Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Not On A Bet

In 2005, Jonah Goldberg, an expert on tv, tried to make a bet with Juan Cole, an expert on the Middle East. Cole refused to bet on human lives and expressed his disgust with Goldberg. Goldberg erased the post but it lingers on in quotes.
Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn’t want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let’s make a bet. I predict that Iraq won’t have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I’ll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now). This way neither of us can hide behind clever word play or CV reading. If there’s another reasonable wager Cole wants to offer which would measure our judgment, I’m all ears. Money where your mouth is, doc. One caveat: Because I don’t think it’s right to bet on such serious matters for personal gain, if I win, I’ll donate the money to the USO. He can give it to the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade or whatever his favorite charity is.
When it became clear that he had lost the bet, Goldberg denied that he owed Cole. Goldberg erased that post but it too lingers on.
"E&P this morning asked Goldberg for his response, and he e-mailed: "I offered the bet in a foolish fit of pique with Cole. ... Cole refused to take the bet. ... [Now] it seems that his fans want it both ways. They want to extol Cole as a prince for not accepting the bet, but they want me to be held accountable to it even though he never agreed to it. Countless blogs have been dishonest about this suggesting I owe Cole himself $1,000."
This ancient history makes a new Goldberg post even more ridiculous than usual.
I really like Kevin’s piece today on asking pundits and other experts to put their money where their mouth is. But I have one big objection.
I am at a loss as to how Kevin who knows this terrain like an Indian scout, could leave out any mention of Julian Simon’s famous bet with Paul Ehrlich. For those who might not know, before there was global warming, a Malthusian panic stewed the bowels of the cognoscenti like so much bad gas station sushi.  Julian Simon was almost alone in deriding the Club of Rome, the Population Bomb and other claims that we would “use up” the Earth. He was derided as a fool and charlatan by his “betters” for actually being upbeat about humanity’s prospects. Ehrlich, the author of the Population Bomb, agreed to a wager proposed by Simon.
Goldberg went on to state that Simon was right about the price of commodities going down during the time period of the bet, and to add that the fact that Simon would have lost the bet at almost any almost other time and that Ehrlich was mostly right is utterly unnecessary.

So if Goldberg likes the idea of putting his money where his mouth is he can start with donating $1,000 to the USO right now. Since he received a million dollar advance for his last book we know he can afford it and it would help our Not-Yet-Fallen Warrior Heroes.

But don't be surprised if his latest post disappears as well.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that no one on the comment thread of the effort (ahem) by Lucianne's Obese Offspring has noted his welching on a nine-year-old bet.
Seems censorship is strong at National Review; almost as strong as Mrs. Lucianne's Obese Offspring, who, along with Mrs. Howie Kurtz, has taught Frigid I and Frigid II classes four nights a week in the basement bombshelter at AIPAC HQ in D.C.

Susan of Texas said...

It's very, very strong. I replied to a commenter who told everyone how his wife saved money on groceries by going to Costco etc. In the same comment he talked about buying guns and cameras. I expressed surprise--his wife pinched pennies while he bought expensive guns? My comment was gone in no time.

Anonymous said...

Also no mention on the Twitters of either Lucianne's Obese Offspring or Juan Cole.

willf said...

Since he received a million dollar advance for his last book we know he can afford it

What the fucking WHAT?

Damn, I made the wrong choices in life. I should have had my soul excised years ago. I could've made a mint telling people that being poor was their own fault because faaaaaart.

NonyNony said...

Damn, I made the wrong choices in life

Yes - you should have chosen a conservative hack for a parent like Jonah did.

(I have more respect for Sarah Palin than I do Jonah Goldberg - at least Palin actually worked her butt off to grift her way up the grifting ladder instead of having a mom who could carry up to the top.)