Will conservatives retain their majority in the Majles after Iran’s upcoming parliamentary elections?
Inactive-43 made a prediction:
This infuriatingly undefined question is one of the reasons I decided I don’t have time to struggle with this game. I like having a reputation as a superforecaster from GJP4, but this game seems designed to teach us humility by forcing us in cases like this to forecast the organizers of this game instead of the apparent question. Instead, now I’m concentrating on the upcoming Hybrid Forecasting Competition. I hope to help design one of the competing versions of this game, but if I turn out to not be on a winning proposal team, then I’ll jump at the chance to forecast on some other contractor’s version of the game. http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/research-programs/hfc
Anyone who wants to follow me offline as I seek the Holy Grail of a more powerful aid to us forecasters, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile I’ll do my best to get OFF this game instead of being listed as inactive. So hasta vista to my followers who aren’t already interacting with me outside this game: @Xsess @Dwight-Smith @thmnewman @Gil-Edgar @tmahoney @lsgold7 @Counterintelligence @Enthu @Hochstetler @Delorean @g @howard @facetious @The_Gnome @BG1 @DrStrangelove @Flyn1200 @PianoPicasso @AndersAsa @writeitdown @HW15 @tkimble @Doudtful @firemansghost @mparrault @lindsey @Dima-K @crntaylor @azivkovic @Mos @MattWard @AlexisTocqueville @luckyomari @Ermonic @Pstauble @Edwinian @Clairvoyance @ACurmudgeon @ @ts2m @M3T1tus @dada @GeneH @S1 @ConnorM @peterhansen90 @Bklyn_j @dniewood @deggen @Etsudo @praedico @Spyglass @Manfred @VoxVox @FuturoMAGE @subject1138 @MAA414 @richtyge @gkamstra @RCScheffers @Random @Spandrelbarca @Rene @gstaneff @fifty-sixty @spotter @dbealick @davidk @terobrandstaka @RobK @walt @Rectitude @malcmur @dominich @Konrad @balbec @Ioana @Raisinville @rjfmgy @Rote @TopQuark @ESR @Xu @sharms10k @Paul15 @NickLutz @Ritam @seveDB @Jean-Pierre @Bill @Agent0090 @RolandKofler @Aches @JoeG @madre @Paul_Theron @September @DariusX @AgentCarter @JeanP @tumbleweed @Reynard @SmallTown-Gal
7 Upvote Downvote Reply Flag Link Apr 8, 2016 11:40PM
Carolyn, it is an honor to know you and I for one appreciate you, and your family’s years of service to make our world a better and safer place. This game and the previous Ace tournaments, have introduced me to the world of analysis, taught me many things, and illuminated my errors and deficiencies for all the world to see. The supers among us seem to rise to the top regardless of the structural flaws, like @einsteinjs, @Clairvoyance and others.
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 12:57AM
Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.
— A. Einstein. —
1. I second @ravel; this game thought me many things too; the resolution process is weak, but…..
2. @meinel posts were insightful and appreciated by many, that should count
3. The Majiles question is difficult to understand, perhaps it should be just closed
4. I still like to do this regardless of the small problems, I enjoy doing it
5. I don’t want to be a rat, and I’m no longer doing rat races (see article above)
5 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 03:52AM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:19PM UTC
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 08:51AM
You added a dimension of substance to this game with your consistently insightful comments. I have a great deal of respect for the amount of time you have taken to not just think critically about these questions, but then unselfishly write out your analyses for the rest of us to deliberate. I have adjusted many probabilities successfully thanks to your insights. I am relatively new here, and the information you regularly shared helped this game take hold for me. Good luck…you will be missed.
5 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 12:14PM
@cmeinel: We’re all less without your input.
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 01:54PM
My bloated ego has gotten the better of me just now, so here are my closing scores, the good, the not so good and the pathetic:) So following me in Geo questions was usually a good idea, whereas economics questions, sigh… I’m a big believer in debriefing, so here goes:
# competitors Leaderboards Rank Username No. of Questions Forecasted Brier Median Accuracy Score Rank / # competitors
2590 Iran 74 cmeinel 8 0.413 0.557 -0.633 0.0285714286
Date Ended Question
Participation Rate Your Score Median Score
Dec 6, 2015 07:00AM Will the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) maintain its majority in Venezuela’s National Assembly after the next legislative elections?
Sep 18, 2015 12:59AM Will Congress pass a resolution disapproving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action?
Sep 21, 2015 12:59AM Will the IAEA conduct an on-site inspection of the Parchin military complex in Iran before the end of the year?
50% 0.005 0.624
Sep 17, 2015 12:59AM Will Russia officially lift any part of its food embargo on the United States, any or all of the European Union member states, Canada, Australia, Norway, Iceland, Albania, Montenegro or Liechtenstein before 6 August 2016?
Sep 30, 2015 02:15PM Will Russians conduct airstrikes in Syria before 1 May 2016?
Oct 19, 2015 03:05PM Which party will the next Canadian Prime Minister come from?
Oct 25, 2015 03:00PM How many seats in Poland’s Sejm will PiS (Law and Justice) win in the upcoming parliamentary elections?
85% 0.705 0.635
Nov 1, 2015 09:00PM Who will win the World Series?
Dec 2, 2015 07:00AM Will NATO invite Montenegro to join the alliance before the end of the year?
Nov 22, 2015 06:00PM Who will win the presidential election in Argentina?
Oct 13, 2015 10:22AM Will the Iranian Parliament approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action before 1 November 2015?
97% 0.281 0.011
Feb 9, 2016 06:00PM Will Hillary Clinton win New Hampshire’s Democratic primary?
Nov 30, 2015 07:00AM Will there be an initial public offering on either the Shanghai Stock Exchange or the Shenzhen Stock Exchange before 1 January 2016?
Jan 16, 2016 01:00PM Will “implementation day” for the Iranian nuclear deal occur before Iran’s legislative elections?
Dec 16, 2015 12:00PM Will the US federal-funds rate be increased before the end of the year ?
Dec 18, 2015 09:00AM Will both houses of Congress pass legislation lifting or relaxing the oil-export ban before 1 April 2016?
99% 0.824 0.254
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) be completed before 1 January 2016?
Oct 8, 2015 03:00PM Will the book “Superforecasting” (2015) be on the New York Times Bestseller’s list by the end of October?
92% 0.388 0.917
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will Montenegro’s Milo Djukanovic resign, lose a vote of confidence, or cease to be Prime Minister before 1 January 2016?
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will Jurassic World (2015) pass Titanic (1997) to become the #2 all-time highest-grossing movie domestically by the end of the year?
Nov 26, 2015 07:00AM Will Joe Biden announce that he is running for President of the United States before Thanksgiving?
97% 0.552 0.155
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will the US or its coalition partners declare a no-fly zone in Syria before the end of the year?
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will there be a dissolution or suspension of the Northern Irish Assembly before the end of the year?
Nov 1, 2015 03:00PM How many seats will the Justice and Development Party (AKP) win in Turkey’s snap elections?
Jan 1, 2016 10:00AM What will the end-of-day closing value for the dollar against the renminbi be on 1 January 2016?
Mar 30, 2016 10:00AM Will a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) take office as president of Myanmar before April 2016?
Jan 16, 2016 01:00PM How many seats in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan will the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) win in January’s elections? 3%
Mar 24, 2016 11:00AM Will the US or the UN impose any new sanctions on Iran before 18 October 2016?
Oct 5, 2015 12:26PM Who will Twitter name as their permanent CEO before the end of the year?
Jan 16, 2016 01:00PM Will the IAEA verify that Iran’s uranium stockpile has been reduced to less than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium before 1 June 2016?
Jan 17, 2016 01:00PM Will restrictions on Iran’s access to SWIFT be lifted before 1 August 2016?
Jan 16, 2016 01:00PM Will Iran release Jason Rezaian before 31 October 2016?
Feb 19, 2016 03:00PM Who will be the next managing director of the IMF?
Jan 26, 2016 01:00PM Will Apple sell more than 75 million iPhones in its December quarter?
Feb 2, 2016 03:00PM Will California extend the current restriction on urban water use before it expires on 29 February 2016?
Mar 15, 2016 06:00PM Which Republican presidential candidate will win the Florida primary on 15 March?
Feb 6, 2016 03:00PM Will North Korea launch a land based missile with the capacity to reach Alaska, Hawaii, or the continental United States before 1 January 2017?
Feb 7, 2016 06:00PM Which team will win the NFL’s Super Bowl in 2016?
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will there be a partial or full government shutdown in the United States before the end of the year?
100% 0.032 0.01
Jan 31, 2016 03:00PM How many new jobs will the US economy create in January 2016?
Mar 30, 2016 03:00PM Will Moody’s downgrade South Africa’s government issuer rating to B or below before 1 April 2016?
Mar 29, 2016 03:00PM Will the US Justice Department file criminal charges against Volkswagen or any of its employees before 30 March 2016?
Feb 1, 2016 08:00PM Will Donald Trump win Iowa’s Republican caucus?
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will a trilateral meeting take place between Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye before 1 January 2016?
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Will OPEC announce any changes to its production quota before 1 January 2016?
Feb 1, 2016 08:00PM Which Democratic presidential candidate will win the Iowa caucuses on 1 February?
Feb 20, 2016 06:00PM Will China conduct naval exercises with any ASEAN member before 1 June 2016?
Feb 1, 2016 08:00PM Which Republican presidential candidate will win the Iowa caucuses on 1 February?
Feb 18, 2016 03:00PM Who will win Uganda’s next presidential election?
Jan 5, 2016 06:30PM Will North Korea conduct a nuclear test before 1 January 2017?
Dec 29, 2015 04:00PM As of 31 December 2015, how many refugees and migrants will UNHCR report as having arrived in Europe by sea? 99%
Dec 30, 2015 10:00AM What will be the lowest closing spot price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, according to the US Energy Information Agency, between 14 September 2015 and 30 December 2015?
Mar 2, 2016 03:00PM Will the UN Security Council pass a resolution expanding sanctions on North Korea before 1 June 2016?
36% 0.005 0.009
Jan 1, 2016 07:00AM How many of the BRIC countries will report positive annualised growth for the quarter ending in December 2015? 83%
Dec 31, 2015 04:00PM Before the end of the year, will the Bank of Japan announce an increase in asset purchases under its quantitative easing program?
Feb 29, 2016 03:00PM Will the government of Venezuela or Petroleos de Venezuela S. A. (PDVSA) default on their foreign-currency debt before 1 March 2016?
Dec 4, 2015 07:00AM Will the Export-Import Bank of the United States be re-authorized before 1 January 2016?
Mar 31, 2016 03:00PM Before April 2016, will the French Army or Foreign Legion deploy combat troops to fight the Islamic State on the ground in Syria or Iraq?
Feb 20, 2016 11:00AM Before 1 May 2016, will Britain set a date for a referendum on EU membership?
Mar 31, 2016 03:00PM Will Vladimir Putin attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, in March 2016?
Nov 21, 2015 07:00AM When will Iran next launch a ballistic missile?
Mar 31, 2016 03:00PM Will Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff resign or be impeached before 1 April 2016?
2 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 05:31PM
You can have your opinions, but please don’t spam the @notifications.
-2 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 05:40PM
@cmeinel, (also @Counterintelligence, @redacted, @ravel)
In the piece that @sevedb linked, the author says that ” . . . stress is not linked solely to the amount of work we have, but rather on the poor quality of the relationships we develop with our colleagues”. Absolutely! Every time this season that I have felt overwhelmed and frustrated, you (all of you) were there with some absolutely astonishingly insightful analysis that inspired me or some kind and encouraging word that gave me the boost I needed. Dedicated forecasters like you, who struggle to ferret out the information, correctly interpret it and respectfully debate with others, are what have made forecasting on this platform rewarding for me.
@cmeinel, without you, and dozens of superforecasters who have opted to follow you to new pastures, the rest of us are going to experience a lot more stress. YOU WILL BE MISSED! I wish you the very best.
@GJDrew: I am offended by your characterization of cmeinel’s use of notifications as “spamming”. What other option is there? Many forecasters have asked repeatedly for some mechanism whereby we can communicate directly with each other, to no avail. You are blaming the victim.
4 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 07:54PM
Of course I won’t ever and haven’t ever spammed the notifications. I only have contacted my current followers. In this case, because I have requested to be deleted from the game, I believed it was appropriate to explain why. Comparison class: when einsteinjs left the game, he notified me via email so I wouldn’t be alarmed and I appreciated knowing this. However, by not taking the considerable time to scrape his long list of followers and notify them via the “@” notation, this inadvertently caused concern among others, which I sought to alleviate by posting to comments and via email to those who contacted me in this manner. That incident signaled to me that when a high performing, highly popular player leaves the game, and I salute einsteinjs for being better than me in this game, it would be appropriate to provide a reason.
4 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 10:19PM
Back to the question of why so many top players, indeed GJP superforecasters, have had difficulties with this game. Aside from the well hashed over issues with malformed questions and refusal of the admins to clarify many of them, I’m wondering whether we might be doing worse with more information. This is a major concern with the upcoming Hybrid Forecasting Competition, in which we will be able to interact with a machine forecasting system. This would involve scraping the public Internet and using an AI system to parse the results, like taking a firehose of raw data and delivering an eyedropper of just the information you requested. Or so we hope we could do this and get better forecasts than ever.
Right now,in this game, we all can see who is on the leaderboards and copy them, what an easy way to be among the best of the best. Despite this, the resulting Brier scores often don’t turn out so great. For example, right now my geopolitical leaderboard standing is #53 out of 6087 competitors. If 2/3 of them have been scored so far, that puts me in superforecaster country . Yet check out my Brier score for that challenge, 0.313. Pathetic! By contrast, I had access to a limited number of other people’s forecasts in GJP season 4, and no data on how well they had been forecasting. Is it the questions, or could the huge amount of data and analyses in Gjopen be actually degrading our performances? How could we determine the cause in a scientifically valid, replicable manner?
Good Judgment Project leaderboard, final
Season 4, beginning cohort, 3,000, ending cohort 2805
IFPs Date Closed # forecasts Meinel group Group minus Meinel
1244 India/Brazil UNSC 02/28/15 2
1383 Afghanistan Presidential Elections
1394 China: Second Thomas Shoal
1399 Quebec Referendum 12/30/14 3
1409 Brazil Presidential Runoff
1410 Scotland Referendum
1411 N.Korea Missile Test
1412 TOPIX Closing Value
1413 Kurdistan Referendum
1414 Arctic Sea Ice 09/15/14 17
1415 Russia/Ukraine Confrontation
1416 North Korea nuclear device
1417 Kim Jong Un meeting head of state
1418 Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement
1419 WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
1420 China ADIZ in South China Sea
1421 New Development Bank loans
1423 China peak carbon 11/11/14 0.54
1424 Dollar-ruble exchange rate
1425 Gulf ambassadors 11/17/14 1
1427 Russia annexation of Ukraine
1428 Sharif vacate office
1429 Syria intervention
1430 Lethal confrontation in South China Sea
1431 Iran centrifuges 11/24/14 31
1432 VSTOXX index 10/09/14 0.448
1433 Oil volatility index
1434 South Stream Resumption
1435 NATO MAP 05/31/15
1436 ECB tests 10/25/14
1437 North Korea ferry 05/31/15 15
1438 Russia sanctions to WTO
1439 Brazil economic growth
1440 Abbas vacate office
1441 UK ambassador to Iran
1442 Ebola in Europe 10/06/14 5
1443 ISIS Reprisal 11/03/14 0.262
1444 East Asia Trilateral Summit
1445 USD Renminbi exchange rate
1446 Russian food embargo
1448 Hong Kong Chief Executive
1449 China Police in Hong Kong
1450 OPEC Cut Output 11/27/14 0.132
1451 India Pakistan Foreign Secretaries
1452 ebola+containment 06/01/15 71
1453 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
1454 German GDP 11/13/14 0.416
1455 Iran Hosts Head of State
1456 Chinese Power Consumption
1457 Syrian No-Fly Zone
1458 Okinawa governors race
1459 Goodluck Jonathan vacate office
1460 Global temperatures
1461 Iran/Pakistan Lethal confrontation
1462 Iraqi National Guard
1463 Americans in Iran 02/28/15 16
1464 Iron ore price 11/19/14 0.185
1465 Military operation in Eastern DRC
1466 NATO Article 5 06/09/15 23
1467 TPP Negotiations 06/09/15 15
1468 Mistral delivery 05/31/15 21
1469 UNSC – North Korea to ICC
1470 Rajoy vacate office
1471 Russia ICBM test 11/28/14 0.265
1472 TTIP Negotiations 06/09/15 10
1473 India/Israel FTA 06/09/15 1
1474 Netanyahu Vacate Office
1475 Saudi private sector
1476 Russia credit rating
1477 IMF adding renminbi to SDR
1478 China refuse UK lawmakers
1479 Ebola in Nigeria 03/15/15 3
1480 Russia INF Treaty 06/09/15 28
1481 H5N8 cases 12/14/14 10
1482 Fuzzy Set 1 – Jordan
1483 Greek Parliament 01/25/15 1
1484 IMF Global Growth Figure
1485 Venezuela default 05/31/15 17
1486 Fuzzy Set 1 – Cuba
1487 East China Sea confrontation
1488 Dollar-Ruble take 2
1489 Russia-China Naval Exercises
1490 PBC-Fed Currency Swap
1491 North Pole Claims 06/09/15 26
1492 Myanmar Ceasefire 04/30/15 10
1493 Petrobras Default 01/27/15 0.163
1494 Attack in Europe 02/02/15 0.162
1495 Korean Family Reunions
1496 North Korea South Korea talks
1497 Fuzzy Set 1 – Iran
1498 British Elections 05/07/15 5
1499 Libya Unity Government
1500 S&P Downgrade Greece
1501 Netanyahu Speaks to Congress
1502 Saudi/Yemen Conflict
1503 Iron Ore Spot Price
1504 Any Country Exit Eurozone
1505 Ethiopia Domestic Conflict
1506 China Services PMI
1507 Dollar-Euro 03/06/15 13
1508 China Blue Water Exercises
1509 Sinai State of Emergency
1511 Iran Sanctions 06/09/15 9
1512 NK-Russia Military Exercises
1513 Kirchner Vacate Office
1514 Saudi Arabia – Iran Meeting
1515 Russia on the SWIFT Exchange
1516 Nigeria Elections 03/27/15 8
1517 Oil Volatility Index
1518 Maduro Vacate Office
1519 Iran Russia Weapons Sale
1520 China India Lethal Confrontation
1521 Iran Nuclear Agreement
1522 Chinese Yuan Trading Band
1523 Putin Approval Rating
1524 Abbott Vacate Office
1525 Rezaian Release 06/09/15 15
1526 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
1527 Greece Bailout 04/30/15 16
1528 Euro-Dollar Exchange Rate
1529 Taliban Talks 06/09/15 30
1530 UKIP Vote Percentage
1531 Ground Offensive in Yemen
1532 North Korea South Korea Talks
1533 Rousseff Vacate Office
1534 WTI Spot Price 06/09/15 11
1535 Incapacitation of al-Baghdadi
1536 Renminbi Exchange Rate
1537 Russia Release Detained Estonian
1538 North Korea Release Detained South Korea
1539 UN Arms Embargo on South Sudan
1540 Ukraine Referendum
1541 Lethal Confrontation in the Gulf of Aden
1542 Nikkei Index 06/10/15 17
1543 Assad Vacate Office
1544 Gold Spot Price 06/10/15 19
* Leaderboard contains only those who have answered at least 10 scored questions
1 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 9, 2016 10:34PM\
@everyone: For some reason I am inspired to associate the following article with this thread.
“… he forces them to follow the logic of their own actions to the end ….”
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 01:11PM
I wasn’t going to weigh in on this, but having thought about it over the past day or so, I will.First, @GJDrew, I am actually very glad that @cmeinel posted her comment including the user names of those of us who have followed her and benefited from her research and insight. I am sorry to see her go, but understand her frustration. She did not owe us an explanation, but as she said, it was appropriate to her followers to explain why. So thank you, @cmeinel.
Second, it was not until I saw this thread that I realized that @einsteinjs had dropped out. @Anneinak hinted in her comment that other superforecasters “have followed new pastures.” Has there been a spate of drop outs that I somehow missed?
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 04:41PM
As @cmeinel mentioned above, she is focusing her attention on an upcoming Hybrid Forecasting Competition, and is inviting people to consider joining her team. I know that dozens of top forecasters have taken her up on her offer. When this competition launches, I am expecting that quite a few top forecasters we’ve all come to appreciate will disappear from GJI.
I do not know who @einsteinjs is, but I was/am a huge admirer. A while ago he/she sent a message through cmeinel that he/she was withdrawing. He/she gave no reason. I do not want to speculate. I sure miss @einsteinjs’ postings!!!
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 04:55PM
@Anneinak, Thanks for your comment. I suppose when the Hybrid Forecasting Competition launches, GJO will be left to mediocre scorers like me ;).
I will also miss @einsteinjs.
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 05:04PM
Not only was @einsteinjs so often right, he/she helped the rest of us improve as forecasters because he/she always gave reasons supporting his/her forecast. I admired not only his/her great accuracy, but also his/her tremendous generosity: willingness to take the time to share resources and thinking.
4 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 05:19PM
I am not sure this is right. it is not right to make these comments against GJO without listening to their side of the story too. I believe @ravel in the first reply is right in saying that he is sorry when he learns that the GJO is run with limited resources.
But I also would like to say that cmeinel is withdrawing because she wants to be a Superforecaster and thinks that she can’t because of this particularly difficult question. That part I don’t like. The other one is that she wants to create something better. Fine. But it should not be discussed here. For respect to the GJO. Likewise for the better platforms that may be out there. That is also fine, but also it should not be discussed here, eespecially hinting at the fact that the better forecaster will be gone etc. We are all here in voluntary basis, no one forced anyone.
I am sorry to say this , but I found it a little unhetical, and uncalled for.
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 05:25PM
@rfmgy, I dispute your contention that you are a “mediocre” forecaster. The leaderboards are misleading for two reasons. (1) They reward lucky guesses. (2) They fail to account for how many questions have been scored.
According to my calculations from Feb. 23, before the managers hid all but the top 20 on each leaderboard, on the geopoilitical leaderboard, by the figures of merit of at least six questions scored, and by the ratio of accuracy score per question scored, you ranked #99 out of 2526 players scored. That put you in the top 4%, within striking distance of superforecasterdom.
Next, consider the figure of merit of upvotes per question. Hold on to your hat.
YOU WERE NUMBER ONE WITH 98 PER QUESTION SCORED!!!!!
Now consider that it probably takes 50 to 100 scored questions to know for certain how good you are, this is just a start, and a whopping good one, at that.
Finally, it is well documented in the annals of cognitive science that when people say to themselves that they are mediocre, this tends, on average, aggregated across many human lab rats, to lower a person’s performance. I’d love to find out how you would do in the future if you were to embrace the likelihood that you have extraordinary potential, as demonstrated by your statistics so far. Darn it, don’t prove me wrong.
If I have any say in how the Hybrid Forecasting Competition is run — and I am trying! — anyone will be able to join this great experiment in seeing how far ahead we can get with melding human and machine forecasting. We could make history. We could prevent wars and economic disasters. But we will need the best minds to develop the full potential of this research. What if you really are among the best?
Sigh, meanwhile my email to email@example.com asking to get my user name deleted bounced. I don’t want to become a zombie user like einsteinjs with my scores declining in full view of other players. @GJDrew, could you please remove cmeinel entirely? I keep on getting tempted to cheer on other players. I’m sure @Anneinak can take over that job, right, Anne? Now don’t you get mad at me for volunteering you!
2 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 06:22PM
Nobody can fill your shoes, but I’ll try.
FYI, @rjfmgy didn’t get alerted to your reply because of the typo.
4 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 06:38PM
I don’t remember having reading your comments. Im sure that mine would have been better if i had read one of yours.
So im not pleased if you quit this game.
But im in my first year at this game. I take this game like if it is golf. I play against my self. Of course i can see that others have betters results than me but i also see that when i have bad results i have almost just me to blame. Between perfect question (and answer) and the overall benefits to me, i assure you that the benefits is greater. One of the benefits is the crowd (consensus graph, rational, hyperlink source) and the other, the overall organization of this game (the platform, pertinent stats, variety of questions that you can choose or not).
Hope you find the perfect organization but i am also sad if someone want to take the “crowd” out of this game.
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 07:52PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:18PM UTC
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 08:05PM
@cmeinel, Thanks you for your encouraging words. And thank you for calculating my stats; I am poleaxed that by your calculations I was in the top 4% for the period in question. My characterization of myself as “mediocre” stems from the Accuracy Score that GJO calculated in March. I’m glad I’m doing so much better than I thought I was.
2 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 08:17PM
@Anneinak Thank you for catching my typo and alerting rfmgy to my comment about him. I am confident that you, as one of the top forecasters and the most upvoted of us all, will more than fill my shoes. @ravel, the aspect of your forecasting I appreciate the most is what you just posted: you use your imagination to look for the events that appear highly unlikely, yet potentially with huge consequences. IARPA just held the kickoff meeting Monday (April 4) for the three contractors who will conduct a new research program looking at these sorts of things, but limited to insider threat scenarios, SCITE http://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/research-programs/scite. I’m sure you can think of all sorts of possibilities. Those darn unknown unknowns!
1 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 08:45PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:18PM UTC
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 10, 2016 10:51PM
Um, let’s not forget Valette, who came in early and got herself deleted early, with little fanfare. There’s a proper hole around user ID 15 or 16 with her name on it. Maybe she went to the VIP Room that Dima-K confirmed the existence of. GJI is a business. This website serves some function in that business. We don’t truly know what. GJOpen is not the whole business. GJI came to being as a consequence of some funded research. Some guinea pigs in that research felt special. Apologies people, but grow up: you weren’t any more or less special as a guinea pig than you are now as a consumer of a social media site. If you’re having fun, that’s great, but keep it in perspective. And I, for one, will not be really excited for forecasters/analysts (if not for forecasting/analysis), when Google is replaced in the next iteration by Watson. Eventually, as that progresses, y’all are gonna be out of a pretend job.
8 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 11, 2016 05:00PM
@000: You have drunk the kool-aid. By the time Watson is capable of structuring novel problems, it will have been disintermediated out of existence.
0 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 11, 2016 06:30PM
@redacted, maybe more along the lines, at least at level of hype, is kensho.com
1 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 11, 2016 06:50PM
@000 Our Miss V!
Valette crushed the field. Had a friend in a brier format and knew someone from Stratfor. She said she was really good in the fluid intelligence category, Smart lady and she knew it. Paid a little lip service to Haruspex before GJO. Call it a peck on the cheek. @cmeinel I just read that machines can do the Raven’s Progressive Matrix now. With V on their side, I’ll give this round to the humans. This is her last avatar and IMO the best. http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo21/jonjonzz/image%201_zpscpawspz6.jpg
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 11, 2016 08:23PM
@cmeinel Thanks for alerting me. But if you delete your account, all of your comments would be deleted. That would be unfortunate, I think.
0 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 11, 2016 10:59PM
I don’t think they would necessarily be deleted. That assumes a design decision which may not be the one they made, also perhaps some action on part of GJO, which can take a month or more to score a closed question, much less custom-delete an angry customer.
1 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 11, 2016 11:28PM
I don’t mind my comments remaining, but how useful would they be? They are aging and buried under the activities of the 15% or so out of of the 23.833 members who have made two or more comments so far. Note that some 2/3 of all those who have signed up just look around and depart. The place is almost a masoleum.
Speaking of which, I can’t find a way to exit this game. So how did Valette, IARPA program manager Steve Rieber, and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman manage to get deleted?
Also, it looks like one of the recently scored questions was scored wrong — French soldiers in Syria or Iraq. Or maybe it was scored correctly by some secret formula. If scored incorrectly, then I blew the forecast, along with most other participants.
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 07:39PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:17PM UTC
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 08:04PM
So, @Inactive-43, you’ve come to the House of Black and White, and the staff won’t offer you a beverage? You should ask @Resonancia and @k13rkeg44rd for advice on how to get served!
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 12, 2016 09:09PM
@ravel: If your claim is true, I commend you on your abilities.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 09:28PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:17PM UTC
6 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 09:44PM
How many people were active participants in GJP seasons 1-4? It’s normal for most accounts to be inactive on a site like this one, where anyone can join, but you have to work consistently at something to stay in the game. The large majority of users are inactive at any given time. But, even if 90% are inactive, there would still be about 2300 active users at this time. How does that compare to previous seasons? And is the purpose of this site, as some have suggested, to find Superforecasters for the other, more exclusive, site? Whatever the case may be, the number of core participants on this site may not be much different than previous seasons.
4 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 09:53PM
Well, inactive-43 sure beats poor zombie einsteinjs, who was one of the best of the best superforecasters [tm Good Judgment, Inc.] Why can’t they make any of this simple?
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 10:05PM
Oh, yeah, @k13rkeg44rd? Time will tell. Now the experiment is whether the aging forecasts of inactive-43 will continue to be scored as forecast resolutions arrive, slowly driving down the rankings on the leaderboards until… or maybe not. There are so many fascinating experiments to be run against this game. To begin the countdown to total despair by inactive-43, here are today’s leaderboard stats:
# Competitors Leaderboards
Rank # Qs
Brier Median Score
Relative Score Rank / total players
209 6 0.473
0.262 0.26 0.184
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 10:54PM
Under their ranking system the best ranks are for people who guess a single question right and then retire without fanfare. Maybe that is exactly what they want out of their crowd, 23000 people who know something about one thing, not 50 Jack of all trades who do the best they can on a lot of things. Also maybe as a public opinion polling site they want the untrained sampling of a large population. In this respect, people trying to be super may actually just be noise that has to be factored out, certainly not catered to. Since we don’t actually know what the point of this site is, I think we should be open to such alternate interpretations. Finding the Occam’s razor interpretation may ease your pain, @Inactive-43.
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 12, 2016 11:03PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:17PM UTC
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 11:14PM
Wow, @ravel, they are catching up with you hacker types awfully fast tonight. I wonder how many people with wheel group permissions are watching us right now? Or am I dating myself by reference to wheel group?
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 11:22PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:17PM UTC
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 11:30PM
@ravel, like this then: https://mobsterratsquad.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/img_3750.jpg
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 12, 2016 11:44PM
@Resonancia, you are not dating yourself. http://www.redicecreations.com/ul_img/20737bighorn-medicine-wheel.jpg
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 12, 2016 11:48PM
@Resonancia Nice to know I am not the only one who totally failed the Economist Challenge while doing reasonably well in the others.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 11:49PM
@000: That is a “loaded” image. @ravel has never claimed to have nibbled through the structure of the system, only to have explored it and reported upon what he found. He’s a real life pioneer who is valuable as a navigator for us all. In terms of that image, I find that the apparent nibbling requires an explanation.
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 11:51PM
@ravel I once went through the first 60 forecasters by fiddling the URL, but I never thought to see if I could see their rankings. Cmeinel had mentioned that many Superforecasters from past seasons were in the first 200 registered, so I was looking for them. I found that most of those who were early to register are inactive.
Odd that they disabled your hack to see the rankings. I also found it odd that GJO put our Accuracy/Relative scores on our profiles, then took them off, as if they’re trying to hide people’s rankings. Rankings should be public, but we can only see the top 20 in each challenge plus the page we are on. I can understand if they don’t want to spend the resources making full ranking tables, but why disable the hack?
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 12, 2016 11:54PM
@000 People who have just a few big scores will fall down the rankings as more questions are resolved, though, as accuracy scores are cumulative. But avoiding questions that are too risky and staying close to the median until you are sure seem to be a big part of doing well in the challenges.
I should say that @mparrault is an exception. He answers all questions and does very well, at least in Geopolitical.
4 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 12:04AM
@praedico, they do explicitly say somewhere that picking your questions is part of the art of being “super”. However it has nothing to do with what I assume to be the reality of a working intelligence analyst which (under my assumption) is to chew on whatever is put on your plate. Maybe they are saying that that reality should be changed, analysts should pick and choose their questions at will. This also assumes that there is no politics whatsoever about who can work on what question in “the office”. The latter I’m really not so sure about. My touchstone on all of this is Bridget Nolan’s thesis (also a U Penn product, like GJOpen).
5 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 13, 2016 12:16AM
@000 Intelligence analysts specialize in a certain area, though. But, yeah, they would have to make predictions on whatever is asked within those parameters. I’m not sure that every analyst has to express an opinion on every question. I don’t know how it works. Do they work in teams? If so, some team members will have more to say than others on any given question. In that sense, you could say that the analysts are picking and choosing. After all, they don’t want to look bad by expressing strong opinions on subjects that are not in their purview.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 12:26AM
@praedico, behold and luxuriate in the details of the only open source datapoint on the matter of what intelligence analysts do at the office:
although my favorite fictional version goes like this:
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 13, 2016 12:31AM
@000 Thanks. That looks interesting. I haven’t looked around on Cryptome for a while. I’m sure I’m missing some gems.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 12:38AM
Comment deleted on Apr 13, 2016 11:40AM UTC
0 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 01:31AM
Comment deleted on Apr 13, 2016 11:40AM UTC
0 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 01:45AM
@ravel: a form of naive social network analysis. Naive only in the sense that you did it without utilizing heuristics or routines adopted from others.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 09:25AM
@000 or you could read The Hunt for Red October. Nolan’s work makes it seem that the Jack Ryan days are still with us. @Phronesis
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 09:54AM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:17PM UTC
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 13, 2016 10:04AM
A little perspective for everybody on this thread. When a guy who ran the show 9 times says the game is fixed, the only question to be asked is what outcome the fixers want to show: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-iranian-opposition-leader-pushes-to-be-put-on-trial
4 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 09:04AM
@000, Good link, and I think it confirms what many of us have thought all along. I recall @Anneinak’s comment that we are looking at this question through the prism of western expectations and sensibilities, and so we really have no realistic frame of reference for forecasting it. We could try to forecast “what outcome the fixers want to show,” as you describe it, and in its way that’s a legitimate question. But the article refers to the Iranian “deep state;” that is, the sub rosa connections and cabals that really govern Iranian politics. By definition, none of this is open-source, and so what we are doing here is strictly guesswork, and again, guesswork informed by our own biases, assumptions, and preferences. I think the article affirms the idea that this question is too murky to answer. Its terms are undefined, and the meta-question (“the only question to be asked is what outcome the fixers want to show”) is unanswerable to anyone not plugged into the Iranian deep state.
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 02:13PM
@rjfmgy, the bulk of our questions involve the Deep State, for example all US Presidential Election questions. (Who are the Koch Brothers? Who made the Clintons into millionaires? Two groups or different groups? At what level are they competing and for what agenda?)
There are islands in our Deep State and maybe (but not definitely) islands in the Iranian Deep State. I have been asking all along in threads of this question for a focus on Iranian Deep State rather than on press releases. For example, on the Iranian side the above dissenter’s letter was presented on a Reformist website, kaleme.com: http://www.kaleme.com/1395/01/21/klm-240733/
How do I know it’s Reformist? Only from a side-comment in a Wikipedia comment about somebody else: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Ghabel
Knowing it’s Reformist, does that matter or is there a single Principlist/Reformist kitchen behind the site? That I don’t know.
As another example, what do you know about the Mostazafan Foundation? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mostazafan_Foundation It appears such foundations are part of the Iranian Deep State and hold a lot of cash.
There is no reason to stop at the line that says “Deep State” and go no further. This is the line that we should immediately cross to get started. Note, there will be many and differing interpretations of the true deep state, depending on where the viewer is coming from:
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 02:55PM
@rjfmgy: There are two ways to “solve” this question.
1) Accept that the Washington Post had some set of objective criteria that they used when they developed their original taxonomy. That is, assume that there were first-order properties that could be ascribed to each participant, and from these each participant was assigned a second-order category. This is the general approach to creating any taxonomy. The labels for each category are irrelevant if others do not follow the same scheme. This is the situation we are faced with now. Very little has been discussed of just what such (“permanent”) properties might be, or how the WaPo made their assignments, but instead it’s a confused mess of attempting to create second-order label equivalents on the basis of general Western understandings only. This is the (risky) approach that I am following: assume the WaPo actually had an objective first-order to second-order mapping scheme (known only to themselves) and assume they will apply the exact same scheme to this election.
2) Challenge the WaPo scheme and create your own. I still think you’d be constrained by the notion that your scheme must show a majority in the previous parliament. That the majority remain what we might call radical tyrannical crazies operating within a deep state makes no difference, if they were assigned to a category labelled “daisies” by the WaPo (I’m still gardening).
As an aside, I’m seeking to build a library on theoretical aspects of the “deep state.” This term seems to me to be used most often as a description of particular instances. I’m looking for more general theoretical treatments of any informal, covert exercise of power with a formal, overt human system, at whatever scale; particularly those whose objectives run contrary to the objectives of the formal system. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
3 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 03:13PM
@000, I don’t think the comparison class for this question is analysis of U.S. politics. Nor do I think I would call what we have in the U.S. a “deep state,” as I understand that term. It’s more like Versailles in the 18th century. As I understand it, “deep state” implies something if not conspriratorial as such, that least completely hidden from view. I think the comparison class for this question would be to Soviet-era Kremlinology. Plenty of people had a great deal to say about power in the USSR, but decision-making in Moscow was opaque and meant to remain that way. Even the most knowledgeable people in the west were guessing. So the matter isn’t about knowing of the existence of the Mostazafan Foundation; it’s about knowing what the board members of the Mostazafan Foundation say to each other outside the minutes of their meetings. That’s the deep state, and that’s what we can’t know.
1 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 03:17PM
@000 and @rjfmgy: While direct access to communications of the deep state would be preferable, I believe that it is always possible to “surmise” an understanding via reverse-engineering from observables. It’s just an advanced Theory of Mind application. I’m seeking to build a theoretical library on this.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 03:27PM
@rjfmgy, have you ever tried to have a real conversation and get a real response from any elected official in this country, from Mayor on up? I have, multiple times, for non-crazy items like health insurance, commuter rail and highway construction, and there is really a glass ceiling there that I don’t think most people understand exists. Do you really think that people with crazy amounts of money don’t make assumptions about their place in the world, and don’t use the power that is given to them? When Donald Trump goes to kiss Sheldon Adelson’s ring, do you think the transaction means nothing and has no consequences on how our country is governed? And do you really think most people understand what unelected non-government people hold what power in this country, and how they exercise it? I know this country is better off, but in many ways, I don’t think it is qualitatively different in terms of Deep State existence and topology from Iran. Panama Papers really set the tone for how things work at a certain level. Seriously. There’s your private school folks and your public school folks, and there really is a difference in what space they are operating in.
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 03:28PM
@000: I’m looking to build a theoretical knowledge base of exactly that which you are describing. I’m thinking that the term “deep state” is not a satisfactory label for this phenomena, and in that sense it remains unnamed. I take for it granted that such a phenomena exists. I’m sticking with informal versus formal for the time being (perhaps because these are the labels I adopted when I undertook an undergraduate independent study investigating this phenomena). You touch upon a number of interesting aspects: “most people understand exists,” “the power that is given to them.” I’d add the power that they are allowed to exercise, and that it is the exercise of informal power that can be cognitively penetrated and understood, if one only has but the proper framework.
1 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 03:49PM
@redacted, as @Littlefinger said, “Knowledge is power”, but as Cersei replied “Power is power”.
That would be a start to parse the issue of whether someone who “earns” a billion dollars “is given” or takes or whatever the power that they have. But the power is there.
“Deep State” is a handy term that can be defined by something like number of connections. You could define someone is “deep” in the “deep state” if they have very many connections in a social network diagram. A synonym: “very well connected”. Someone with thousands of connections presumably is more influential. However it is also possible but less likely that someone with few connections exerts much influence.
Another term we don’t use in this country, almost as a taboo, is “class”. It is nearly impossible for anybody to hold in their mind the idea that there is an upper class in the United States, with upper class privileges distinct from those of other classes. Yet, this may in fact exist, and not just in the cabin of an airline. The median apartment in New York City costs $1.15MM. Who has that kind of money? It is simplistic to use money as a dividing line for class separations, but also not entirely incorrect. If you cluster people on a graph who have $1MM to spend on an apartment with say apartment cost as X axis and “power” in some measure on Y axis, I think you’d find there is a big clear separation between the cluster of people who can afford a $1MM apartment and those who can afford a $100K apartment, with a big void in purchasing power between the $100K level the $1MM level. This airless void between one purchasing power level and the next is tempting to use as a class-defining boundary.
1 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 04:21PM
@000, Here’s what I’m saying, and this is all that I’m saying: Assuming the article you linked is accurate, (and I assume it is), there is no way to meaningfully forecast this question. A forecaster can research every Iranian political figure, religious figure, political party, religious organization, foundation, etc. and still be unable to forecast the question since the resolution of the question will be decided by a comparatively small number of persons in deliberations that are held in secret. If we don’t know who these persons are, what criteria they will use to decide the question, and the conditions by which they decide, we can’t make any kind of educated forecast.
As for the deep state, it doesn’t merely mean that people at the top are isolated from the rest of us. It means there is a secret shadow government. Of course unelected people have too much power, and government at all levels in unresponsive. This is not the same thing as being governed by an invisible cabal. You say,
“…I don’t think it is qualitatively different in terms of Deep State existence and topology from Iran.”
Your examples don’t indicate the existence of a deep state; they simply demonstrate that the United States has the same kind of social relations and governing class that have been the rule throughout history. In a country with a true deep state, we wouldn’t have any obvious examples of a deep state. That’s the whole point of a shadow government.
0 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 05:57PM
@rjfmgy, how do you know we aren’t being governed by the International Order of St. Hubertus? http://www.vocativ.com/290321/inside-scalias-very-very-weird-secret-hunting-society/
Everybody knows this question is crap. It even drove one of our colleagues to commit 1/3rd cyber hara-kiri.
The question is whether there is any related question you could pose that somehow better expresses what it is we think the sponsors might want to know about the subject. Unfortunately the sponsors, entirely ignorant of Iranian culture and politics, bought into the Washington Post framework. Imagine a sponsor that actually knew something about Iran, and ask what question such a person might want to pose.
The questions I would ask are: “When will Iran man it’s own consulate in Washington?” and “When will Iran ask the US to open it’s own consulate in Tehran?”
4 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 06:19PM
@000, Were you having me on all this time? And I fell for it?
-1 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 06:58PM
@rjfmgy, one year I sent my son to a kindergarten for the elite in Manhattan that cost $40,000 a year and had it’s own intelligence agency on contract to ferret out and identify sources of negative commentary in social media. True story, and I’m not saying that with any Christopher Walken Deer Hunter watch-related overtones. I may be having you on but maybe not. There are a lot of power structures in this country that are low profile but real and need to be seen to be believed. I’m not saying we don’t live in a democracy but, as Manhattan resident Donald Trump will now attest, it’s not always obvious who holds the keys to the kingdom.
1 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 07:25PM
“There are a lot of power structures in this country that are low profile but real and need to be seen to be believed.”
Yes, but we all know that.
“… one year I sent my son to a kindergarten for the elite in Manhattan that cost $40,000 a year and had it’s own intelligence agency on contract to ferret out and identify sources of negative commentary in social media.”
Yeah, but that’s not what “deep state” means.
0 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 07:29PM
Well I guess talking about doing totalitarian states top down is off then? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-D4I7XdTEM
Vladdy has missiles in Syria and Iran. MIG’s are now in Armenia. The longer the Russian empire stays in the Middle East the bigger the seat at the bargaining table. Remember that Russia has Christianity again. It’a a given that Turkey will pay a price and it will be a dish served cold by a Russian Tsar.
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 08:20PM
@rjfmgy, you say ‘that’s not what “deep state” means’. OK so now we have to use the OFFICIAL definition of Deep State. Where can we find it? Wikipedia? OK, it’s an entity in Turkey:
a group of influential anti-democratic coalitions within the Turkish political system, composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services (domestic and foreign), Turkish military, security, judiciary, and mafia
Too specific? How about WikiSpooks:
The leadership of intelligence agencies;
Deep politicians, i.e. individuals who broker agreements between other members of the deep state.
Some senior or longstanding non-elected officials within government (e.g. top civil servants);
Selected individuals with effective control of key commercial, military and/or criminal groups in:
The ‘defence’ and (anti-)terrorism industries;
The financial sector;
Well, how can we FIND people in this thing? How about PowerBase:
What does it all MEAN? Let’s ask Christopher Walken for guidance:
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 08:57PM
@000, Define it however you like, but it doesn’t mean a snobby grammar school obsessing over who’s badmouthing it.
-1 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 09:02PM
@rjfmgy, how about if attendance at that school leads to snobby high school leads to snobby college and to snobby professional degree along which relationships are formed which lead to fast-track corporate or government jobs with more rapid advancement, much higher pay scale and so on? Are you saying that social networks do not exist in this country which act in effect as labor unions protecting certain classes of jobs and opporunities and keeping those opportunities within that network? Are you claiming that this does not exist in our society and could not constitute a building block of a “deep state” under any definition you wish to propose?
I’m not saying that straight-up meritocratic advancement does not exist in our society, however I would claim without blushing and without having you on that there is a fast track and there are many people who do whatever it takes to get on and stay on that fast track. I would also claim that if there was a “deep state”, you would find more fast-trackers claiming membership in that entity than you would up-from-the-bootstraps meritocrats.
Full disclosure here: I’m voting for Bernie. So you can discount what I’m saying just based on that.
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 09:15PM
@000 the meritocracy window is a lot smaller than when I was a lad. You need ruffles and flourishes to get into a good school these days. We had the privileged in our midst: http://www.paperdiscoverycenter.org/georgemead/ Fortune magazine pretty much had them in the mid-30’s in terms of wealthiest in the country. Whelps from other such families were the Spaldings of Caddyshack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhOvYLOkw4c
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 09:47PM
“Are you saying that social networks do not exist in this country which act in effect as labor unions protecting certain classes of jobs and opporunities and keeping those opportunities within that network?”
“I’m not saying that straight-up meritocratic advancement does not exist in our society…”
Neither am I. Nor am I saying that connections, birth, education, the right schools, social classes and all that don’t matter. I am merely saying that I find your definition of the “deep state” to be all over the place, and I therefore don’t find it a useful comparison to what I infer the author of the article you linked meant by the term “deep state.”
That said, I stand by my contention that the question is unanswerable because the factors governing its resolution are unknowable; according to the article, the composition of the next Majlis will be determined in secret, we don’t know exactly by whom, and we don’t know how the members they select will conform to the term “conservative,” however defined. Since we have no insight into of these things, we are just guessing.
0 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 10:36PM
@rjfmgy, I totally agree that this question is not well posed. If you look at Wikipedia they haven’t figured it who won the last election years ago, much less this one. The definition of the parties and who belongs on what list is complex and fluid. It is a dictatorship and who gets to show up at the Majlis is not determined at the ballot box. To that extent trying to measure whether Iran has become more politically moderate by looking at the vote count in this election is a fruitless exercise. This is independent of whether you can propose a satisfying and universal definition of deep state. I have offered some. You are critical, so it’s up to you to find a better definition or argue that the term should not be used. The question should be voided and we should move on. @kmcochran please note.
4 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 14, 2016 11:01PM
@000: “one year I sent my son to a kindergarten for the elite in Manhattan that cost $40,000 a year”
The $40,000 per yer tuition is part of the formal structure. The implicit understanding, the favor you were beholden to return, is part of the informal structure. I am of course not speaking of you personally, nor am I suggesting that you were so beholden, but only of how a single political system may have two aspects. The informal aspect often dominates the formal aspect. I have often used the very example you describe here in discussions, although I have always made it a pre-school. Such placements are highly prized. Can you imagine the keeping of with the Jones’ and the scarcity etc. that drives of the value of such placements? I guess you can. So the favor (which is often the quo in a quid pro quo) begins in some far away location (as measured by, say, social network hops) and works its way through a clandestine system to pop-out as a privileged placement at an elite pre-school. That it is such a quo that often turns a corrupt quid act is bad. That it works it way through a system and pops out at a private institution can be expected. The same process exists in institutions that pretend to be public, where “objective” criteria are supposed to be used. Here there are two definite bads, but disassociated in time and space to such an extent that the connection becomes less obvious. I suggest there is little theoretical work on such significant phenomena as informal political systems.
1 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 14, 2016 11:49PM
@redacted, social network analysis provides at least some raw meat for analysis of informal political systems. Check out these links:
If you Google “informal political systems” I would guess it’s actually been studied out the wazoo, here’s one link that pops up near the top:
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 12:17AM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:16PM UTC
1 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 09:50AM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:15PM UTC
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 10:11AM
@ravel: In a recent comment @000 made a point along the lines of: “and the people don’t know.” Beside not knowing the general operation of informal political processes, my point is that they don’t know the *mechanisms* of these processes, and these mechanisms are as subject to study as any other set of process mechanisms. Murder is simply one of those mechanisms. It’s far more commonplace than “many people know.”
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 10:47AM
OK now we’ve lost @rjfmgy who appears to be uncomfortable with the Deep State narrative as it applies to the US of A.
As far mechanisms, the Panama Papers offer a good baseline on what people at a certain level (I won’t say “deep”) are comfortable with in terms of entitlements.
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 11:06AM
@000, It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with it, I just don’t see the point. I don’t think links to websites that delineate elite social networks demonstrate the existence of a deep state. In fact, they demonstrate the opposite. A true deep state is not detectable through open sources. What you call the “deep state” everyone else (including me) calls “the establishment.” They are two different things. Anyway, I’m not “uncomfortable” with talking about it, I just disagree with the term you use to identify what you’re describing, and see no point in going on about it indefinitely.
-1 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 12:02PM
@rjfmgy, is there any situation in which you find the term of art “deep state” applicable and helpful, or do you just think it is a ridiculous term? Either way, what definition do you go by? Also, if you do like the term in some contexts, where do you draw the line in clusters so that there is clearly a cluster you would label “deep state” on one side, and another cluster you would label “establishment” on the other?
I don’t mind you being caustically dismissive as long as you can bring a little game to the definitions.
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 12:30PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:15PM UTC
0 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 01:08PM
If I was caustically dismissive it was because of your insinuation that your collection of who-knows-who web sites scared me off or somehow rattled me to such an extent that I was no longer comfortable engaging. If you want to think that, fine; but if you say it publicly, expect a response.
I used the term “deep state” in my above comment because the author of the piece you linked used it. You commented that GJO questions regarding U.S. politics are also about the “deep state,” and I disagreed. As to whether the term is helpful or applicable, I don’t know, but your examples have failed to convince me that it applies to the U.S.
As for what I understand the “deep state” to be, I understand it to be hidden. If you can see it, it’s the “shallow state” as it were. Simple connections between people don’t prove anything, even when those people act in concert. I’m reminded of something Gore Vidal said years ago: “People who already think alike don’t have to conspire.” If you want to say that we have an out-of-touch, less and less accountable elite that perpetuates itself through intermarriage and mutual favoritism, I agree. But that’s a caste of nobles, not a deep state.
-1 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 01:15PM
@rjfmgy, I didn’t reference those websites to scare you or rattle you. They are simply evidence of a way of thinking about a topic. You are imputing a motive to me that is incorrect. I’m not a big peruser of those websites. They came to my attention because a friend of one of our colleagues in this forum has earned a page on one of them for being photographed standing on street corners in Fairfax County while waving anti-Muslim placards. (I will say that that person was rattled when shown their entry on the powerbase website. But it was in no way my intention to scare or rattle you in the context of this discussion, nor was it really in the case of that person; I just thought it was funny and wanted to get some hard core neocon feedback on it.) Those websites are in the genre of conspiracy-thinkers. That doesn’t mean they’re always wrong (sometimes even paranoids have enemies) or that the people mentioned in them actually constitute some kind of establishment (sometimes they’re just fired up about standing on streetcorners). The websites are just points in the politics information space that were relevant to this discussion.
Precisely whether a deep state is hidden or is something that hides in the open is discussed in this book, which was referenced earlier in this thread. You can argue the premise, but it is debatable enough to form the core topic of a best-selling book: http://smile.amazon.com/Deep-State-Constitution-Shadow-Government/dp/0525428348
I’m going to go out on a limb here and conclude that you don’t like the term “Deep State” in any context. So you wouldn’t apply it for the “establishment” in Russia for the social and financial network around Vladimir Putin, for example, or any of the social and financial networks highlighted in the Panama Papers. Which, for lack of terminology, means that you may find it difficult, in terms of definitions, to discriminate between the Russian “establishment” and the Washington “establishment”. Maybe that is correct.
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 01:32PM
@000, Since you’re just playing some kind of game, I quit.
0 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 01:38PM
@rjfmgy, that’s exactly how this particular thread started!
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 01:42PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:15PM UTC
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 02:27PM
Hey look, you guys are getting to diminishing returns here. If the comments are all getting downvoted, maybe this conversation has run to its natural end. We’re not a site for converting anyone to any particular viewpoints.
-1 Upvote Downvoted Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 03:03PM
So @ravel, you don’t think I’m being scary or rattly by referencing lefty sites like http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Powerbase:About and https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikispooks:About? Please say Yes.
1 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 03:05PM
@GJDrew, where do you see downvotes? To what do we owe the courtesy of your visit? Did somebody hit the “inappropriate” button? Or are you flooring downvotes now to 0? If so I may have been downvoted but I can’t see it.
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 03:07PM
@GJDrew you could keep this is the scientific realm and simply say that the Deep State concept is too amorphous and lacks sufficient rigor to be a useful analytical tool here. And speaking of sufficient rigor – don’t things like improvement in forecasting and de-biasing require accurate and timely feedback. Or have I misunderstood Tetlock’s Master Classes?
****update – I can edit myself again
5 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 03:48PM
@GL2184, @GJDrew didn’t get your prior post because of the hash sign.
1 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 04:27PM
@Anneinak thanks much. I currently can’t edit my stuff, but I can edit @000 It’s the same old same old around here. SSDD.
1 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 04:57PM
@GL2184, worth noting as in the start of this thread, there is no delete button on the whole account. If I feel that I am in danger of being severely politically incorrect or insensitive, my instinct is to reach for the delete button on my account. http://estsfha.net/uploads/news/45231328783210.jpg Alas, there is none. Maybe this is to prevent people from resetting their scores after a bad run. GJOpen could consult the online poker websites for ways of detecting this however. Not that it stops anybody right now from creating multiple accounts and thereby improving their odds in this game as many times as they want.
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 05:07PM
@000 you could have your own little bot army. Throw a dashboard type of interface on top of them, add some dashes of programming and there’s no telling what you could do around here. You could auto-generate comments based on set criteria, pull news items, parse the twitter-verse….
To infinity and beyond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejwrxGs_Y_I
2 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 05:22PM
@GL2184, I can tell when the beans are getting cold and it’s time to pack up and move on.
2 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 05:47PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:15PM UTC
2 Upvoted Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 08:24PM
@ravel, I guess what you’re saying is, don’t eat the camel? http://biblehub.com/topical/ttt/b/beasts–unclean–camel.htm
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 09:04PM
And @ravel here’s a bit of Deep State Camel Stew that’s hard to swallow: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pressure-builds-on-obama-administration-to-declassify-911-report/
Not that there’s any actual news in those censored 15 pages:
@GJDrew: Am I politicking here? What are the parameters for this forum again?
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 09:14PM
Comment deleted on Apr 16, 2016 08:15PM UTC
1 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 09:54PM
I hate to interrupt this conversation again, but it appears that I’m not needed in space sector 2814 any longer. My ID now says I’m in 2184 for now. It’s probably just a little wet job.
3 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 15, 2016 10:02PM
@GL2184, I feel that’s how I’ve always known you. Also, @cmeinel is @Inactive-43 now or you can ping her friend @Resonancia.
3 Upvotes Edit Delete Link Apr 15, 2016 11:17PM
I’m back to my normal space sector now. Carry on.
2 Upvote Downvote Flag Link Apr 16, 2016 10:18AM