Sunk Cost Fallacy – FT#84

Sunk Cost Fallacy – FT#84

Show Notes

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is committed when someone justifies maintaining or extending a course of action based on the cost already incurred (whether in terms of money, time, effort or intellectual capital).


We started out with this clip of Trump justifying sending 4000 more troops into Afghanistan in August of 2017:

We followed that with this tweet from the beginning of Sharpie Gate:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Tim Loughton’s argument that continuing to pay France to stop migrants crossing the channel is throwing good money after bad because it hasn’t worked:

Then he made the argument that the entirety of Brexit is basically a sunk cost fallacy.

Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the wild we looked at this clip from The Cleaner:

Then we discussed this compilation of clips from an episode of Seinfeld:

And we finished by talking about this clip from Star Trek: The Next Generation:


Fake News

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

  1. Sold his company for a tremendous amount of money. And he went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life. I won’t go on any more than that, because you’re Boy Scouts so I’m not going to tell you what he did. Should I tell you? Should I tell you? You’re Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life.
  2. It was a beautiful night. November 8th. The fake news media said it was impossible, but we made it happen, and truthfully it was the forgotten people that made it happen. Everyone forgot about them except me, and now I like to call them the people who aren’t forgotten. The remembered people.
  3. In life, I always tell this to people, you have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum. And if you don’t have it, that’s OK. Because you’re going to go on, and you’re going to learn and you’re going to do things that are great. But you have to know about the word momentum.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it right again this week, and has now made it to 50%!


The Arizona Audit is STILL not a logical fallacy

We talked about the hilarious outcome of the Arizona Audit which ended up finding even more votes for Biden


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

  • Former Trump lawyer, hair-dye enthusiast and Queen Elizabeth impressionist, Rudy Giuliani has finally crossed a line that even Fox News can’t ignore. No, it wasn’t drunkenly insisting he’s never partied with Prince Andrew except that one time, it was getting Fox News in legal trouble. Since Dominion sued Fox for $1.6 billion, Giuliani has been banned from the network. According to Politico, Fox and Friends co-host Pete Hegseth called Rudy the night before their 9/11 special to let him know he’d been cut from the show. Giuliani’s former police commissioner, Bernie Kerik, said it was ‘another demonstration of Fox’s cowering to the far left’. You know, like when Tucker Carlson takes the knee and spouts those pro-choice talking points he’s so well known for.
  • Lovely inclusive sunny Florida – I say that cos they have been welcoming more COVID cases in August than at anytime before vaccines became available and their happy-go-lucky lunatic senator Ron deSantis has appointed a new surgeon-general Joseph Ladapo. And as reported, not unexpectedly, he’s the kind of doctor that was last seen on the national stage participating in a COVID-miracle-cure event with another doctor who believes that lizard people control the government and that demons cause gynecological problems by implanting stolen sperm, as well as a third doctor who later got arrested for being part of the mob that smashed into the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the presidential election. Yep, so all about normal for deSantis’ land of the mad! As a qualified and rigorous scientist Ladapo criticizes “lockdown” policies as ineffective, says there is “some evidence” that cloth masks do not prevent the spread of COVID, suggests that hydroxychloroquine is being suppressed for “salacious” reasons, and that there is “nothing special” about vaccines “compared to any other preventive measure.” Okay. What qualifies him really – apart from all the crazy shit? Well, he’s genuinely worked at “Ronald Reagan Medical Center” in Los Angeles and is affiliated with UCLA’s “David Geffen School of Medicine.” That’s Doctor Florida Man to you!
  • Tucker Carlson’s latest leftist screed claimed that vaccine mandates for the military are just a plot to ‘identify the sincere Christians in the ranks, the free thinkers, the men with high testosterone levels and anyone else who doesn’t love Joe Biden and make them leave immediately’. Well, if that was the case, those groups didn’t represent very many people, as the DoD just announced that at least 95% of the military have had at least one Covid shot.  Not totally surprising, since it’s just one of 18 mandatory vaccinations military personnel have to have in order to serve, depending on where they’re posted.  It turns out that as well as actually being quite popular, Biden’s vaccine mandates are pretty fucking effective. United Airlines have said that 98.5% of their workforce are now vaccinated, as are over 90% of full time Fox News employees.
  • Mabel Rush Elementary School in Newberg Oregon has a problem, sure there’s room to have individuals protest about the implementation of mandatory vaccinations for teaching staff, presumably despite this being to protect the kids and ensure fewer cases and therefore fewer class or school shutdowns and more in-person teaching, but protesting whilst in blackface? Really?  Lauren Pefferle, a special education assistant, dyed her face with iodine  apparently cos she was portraying Rosa Parks as part of her protest. Whilst the school district put her on administrative leave, this is the same district whose board has expressed concerns that the temporary banning in Oregon schools of the display of hate symbols, including the Confederate flag, the noose, and the swastika in school programs and school-sponsored activities as part of a rule created as part of a commitment to building an environment “free from discrimination or harassment”, was brought in a bit hastily. The board’s vice-chair Brian Shannon said it had emerged at a “very tumultuous time.” during the Black Lives Matter protests and has insisted that since things have “calmed down,” he has been in talks with people from the community who shared a view that the policy “had some language that concerned a lot of people.” Almost inevitably the ruling has been extended to include removal of pride and BLM flags and logos. And they still wonder why someone can think it’s okay to turn up to work, in a school, in blackface! 
  • Yet another tell-all book came out this week by a Trump insider immediately dismissed by the Trumps as a disgruntled former employee with mental health issues.  Which I think is just a tautology, as there’s no way any human could work for Trump without ending up with mental health issues and severe disgruntlement. Many of them start that way. Anyway, this one is Stephanie Grisham, the former Press Secretary who never held a single press conference and has rather audaciously titled her book “I’ll take your questions now”, which is kind of like if Trump called his next book “Thanks for all the Nobel Prizes”. Among the revelations contained within are the entirely unsurprising news that Trump called Grisham from Air Force One to reassure her that his penis does NOT look like Toad from MarioKart, the entirely predictable claim that Putin distracted Trump with an attractive woman during their summits, and the somewhat more surprising fact that a White House aide known as the Music Man would regularly play showtunes for Trump to bring him back from the brink of rage, like Fay Wray stroking King Kong’s cheek to calm him down, but if the stakes were a bit higher because King Kong had a nuclear button.
  • Michael Flynn, as we all know, is not known to be a medical doctor nor a public health expert, but rather a short-lived – about 20 days worth – U.S. National Security Advisor for the Trump Administration, so not really an expert in that either. However this, as we all know, doesn’t stop people, like your Nicki Minaj for instance, pontificating on vaccines and or testicles and/or just talking bollocks. Anyway Flynn appeared on a video panel – yeah admittedly one that peddles conspiracy theories about covid and vaccines and bollocks like that and said very specifically and with huge evidence to draw upon  “Somebody sent me a thing this morning where they’re talking about putting the vaccine into salad dressing, or salads.” So basically Flynn was sharing his “thing” or someone else’s “thing” about “them” with whomever happened to be watching the video panel. Which in the old days, you know before twitter woke up, used to be called spreading unfettered misinformation. Dan Evans writing for Snopes tried to get the bottom of Flynn’s thing and suggested a September 16 article by Jules Bernstein for the University of California-Riverside (UCR) News “the future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories.” attempting to use plant cells to produce enough mRNA to serve as a mRNA vaccine. Whilst this is a far cry from working it’s a further cry from putting vaccine in your salad dressing. Just when you thought misinformation, like Trump, was a thing of the past, it shows you how hungry people are for stuff that agrees with them – unlike salad ironically.
  • Trump has sued his niece Mary Trump for $100 million dollars because she gave the New York Times all the evidence they needed to show that Trump and his family committed lots of tax fraud surrounding the Donald’s inheritance from his father’s estate. Trump accuses Mary of breaching an NDA-type settlement agreement which we can only assume said something like “we’ll give you some of the money if you keep quiet about all the crimes”.  We have to assume that, because the agreement he claims she breached wasn’t included in his court filing. Also not to be found anywhere in his 27 page complaint was any refutation of any of the allegations made by the New York Times, or even a single claim that they weren’t true.  Which is interesting. Three New York Times reporters are also named in the suit, accused of relentlessly seeking out Mary Trump as a source of information and convincing her to smuggle documents out of her attorney’s office. One of the named reporters, Susanne Craig, responded on Twitter “I knocked on Mary Trump’s door. She opened it. I think they call that journalism”.
  • This week in Dismaland we’ve been having a fuel shortage leading to empty gas stations which means we can’t drive to the supermarkets and their empty shelves, but it’s okay cos we can’t afford any gas to cook the food we can’t get to which isn’t there anyway.  But it’s okay cos we have been reassured of the continued existence of double-speak when transport minister  Grant Shapps said it’s just as well we did have Brexit cos it meant that we could respond to the shortage of lorry drivers caused by Brexit that much quicker as we didn’t have to wait around for the EU to agree. Erm okay – meanwhile the EU are too busy laughing themselves complement fou at what we’re up to, to worry about what we’re up to. But it’s okay cos our strong and united vigorous political opposition; the footballer Marcus Rashford – no sorry the Labour Party, are apparently more concerned with winning elections than unity, which I guess is a good thing given that it was Cameron’s worries about unity that got us in this mess. And to ensure that electability Starmer has gone all out to remove anyone who isn’t unified in the way he wants them to be and ousted anyone from the party who at anytime might have been a bit to the left of Benito Mussolini. Those he hasn’t ousted have very visibly resigned during the current party conference season, and those who might even vote for a lefty, i.e. the rank and file membership, have had their ability to take part in selecting a leader curtailed. So all’s well, and democratic, if a tad Blairite on the left, which is to say the right. My question still remains Keir – why would anyone vote Tory-lite when they can get the real thing?

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

Jim Cliff

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