Friday, January 13, 2017

Diary

The Trump election is weighing heavily on many Americans. Liberals went into a shock from which they are slowly recovering, and his supporters seem to retain some cautious optimism. However, his popularity has already dropped according to a recent poll, and signs of buyers' remorse are starting to emerge among those who voted for him. The act of voting is saturated with emotion, and much of Trump's appeal has been his style, which is nearly the opposite of Obama's. Trump's supporters are bound to become disappointed the more they learn about him.

It is still too early to tell for certain what the Trump presidency will be like. Assuming that he isn't assassinated or dragged down by a major scandal, it will soon become apparent that he has no credible policies. This is already becoming clear in his cabinet nominees. Before even receiving confirmation they are expressing opinions which conflict with statements that he has made. As an observer I deduce from his primitive vocabulary and body language that not only does he read very little, but that he rarely engages in sophisticated discussions concerning complex subjects: his habitual thinking must be crude. If you look at his background, his success as a businessman required less skill than it would have in many other fields. Real estate is one of the easiest fields to enter, and real estate tycoons constitute the most thuggish of the billionaires. Even as a real estate billionaire, in the course of his career he has made serious blunders which eventually forced him to retreat to brand marketing rather than actual real estate development. Others own most of the real estate with which his name is associated, and he is generally considered a pariah by respectable businessmen. There is also considerable concern about him among psychologists, since he clearly exhibits the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, which entails the potential for seriously destructive behavior.

The possibility remains that the Trump presidency will be a complete failure. There isn't much overlap between political skills and business skills, and if anything Trump's business skills are narrow. He is already showing signs that he will be unable to work with Congress, where his bullying may be ineffective and his lack of knowledge is a handicap. Many Republicans detest him but are accommodating him only to advance their own careers, and it is unlikely that they will come to support him ideologically given that he is inconsistent in that regard. Congress won't want to finance the wall with Mexico and may be unable to produce an adequate law to replace the Affordable Care Act. As I mentioned earlier, Trump's plan to bring back jobs is economically naïve and will not create an increase in well-paying jobs. What enthuses me the most, however, regarding Trump's exit, is the timing of the business cycle. Obama walked into the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, and though his influence was probably minuscule, the economy has more or less recovered since then. In Trump's case there is a very good chance that halfway through his first term there will be another recession regardless of what he does, and, depending on the timing, he may not be able to take credit for any economic improvement and would be defeated if he ran for reelection. Politicians routinely take credit for economic improvements that have nothing to do with them, but when there is no improvement they lose that opportunity.

All of this absurdity encourages me to return to my futurist mode, in which I try to envision a world organized according to more rational principles. If any of my readers are writing novels, I still encourage them to write ones in which AI gradually becomes the curator of mankind and ensures its well-being while limiting its destructiveness for the benefit of all. A novel such as this would be more plausible than the futuristic ones produced so far by Michel Houellebecq, in which human cloning becomes the norm or France becomes an Islamic caliphate. The more I think about it, the more I become convinced how feeble human brains are and how apparent this will become in the near future as AI research advances. A few hundred years from now people will shocked by the primitive circumstances in which we find ourselves today.

I have been scrounging around for some good reading material that is of greater length than what I've been reading recently and hope to come up with something soon.

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