To Be or Not to Be small1 Brexit: NICE doesnt play nice

The Guardian and British politicians move against the statistics before statistics could meaningfully exist.  NICE doesn’t play nice.

Hilarious.  That’s one word for it anyway.  Horror is another.  Brexit was…what?  Last Thursday?  Just this morning I received a blast email from the Guardian newspaper using that modern-day equivalent of “Thus says the Lord”—i.e. “studies show” or in the Guardian’s case it appears as “reported spike”— to say that there’s been a statistical leap in “hate crimes” because of the Brexit referendum, and that Parliament acted on those data points yesterday:

The British parliament has condemned a reported spike in hate crimes and abuse after EU referendum.

I assume it takes Parliament the better part of a day to write up a formal condemnation and then vote on it.  And I further assume that these “studies” or “reported spikes” take a day or so to write up as well.  And before that you have to appropriate some funding for your study to pay the people who do the work, and the printing and all of that.  And before that you have to come up with the idea of your study, a question you wish to explore.  And before that you need some time to collect the data.  And before any of that can happen you need some passage of time for the data points to actually appear.  Being government bureaucrats they likely didn’t work on this through the weekend, and since Parliament responded to all this yesterday that means that all the above occurred between the hours of 8AM and 5PM last Friday.  (The same Guardian story also connects the dots between the Brexit vote and Britain’s loss to Iceland in the Euro 2016 soccer matchup.)

​London’s Mayor Sadiq “All Moderate Muslims are Uncle Toms” Kahn is really on the case.  Before the “reported spike in hate crimes” even hit the streets he put London police on alert for the upcoming spike, which low-and-behold occurred hours after the British voted for self-rule, just like he said they would!  Well whaddya know.

In what I consider to be the most brilliantly conceived part of C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, the protagonist, Mark Studdock, a young academic in the sociology department has left his university position to take a job working for the equivalent of Google (the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments, or N.I.C.E in Lewis’ rendition), which has purchased a parcel of land at the university to setup its lab.  The NICE has also setup its own police force to protect its interests at the university.

For Mark’s first real job assignment at NICE (he spends the first few weeks just trying to find out what his job is), he’s asked to write an editorial for the Guardian/Telegraph (and another for the tabloids) explaining exactly what happened during the riots where the NICE police ended up shooting a lot of people.  The thing is, Kahn-like, the riots hadn’t yet even occurred when Mark finished writing his editorials.

All of which is to say, get used to it Brexit voters. NICE doesn’t play nice.  And self-rule won’t be won with a single vote anymore than the American Revolution ended with the signing of the Declaration of Independence (yes, Jon Oliver, I do know who we our declared independence from).  Your opponents will spend every waking moment looking for a way to ruin your life.  You’ll be framed as Mississippi Burning style segregationists, you’ll be laughed at daily for your apparent stupidity, you’ll be blamed for everything that goes wrong from job losses to soccer matches.  And it will go on until you’re dead or until you join the other side.  My advice: stand firm and call them out.

P.S. The photo above is a scene from Ernst Lubitsch’s comedy “To Be or Not to Be” starring Carole Lombard and Jack Benny.  I haven’t seen the film, but as I was writing this post, the photo kept coming to mind.