Planning Fallacy – FT#113

Planning Fallacy – FT#113

Show Notes

The Planning Fallacy describes the tendency for people to underestimate the time a task will take to complete.


We started out by discussing this clip of Trump underestimating how long it takes to build a wall:

Then we talked about this clip of Trump underestimating how long it takes to count votes:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark used a frankly excessive number of clips to talk about the lack of any kind of plan for Brexit. Here are a couple of them:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Only Fools and Horses:

Then we discussed this clip from Glory:

And we finished with this clip from The Great British Bake Off:


Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:

  1. My opponents made me out to be a warmonger., and just a terrible person, who would immediately go into war. They said during the 2016 campaign that if he becomes president, there will never be a war within weeks, and we will have wars like you’ve never seen before. It will happen immediately. And yet, I have done decades, decades, without a war. The first President to do it for that long a period. The world was at peace. America was prospering.
  2. When I left office this country was in better shape than it’s ever been in. Ever. The economy was strong and whether you were a man or a woman, Asian, white or Hispanic, you had never been in as good shape. We had totally secured our southern border and nothing was getting through. We did so much that we finished what we said we were going to do and said “let’s do more” I had people coming up to me telling me “sir, you’ve done enough, sit down” but I didn’t listen.
  3. We love both sides, we’re going to bring people together. We’re going to unify people. And it was happening in the previous administration, previous to the previous and, what was bringing them together was success, prior to Covid coming in, the people were calling me, that were calling me, you wouldn’t believe it. People that were so far left, I figured they would never speak to me and I would never speak to them, but our success was so incredible. Like never before.

Mark got it right again this week, and is on 49%


A red wave is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the results of the 2022 midterms.

The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about

  • Having been convinced of an impending ‘red tsunami’ by everyone from Tucker Carlson to whoever the fuck anyone is on One America News – I don’t know their names! – Trump made a pre-midterm announcement that he would be making an announcement on November 15th. When the red tsunami turned out to just be a trickle of blood leaking from the twitching corpse of the Republican party, his advisers advised him not to announce his presidential campaign. But Trump didn’t get to where he is today by listening to advisers. At least not ones that know what they’re talking about, anyway, so in a speech so dull even he was bored by it, Trump announced that he is running again. The right wing was largely underwhelmed, since some of them seem to have realised that he is a losing loser who loses, and the Fox and the Friends did everything they could on Wednesday morning not to talk about the previous night’s big news, including, and I swear to god I’m not making this up, Steve Doocy demonstrating various features of his Apple Watch and reminiscing about his kids trying to get it to snow by flushing ice cubes down the toilet, and Brian Kilmeade showing off a bobblehead of himself. They did interview Mike Pence, who has a book out, and when asked about Trump running, Pence said of the man who fomented an insurrection of people chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’, “I honestly believe we’ll have better choices come 2024”. Meanwhile, the New York Post turned shade into an Olympic sport with their Wednesday front page, which simply included a strapline at the bottom saying “Florida Man Makes Announcement, Page 26”.  
  • “Let’s grift again like we did last summer”, oh why are we not surprised that despite claiming in thousands of fundraising emails and texts from his Save America “leadership PAC” that he was working to win back control of the House and Senate for Republicans Trump likely ended the midterm elections with $94,075,872 unspent, according to a HuffPost analysis of the latest available Federal Election Commission filings. “We didn’t lose because of Trump’s rhetoric. We lost because Trump is cheap,” said one Trump adviser to Huffpost “He left them all hanging dry…. It gave a free shot for all the right-wing pundits to turn on him.” Mac Stipanovich a lifelong Florida Republican consultant said “If Trump had spent his money and saved some of his acolytes from defeat, he might not be facing the insurrection in the GOP ranks that he must deal with now, which will end up costing him more than he saved.” and Mike Murphy, a long-time GOP consultant “That money could’ve paid to build a nice Saddam-style vulgar palace somewhere in South America where he could’ve escaped to and thereby saved the Republican Party from the deadly ballot box cancer that is known as Trump.” But the thing is a) he already has that vulgar palace; in Mar-a-Lago b) Trump doesn’t really care it’s all part of his they’re all out to get me stance and c) it feels a bit whiney to be blaming Trump for not funding anything given their long-term association with the GOP and knowing just how Trump has been with money like all his life – like it’s a surprise, still could be worse he could be the nominee to run in 2024 – ah!
  • As we mentioned, one of the key losses for Republicans last week was the Governor’s race in Arizona, in which you lovely Arizonan listeners very sensibly voted for the rather excellent Katie Hobbs instead of batshit election denier Kari Lake. Lake, of course, still hasn’t conceded, going on social media two days after the race was called by the Associated Press to say she was “still in this fight”. On hearing the news on Tuesday that Kari had lost, her supporters rushed to the Arizona state house to protest, but while a couple of them probably chanted “Stop the Steal”, the State police were never in any danger of being overrun. In fact a very old security guard and his dog Jeff could have handled the crowd, since there were less than twenty people who cared enough about Kari Lake to show up. It does make you wonder, though, if she can’t excite throngs of supporters into violent protest, how on earth did she get over a million votes. It’s a bit suspicious when you think about it. Were those votes real, or did a team of Republican mules harvest them from Arizonan vote fields and stuff them in ballot boxes? Stop the steal! Stop the steal!
  • It’s not often that gaming news site Kolkatu comments on world politics, unless it’s the unexpected rise of a particular underlord in League of Legends, or when the Tory party try to game their yoof appeal by switching off the ability to comment on the HM Treasury Discord channel. Apart from allowing all sorts of sign-up IDs, which don’t belong to the person they seem to – Jeremy Corbyn or Jeffrey Epstein for instance, they also forgot to switch off the reaction emoji’s. Word of advice HM-treasury-under-Jeremy-Hunt don’t try to game the public who are barely one more election cycle of austerity away from wheeling guillotines along Downing Street, in the belief that this would guarantee some degree of protection from them. The datamasters at the treasury of course forgot that there are emojis that look like blue tiles with letters on them and as well as hundreds of instances of eggplants and clown faces, dozens of the letters C,U,N and T appear under every post. Familiar as we are with the way this government communicates, we could all see through the lie “Due to the rapid growth of today’s channel which has seen over 7,000 members join, a technical difficulty has led to reactions being paused. We are working with Discord to get reactions turned back on.” Yeah right tho turn them back on they did having removed the eggplant option and one or two of the letters needed to spell our preferred descriptor for this self-serving bunch of Jeremy Hunts!
  • Devin Nunes really needs to stop suing people. He’s so bad at it! Nothing he does will ever be as funny as the time he tried to sue a fictional cow on Twitter and lost, but his latest lawsuit shows an impressive lack of legal knowledge which suggests that neither he nor his lawyers have ever even seen an episode of She-Hulk, Attorney at Law. Apparently, when Nunes sued Esquire magazine for suggesting that his family’s farm hires undocumented workers, it didn’t occur to him that in the ensuing court case, someone might ask whether that is in fact true.  Which it is. In Nunes’s testimony he claimed that even if there was a way of telling whether someone was undocumented, it would be illegal for employers to use such a tool. Which is weird, since the 8 bills he cosponsored while he was a Congressman, which sought to make it legal for farms to hire undocumented workers, suggested he had quite good knowledge of tools like E-verify, and the fact that undocumented workers frequently falsify Social Security Numbers. A practice which he voted six times to eliminate penalties for. 
  • Never one to knowingly and deliberately say anything that “contained factual allegations that were either knowingly false or made in reckless disregard for the truth,” Trump and his lawyers, in the now seemingly bygone era case they brought against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and numerous others that he claimed conspired to undermine the 2016 presidential election, have been sanctioned by Judge Donald Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks, who previously dismissed the lawsuit, calling it a “two-hundred page political manifesto,” said the attorneys ignored warnings from Charles Dolan, a volunteer on the Clinton campaign, and his attorney that their facts were wrong, including basic information such as where he lived. Consequently the judge ordered Trump lawyers Alina Habba, Michael Madaio, Peter Ticktin, Jamie Alan Sasson and their law firms to pay $50,000 in penalties to the court and $16,274.23 in legal fees to Dolan.
    In making his judgement Middlebrooks said “this was a shotgun lawsuit. Thirty-one individuals and organisations were summoned to court, forced to hire lawyers to defend against frivolous claims, the only common thread against them was Mr. Trump’s hostility.” Dolan’s lawyer, George Doumar, praised the ruling. “Trying to use the courts for political purposes undermines the foundations of our court system, I think that’s the message being sent. That message applies to lawyers and to clients.” Habba one of the sanctioned lawyers, said “It should be no surprise that we will be appealing this decision,” in a statement following the ruling. Yep no surprise, when you hear Trump’s still got $94million spare, that meter’s gonna run and run, nothing says dollar signs like feeding the hatred of a Trump scorned. But it’s good to know that the lawsuits are slowly catching up from 2016 I guess! 
  • One thing that became very clear during Trump’s first presidency was just how much worse it could have been if he was even slightly competent. I’m sure several global crises were averted by Trump’s tendency to get distracted and flop around uselessly like an overweight moose with no legs when it comes to getting actual work done. We got another object lesson in this dynamic last month when Elon Musk bought Twitter. Fears abounded that the site would instantly turn into a right-wing hell-scape and some people left in protest, but those of us who hung around have had a front row seat to watch a billionaire trying to become a millionaire. From the moment he took over, rather than talk to the experts and learn why things are done the way they are, Elon just started publicly making shit up as he went along, reversing course when people complained and fucking up everything he tried to improve, like he’s the UK Government or something. Thanks in part to his Tesla stock being massively devalued every time he sold a chunk, buying Twitter for $44 billion has wiped more than $100 billion off his net worth. According to Macrotrends, before Elon bought it, Twitter was making over $1 million a day in revenue and now, according to Elon, it’s losing $4 million a day. I’ve done the math, and at that rate it’s going to take a long time to make his money back. Of course, the reason it’s losing so much now, apart from the fact that Elon fired everyone who knew what they were doing, is largely the blue checkmark problem. He decided that rather than use them to show that a user was someone of note, and verify that they really were that person, a far better use would be to use a blue check to show that a person had 8 bucks they were willing to spend on a prank.  And spend they did! We had Mario flipping the bird from a fake verified Nintendo account, fake verified Coca-Cola accounts promising to put cocaine back in Coca Cola if they get 1000 retweets, some VERY homoerotic chat between fake verified Ben Shapiro and fake verified Ted Cruz, and some stuff from Rudy Giuliani that was probably fake but who can tell with Rudy? It’s not surprising that advertisers are pulling out of Twitter, especially when $15 billion was wiped off the stock price of Eli Lilly when a fake verified account of theirs claimed they were making insulin free now. We could do several episodes about all the chaos at Twitter recently, but the fact that Elon didn’t see this coming in a world where two thirds of people voted for a boat to be called Boaty McBoatface tells you all you need to know about his internet savvy.  
  • In the last couple of weeks Suella Braverman has been at pains to highlight the plight of  asylum-seeking refugees for whom, let’s face it, it must be so bad to be on land for them to think crossing the channel in a rubber boat is safer, and also think they’d be welcomed in Britain! Ms Cruella Deville went from Dover in Kent to the refugees arrival processing centre in Manston in Kent recently to address concerns, of her department’s making, that processing had been delayed so refugees were having to stay in accommodation designed for 8 hours for weeks at a time. No, not really, she described it as an invasion. It’s a half-hour car ride or a £7 train ride, it doesn’t warrant going by twin propeller Chinook military helicopter at an estimated cost of £3500 of fuel plus crew and air traffic personnel, yeah about 10 grand’s worth. Who are we at war with? Who’s that for? Is it to make angry the same incandescently enraged people who were baited by a recent headline saying she has made a new deal with France to give them a further £8 million to do what they already don’t seem to be able to, and certainly no more than the British already do to stop people crossing the channel in boats. Meanwhile the Tory party budget was today, a word salady distraction attempting to repair the hole in the economy created by the previous mini-budget by the same Tory party, and the OBR reports that the standard of living for everyone in the UK will drop by 7% effectively wiping out all the gains made over the last decade or so. And who’s the voters holding to blame for all this, not the politicians. Suella’s made sure of that. Yeah we’re living in the single panel cartoon of two men sitting opposite each other one is white one is brown, the white guy has a single cookie on his plate, the brown guy has none, a man in the middle has a stack of cookies so high he can barely see over it and says to the white guy, careful mate that bloke’s looking to steal your cookie. And of course if social media isn’t just the temperature gauge of Cruella’s fanclub, people still think Labour would be worse! If anyone knows whether I have connections to long lost European-passport-holding relatives please get in touch.

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening!

Jim Cliff

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