In his most recent article in the Inquirer.net 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 Inquirer.net 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.