mine.

Sean Spicer has shed new light on the concept of "alternative facts," a widely-panned concept introduced by his colleague Kellyanne Conway to defend his seemingly inaccurate inauguration attendee numbers.
According to the White House press secretary, his usage of "alternative facts" is much ado about nothing: In fact, he says, its similar to a meteorologist who incorrectly predicts the weather.
"The press was trying to make it seem like we were ignoring the facts," Spicer told Fox News' Sean Hannity during an interview that aired Tuesday night. "The facts are, sometimes when you look at a situation, in the same way that you can look at a weather report. One weather report comes out and says it's going to be cloudy and another says it’s going to be light rain. No one lied to you, it just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion."
Spicer claimed, "We weren’t by any means trying to mislead anyone. We asked for a set of facts, we thought that the group [which provided subway ridership figures] and the facts that we were given at that time were accurate. Like anything else, it's not alternative facts. There’s sometimes you can watch two different stations and get two different weather reports. That doesn’t mean that the station was lying to you. And the press made it look like we were ignoring the facts. " 

Weather reports aren't facts; they're forecasts.  Predictions.  Sort of like polls.  The weather, like the size of a crowd, is a fact afterwards and not before.  Spicer could have said "Trump's inauguration will be the biggest of all time" the day before the event, and some people would have nodded in agreement while others laughed him off as a braggart.  You can't run around telling people it rained yesterday when it didn't without looking like a moron or an asshole.

The trouble with analogies like this is that we'll have to deal with people who say "It rained at my house" next.  But alt-facts are the world we live in now, so make the necessary adjustments.

In our fresh new environment, ill Eagles cost Trump the popular vote.  And we can't have governmental agencies talking about climate change, or releasing data about unemployment or jobs when they contradict the president's strongly-held belief.  This is truthiness taken to its most petulant extreme.  But Democrats in the Senate already understand they're going to have to pick their battles, and if a nominee is just dense and unqualified, that's not as bad as dangerous and malignant.  Lesser of two evils, you see.

If making America Great Again means more jobs for robots that are themselves manufactured in China, then so be it.  It's up to us to figure out an alternatively factual way to understand it.

Here's one: Robots can't build border walls, so there's going to be some number of jobs -- millions! Yuuuge! -- for Americans that Mexicans won't do (or take away from them, or be shipped overseas).  See how easy this is?

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