# The calculus of Trump

Mano has the latest John Oliver video. Savor the “feelings”.

I’m baffled by the math in Trump’s latest ad, though. He is proud of the fact that his convention speech was 75 minutes long (yeah, I can talk for a long time, too, it doesn’t make me a hero) and that people applauded for 24 minutes (so? It’s the Republican convention), and then he calculates that 24/75, or 33% of the time was spent in applause, as if that were an accomplishment. Oliver points out that is actually 32% of the time, so he even got the simple math wrong…but shouldn’t it actually be 24/(75+24), or 24% of the hour and a half of the final speech?

Of course, if feelings are what matters, it was 24 minutes divided by an intolerable unendurable indefinitely long period of misery, so subjectively the period of applause was an infinitesimal fraction of the total pain.

1. says

So what Gingrich is saying is that the American people are spectacularly ill-informed, right?

Also, this seems relevant:

“I get really pissed off when people give out about crime going up when the numbers are definitely going down. And if you go, “But the numbers are going down,” they go, “But the fear of crime is rising.” And you’re going, “Well, so what?” You know, zombies are at an all-time low level, but the fear of zombies could be incredibly high. Doesn’t mean you have to have government policies to deal with the fear of zombies. It’s ridiculous, for Christ’s sake.” — Dara O Briain

2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

Jon Stewart summarized it better,
Not a speech by Trump, an angry groundhog vomited on the audience for 75 minutes.

So he knew a phrase here and there causing eruptions of applause. Drumph claims that for credit? WHA?

3. kestrel says

Well if feelings=fact, then the fact is, that speech was not 75 minutes long but 75 *years* long. Because that’s what it feels like when you try and watch it.

4. redwood says

Feelings over fact is just the ultimate result of religion’s faith over fact. When religion makes you believe things that can’t have happened and can’t be true, what’s the logical next step? To make your own reality, of course.

5. laurentweppe says

Jon Stewart summarized it better

He has yet to apologizes to Groundhogs

6. Also, this seems relevant:

“I get really pissed off when people give out about crime going up when the numbers are definitely going down. And if you go, “But the numbers are going down,” they go, “But the fear of crime is rising.” And you’re going, “Well, so what?” You know, zombies are at an all-time low level, but the fear of zombies could be incredibly high. Doesn’t mean you have to have government policies to deal with the fear of zombies. It’s ridiculous, for Christ’s sake.” — Dara O Briain

That’s a perfect reference. I love that bit.

7. says

I have a friend. A very intelligent man. A government vet. His entire job deals with virology and germ theory and keeping the land safe from diseased cats and how to best combat that with all of the science mankind has developed so far. In most every way he is a man of science.

Get’s very angry when people mention that homeopathy is just fucking water because he has “seen it work”.

While I did want to kick Gingrich for being saying something so obviously stupid when I saw the clip, I thought about it and realized that he wasn’t being stupid. He was giving voice to “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to Trump” people. So unwittingly, Newt has said the smartest thing he has ever uttered.

History has shown that you can’t educate this away. It has to burn itself out and even then it just goes into remission. Everyone is screwed.

8. numerobis says

Doesn’t mean you have to have government policies to deal with the fear of zombies.

Policies to deal with *the fear of* may be quite reasonable. Ridiculous would be policies to deal with zombies.

9. Oliver points out that is actually 32% of the time, so he even got the simple math wrong…but shouldn’t it actually be 24/(75+24), or 24% of the hour and a half of the final speech?

That puzzled me a little as well when I saw the claim, but maybe the 24 minutes is the amount out of the total 75-minute speech during which the audience was clapping. Convention speeches aren’t solid blocks of vocalization, there are crowd reactions in the middle. (But that makes me wonder who had a stopwatch out to measure how long the audience applauded… I don’t even bother watching political speeches because they’re always obviously lies no matter who gives them, and I can’t imagine listening to one twice, the second time with intense concentration… ick.)

10. OverlappingMagisteria says

Could be a rounding thing. 24.4 minutes divided by 74.6 minutes = 32.7%. Round those to the nearest whole number and you got Trump’s numbers: 24ish / 75ish = 33ish.

11. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

re 10:
that’s my casual tendency:
speech start to finish time ~75 min,
applause within speech: ~25 min,
so 25 is one third of 75 so % form of 1/3 is ~33%.
[wipes brow with handkerchief].
—> approximately. <pause> uh, close enough

12. says

Old news. Michelle Obama knocked it out of the park tonight. I hope she finds a role in public life that befits her obvious talents, post White House. Bernie did a pretty good job too.

13. gijoel says

In a world spinning out of control because you feel asleep on the merry-go-round again, who is there to stand up for the little guy who complains about the Mexicans, and the voices in their heads. It’s the surprising adventures of me, Sir Donald Chicken Trump.

The world is going to hell in a handcart because people feel threatened by an eight year old transgender kid using a toilet.

14. gijoel says

Also Chachi? What the frack!

15. dianne says

Dictators often give long speeches and are generally able to find enthusiastic audiences to clap for them no matter what they say.

16. Snarki, child of Loki says

I also didn’t watch.

Did Trump have the first person to stop clapping taken out and shot?
Why not? Is he saving that for ‘later’?

17. says

Was it 75 minutes speech with 24 addition minutes of applause, or was the total time 75 minutes including applause time or was it 75 minutes of speech with 24 minutes of the audience trying to slap imaginary Muslims?

18. Marshall says

Re 10 & 11:

The point is that “the time” was 75 minutes plus 24 minutes = 99 minutes long. 24 of that was spent clapping, so 24/99 = 24% or so.

Another way to look at it: if he spoke for 60 minutes, and they applauded for 60 minutes, does that mean the applause occurred for 60/60*100 = 100% of the time?

19. OverlappingMagisteria says

Re Marshall @ 18:

I get that, but that time (99 minutes) doesn’t match the actual speech. The full speech, including applause comes in at about 75 minutes, as can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CVTuOyZDI0 . Total video time is 1:16:40, actual speech starts at around 2 minutes. Thats 75 minutes total.