Policies and Name Recognition (Trump Persuasion Series)

The Master Persuader filter, of which I blog, says Trump’s success is based on his persuasion skills. But the more common 2D narrative is that Trump has name recognition and a winning policy with immigration, at least for the Republican base.

So, is Trump’s success in the campaign because of his powers of persuasion, or is it a combination of name-recognition plus having the most popular view on immigration (for Republicans)? I’ll help you sort that out.

Trump isn’t a lifetime politician.… READ MORE

Model interpretability in forecasting

By Mike Gilliland

“The Role of Model Interpretability in Data Science” is a recent post on Medium.com by Carl Anderson, Director of Data Science at the fashion eyeware company Warby Parker. Anderson argues that data scientists should be willing to make small sacrifices in model quality in order to deliver a model that is easier to interpret and explain, and is therefore more acceptable to management.

Can we make this same argument in business forecasting?

What is Meant by Model Interpretability?… READ MORE

Why Does Trump Terrify People?

It isn’t unusual for members of the public to hate politicians. For example, lots of people hate President Obama. Some of that hatred is because of his policies, some is because of racism, and I assume there are a few other reasons. But I have never seen anyone who was literally afraid of him on a visceral level.

Trump, on the other hand, actually scares people. I have seen people’s bodies twist up and go into full panic at the thought of him being president.… READ MORE

My New Hampshire Prediction Scorecard

On Monday I predicted that Rubio would outperform expectations in New Hampshire because the voting in primaries is – in my view – probably rigged. Instead, Rubio dropped like a rock after his Saturday debate in which Christie annihilated him.

So I was totally wrong about Rubio getting a suspicious bump up in the polls. When I wrote my prediction I had not yet seen the Rubio-robot meme take off and dominate the news cycle. 

Instead of Rubio doing well in New Hampshire, the guy who annihilated Rubio at the debate (Christie) had an “unexpected” drop in voter support that will probably take him out of the race. … READ MORE

Improving Short Term Load Forecast Accuracy via Combining Sister Forecasts

Over the past three years, I have had 14 papers published/accepted by reputable journals. These papers are from about 40 original and revision submissions, about two revisions per finally accepted paper. Among the 40 some decision letters I received in the recent three years, four were rejections. Three of the four rejections were on this paper. I’m summarizing the journey of this paper in this post, to shed some lights on the peer review process for the other authors like myself living in this broken system.… READ MORE

The Movie Persuasion Filter

If you were going to cast a Batman movie, and you had to pick from the Republican candidates, how easily could you fill out the cast? This will tell you what you really think of these folks.

I think it would come out like this:

Batman: Trump (battling lobbyists, China, ISIS, and the GOP) 

Robin: Rubio. Obviously.

The Penguin: Ted Cruz (Chris Christie as backup)

Commissioner Gordon: John Kasich

Alfred: Jeb

The Joker: Megyn Kelly (New haircut looks like the animated version, not the movie one)

The Riddler: Rand Paul (I never know what he’s talking about.)

Ben Carson wouldn’t make the cast because Hollywood is racist.… READ MORE

The Thinking Filters

tumblr inline o2a8ncLboP1t63ajm 540 The Thinking Filters

As you watch pundits discuss the presidential elections, you might be wondering who is right, who is wrong, who is wise, and who is dumb. To that end, I put together the the following “high ground” chart. 


As I have said in prior posts, I don’t believe our brains evolved to give us truth. Our brains evolved to create little movies in which we get to be the stars. And we can view our movies through many filters with no preference for which filter is the “right” one. … READ MORE

New Hampshire Election Fraud Prediction

The New Hampshire primary tomorrow should be interesting. 

As I often say, wherever you have large stakes, an opportunity for wrong-doing, and a small risk of getting caught, wrong-doing happens. That’s a universal law of human awfulness. When humans CAN cheat, they do. Or at least enough of them do. 

That situation describes the primaries. I assume the primaries are corrupt to some degree. If not, that would mean the primaries are the one thing in history that has escaped the universal law of human awfulness.… READ MORE

The GOP Debate Scorecard (Master Persuader Series)

tumblr inline o26l8lwPej1t63ajm 540 The GOP Debate Scorecard (Master Persuader Series)

If your firewall is being uncooperative, see the image on Twitter here.

If you have a life, and you missed the GOP debate on Saturday night, let me give you the highlights.

Trump: Trump acted controlled and more presidential to counter the idea that he’s a loose cannon. That strategy looked effective to me. And as Trump often does, he produced one irresistible piece of news candy by suggesting he was in favor of some sort of unspecified torture. It was classic Trump.… READ MORE