I was recently listening to some old episodes from 2016 from my daughter. There were parts where I felt like I had done pretty well in taking the temperature of the world and parts where I cringed. Knowing how much certain of my listeners like to see my cringe I thought I'd share the experience with all of you. Accordingly in this episode I review my comments from immediately before and after the 2016 election and see how they look with the benefit of hindsight.
If you have high cholesterol the doctor will tell you you're at risk for heart disease and prescribe statins. If your society is poor, a sociologist will tell you that your population could be happier, and suggest that you raise the standard of living. At some point we expect that drug companies will prove the connection between their drug and lowering deaths from heart disease. Shouldn't we also expect that our sociologist will prove the connection between standard of living and happiness? What if while focusing on standard of living we actually ignore things that actually do improve happiness?
The race to defeat Trump has begun in earnest. There are 19 notable candidates in the Democratic primary race already and that doesn't include some big names that are expected to enter the race, but haven't yet. Why are there so many? There were only six in 2016. One theory is that Trump appears vulnerable so it's anybodies race. Even people who were traditionally to radical or progressive to win a nationwide election feel like they could beat Trump, but can they, and what does the moderate progressive split mean for the primaries?
I admit that as I discuss things there is some emotion involved. A lot of stuff is my subjective sense of how the world is going. And in this episode in the interest of transparency I toss a few of those things out. Stories and trends where, maybe there's no cause for concern, but which viscerally really make me question, "What is going on?!?!?"