What Social Distancing Looked Like in 1666

Humanity has been surviving plagues for thousands of years, and we have managed to learn a lot along the way.

A lot of English people believed 1666 would be the year of the apocalypse. You can’t really blame them. In late spring 1665, bubonic plague began to eat away at London’s population. By fall, roughly 7,000 people were dying every week in the city. The plague lasted through most of 1666, ultimately killing about 100,000 people in London alone — and possibly as many as three-quarters of a million in England as a whole.

Perhaps the greatest chronicler of the Great Plague was Samuel Pepys, a well-connected English administrator and politician who kept a detailed personal diary during London’s darkest years. He reported stumbling across corpses in the street, and anxiously reading the weekly death tolls posted in public squares.

In August of 1665, Pepys described walking to Greenwich, “in my way seeing a coffin with a dead body therein, dead of the plague, lying in [a field] belonging to Coome farme, which was carried out last night, and the parish have not appointed any body to bury it, but only set a watch there day and night, that nobody should go thither or come thence, which is a most cruel thing.” To ensure that no one — not even the family of the dead person — would go near the corpse or bury it, the parish had stationed a guard. “This disease making us more cruel to one another than if we are doggs.”

It felt like Armageddon. And yet it was also the beginning of a scientific renaissance in England, when doctors experimented with quarantines, sterilization and social distancing. For those of us living through these stay-at-home days of Covid-19, it’s useful to look back and see how much has changed — and how much hasn’t. Humanity has been guarding against plagues and surviving them for thousands of years, and we have managed to learn a lot along the way.

When a plague hit England during the summer of 1665, it was a time of tremendous political turmoil. The nation was deep into the Second Anglo-Dutch War, a nasty naval conflict that had torpedoed the British economy. But there were deeper sources of internal political conflict. Just five years earlier in 1660, King Charles II had wrested back control of the government from the Puritan members of Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell.

Though Cromwell had died in 1658, the king had him exhumed, his corpse put in chains and tried for treason. After the inevitable guilty verdict, the King’s henchmen mounted Cromwell’s severed head on a 20-foot spike over Westminster Hall, along with the heads of two co-conspirators. Cromwell’s rotting head stayed there, gazing at London, throughout the plague and for many years after.

War and social upheaval hastened the spread of the plague, which had broken out several years earlier in Holland. But when he wasn’t displaying the severed heads of his enemies, the king was invested in scientific progress. He sanctioned the founding of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, a venerable scientific institution known today as The Royal Society.

It was most likely thanks to his interest in science that government representatives and doctors quickly used social distancing methods for containing the spread of bubonic plague. Charles II issued a formal order in 1666 that ordered a halt to all public gatherings, including funerals. Already, theaters had been shut down in London, and licensing curtailed for new pubs. Oxford and Cambridge closed.

Isaac Newton was one of the students sent home, and his family was among the wealthy who fled the cities so they could shelter in place at their country homes. He spent the plague year at his family estate, teasing out the foundational ideas for calculus.

Things were less cozy in London. Quarantining was invented during the first wave of bubonic plague in the 14th century, but it was deployed more systematically during the Great Plague. Public servants called searchers ferreted out new cases of plague, and quarantined sick people along with everyone who shared their homes. People called warders painted a red cross on the doors of quarantined homes, alongside a paper notice that read “LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US.” (Yes, the all-caps was mandatory.)

The government supplied food to the housebound. After 40 days, warders painted over the red crosses with white crosses, ordering residents to sterilize their homes with lime. Doctors believed that the bubonic plague was caused by “smells” in the air, so cleaning was always recommended. They had no idea that it was also a good way to get rid of the ticks and fleas that actually spread the contagion.

Of course, not everyone was compliant. Legal documents at the U.K. National Archives show that in April 1665, Charles II ordered severe punishment for a group of people who took the cross and paper off their door “in a riotious manner,” so they could “goe abroad into the street promiscuously, with others.” It’s reminiscent of all those modern Americans who went to the beaches in Florida over spring break, despite what public health experts told them.

Pepys was a believer in science, and he tried to follow the most cutting-edge advice from his doctor friends. This included smoking tobacco as a precautionary measure, because smoke and fire would purify the “bad air.” In June of 1665, as the plague began, Pepys described seeing red crosses on doors for the first time. “It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell,” he writes, “so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell and chaw, which took away the apprehension.”

Quack medicine will always be with us. But there was some good advice, too. During the Great Plague, shopkeepers asked customers to drop their coins in dishes of vinegar to sterilize them, using the 1600s version of hand sanitizer.

Just as some American politicians blame the Chinese for the coronavirus, there were 17th century Brits who blamed the Dutch for spreading the plague. Others blamed Londoners. Mr. Pepys had relocated his family to a country home in Woolwich, and writes in his diary that the locals “are afeard of London, being doubtfull of anything that comes from thence, or that hath lately been there … I was forced to say that I lived wholly at Woolwich.”

By late 1666, the plague had begun its retreat from England, but one disaster led to another. In autumn, the Great Fire of London destroyed the city’s downtown in a weeklong conflagration. The damage was so extensive in part because city officials were slow to respond, having already spent over a year dealing with plague. The fire left 70,000 Londoners homeless and angry, threatening to riot.

While the mayor of London issued orders to evacuate the city, Pepys had more pedestrian concerns: He wrote about helping a friend dig a pit in his garden, where the two men buried “my Parmazan cheese, as well as my wine and some other things.” Even in the middle of a civilization-shaking event, people will still hoard odd things, like toilet paper — or cheese.

Despite the war, the plague and the fire, London survived. Urbanites rebuilt relatively quickly, using the same basic street layout. In 1667, Pepys was bustling around the healing city, putting his rooms back in order and turning his thoughts to new developments in politics.

Pepys survived. Scholars are still not sure whether he ever retrieved his cheese.

The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming

Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who warned of pandemic in 2006, says we can beat the novel coronavirus—but first, we need lots more testing.

LARRY BRILLIANT SAYS he doesn’t have a crystal ball. But 14 years ago, Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, spoke to a TED audience and described what the next pandemic would look like. At the time, it sounded almost too horrible to take seriously. “A billion people would get sick,” he said. “As many as 165 million people would die. There would be a global recession and depression, and the cost to our economy of $1 to $3 trillion would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their jobs and their health care benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable.”

Now the unthinkable is here, and Brilliant, the Chairman of the board of Ending Pandemics, is sharing expertise with those on the front lines. We are a long way from 100 million deaths due to the novel coronavirus, but it has turned our world upside down. Brilliant is trying not to say “I told you so” too often. But he did tell us so, not only in talks and writings, but as the senior technical advisor for the pandemic horror film Contagion, now a top streaming selection for the homebound. Besides working with the World Health Organization in the effort to end smallpox, Brilliant, who is now 75, has fought flu, polio, and blindness; once led Google’s nonprofit wing, Google.org; co-founded the conferencing system the Well; and has traveled with the Grateful Dead.

We talked by phone on Tuesday. At the time, President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis had started to change from “no worries at all” to finally taking more significant steps to stem the pandemic. Brilliant lives in one of the six Bay Area counties where residents were ordered to shelter in place. When we began the conversation, he’d just gotten off the phone with someone he described as high government official, who asked Brilliant “How the fuck did we get here?” I wanted to hear how we’ll get out of here. The conversation has been edited and condensed.

Steven Levy: I was in the room in 2006 when you gave that TED talk. Your wish was “Help Me Stop Pandemics.” You didn’t get your wish, did you?

Larry Brilliant: No, I didn’t get that wish at all, although the systems that I asked for have certainly been created and are being used. It’s very funny because we did a movie, Contagion—

 

We’re all watching that movie now.

People say Contagion is prescient. We just saw the science. The whole epidemiological community has been warning everybody for the past 10 or 15 years that it wasn’t a question of whether we were going to have a pandemic like this. It was simply when. It’s really hard to get people to listen. I mean, Trump pushed out the admiral on the National Security Council, who was the only person at that level who’s responsible for pandemic defense. With him went his entire downline of employees and staff and relationships. And then Trump removed the [early warning] funding for countries around the world.

I’ve heard you talk about the significance that this is a “novel” virus.

It doesn’t mean a fictitious virus. It’s not like a novel or a novella.

Too bad.

It means it’s new. That there is no human being in the world that has immunity as a result of having had it before. That means it’s capable of infecting 7.8 billion of our brothers and sisters.

Since it’s novel, we’re still learning about it. Do you believe that if someone gets it and recovers, that person thereafter has immunity?

So I don’t see anything in this virus, even though it’s novel, [that contradicts that]. There are cases where people think that they’ve gotten it again, [but] that’s more likely to be a test failure than it is an actual reinfection. But there’s going to be tens of millions of us or hundreds of millions of us or more who will get this virus before it’s all over, and with large numbers like that, almost anything where you ask “Does this happen?” can happen. That doesn’t mean that it is of public health or epidemiological importance.

Is this the worst outbreak you’ve ever seen?

It’s the most dangerous pandemic in our lifetime.

We are being asked to do things, certainly, that never happened in my lifetime—stay in the house, stay 6 feet away from other people, don’t go to group gatherings. Are we getting the right advice?

Well, as you reach me, I’m pretending that I’m in a meditation retreat, but I’m actually being semi-quarantined in Marin County. Yes, this is very good advice. But did we get good advice from the president of the United States for the first 12 weeks? No. All we got were lies. Saying it’s fake, by saying this is a Democratic hoax. There are still people today who believe that, to their detriment. Speaking as a public health person, this is the most irresponsible act of an elected official that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. But what you’re hearing now [to self-isolate, close schools, cancel events] is right. Is it going to protect us completely? Is it going to make the world safe forever? No. It’s a great thing because we want to spread out the disease over time.

Flatten the curve.

By slowing it down or flattening it, we’re not going to decrease the total number of cases, we’re going to postpone many cases, until we get a vaccine—which we will, because there’s nothing in the virology of this vaccine that makes me frightened that we won’t get a vaccine in 12 to 18 months. Eventually, we will get to the epidemiologist gold ring.

What’s that?

That means, A, a large enough quantity of us have caught the disease and become immune. And B, we have a vaccine. The combination of A plus B is enough to create herd immunity, which is around 70 or 80 percent.

I hold out hope that we get an antiviral for Covid-19 that is curative, but in addition is prophylactic. It’s certainly unproven and it’s certainly controversial, and certainly a lot of people are not going to agree with me. But I offer as evidence two papers in 2005, one in Nature and one in Science. They both did mathematical modeling with influenza, to see whether saturation with just Tamiflu of an area around a case of influenza could stop the outbreak. And in both cases, it worked. I also offer as evidence the fact that at one point we thought HIV/AIDS was incurable and a death sentence. Then, some wonderful scientists discovered antiviral drugs, and we’ve learned that some of those drugs can be given prior to exposure and prevent the disease. Because of the intense interest in getting [Covid-19] conquered, we will put the scientific clout and money and resources behind finding antivirals that have prophylactic or preventive characteristics that can be used in addition to [vaccines].

When will we be able to leave the house and go back to work?

I have a very good retrospect-oscope, but what’s needed right now as a prospecto-scope. If this were a tennis match, I would say advantage virus right now. But there’s really good news from South Korea—they had less than 100 cases today. China had more cases imported than it had from continuous transmission from Wuhan today. The Chinese model will be very hard for us to follow. We’re not going to be locking people up in their apartments, boarding them up. But the South Korea model is one that we could follow. Unfortunately, it requires doing the proportionate number of tests that they did—they did well over a quarter of a million tests. In fact, by the time South Korea had done 200,000 tests, we had probably done less than 1,000.

Plus: How can I avoid catching it? Is Covid-19 more deadly than the flu? Our in-house Know-It-Alls answer your questions.

Now that we’ve missed the opportunity for early testing, is it too late for testing to make a difference?

Absolutely not. Tests would make a measurable difference. We should be doing a stochastic process random probability sample of the country to find out where the hell the virus really is. Because we don’t know. Maybe Mississippi is reporting no cases because it’s not looking. How would they know? Zimbabwe reports zero cases because they don’t have testing capability, not because they don’t have the virus. We need something that looks like a home pregnancy test, that you can do at home.

If you were the president for one day, what would you say in the daily briefing?

I would begin the press conference by saying “Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Ron Klain—he was the Ebola czar [under President Barack Obama], and now I’ve called him back and made him Covid czar. Everything will be centralized under one person who has the respect of both the public health community and the political community.” We’re a divided country right now. Right now, Tony Fauci [head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] is the closest that we come to that.

Are you scared?

I’m in the age group that has a one in seven mortality rate if I get it. If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention. But I’m not scared. I firmly believe that the steps that we’re taking will extend the time that it takes for the virus to make the rounds. I think that, in turn, will increase the likelihood that we will have a vaccine or we will have a prophylactic antiviral in time to cut off, reduce, or truncate the spread. Everybody needs to remember: This is not a zombie apocalypse. It’s not a mass extinction event.

Should we be wearing masks?

The N95 mask itself is extremely wonderful. The pores in the mask are three microns wide. The virus is one micron wide. So you get people who say, well, it’s not going to work. But you try having three big, huge football players who are rushing for lunch through a door at lunchtime—they’re not going to get through. In the latest data I saw, the mask provided 5x protection. That’s really good. But we have to keep the hospitals going and we have to keep the health professionals able to come to work and be safe. So masks should go where they’re needed the most: in taking care of patients.

How will we know when we’re through this?

The world is not going to begin to look normal until three things have happened. One, we figure out whether the distribution of this virus looks like an iceberg, which is one-seventh above the water, or a pyramid, where we see everything. If we’re only seeing right now one-seventh of the actual disease because we’re not testing enough, and we’re just blind to it, then we’re in a world of hurt. Two, we have a treatment that works, a vaccine or antiviral. And three, maybe most important, we begin to see large numbers of people—in particular nurses, home health care providers, doctors, policemen, firemen, and teachers who have had the disease—are immune, and we have tested them to know that they are not infectious any longer. And we have a system that identifies them, either a concert wristband or a card with their photograph and some kind of a stamp on it. Then we can be comfortable sending our children back to school, because we know the teacher is not infectious.

And instead of saying “No, you can’t visit anybody in nursing home,” we have a group of people who are certified that they work with elderly and vulnerable people, and nurses who can go back into the hospitals and dentists who can open your mouth and look in your mouth and not be giving you the virus. When those three things happen, that’s when normalcy will return.

Is there in any way a brighter side to this?

Well, I’m a scientist, but I’m also a person of faith. And I can’t ever look at something without asking the question of isn’t there a higher power that in some way will help us to be the best version of ourselves that we could be? I thought we would see the equivalent of empty streets in the civic arena, but the amount of civic engagement is greater than I’ve ever seen. But I’m seeing young kids, millennials, who are volunteering to go take groceries to people who are homebound, elderly. I’m seeing an incredible influx of nurses, heroic nurses, who are coming and working many more hours than they worked before, doctors who fearlessly go into the hospital to work. I’ve never seen the kind of volunteerism I’m seeing.

I don’t want to pretend that this is an exercise worth going through in order to get to that state. This is a really unprecedented and difficult time that will test us. When we do get through it, maybe like the Second World War, it will cause us to reexamine what has caused the fractional division we have in this country. The virus is an equal opportunity infector. And it’s probably the way we would be better if we saw ourselves that way, which is much more alike than different.

Sam Harris: We are Going to Get A Pandemic and We Need Reality-Based People to Deal with It

Transcript

00:00
hello freak bitches people are really
00:03
reluctant to give up fun shit like lying
00:06
and driving their car fast it fills two
00:09
things people are going to have a hard
00:11
time with you like actually getting into
00:13
the into their mind seeing their actual
00:15
mind and being able to do that so we can
00:17
know without a doubt whether or not
00:18
someone’s guilty or innocent but my
00:20
question to you is if you could get
00:22
inside someone’s mind and it was like
00:23
that really super um suggestive guy they
00:29
were talking about earlier that just
00:30
confessed all the horrific demonic
00:32
possession stuff and eating babies what
00:34
if it’s like getting to the – that guy’s
00:36
mind what if you can’t tell well that
00:42
the case that that worries me and this
00:45
is perhaps an inept segue to politics
00:50
but the me we’re in people’s minds
00:55
everybody get you get someone talking
00:57
long enough you know their minds I mean
01:01
they can only conceal what they’re about
01:04
only so well right how do you can cuz
01:07
you’re a super smart wizard but I’ve no
01:09
just but Jamie I don’t know about I
01:11
don’t know if he’s a mind reader but the
01:12
question is will people care you know
01:14
it’s like like if you if you have we
01:17
don’t even need a lie detector if you
01:18
have someone who’s openly lying right
01:21
right who just gets caught in lies again
01:23
and again you can see it – you feel it
01:25
right but people don’t seem to care
01:27
right in the in the Lisa in a political
01:30
process I’m thinking in this case of
01:32
Trump where you have someone who is in
01:36
in some cases lying or just changing his
01:38
mind in such a incoherent way that it’s
01:45
the functional equivalent of line I mean
01:46
someone who becomes totally
01:47
unpredictable he has a stance that is
01:49
aid on Tuesday and it’s be on Wednesday
01:52
and when the discrepancy is pointed out
01:56
he tells you to go fuck yourself right
01:57
so it’s just there’s just no a there is
01:59
no accountability to his his own states
02:03
of consciousness right that he’s going
02:05
to be helped to and the people who love
02:08
Him don’t seem to care they actually in
02:10
as far as I can tell I don’t know
02:12
someone
02:13
these people personally but it is from
02:15
based on you know social media and
02:17
seeing the few articles where someone
02:19
has explained why they love Trump people
02:23
view this as a kind of this sort of this
02:28
dishonesty what is on in my view both
02:31
dishonesty and a kind of theatrical
02:36
hucksterism a sort of person who’s who’s
02:38
pretending to be many things that he
02:40
probably isn’t they see it as a new kind
02:43
of authenticity right like this guy he’s
02:46
just letting it rip he doesn’t care what
02:47
it what is true he doesn’t care what
02:49
your expectations for coherence are he’s
02:52
just going to tell you to fuck yourself
02:53
every which way and this is the new way
02:57
of being honest right this is a new form
03:00
of ntek integrity it’s amazing to watch
03:03
mist it’s getting it’s been I’m someone
03:06
who actually I remember on my own
03:07
podcast I I think I was talking to Paul
03:10
bloom this is Yale psychologist who’s
03:12
great and we had talked we got into
03:15
politics so this is at least a year ago
03:17
but at that point I said there’s no way
03:18
we’re gonna be talking about Trump in a
03:20
year and this is going to completely
03:22
flame out and I was this is a I don’t
03:24
tend to make predictions but this was a
03:26
clear moment that I remember of making a
03:28
prediction which is now obviously false
03:30
but I just couldn’t imagine that this
03:33
was this what people were going to find
03:35
this compelling enough to further for
03:38
him to be on the on the cusp of getting
03:40
elected it’s it is terrifying have you
03:43
taught if you talked this issue to death
03:45
on your podcast or I guess we kind of
03:47
have well I think this is how everybody
03:49
feels everybody feels like you’re
03:52
supposed to be like with their person
03:53
whether it’s Bernie or whether it’s for
03:55
Hillary or whether you’re a trump
03:57
supporter whatever it is like you have
03:58
to be all but like if you look at the
04:01
the choices that were given the none of
04:04
these could really be described as ideal
04:06
no no like Hillary Clinton you could
04:08
want a woman in the White House and you
04:09
wanna want to show everyone that a woman
04:12
could do that job just as well as a man
04:13
she’s got the most experience she
04:15
certainly has the most experience
04:16
dealing with foreign governments and she
04:18
certainly has the most experience in
04:19
politics can make it easier but she’s
04:22
also involved in two criminal
04:24
investigations she had a
04:26
the observer in her bathroom there’s all
04:29
squirrely stuff going on she’s terrible
04:33
Injun anyways she was anti-gay marriage
04:35
okay like 2013 and then wouldn’t admit
04:39
the change of mind other yeah it’s a
04:40
she’s a politician she’s probably a
04:43
brilliant woman but she’s also set in
04:45
her ways
04:46
in a politician and a politician to the
04:48
end and part of being a politician is
04:50
being a fuckin huckster you got to be
04:52
able to get those people to see your
04:55
side and the way you do that is to talk
04:58
like this I can’t talk like a normal
05:01
person needs a speech coach so they all
05:03
do he’s terrible to the Trump’s not even
05:06
good at it and he kicks their asses well
05:07
no but no but her boys she has a kind of
05:10
to use the the sexist trope she has a
05:13
shrill for it we know where when you get
05:15
her in front of a mic and there’s a
05:17
crowd and she thinks she’s talking over
05:19
the crowd which she doesn’t have to do
05:20
because she’s in front of a mic the
05:22
sound you get is just it’s is she’s
05:26
yelling when she doesn’t need to yell
05:27
someone someone has to teach her how to
05:30
dial that back what you just is called
05:32
mansplaining yes I’m Harry I’m
05:35
explaining to the men in her future talk
05:38
some sense into her but she she is she’s
05:41
a bad she’s a bad candidate right I have
05:44
no doubt that she’s very smart and she’s
05:46
well-informed and she’s qualified and
05:48
she is absolutely who I will vote for
05:50
given the choices but you know I totally
05:55
understand people’s reservations with
05:57
her she’s a liar she’s an opportunist
05:59
she is just almost preternatural e
06:03
inauthentic I mean she’s just like she
06:05
will just focus group every third
06:07
sentence and you feel that from her
06:09
right and and this is all true and yet I
06:12
also believe the people who say I’ve
06:14
never met her but people who know her
06:16
and have met her say that behind closed
06:17
doors you know one on one she’s
06:19
incredibly impressive and and great but
06:23
that doesn’t translate into her
06:24
candidacy she said probably think she
06:26
has to do it old-school you know I mean
06:29
the way she’s doing it but she I mean
06:31
the thing is she’s when you look at the
06:34
what’s work what worries me so I went
06:36
out on Facebook the other day
06:38
and I have said very little about this
06:40
but I’ve made enough noises of the sort
06:43
that I just made that people understand
06:44
that I that I’m you know for Clinton
06:46
despite all my reservations about her
06:48
and when I got on my own Facebook page
06:53
which you have to assume is filtered by
06:55
the people who are following me on
06:56
Facebook and and already like me in some
06:59
sense just like a thousand comments of
07:02
pure pain I mean no one loves Hillary no
07:05
one no one said oh thank god someone
07:06
someone smartest for Hillary it was all
07:10
just Bernie people and Trump people
07:12
flaming me for for for the the most
07:15
tepid possible endorsement of Clinton
07:18
all I said was listen I understand you
07:21
know Clinton’s a liar and she’s and
07:23
she’s an opportunist and she’s I
07:27
completely get your reservations about
07:29
her but at least she’s a grown-up right
07:31
and she’s going to be the candidate it’s
07:35
not going to be Sanders pessoa the
07:37
moment now is the moment to put your
07:39
political idealism behind you if you’re
07:41
a Sanders person and recognize that
07:43
there is a vast difference between
07:44
Clinton and Trump and no she’s not going
07:47
to change the system but she’s also not
07:48
going to run civilization off a cliff
07:50
right and I didn’t forget how I said it
07:53
on Facebook but it was just the most it
07:55
was just it really was a lesser of two
07:57
evils argument and it just it was um
08:01
it’s amazing to see how energized and
08:03
passionate people are in defensive Trump
08:06
and Sanders and there’s almost none of
08:09
that for Clinton it’s like if people are
08:10
just sheepishly saying that just
08:13
divulging that they will vote for
08:15
Clinton but they are maybe somewhere
08:19
that I haven’t noticed someone look
08:21
absolutely loves Clinton but it’s just
08:22
it’s she does not have her defenders the
08:24
way these guys do have you seen the man
08:26
enough to vote for her campaign no no
08:29
it’s with like hipster dudes with
08:31
tattoos and beards that are gonna vote
08:32
for Hillary No I hope it’s fake cuz it’s
08:36
so brilliant I hope it’s not real is it
08:39
fake thank God is it thank god it’s so
08:44
good though cuz it’s not that fake it’s
08:47
pretty good like you could almost see
08:51
so wait a minute yes I mean this is not
08:55
that for her right this is no no no it’s
08:58
not bad for it’s just funny that someone
09:00
would like make a joke
09:02
political ad you know that you have to
09:04
be man enough to vote for Hillary like
09:07
there’s guys out there that would buy
09:08
that they would they would I’m gonna
09:11
know bro they’d do it it’s a scary time
09:14
because it doesn’t seem like anybody
09:17
that you would want to be president
09:19
wants to be President and so we’re left
09:21
with all right what do you pick it’s
09:23
like as if we’re going to play the Super
09:25
Bowl with three the shittiest teams we
09:27
could find we’re just gonna go get some
09:29
drunk high school kids go get some
09:31
inmates with club feet we’re just gonna
09:33
throw whoever it we’re gonna may have
09:34
the worst game ever and that’s what this
09:36
game is is not a good game this is not a
09:39
game where you’ve got like a John F
09:41
Kennedy versus a Lyndon Johnson or it’s
09:44
not it’s not like like powerful
09:47
characters its Trump I guess is a really
09:51
powerful character but in more ways like
09:53
a showman character yeah like what what
09:56
he’s doing he’s like he’s putting on a
09:58
great show and he’s gonna win probably
10:02
because he’s putting on such a great
10:03
show and people like a great show I do
10:07
think I’m now of among the people who
10:09
think something new we’re witnessing
10:12
we’re witnessing something new with
10:13
Trump it’s not just the same old thing
10:17
where the process is so onerous that
10:20
it’s selecting for the kind of
10:23
narcissist or you know thick-skinned
10:26
person who is willing to submit to the
10:28
process and then there are many most of
10:30
the good people just will aren’t going
10:32
to put up with this I mean yes there’s
10:34
that too but there’s um there’s
10:37
something there’s him it’s a moment
10:39
among the electorate where it’s like
10:45
it’s a funnel it’s an anti aesthetic
10:46
there’s an ant is enough of an
10:47
anti-establishment mood and and vote now
10:51
is it happening with with Sanders to
10:55
where people just want to jam a stick in
10:59
the wheel of the system just to see what
11:01
happens just like we this is what
11:04
the main gripe against Hillary really is
11:06
that she’s politics as usual she’s not
11:09
going to change the system
11:10
right right people want to change the
11:12
system but they’re not really thinking
11:13
about the implications of radically
11:16
changing the system and in the case of
11:18
Trump I mean here is someone who is who
11:23
is advertising his lack of
11:26
qualifications for the office in every
11:28
way that he can it’s like he like there
11:31
is no I mean I’m not even but I’m not
11:35
even bothered by his racism or his
11:37
misogyny or his demagoguery or his bully
11:40
I mean all of that I’m willing to to
11:43
guess is an act right that he’s decided
11:46
that that’s somehow pandering to his
11:47
base and he’s actually in truth he
11:50
doesn’t have a racist bone in his body
11:51
say I’m willing to it to believe that I
11:54
matter I don’t know why I would think
11:56
that’s plausible but it’s it’s it’s a
11:59
you know I have a hunch that he’s far
12:01
more liberal than he seems
12:02
and it’s just pandering but the thing
12:06
that that can’t be true is there’s no
12:12
way he’s actually brilliant and
12:15
well-informed about all the issues and
12:17
is saying the things he’s saying he’s
12:19
not pretending to be as uninformed and
12:22
is incoherent and as irresponsible as
12:24
he’s seeming because you wouldn’t
12:28
withhold information it did make you a
12:29
better leader well it’s just it’s yeah
12:31
it’s just it was just the vacuous nosov
12:34
is speech it’s like he’s he’ll say that
12:36
he’ll say the same thing three times in
12:39
a row and it was meaningless the first
12:41
time right he’ll say it’s going to be
12:43
amazing it’s going to be very very
12:45
amazing trust me it’s going to be so
12:46
amazing and he does this with everything
12:49
if you look at the transcripts of his
12:51
speeches and the fact that he can’t he
12:54
has never I mean so far as I’ve seen he
12:58
has never once strung together a string
13:01
of sentences that was even interesting
13:06
right but he bit like he’s knit he’s
13:08
never he just there’s never a moment
13:11
where I record or I say oh this guy is
13:14
smarter and better informed than I
13:16
realized that that moment
13:17
never comes I keep expecting to see that
13:19
happen and it’s a little bit like mad is
13:24
this image of like you imagine have an
13:26
urn right where and you just you keep
13:27
pulling things out of it and all you
13:29
pull out of it is chunk right you pull
13:31
you know chicken bones and broken
13:33
marbles and gum and and it’s it’s still
13:37
possible that you that if you root
13:40
around in that urn long enough you’re
13:41
going to find the Hope Diamond I mean in
13:42
each round that you pull something out
13:45
that really has no logical implication
13:47
for the next thing you might pull out of
13:49
the urn
13:50
but mines aren’t like that when I see
13:52
what this guy says he does not say
13:54
anything that a well-informed
13:56
intelligent person would say and it’s
13:59
just and ideas are connected right so
14:01
you can’t just you can’t fake this stuff
14:05
you can’t say you can’t fake being this
14:07
this uninformed and you can’t fake being
14:10
really well-informed and he’s just me
14:13
just let me look at one policy that he
14:15
wants the the in the rounding up of
14:19
illegal aliens right around up 11
14:21
million illegal aliens now this this
14:23
gets stated as yeah we’re going to round
14:25
them up and send them back to Mexico and
14:28
what worries me is no one seems to care
14:31
but that if you just look at the
14:33
implications of doing this it is that
14:36
this one policy claim alone is so
14:40
impractical and unethical
14:41
it’s just what are we talking about here
14:45
you’re talking like you’re your gardener
14:47
your housekeeper the person who works at
14:49
the car wash the person who picks the
14:50
vegetables who that you buy in the
14:52
market is going to get a knocking on the
14:54
door in the middle of the night by the
14:55
Gestapo and get sent back to the zoo
15:00
the vast majority these people are
15:02
law-abiding people are just working at
15:04
jobs that that Americans by and large
15:06
don’t want to do and many of them have
15:09
kids who are American citizens right so
15:12
I’m absolutely someone’s got kids under
15:14
the age of 10 who are American citizens
15:15
and what you guys send that person back
15:17
to Mexico and you’re going to do this by
15:19
the hundreds of thousands and millions
15:21
it’s just that one point alone held in
15:27
isolation from all of the other things
15:29
he said the crazy things like climate
15:30
change is a
15:31
folks we’ve concocted by the Chinese to
15:33
destroy our manufacturing base and you
15:36
know the fact that he likes Putin I mean
15:38
everything else he said right this one
15:40
policy claim alone should be enough to
15:43
disqualify a person’s candidacy it’s so
15:45
crazy but the moment you you look at it
15:48
and yet no one seems to care in fact
15:51
it’s just it’s just more energizing to
15:54
the people who already like him I know
15:56
that he said that he wanted to build a
15:57
wall but I didn’t know that somebody
15:59
wanted to get rid of the illegal aliens
16:01
rounded up and around him up and do want
16:04
with him I’ll send them back to their
16:06
goal is so crazy that’s such a crazy
16:09
idea and it’s so brutal the idea that I
16:11
mean it’s like it’s a subhuman thing the
16:14
only reason why people would come to
16:15
America is because they felt they felt
16:17
like it would make their life better so
16:19
people take a big risk it’s not there’s
16:20
not an easy way to do it if you’re poor
16:22
you don’t have any qualifications for
16:25
any unusual job I mean you’re trying to
16:27
get across to Mexico but everybody who
16:29
does it does it because they want to
16:30
improve their life you know and the idea
16:32
that one group of people shouldn’t be
16:34
able to do it one group should just
16:35
because they were born on the right side
16:37
of some strange line that is only a
16:40
couple hundred years old but but I
16:42
actually now go further in meeting him
16:45
in the middle where is it so it so I
16:47
think we should be able to defend our
16:48
borders right so it is I don’t have a
16:51
good argument for having a porous border
16:54
that we can’t figure out how to defend
16:56
and we don’t know who’s coming into the
16:57
country right so I think building the
16:59
wall is almost certainly a stupid idea
17:02
among his many stupid ideas but it I
17:04
think it would be great to know who’s
17:07
coming in the country and have a a
17:09
purely legal process by which that
17:11
happened I mean ultimately that’s got to
17:13
be the goal right right and we are we’re
17:17
imperfectly doing that and so I don’t
17:21
have an argument for open borders or
17:23
porous borders but if the question is
17:25
what do you do with 11 or 12 million
17:27
people who are already here doing jobs
17:30
we want them to do that help our society
17:32
and the vast majority of them are
17:35
law-abiding people who as you say are
17:37
just trying to have better lives the
17:40
idea that you’re going to break up
17:41
families and send people back by the
17:44
Mille
17:44
and the idea that you’re going to devote
17:46
your law enforcement resources to doing
17:48
this when you have real terrorism and
17:51
real crime to to deal with it’s just
17:55
pure insanity right and and and also
17:59
totally unethical and yet he doesn’t get
18:02
any points docked for this aspiration
18:05
and it it’s just it’s one of the things
18:07
around which people are rallying but the
18:10
climate change thing is also insane and
18:12
dangerous well here’s a birther right
18:15
yeah right he was one of the original
18:17
birthers he was saying that Obama’s
18:18
birth certificate was bullshit he was
18:21
born in Kenya right wasn’t he one of
18:23
those guys oh yeah he was he was some I
18:26
would like funding that for a while yeah
18:28
I would love if he got in the office and
18:30
just said listen folks I am nothing like
18:32
this person I pretended to be to win the
18:35
presidency I just wanted to show you
18:37
that you’ve been manipulated and get it
18:39
together and he just punked all so I’m
18:43
gonna hire some people who actually know
18:44
how to run things and we’ll see that’s
18:46
the the the smart people who are voting
18:49
for him think and this is I think it
18:52
actually a crazy position but that they
18:55
think that he is just pandering to the
18:59
idiots who he needs to pander to to get
19:03
into office so he’s he’s not disavowing
19:06
the white supremacist votes you know
19:08
with the the alacrity that you would if
19:11
you were a decent human being and you
19:12
found out that David dukes who supported
19:14
you because he needs to he just he needs
19:18
those votes and he knows that that most
19:20
of the people in his base aren’t going
19:22
to care and he can just kind of move on
19:24
in the in the news cycle and he’s doing
19:27
this on all these issues where he look
19:30
we’re smart people see that he looks
19:33
like a buffoon and they are treating him
19:37
as a the people who don’t like him are
19:39
treating him is a comic figure who he
19:41
can’t really believe that stuff he’s not
19:43
really he’s too sophisticated to really
19:45
believe that stuff so he’s just
19:46
pandering I mean one is it people aren’t
19:49
seen if that’s true
19:52
just how unethical and weird that is
19:54
right who the guy has no compunction
19:56
about lying and demonizing people cycle
19:58
let’s say he let’s say he thinks that
20:01
that Clinton really isn’t guilty but
20:04
Bill Clinton isn’t really guilty of a
20:06
rape right and now he’s calling him a
20:07
rapist right now at the time he was
20:10
saying he wasn’t a rapist and he’s just
20:11
being defamed and this is outrage as he
20:13
was saying he was taking the side of a
20:14
friend who you know he invited to his
20:16
wedding but now he’s he’s calling him a
20:19
rapist right a sexual predator who’s
20:22
harmed women’s rights more than anyone
20:25
so which is true right so there’s
20:27
there’s no version of the truth here
20:29
that makes Trump look at all acceptable
20:33
as a person is like either he knew he
20:37
was a rapist and was defending him
20:38
because he was just cozying up to power
20:40
at that point right didn’t care that
20:42
he’s a rapist or now he he knows he
20:46
still is still the guy who thinks he
20:48
wasn’t a rapist but now he’s just for
20:49
purely opportunistic reasons he’s he’s
20:53
willing to call a guy rapists who he
20:54
knows isn’t they’re both horrible right
20:58
and it’s not like this new evidence has
21:00
come forward in the intervening years
21:01
that it would have changed his mind
21:03
about what happened in Clinton’s
21:06
presidency so he’s some but I think
21:10
people think that he’s got to be much
21:13
more sophisticated than he is and that
21:17
if he got into office he would just be a
21:19
totally sober and presidential person
21:22
there’s no reason to believe that I mean
21:25
if he thinks climate change is a hoax
21:27
and that we should pull out of the Paris
21:29
Accords and we should ramp up coal
21:31
production and bring back the coal jobs
21:34
and this is what he’s saying right
21:35
there’s no reason to think he doesn’t
21:37
believe this at this point that’s just
21:41
it you know it is a disastrous thing for
21:44
a president to think the only
21:48
fascinating versions of this that I’ve
21:50
been hearing from people that I respect
21:52
are that the idea that he is like the
21:58
political version of the asteroid that
21:59
killed the dinosaurs like he’s going to
22:01
come down and smash it and it’s going to
22:03
be so chaotic that they’re going to be
22:04
forced to reform the system and people
22:07
are going to respond in turn like the
22:09
way people are responding against
22:10
factory farming and more people are
22:11
going vegan
22:12
that kind of a thing they’re going to
22:13
see it and they can respond in turn that
22:16
is such a so so he’s going to toss the
22:19
applecart up in the air he’s just going
22:20
to fuck this whole goofy system up and
22:22
then we’ll be able to rebuild after
22:24
Trump has dismantled all the all the
22:26
different special interest groups and
22:28
lobbyists and all the people that we
22:29
really would like to get out of the
22:31
system we really don’t like the the fact
22:33
that there’s such insane amounts of
22:34
influence that big corporations and
22:37
lobbyists have had on the weight loss
22:39
get past the myth this might be the way
22:42
to do it you have some wild man you
22:44
everyone’s fired you have fired you’re
22:46
fired Jetson it’s like a character like
22:49
he’s coming in his hairs plastic he’s
22:50
all fired up he’s a billionaire and made
22:53
all his own money sort of dad gave some
22:55
money but he turned into a lot of money
22:57
point being he doesn’t need anybody’s
22:58
money truth is he’s probably lying about
22:59
the amount of money he has to it is his
23:02
but he’s a baller for sure though right
23:04
at the very least he’s got to be worth
23:06
some cash yeah I’m a there could be a
23:08
big difference between what he’s
23:10
claiming when we got back true but he’s
23:11
he’s a minute there are many pieces here
23:15
I mean people assume that because he’s a
23:16
successful businessman he must
23:18
understand the economy right which was
23:20
no necessary connection there right
23:22
there’s a lot of rich people who are
23:25
totally confused about economics and you
23:29
know most economists don’t have a lot of
23:30
money so there’s not even no real
23:32
connection there but the the I mean so
23:38
what you’re describing is a kind of just
23:40
random like like you’re just let’s just
23:42
let’s just smash the window yeah and
23:45
then see what happens right look I’m
23:47
going to light a fire to this this place
23:48
and and see what happens and that’s it
23:55
almost any process by which you would
23:57
change the system is more intelligent
23:59
than that mm-hmm you know and yeah and
24:01
it’s also not valuing how much harm it
24:03
one bad president could do right like
24:07
there’s no I think even I haven’t tested
24:10
this but I’m imagining that even Trump
24:12
supporters would answer this question
24:14
the way I would hope which is like if I
24:17
had a crystal ball they could tell you
24:20
we can’t tell you who’s going to be
24:21
President but it tells you how it works
24:24
out for the next president so like right
24:26
I look in this crystal ball and it says
24:27
the next president United States is a
24:29
disaster right just it’s like the worst
24:32
president we’ve ever had you just think
24:34
of you know just just failures of
24:38
governance and and the toxic influence
24:42
of narcissism and hubris that comes
24:45
along just like once every thousand
24:46
years right justjust a disaster I think
24:50
you know even if you’re a trump
24:52
supporter which candidate that was like
24:55
only Trump is is likely to screw things
24:59
up that badly it’s not Clinton is going
25:01
to is going to be almost perfectly
25:04
predictable she’s going to be a
25:05
politician she’s gonna she’s going to be
25:07
basically centrist on a lot of the on
25:10
foreign policy and domestic policy you
25:12
know she’s going to be liberal on social
25:14
issues she is not going to try to be a
25:20
dismantle NATO and to get into a war
25:24
with North Korea or you know get into an
25:27
alliance with Putin or image she’s not
25:30
going to do something insane and the
25:34
alliance with Putin yeah he he said
25:36
basically only favorable things about
25:38
Putin their homes yeah they’re tight so
25:42
we should get yet hopefully we’ll see
25:44
pictures with both of them on horseback
25:46
shirtless and I have to go read the I’ll
25:49
be able to you shirt on I hope probably
25:51
keep your shirt on I don’t see him as
25:52
being the shirtless guy yeah no I yeah
25:58
when when just look at the landscape the
26:02
between Bernie and Hillary in him and
26:05
you know to me it looks like the last
26:08
gasps of a dying system sorry but that’s
26:11
representative government system but it
26:14
is a lot of a lot of people are saying
26:16
that you things like that but they’re
26:19
not hearing just how nihilistic that is
26:24
if true right right like like we there’s
26:27
so much stuff we have to get right right
26:29
and there’s so much and and the only
26:31
tool to get it right is having your your
26:35
mind actually understand what’s going on
26:38
in the world and
26:39
how to manipulate the world in the
26:41
direction you want it to go so you have
26:44
to understand like whether or not
26:46
climate change is true your beliefs
26:49
about it have to be representative of
26:52
that truth right so like let’s say you
26:54
know let’s say it’s let’s say I’m
26:56
mistaken and there’s you know there is
26:58
no human caused climate change it’s not
27:00
a problem and every moment spent
27:02
thinking about it worrying about it
27:05
correcting for it is just a waste of
27:08
time that’s just throwing out you know
27:10
the wealth of the world right that would
27:13
be a terrible thing right so it really
27:15
matters who’s right about that and and
27:17
the fact that we have a president or a
27:19
candidate who is coming in saying this
27:23
is all bullshit you know in defiance of
27:27
all of the science is and it’s it’s true
27:32
but it’s on every other part of a
27:34
problem doesn’t know anything about you
27:35
know I guarantee you he doesn’t know the
27:38
difference between Sunni and Shia Islam
27:40
or which countries are Sunni
27:42
predominantly in which or Shia
27:44
prominently and I’m sure he’s going to
27:46
do I don’t know when he’s going to cram
27:47
for this final exam I’m sure before one
27:49
of those debates he’s going to get you
27:51
know someone’s gonna sit down with him
27:52
and give him some bullet points he’s got
27:54
to have in his head but his head is just
27:57
not in this game it’s never been in this
27:59
game it’s obvious from everything he
28:01
says and that’s what that is something
28:04
you can’t say about Clinton right for
28:05
all of her flaws as a person I don’t
28:07
care how much you hate her as a person
28:09
she understands what’s going on in the
28:11
world right and that’s that difference
28:13
is so enormous forget about all the the
28:15
other character flaws of this guy who
28:19
who was just obviously going to I mean
28:22
he’s but are we attached too much to
28:24
this idea of one person being the
28:26
figurehead figurehead someone has to eat
28:29
right I’m one decider if we all woke up
28:31
today if everybody woke up and there was
28:33
just no government it was nothing well
28:36
I’ll just what happened I don’t know but
28:38
we got to figure out how to run this
28:39
thing well we had no no previous
28:41
understanding of government what do you
28:42
think anybody would say we need one dude
28:44
to just run this whole giant continent
28:46
filled with 300 million people most
28:48
likely if we woke up and we had
28:50
technology like we have today we
28:53
ability to communicate like we have
28:54
today with social media and whatever we
28:56
would probably say we need to like
28:58
figure this out amongst each other and
29:00
find the people that are the most
29:01
qualified for each one of these
29:03
positions and start running our
29:05
government that way well that that’s
29:07
what we’re attempting to do but it’s
29:09
just and I totally agree with you that
29:11
it is astonishing that out of a nation
29:13
of 300 million people these are the
29:15
choices yeah you would think you would
29:17
think we starting from your your base at
29:20
your zero setpoint of just you know now
29:22
we’re going to reboot civilization you
29:26
would think that if you had this kind of
29:28
process each candidate would be more
29:32
impressive than the next me what you’d
29:33
be like I can’t believe I eat each
29:36
person who came to the podium likely so
29:38
so on James oh yeah it’d be light you’d
29:40
be like the dunk contest you know for
29:42
the NBA I’d be like oh my god like it’s
29:44
just just when you thought you saw the
29:46
best dunk in your life the next guy
29:48
comes along exactly and it would be that
29:50
it would be that on every topic right
29:53
would be like you’d be talking about the
29:55
science of climate change you’d be
29:57
talking about the the the actual
29:59
dynamics of the war on terror – it’s a
30:01
topics that that seem had to have no
30:04
relationship where you would have to be
30:06
you’d be amazed that anyone could be an
30:08
expert in all of them you would find
30:10
someone who was an expert a functional
30:12
expert in all of them a jeopardy winner
30:13
dude yeah yeah but so and but someone
30:15
who is also ethically wise who doesn’t
30:18
just wasn’t obviously an asshole right
30:20
um
30:21
and who who had a mature relationship to
30:30
changing his or her mind
30:32
right so like that this whole bit about
30:34
flip-flopping and and not you know being
30:38
caught it like this is someone who could
30:40
honestly represent changes of mind in
30:42
you know across a political career right
30:45
this is there’s no it’s nowhere written
30:47
that it’s a good thing to believe today
30:49
what you believe twenty years ago in
30:51
fact they do that on every topic it
30:53
means basically you haven’t been in
30:54
dialogue with the world but there’s
30:57
something it’s so taboo to change your
30:59
mind that either you have to lie about
31:01
it or you have to pretend it was a you
31:03
is always that way or
31:06
it’s just a an assistant yeah the the
the the system is is broken in that
respect but given the choices you know
and when you have a choice between
someone who is for all her flaws been in
the game for long enough to be really
well informed and capable of compromise
and capable of not just just breaking
the entire machine and you have someone
who’s just he just got stepped off the
set of his reality TV show and then lied
about everything and a an elbowed his
way you know
onto your television set and never left
because you know CNN couldn’t figure out
how to give the mic to someone else it’s
it’s amazing well he’s a product of
attention
because they realized that
there’s a the heated race right the
heated race this guy was really famous
and in a heated race this guy would say
some crazy stuff and so they would tune
in to him so everybody had to tune in to
him so because of him saying crazy stuff

he accelerated the amount they were
talking about him
so they’re constantly
talking about him and barely talking
about other people and but he’s created
a wormhole in our political process now
where there’s nothing so crazy that
could disqualify him
among the people
who like him that so he can just keep
like nuclear bombs of craziness that the
press can’t ignore that the every time
they think okay this is the crazy thing
he said that’s going to harm his
candidacy so let’s shine a light on it
it just helps him you know he could just
he could you know he could need to get
on Twitter right now so you know who I’d
like to fuck I’d like to fuck Nicki
Minaj and and it would work for him it
would hurt for me you would see a you
would see a tweet storm of a billion
people who say I’d like to fuck Nicki
Minaj to go get her and it’s insanity
that’s where we are
but in a sense if we do admit this is a
fucked up system it’s not ideal it
should definitely be reworked and it’s
so hard to rework wasn’t the best way to
rework it a Trump asteroid just slams
right into the White House
boom blows the whole thing sky-high
who
knows what terrible things have to
happen but maybe that would be enough
thing is we have those those asteroids
are coming anyway so when you look at
like 9/11 was an asteroid right so it’s
like a or a superbug that that becomes a
pandemic
that these are things that are
coming and we need people who are in
touch with with reality to deal with
them
right so it’s like what the moment
someone it advertises their not only
their ignorance but the fact that they
don’t care that they’re ignorant and
they do that this again and again they
keep doubling down that person is like
if you put that person at the helm what
you have done is basically put chaos at
34:11
the helm right it’s like like this
34:12
person’s going to believe whatever he
34:14
believes regardless of the information
34:17
coming in and regardless of the
34:18
consequences that’s just I mean it’s
34:21
it’s it’s worse than having no one in
34:23
charge and because you’re you’ve put the
34:26
power in this person’s hands right so
34:28
this but this person is everything has
34:30
to go through this node in the network
34:33
this is just like an information
34:35
scrambling device right so like know-how
34:37
Matt no matter how good the information
34:38
is coming in you have everything that
34:40
you’ve got a bottleneck here which just
34:42
screws up the signal right that’s what
34:46
you’re doing if you’re if you’re if
34:47
you’re hiring someone like this who I
34:51
mean yet in the best case you’re what
34:55
you stated earlier would in fact be true
34:57
which I he’ll get into the Oval Office
34:58
and even he will be scared about of the
35:01
prospect that he’s now running a better
35:03
part of human civilization and he will
35:05
hire the best people or some semblance
35:09
of the best people he can get access to
35:11
and say tell me how to not screw this up
35:14
and and that will be and then it’ll then
35:18
it’ll essentially be business as usual
35:19
right you
35:20
so far as you’ve hired that the best
35:22
people will be people people who are are
35:25
deeply in this game already right you
35:27
know it will defer to the generals when
35:28
it comes time to make war being real
35:30
really pragmatic about how they pick
35:33
politicians and how they push certain
35:35
people and decide not to push others do
35:37
you think that something like Trump
35:39
completely changes how they move forward
35:41
now they realize that this can happen
35:43
like now that you see that people are so
35:45
goofy we’re so WWE doubt that you can
35:49
get this guy you know I mean this is
35:51
this is where we’re at where we’ve got a
35:53
guys I told him the wall just got 10
35:55
foot higher yeah everybody gets crazy
35:58
like how could you say that yeah once
36:00
they realize that that’s possible how
36:02
long before you get like some
36:03
motivational speaker type dudes how long
36:06
before they start jumping in there how
36:07
it Tony Robbins Ted president so we
36:09
that’s what we have I mean that’s this
36:11
is well this is way worse than Tony
36:12
Robbins for president Weiwei was all
36:15
positive dude yeah yeah but I vote for
36:17
him yeah no Tony right positive god no
36:19
that’s not what I mean I mean right but
36:21
that sort of ability to excite people
36:23
right like if we could get like one of
36:26
those motivational speaker dudes like
36:27
most guys who wears a lot of yoga pants
36:29
and he’s gonna he’s gonna be the next
36:31
president he’s gonna get us in shape
36:33
it’s gonna be a reality show America is
36:36
a reality show we’re there we’re awesome
36:38
we’re the best
36:41
did you see this press conference he
36:43
held I think was yesterday no I didn’t
36:46
know that was a very funny moment where
36:48
the prayer there was one journalist I
36:50
didn’t recognize who it was who gets
36:53
hooked so so Trump was being very
36:55
combative with the the press pool and he
36:58
was he was basically you know shouting
37:00
them down not answering any of the
37:01
questions and one journalist just a gas
37:03
said is this what it’s going to be like
37:06
when you’re president is this how is
37:08
this how what it’s going to be like to
37:09
be in the White House press corps and
37:10
deal with you and and he said yes this
37:14
is what this is exactly was going to be
37:16
like and but you could just see that
37:18
like the journalists like they turn the
37:21
camera on the room a journalist and they
37:23
like they are astonished by what is
37:28
happening here like they don’t know
37:29
they’re participating in this process
37:30
and in some sense they have created this
37:33
process
37:34
but is this no not all of you just many
37:38
of your fine enough of us is this what
37:41
you do is it is this what its gonna be
37:43
like covering you if you’re president
37:45
yeah it is let me do you have this kind
37:47
about the teachers restroom okay yeah it
37:49
is gonna be like this David if the press
37:51
writes false stories like they did with
37:54
this because you know proud half of you
37:56
are amazed that I raised all of this
37:57
money if the press writes for starters
38:00
like they did where I wanted to keep a
38:02
low profile I didn’t want the credit for
38:04
raising all this money for the vets I
38:05
wasn’t looking for the credit and by the
38:07
way more money is coming in I wasn’t
38:09
looking for the credit but I had no
38:11
choice but to do this because the press
38:13
was saying I didn’t raise any money for
38:15
them not only did I raise it much of it
38:17
was given a long time ago and there is a
38:19
vetting process and I think you
38:20
understand that but when I raised almost
38:22
6 million dollars and probably in the
38:24
end will raise more than 6 because more
38:26
is going to come in and is coming in but
38:28
when I raise 5.6 million as of today
38:31
more is coming in and I and this is
38:33
going to phenomenal groups and I have
38:35
many of these people vetting the people
38:38
that are getting the money and would you
38:40
play at the moment I was referring to I
38:44
mean so here is a case where he’s
38:46
probably almost certainly lying about
38:49
his history of giving to Veterans
38:51
Affairs and he gave money very recently
38:53
after people started fishing around to
38:55
see if he actually had given the money
38:56
that he claimed to have given to to
38:59
veterans but I mean this is the what’s
39:05
difficult about this is that I mean the
39:08
pret yes there are the press is highly
39:11
imperfect and there and also partisan
39:14
and there are false stories and there
39:16
are you know exaggerations and that they
39:18
screw people over yes and there are
39:21
reasons to not trust the press from time
39:29
to time but I mean the in this case you
39:32
have a someone who there is no amount of
39:37
fact-checking and dis confirmation of
39:40
his statements that that forces him to
39:44
ever acknowledge anything that he’s done
39:46
wrong and the lack of
39:47
knowledge meant – he pays no price for
39:50
it among among the people who like him
39:52
and so the press is powerless and then
39:55
and then but the net result of like a
39:57
press conference like this if you were a
39:59
Trump’s follower is he just showed how
40:04
biased and and petty the press pool is
40:08
and the press do need to just be beaten
40:11
up by a strong man who who’s not going
40:13
to stand for their bullshit
40:14
but it’s a it’s a maybe what it son
40:19
becoming at the very least that kind of
40:21
communication it’s kind of unexpected at
40:25
sprit II mild you know that’s why me
40:26
compared to his League his paradeen of
40:28
the of the disabled reporter who he saw
40:33
that bit where he you know did like a
40:36
cerebral palsy imitation at one of his
40:40
speeches he was – yeah oh yeah yeah he
40:42
was interviewed by I don’t happen to
40:44
know who them and it was a reporter was
40:45
oh he was making he was making fun of
40:47
somebody with cerebral palsy I mean sir
40:50
he’s done so many things that you could
40:52
that you would think would be
40:54
fundamentally cancelling of a person’s
40:57
political aspirations like like you
40:59
can’t you caught Marco Rubio pretending
41:02
to be like a just goofy on someone
41:03
cerebral palsy at at one of his campaign
41:08
events Oh be the end right yeah one of
41:11
the things that some Ted Cruz was just
41:12
that video with him with his family the
41:14
outtakes well they were I did it oh you
41:17
didn’t see it no it’s a gem uh-huh it’s
41:19
spectacular it’s him with his mom and
41:22
he’s like my mom prays for me often for
41:24
hours every day and she like right she
41:27
looks I’m like what the fuck you talking
41:29
about for hours every day no i don’ti
41:31
can’t even say that and so they have all
41:33
these really awkward moments like okay
41:35
I’m gonna go in for a hug I’m gonna say
41:37
I love you it’s all like weirdly mapped
41:41
out and that got online and people were
41:43
like oh Christ
41:44
okay I see that this is this is a bad
41:47
game like you’re not even good at this
41:49
game this is you’re terrible at this
41:51
game yeah he was objectively terrible
41:55
well that’s his that’s Trump’s
41:57
competition well the thing that would
41:58
think about Cruz that never even got out
42:00
which was the reason to be scared about
42:02
a Cruz presidency was his level of
42:04
religious craziness I mean no one was
42:06
even pushing on that because it was just
42:08
enough to push on before he even got to
42:10
that door yeah you have to hold on to
42:11
those weapons yeah but I mean had it
42:13
been a crew had crews been the nominee
42:16
it would have been all about religion
42:18
what’s what’s odd is that that’s not a
42:20
handicap in 2016 that you can have that
42:24
and people consider it an asset well the
42:27
one thing that’s surprising and actually
42:28
hopeful in Trump’s candidacy is the fact
42:34
that he has he has dissected out the
42:36
religious social conservative component
42:39
of the Republican Party so like the the
42:42
evangelicals for the most part we’re
42:44
going for Trump over Cruz when it was
42:47
pretty clear to them that Trump was just
42:50
pretending to be religious and I mean so
42:52
it’s a Trump gave one speech at you know
42:54
I think Liberty University where he
42:56
spoke he said you know Corinthians 2 and
43:00
you know that’s not the way any Bible
43:02
reader would would speak about the
43:04
second Corinthians how would you say 2nd
43:07
Corinthians
43:07
that’s what how you would say yeah yeah
43:09
and so he said he said Corinthians 2 is
43:11
like MO as though this is something he
43:13
just opened every every night before he
43:16
went to sleep and so it’s clear that it
43:20
was clear to them that he’s not that he
43:23
is just just miming the language you
43:27
know or impersonating a person of faith
43:31
and but they don’t care really as long
43:36
as he does it and that’s that is you
43:38
know if you’re gonna look for a silver
43:39
lining to this it it shows that it’s not
43:42
it’s is they just want a space where
43:47
their religious convictions are not
43:49
under attack
43:51
and they don’t really care that the
43:53
person in charge share them just you
43:55
just if you pretend to share them that’s
43:57
good enough and that’s that’s better
44:00
than actually caring that this person
44:03
really believe in the rapture or
44:04
anything else that is quite obviously
44:07
crazy
44:08
but yet so I don’t think any Christian
44:11
who’s voting for Trump thinks I mean
44:13
they’ll say I’m not going to judge
44:16
another man’s faith right or I’m who am
44:18
I to say what’s really in his heart
44:19
right they’ll say that but he’s just
44:22
given a the if you if you’ve been paying
44:24
attention to who he’s been and and if
44:27
you just look at how he talks about
44:28
these things I don’t he’s fooling any
44:31
any Christian that it so I think they’re
44:34
willing to vote for someone for now for
44:36
other reasons that are fairly depressing
44:39
in their own right they’re willing to to
44:42
vote for someone who’s who doesn’t
44:44
really play the game the way they do you
44:50
have to believe in God to be president
44:53
in 2016 right when you wouldn’t you say
44:55
that has to pretend to believe in God
44:56
yeah but I think with Trump I think it I
45:00
think his the pretense is is obvious
45:03
enough that I don’t think he’s fooling
45:05
the better part of the people who were
45:08
voting for him who would say they care
45:11
about a person of faith being in the
45:13
White House so anything he might be in
45:16
one thing he might be breaking is the
45:18
barrier on having an atheist president
45:21
because I think he you know it’s just no
45:25
but nobody thinks he is a person of
45:27
faith I don’t think anyone really thinks
45:29
that so so he’s he’s me might be our
45:32
first atheist president he would help us
45:34
in that in that regard as well another
45:36
Trump meteor right into the White House
45:37
yeah I’m starting to sound like a trump
45:38
supporter occasionally an asteroid does
45:40
something good who would be the ideal
45:42
president I mean like what what kind of
45:44
a person who I mean it would probably a
45:46
person who doesn’t seek attention
45:48
probably a person that well I don’t they
45:50
it could be that I mean the PERT that
45:53
the process is even even an optimized
45:57
process will be well we’re cool it will
46:03
require enough sacrifice of what
46:06
ordinary people want most of the time
46:09
that it will be an unusual personality
46:12
who has to get promoted you will be on
46:14
some metric B I mean it’s almost by
46:17
definition narcissistic to think that
46:19
you should be in this role right right
46:21
who are you
46:22
to think that you should be running the
46:24
civilization at this moment in human
46:26
history and to for you to be on it’s for
46:29
you to honestly stand at the podium and
46:31
say I’m the guy you know or the woman I
46:35
am the most qualified I should be doing
46:37
this right I can help you know if you if
46:41
you’re going to scrutinize the kind of
46:43
personality that could give rise to
46:44
those opinions it’s not yeah there’s
46:48
there are some dials you would probably
46:50
want to change tweak if you if you had
46:52
to be married to this person or if it’s
46:54
not an optimal personality so there’s
46:57
going to be there’s a kind of pathology
46:58
of a power seeking that might be just
47:02
intrinsic to it but you want someone who
47:06
is actually wise ethically I mean just
47:10
just just try to map that onto Trump
47:11
right just he’s imagine someone saying
47:14
thing I like about Trump is that he is
47:17
so deeply ethical and wise right it’s
47:21
just it does not I mean it’s like saying
47:26
it’s because his hair looks so natural
47:28
yeah is I mean there’s just no it is the
47:32
antithesis of what he is right the thing
47:36
I like about Trump is that he is so well
47:38
informed about the way the world works
47:41
and where he’s not informed he
47:45
recognizes his ignorance so quickly and
47:47
he remedies it as fast as possible he
47:50
did you know he seeks out the best
47:52
experts defers to them and you know he’s
47:58
just he’s as mindful of the limits of
48:01
his knowledge SEO as he is about his
48:04
expertise and his expertise is vast
48:06
right you’d want to be able to say that
48:08
about a president you could not begin to
48:10
say that about Trump right you could
48:14
probably say that honestly you could
48:15
probably say that about Clinton right
48:17
like Italy yeah for all her defects
48:19
she’s very knowledgeable and I’m sure
48:23
she will just try it where she’d up
48:26
where she doesn’t feel like she’s got
48:28
the knowledge he’s going to try to go to
48:29
go to the source of the knowledge right
48:31
just grab the best expert she can find
48:35
I think she I think she will be as aware
48:37
as you or I would be of the consequences
48:41
of not knowing what’s going on right
48:44
she’s just going to want to find out
48:45
what’s going on
48:46
whereas this I mean all Trump has
48:49
advertised about himself is that he
48:51
thinks that bluster and banality and
48:56
bullying will win in every situation
48:59
just like it’s just attitude he the guy
49:02
is the guy is winging it and it could
49:06
not be more obvious that I that this guy
49:08
is winging it on every level and it’s
49:10
like it’s just it is it is it’s not
49:15
there’d be no way for him to signal the
49:17
fact that he’s winging it more clearly
49:19
than he is what everything he’s doing
49:21
and and yet there’s no penalty do you
49:24
think it’s possible that in this age of
49:26
information the way we can communicate
49:28
with each other that we’re going to
49:29
experience these cycles these waves
49:32
these in and outs these high and low
49:35
tides of really smart presidents and a
49:39
really stupid president and we just
49:41
people revolt and there’s just it’s so
49:43
easy to stay alive is plenteous to
49:45
people out there and so they’re only
49:47
willing to vote for other dumb folks so
49:49
the other dumb folks get into position
49:51
they send out the frequency that only
49:53
the dummies here and everybody else is
49:55
going what the fuck is everybody voting
49:57
for this guy for what is happening and
49:59
then it makes the smart people rebound
50:01
and four years and challenge themselves
50:04
anew because they they need some sort of
50:07
an enemy to rally against to reach their
50:09
full potential and then without the low
50:12
tide you cannot have the high it’s a
50:14
virus that’s hopefully that’s not an
50:17
analogy that applies the maintenance of
50:20
civilizations the smell yeah yeah I know
50:23
the time man maybe well at the very
50:25
least it’s a wake-up call for the
50:26
political establishment this silly game
50:28
you’ve been running of two candidates
50:30
just doesn’t work
50:32
someone can co-opt your candidacy get in
50:34
there throw the fucking monkey wrench
50:36
into the gear system and guess what
50:38
Trump’s running for president now is
50:39
that he’s the head I mean he’s the head
50:41
guy for the Republicans how is that even
50:43
possible they don’t know it what’s
50:45
amazing it is a way if nothing else
50:48
a total wake-up call for the Republicans
50:49
may are just it’s June a cast yeah it’s
50:52
June everything’s decided locked down so
50:55
we have July August September October
50:58
November we’re that close but if he’s
51:04
not someone who has been who’s aligned
51:07
with the Republican platform in most
51:11
ways right so it’s like he’s been the
51:16
truth is virtually no one knows what
51:18
what his policies are because he keeps
51:20
changing his position on things like
51:22
taxation it’s like if there actually is
51:24
no he said he’s talked on both sides of
51:26
a core issue core Republican issues but
51:30
I mean in many ways he’s left of Hillary
51:34
right he’s you know he’s left of Hillary
51:37
in terms of being an isolationist like
51:40
he’s you know he means his his
51:42
relationship to war is but both extremes
51:47
like he’s like no we’re just kind of
51:49
we’re going to get out of the world’s
51:51
business right we’re going to be
51:52
isolationist which is deeply
51:54
anti-republican but I’m going to be the
51:58
maniac who you’re never going to know
52:00
who I’m going to bomb next right when
52:01
we’re going to wipe out Isis we’re just
52:03
straight away right did not not a man
52:05
left standing and I’m not going to take
52:09
any shit from anyone including China and
52:11
North Korea and so he’s that but we’re
52:14
gonna pull back in a huge way and not be
52:16
in anyone’s business right he said both
52:18
of those things it’s it’s it was way too
52:26
interested in a way it may we don’t want
52:30
politics to be this interesting and it’s
52:32
going to be me November is going to be
52:35
if the polls are closed and watching
52:37
those debates and and and waiting for a
52:41
swing in the polls as a result it’s just
52:42
going to be it’s going to be way too
52:44
interesting it’s gonna be like watching
52:45
the Super Bowl
52:46
those first debates you know it’s going
52:48
to be it’ll be a hundred million people
52:49
watching those debates I have a
52:53
prediction
52:54
I think I think it’s entirely possible
52:59
this whole thing was a plot that didn’t
53:02
work out this I think he probably came
53:05
out of the gate saying crazy shit
53:06
thinking he would tank the Republican
53:09
Party and get his friend Hillary Clinton
53:11
into the White House
53:12
no just didn’t well she didn’t work out
53:15
he kept trying to insult her kept trying
53:18
to make stuff up about Mexicans it just
53:20
kept making him get better and better
53:21
and now he’s stuck he can’t pull out hey
53:25
that that would be that would be a great
53:27
moment that would change the system well
53:29
we’re going to have to go through
53:31
something like this in order for us to
53:32
realize that this is crazy that a guy
53:33
can just do this can just not really
53:36
have any interest in politics until hold
53:37
out then he should get the Nobel Prize
53:39
for everything if he pulls out at this
53:41
point and says listen I’m just took you
53:44
to the precipice here just because I
53:46
want you to recognize how unstable this
53:49
situation is you you guys could elect a
53:53
demagogue who is actually an incoherent
53:58
demagogue and I haven’t even been
54:00
playing an incoherent authoritarian
54:02
right I’m I’m on one hand a very liberal
54:08
right and tolerant and on the other hand
54:10
I’m like getting ready to be Hitler and
54:13
you guys can’t figure out who I am and
54:15
yet you’re still prepared to vote for me
54:16
right I mean yeah for him to do a
54:19
post-mortem on on his punking of the
54:23
culture that would be the best thing to
54:25
ever happen but I don’t think that’s
54:28
that’s what’s happened do we need
54:29
someone like this so that we realize how
54:33
silly this whole thing is do we need
54:34
someone like that no we need a qualified
54:36
person to deal with all of the other
54:38
hassles and dangers that are coming our
54:40
way that have nothing to do with with
54:42
what we do right like what that verse is
54:44
not that even even if we were doing
54:46
everything perfectly there would still
54:49
be the tsunami of risk right and hassle
54:54
and waste and just omit all the rest of
55:02
the world’s chaos that is coming our way
55:04
and it’s just
55:06
even if we had our house in order in
55:09
every respect
55:10
we still have terrorism and the you know
55:13
global climate change will you have that
55:15
you’ve got China and India and what are
55:17
they doing in terms of complying with
55:20
with climate goals you have all the
55:25
things we’ve been talking about you know
the the virtual certainty that there’s
going to be a pandemic at the not what
I’m talking about bioterrorism we’re
talking about just the sheer fact that
in 1918 there was a killer flu and
there’s going to be another killer flu
right there’s just no way there’s not
gonna be another killer flu and we need
we need people and we need people people
to smart people to change to optimize
the system to deal with these kinds of
things and if we’re promoting you know
religious maniacs and and crazy
narcissists and liars and ignoramus and
only that those people how could this
end we’ll this is just a weird year for
56:12
like heavyweight boxing you know they
56:14
have those weird years for heavyweight
56:16
boxing when Tony Allen is a champ and
56:18
and then are you where you could be the
56:21
heavyweight champion they went through a
56:22
period of time in like the early 80s for
56:25
Tyson came around was a series of like
56:27
these champs that were like you know
56:28
sort of like journeyman fighters and
56:30
then Tyson came along maybe that’s what
56:32
it only only with heavyweights right
56:34
yeah mostly with heavyweights yeah the
56:37
lighter weights they were always badass
56:38
but I think that maybe that’s what’s
56:40
going on maybe we need to have this bad
56:41
season get the season out of our way
56:45
realize the danger of having an inept
56:47
person in office whether it’s a liar or
56:49
dude who hates money or or Trump whoever
56:53
it is just go through it and realize how
56:55
silly it is that we have it set up this
56:57
way still
Queue

Trumpism Is a Psychology, Not an Ideology

Trump presents an insurmountable challenge to an intellectual approach to politics because his decisions aren’t based on any coherent body of ideas.

.. Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon devoted considerable resources to promoting Trumpist candidates who supposedly shared President Trump’s worldview and parroted his rhetoric, including anti-globalism, economic nationalism, and crude insults of “establishment” politicians. Those schemes largely came to naught.

.. The intellectual effort to craft or divine a coherent Trumpist ideology didn’t fare much better. Just over a year ago, Julius Krein launched a new journal called American Affairs to “give the Trump movement some intellectual heft,”

.. On the left, there’s an enormous investment in the idea that Trump isn’t a break with conservatism but the apotheosis of it. This is a defensible, or at least understandable, claim if you believe conservatism has always been an intellectually vacuous bundle of racial and cultural resentments.

.. by his own admission, he doesn’t consult any serious and coherent body of ideas for his decisions. He trusts his instincts.

.. Trump has said countless times that he thinks his gut is a better guide than the brains of his advisers. He routinely argues that the presidents and policymakers who came before him were all fools and weaklings. That’s narcissism, not ideology, talking.

.. Even the “ideas” that he has championed consistently — despite countervailing evidence and expertise — are grounded not in arguments but in instincts.

He dislikes regulations because, as a businessman, they got in his way.

He dislikes trade because he has a childish, narrow understanding of what “winning” means. Even the “ideas” that he has championed consistently — despite countervailing evidence and expertise — are grounded not in arguments but in instincts. He dislikes regulations because, as a businessman, they got in his way. He dislikes trade because he has a childish, narrow understanding of what “winning” means.

.. The president’s attack on his attorney general’s conduct as “disgraceful” makes no political, legal, or ideological sense, but it is utterly predictable as an expression of Trump’s view that loyalty to Trump should trump everything else.

.. Likewise, his blather about skipping due process to “take the guns” was politically bizarre

.. And, of course, his decision to promote and protect his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is purely psychological. Giving Kushner the responsibility to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for all time seems like the premise of a sitcom

.. many of Trump’s biggest fans stick by him, mirroring Trump’s mode of thinking and discovering ever more extravagant ways to explain or rationalize the president’s behavior. (Krein’s abandonment of Trump was an exception to the rule.)

When Trump attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University tweeted his support, floating the idea that Sessions was an anti-Trump deep cover operative who endorsed Trump to undermine his presidency from within.

.. If this infection becomes a pandemic — a cult of personality — one could fairly call Trumpism a movement. But psychology would still be the best way to understand it.

The Real Threat to National Security: Deadly Disease

While the Trump administration is proposing significantly increased military spending to enhance our national security, it seems to have lost sight of the greatest national security threat of all: our fight against infectious disease.

We already spend far more on our military than any other country in the world. To help pay for the increases, President Trump wants to cut back many federal programs, including those that prepare us to wage war against microbes, the greatest and most lethal enemy we are ever likely to face. This is where “defense spending” needs to increase, significantly.

.. Those agencies are already falling short, as we saw last year, when they couldn’t effectively respond to the Zika threat. What will they do when we face a real pandemic? With 7.4 billion people, 20 billion chickens and 400 million pigs now sharing the earth, we have created the ideal scenario for creating and spreading dangerous microbes

.. By some estimates, the 1918-19 “Spanish” influenza killed more people than all the wars of the 20th century combined.

.. Last year a comprehensive review predicted that, if left unchecked, drug-resistant infections will kill more people worldwide by 2050 than cancer and diabetes combined.

.. we are in danger of returning to a pre-antibiotic world in which a cut could prove deadly and surgery would not be worth the risk of infection.

The Plague: Don’t kill the Cats

As the deaths mounted and the streets filled with waste, Londoners noticed that dogs and cats were everywhere in the city. And so the order went out from the Lord Mayor.

Kill the dogs and cats.

The Chamberlain of the City paid the huntsmen, who slaughtered more than 4,000 animals. But the dogs and cats were chasing the rats that were feeding on the waste — and the rats were carrying the fleas that transmitted the Plague. Now spared from their predators, the rats spread the affliction even more fiercely.