Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Zen and the Art of Statistical Modeling

Nate Silver:

But I think we can also acknowledge one of the central mistakes made by both the McCain and Hillary Clinton campaigns: they treated the media as an exogenous factor, something which happens to them, rather than something within their locus of control.

Ah, so that's the solution. You just treat the media as "something within your locus of control," and they will begin behaving. The answer has been right there all along. All Al Gore needed to do was "treat the media as something within his locus of control," and suddenly, no more "Invented the internet," "Love Canal," etc. All Bill Clinton needed to do was "treat the media as something within his locus of control," and Whitewater etc would have disappeared down the drain. Kerry could have sunk the Swiftboaters, just by "treating the media as within his locus of control." Howard Dean could have silenced the "Dean Scream," by "treating the media as being within his locus of control."

Well, I have to say I'm sorry it took so long for someone to find the answer, but at least it's been found. We can move along now, start solving some harder questions. For example, inspired by the inspiring simplicity of this insight, I have an idea to cure cancer: cancer sufferers should treat the disease as if it's "within their locus of control." It's not something exogenous, but endogenous. And once you understand that, it should be easily managed. Maybe a a little chemo will be necessary, but maybe, if you treat it hard enough as being "within your locus of control," you won't even need that.

In fact, I rather suspect that, after I've examined this long enough, I'll discover this simple phrase has the power to solve all of life's problems, simply, painlessly. It's a New Age magic wand, without, and without needing, physical form. I am one with the cosmic all. Om shanti shanti shantih.