Danny responded to my disparaging remarks about Herman Kahn in a way that, I feel, requires some comment although I really do not want to go down that rabbit hole yet again. Sixty years ago I spent a good deal of time dealing with Kahn’s big book, On Thermonuclear War. The book is a fraud, a farrago of pseudo-arguments essentially designed to justify the first strike nuclear policy advocated in those days by some branches of the military. I debated Kahn before a thousand people at Jordan Hall in Boston and I spent a great deal more time back in the day than I like to recall with the details of his book.
As for game theory, I have said what I have to say about it in my other blog. That blog was actually a connected series of posts over two months in 2010 that constituted a short book on the use and abuse of formal methods in political philosophy. The book is archived at box.net if anybody is interested.
Meanwhile, we are only 48 days from the election, early voting has started here in North Carolina and will start elsewhere as soon as Friday, and as each week goes by the polls virtually do not move. We have had July surprises, August surprises, September surprises, and very possibly we will have October surprises but I am more and more confident that none of them will do anything to change the basic shape of the election.
I trust most of you saw the clips of Trump’s latest interaction with reporters in which he trotted out his new shiny object, “herd mentality.” Lord, that man is an idiot. I did a little rough calculation this morning as I walked and if I understand the data that the experts have been putting out, in order to achieve herd immunity America would have to suffer somewhere more than another 1 million deaths from the virus. Trump couldn’t care less, but it is nice having him on tape pushing the idea so that the rest of us can hold his feet to the fire about it.