In the News: It's déjà vu all over again for Conrado de Quiros!

In his most recent article in the creatively given the title Déjà vu, esteemed thought leader Conrado de Quiros goes off on a mini tililing rampage to highlight some “parallels” between 2010 and 1972. The obvious intention there (because, hey, we’ve all got the benefit of “hindsight, don’t we?) is to paint some kind of scary movie script of some imagined doomsday scenario as we approach the post-presidential but not necessarily (as we are being led to believe) post-Arroyo era.

Here’s an excerpt:

Like GMA, Marcos had tried to get around the proscription against another term by bribing the members of the Constitutional Convention into calling for a parliamentary system. All he got for his pains was Eduardo Quintero, a fairly decent man in his twilight years, exposing the bribe, which effectively cut off that route. GMA has also tried to get around the proscription against term extension by bribing Congress into ramming through Charter change, with a parliamentary system in mind. All she got for her pains was Ed Panlilio, who would suffer the consequences by being booted out of office by GMA’s attack dogs in the 2nd Division of the Comelec, exposing the bribe, which effectively cut off that route.

Just replicate the above passage five to seven times and with each replicant replace all the words between “Like GMA, Marcos…” and the little dot at the end of the above rambling sentence with some drivel describing an imagined “parallel” between 2010 and 1972 politics, and — voila! — you pretty much get a decent knock-off of de Quiros’s scary movie.

People, let’s get our heads back on our shoulders. Before we start imagining a post-May-2010 apocalypse of goose-stepping Arroyo-led stormtroopers stomping through Manila’s streets, consider first what people like de Quiros are doing. The eminent Nassim Taleb wrote an entire book about just this sort of fallacious thinking routinely published in “respectable” Philippine news journals. The title of the book is The Black Swan, and it illustrates how self-described “experts” presume to make fearless forecasts on the basis of a past they had so expertly “modelled” in their minds. Economists did it and we all got the recent Global Financial Crisis as a result of their “modelling” hubris. Last thing we need are political “experts” doing the same.

Just as the average UFO enthusiast sees “flying saucers” in a bunch of spots dotting the image of a cloudy sky in a grainy photo, de Quiros sees the First Quarter Storm in the little events and hearsay news snippets being brokered by the Media in the lead up to the May elections.

Perhaps the owners of the would like to consider a re-name of their rag to The National Enquirer instead?

Hey look it’s Jesus…

Ha ha, made you look.


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10 Responses to In the News: It's déjà vu all over again for Conrado de Quiros!

  1. J.B. says:

    Enrile, who never was fond of FVR since the time of Cory, answered on the allegations whether ‘FVR at the end of his term would declare Martial Law’ that it would be the most impractical to do it at that time.

    There may be seeming parallels but the people and situations of today are too different compared to the days in the led up to Martial Law. Even a click of mobile phone text would create counter rally’s when a particular situation reach critical heights.

    GMA already decided for Congress and that would give her a new lease of life against array of lawsuits.

  2. benign0 says:

    I read somewhere (perhaps it was Taleb who said it): “Knowing the outcome corrupts the evidence”. The human mind instinctively finds patterns — often where there is none. When someone you happen to be thinking of at the moment suddenly calls us on the phone, we often foolishly attribute that coincidence to some kind of supernatural meeting of brainwaves across some imagined ethereal space. But then do the numbers: who you are likely to be thinking of at any given moment often statistically coincides with the person most likely to give you a call over the same given moment. There’s no magic there. Just probabilities in favour of such coincidences.

    In the same vein, every event that transpires can lead history down an infinite number of small variants. But what we see when we look back at the past is the single route taken (over an infinite array of possibilities). And then we foolishly try to use that one route as a model for predicting a future that is, in reality, a complete uncertainty — specially in the context of that single course history took that you had used to predict it.

  3. Persona non Grata says:

    Jesus Christ is the original Anti-Pinoy. Jesus Christ hates Pinoy. The reason Filipinos cannot change.

    God-the-father is the grandfather of all Anti-Pinoys. God-the-father told Jesus Christ never to uplift Filipinos from the rot they are in.

    God-the-father is from the Central Province of China called Hunan. This is the place where God told Adam and Eve to go out and “multiply”. “Multiplication” was discovered in that province in 20-220 AD. Prior to these dates there was never “multiplication” or word “multiply”.

    Therefore, God-the-father is Chinese. God is from Hunan province in China.

    • Ma Xianding says:

      Therefore God approves of eating dogs right? If so, who does westerners say asians are barbaric for eating dogs when the God they worship is from Hunan China and likely eats dog?

      • Persona non Grata says:

        If God kills people thru calamities: tsunami, earthquakes, fire and other horrible acts against humanity, therefore, God definitely eats dog.

  4. ChinoF says:

    Now here’s a guy who really loves someone who just hates to lose. Just because he himself hates to lose (an argument) as well… hehehe

  5. jackstone54 says:

    Up to now, De Quiros has been quiet on persistent allegations that he was a Marcos speechwriter and that he was nowhere near EDSA during the first People Power Revolt. And why has he kept mum on Noynoy’s refusal for the press to ask him any questions about : a) Hacienda Luisita b) the Marcos burial c) the Plaza Miranda bombing 4) the RH bill.

  6. benign0 says:

    That’s the trouble with Media people who are too much of insiders in Pinoy politics. They start to consistently fail to step outside of all the noise and regard the whole thing from a fresh and external perspective. Their ideas become inbred and therefore useless — or, worse, misleading.

  7. Rico says:

    Now, I’m not one of those people who believe that GMA is plotting and scheming to extend her presidency- (I have not done the research to make an opinion as to whether or not she is planning to extend her term)- but it seems to me that de Quiros has made some legit point. I have heard that he used to be a speech writer for Marcos and I know that he is pulling for Noynoy to win the election; but ignoring his background/history, the article, while a bit alarmist, seems to have made some good parallels between 1972 and 2010.

    Now, don’t get me wrong- I wasn’t born yet during EDSA 1 and I never experienced the First Quarter Storm so I’m not going to even admit that I’m an expert in martial law histor, but I’ve read some books about the Marcos era and the events leading up to martial law, and there seems to be at least SOME similarities.

    Anyways, I’d just like to know, what ARE the fallacies committed in de Quiros article. I mean, can someone explain to me how he is modeling the past in his mind? How is de Quiros article about the parallels between 1972 and 2010 equivalent to being a UFO enthusiast?

    As someone who’s going to become a first time voter this year, I’d just like to know the answers to these questions.


    • ChinoF says:

      I guess the “UFO” is generally the idea that GMA being like Marcos extending their term to rule forever. Yes, Marcos did that, but like you said, Rico, you don’t believe that GMA is scheming to extend her presidency… basically, she has not done it yet. If at all. So there’s no parallelism between her and Marcos there. The problem is that De Quiros and others think that she’s as good as extended already. De Quiros is also driven by anti-Glorianism… all the evil is on her, and if she gets kicked out, all – or even just most – the corruption in government will go away. Yet another “UFO”. The parliamentary model is being slammed because Marcos is thought to have enacted it… but when you look at it closely, Marcos did not have a true parliamentary. It was somewhat an oligarchy, which is basically what remained today. Replace Marcos’ cronies with Cory cronies (Lopezes, Cojuangcos, etc. ) and that’s a a more accurate picture of what happened. Yes, there are similarities… but the kinds you could probably find in the Cory gov’t as well.

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