The vague yet imminent malaise

News that another major surface combatant has collided with a merchant ship recalls David Beatty's famous remark as he watched one after another of his battlecruisers blow up at Jutland.  "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today." Today it's not just the ships that seem wrong but a whole lot more.

The USS McCain's mishap though perhaps entirely accidental, naturally raised speculation on social media that infrastructure decay, lowered standards of education, loss of trust in institutions and incompetence were all part of a general decline.  But the confluence of events can be deceiving. Perhaps they're just coincidental.  Or perhaps the system has been collapsing for a long time and the "unexpected" and "sudden" character of the clusters is explained by facts long suppressed are escaping the mask of the filter.

If leaders have been kicking the can down the road the palliative benefits of altering the database, fudging the reports, cooking the books, cheating the tests and cultivating the Narrative only guarantee that the dam when it bursts will release a flood, not a trickle. Eventually the self deception fails and fails big time. Sooner or later the filter clogs up and Narrative is propelled face first into the 100 million ton iceberg of reality.

David Weigel of the Washington Post grumbled about the track record of  "extremely smart pundits" lately. They were missing the mark too often. "Extremely smart pundits: Ha ha, Trump is finished! RNC: We are getting so many donations we don't know what to do with them."  The failure of "extreme smart pundits" may be a function the failure of the standard model. The pundits knew the model, which was what made them pundits and when it stopped working it misled them. They were betrayed by their own faith in conventional wisdom.  The "stupid pundits" being unacquainted by the model were not similarly deceived.

They naively saw the oncoming train for what it was: an oncoming train. The 2016 election appears to have functioned like the cue ball in a billiard break. It has scattered both the Republican and Democratic party structures.  The DNC is raising less money than RNC in part because donors would rather give straight to specific causes and candidates rather than a party they perceive as too far to the right.  The Republican establishment for its part is not entirely happy with Donald Trump.

Both the Democratic and Republican party structures were scattered by 2016.  The formerly predictable has become hard to forecast. The Resistance has been trying to coax the balls back into the rack by rewinding the video but the odds of succeeding are slim. One can't go back to Oct 2016 to make Hillary president they way "it should have been" but they'll try.