and tell me what is going on here. Anyone have any plausible answers for me?
The lack of any public or even private willingness to mark one's beliefs to market is amazing. As is the inexorable and irresistible desire to call the pitch a strike before the pitcher has even walked to the mound.
It's not as though either Cochrane or Epstein has the confidence that would have been created by a lifetime of calling the balls and strikes more accurately than anyone else that might have motivated such hubris.
Nor do either of them have any standing other than that that comes from a perception of being smart. One would think one would guard that by trying really hard not to say things that are really stupid. And one would think that they would have matched outcomes to their ex ante subjective distributions enough in their lives to correct for the possession-of-knowledge syndrome fact that your subjective probability distributions tend to be much too tight when you know something about a subject.
Or perhaps I have gotten it wrong?
Perhaps both Cochrane and Epstein believe that their real standing comes from being not smart but both (a) really clever and (b) really ideological--that their standing comes from their auditors' confidence that their arguments and positions (c) won't necessarily be correct but (d) will conform to their expected ideology and (e) will not be prima facie, ludicrously, and easily and immediately seen to be wrong.
The problem is that the (e) part no longer seems to hold...
And I get that for Epstein the root animus is the status insult at being put into the same category as females--that community rating is a mighty infringement on his liberty because it forces him to buy gynecological care as part of his essential benefits package. But the root emotional animus has to be translated into arguments and thoughts somehow, doesn't it?