Bombs under everybody’s chairs — starting a thread

What we mean by a bomb? In this case, we are talking about an event or development which has an almost completely unknown distribution of outcomes, but where we are reasonably sure there's a non-trivial possibility of something blowing up, though the direction of the blast may be difficult to predict.

Most of these events lack any real precedent. Many of them suggest sharp bifurcation. Furthermore, since, for a variety of reasons, we can put less and less faith in the polls, we have no reliable picture of where they are heading, and those indicators we do have often point in opposite directions.

Dobbs is a bomb. Inflation is a bomb. January 6th and other Trump scandals are bombs. Ukraine. The rise of fascism both nationally and internationally. The threat of violence and intimidation of the polls is a bomb. That's only a partial list. Add to that the shaped charges, bombs with the potential for a big but geographically constrained impact. Immigration. Power grid failures and school shootings in Texas. ( I know a lot of people would put this in the National category but this is an area where we do have some president and it argues against this going big across all 50 states.) Various stunts by DeSantis in Florida (though I have no idea whether they will work for him or against him).

The pundit class will pull out various supposed precedents to suggest that they aren’t completely in the dark. Almost all of these think (Read more...)