Tag: evidence

Ambivalence and Experience

I feel more and more ambivalent about opinions in Facebook – well actually almost all social media – because of this specific misconception:

“Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge. It assuredly does not mean that ‘everyone’s opinion about anything is as good as anyone else’s.’ And yet, this is now enshrined as the credo of a fair number of people despite being obvious nonsense.”
Tom Nichols (The Death of Expertise)

There are a lot of things wrong in this world, among the worst is the voice that carries and and presents inexperienced, uneducated, uninformed, and/or misinformed opinion as fact. Not only does it saturate social media, but it has begun rearing its ugly head in the workplace…where the more experienced and/or knowledgeable voice is drowned in the sea of people basing their comments, opinions, and knowledge on 5 minutes of internet searches.

This is what unlimited access to information has become: The ability to rely on unvetted conclusions and winging it when the shit doesn’t work. You have only to read the first few posts in your facebook feed to get an example. People have neither the ambition nor need to invest themselves in an issue, ergo they rely on the scope of their internet searches. This is awesome is your looking for solid ways to get the stain out of a favorite shirt…but hardly the evidence necessary to substantiate a decision in the hiring process or voting…yet we’re doing this every $#%#ing1 day.The really sad part is we’re all guilty of it. It’s almost impossible to avoid ingesting some party’s rhetoric or agenda while checking out your friends awesome baby pictures. A few days into it and you now, without having researched or read any documentation, proof, or report, exactly how many people carry a gun, got killed last year by guns, and most importantly, how important people feet it is to contribute rhetoric on the color of a !@#$ing coffee cup.

This is who we are now: a great big society chuck full of people too preoccupied with themselves to invest in knowing what the !@#$ they are talking about. Ugh.

-T

Show 1 footnote

  1. Yes, I am actually putting an effort into keeping the language *somewhat* civil. 😉




A fresh look on Jury Duty.

A friend posted this in FB and (with permission of course) I am posting it here for the interested reader.

This is a short note he wrote describing an experience in Jury Selection that I found more than intriguing. It is taking the high ground in a scenario where it’s unheard of…in the court room. There is a huge assumption that in relying in the law, that the jury is just a formality. As the Jurors are selected based on a set of predisposition characteristics either appealing or unappealing to the court and/or the legal representation of parties involved. That said…I was appalled at the stance the lawyer took, although not surprised. I’d never heard of FIJA before or that an organization had put forth the effort to retain some modicum or baseline rationality with regard to the guilt or innocence of a defendant. Like I said…I was a little jazzed up when reading about this.

Said friend is John Jay Myers, he’s a stout Libertarian and holds some incredibly well-informed views.
Here’s his post:

Today I had Jury duty where myself and 60 other candidates were told to fill out a long questionnaire and asked quite a few questions during a 2 hour interview process. During the Q & A we were told that we were not to determine right or wrong just that the guilt or innocence in regards to the law.

Their first question to me was “On your form you wrote that you were a member of FIJA?”, “Yes the Fully Informed Jury Association.”

“What is that?” they asked “FIJA is a group that believes that the jury not just judge whether someone broke a law, but whether you believe breaking that law is really a crime.”

I said “Take for instance marijuana, if someone is arrested on a marijuana charge and I don’t feel like marijuana should be illegal, I am going to judge not only whether the act was committed, but whether I feel it is a crime. The same goes for owning automatic weapons, or similar unconstitutional things.”

The attorney said “You realize that what you are doing would be wrong, and not in accordance with the judges orders”, I said “you should realize the way you are doing it is wrong in my opinion” and went on to say “We have judges and prosecutors who are all elected in partisan races, they may also seek to act in a partisan manner, the jury is the last avenue we have to try defeat unjust laws, or activist judges, it is how our founders intended it to be.”

Someone said outside the court “But in this instance it is a crime of an adult having sex with a minor”, I said “Sometimes that can be equally ridiculous, the law can say that an 18 year old can not have consensual sex with a 17 year old female, that is ridiculous in itself, but as we have seen, when a judge sentences that person to years in prison, we have achieved a whole new level of tyranny” and finished “All I am saying is that I cannot be asked in advance whether I will automatically comply with the judges authority, I will have to hear all the facts, and see how I feel about the crime, and the people who committed it.”

On my way back in, the Bailiff whispered to me “I suppose you have heard of Oath Keepers” I said “Yes I have” and he said “Well I am a member” and he gave me an approving look. I tapped him on the shoulder and thanked him.

During the breaks I had many other people come up to me and tell me they supported what I said and what I was doing, they didn’t think I would make it on the Jury though.

The last person said to me in the elevator “You know, in a perfect world it would work just as you described.”

I said “Wouldn’t it!”

Obviously I did not make it on the Jury.

So I immediately had all these questions. What is FIJA and how do I sign on? Who are the Oath Keepers? What do they do? Not under the premise of getting out of Jury Duty, quite the opposite 😉

FIJA, located at http://fija.org is an organization bent on informing the public of their rights as jurors in the US courts. This isn’t any kind of extremist silliness, this is incredibly good information easy accessed that provides a TON of insight into the role of a Juror and the responsibilities that role owes to us as a people and to our Constitution. The information is easily accessible and the details aren’t hard to navigate. The perspective isn’t unique, it’s simply cleaner and far more rational than I thought.

The Oath Keepers are public servants, specifically law enforcement, firefighters, and military personnel, their spouses, and and other supporters that simply reiterate their oath to the constitution in a manner that clearly draws a line when interacting with U.S. citizens in certain matters that clearly ignore their constitutional rights. Their webpage is located at http://oathkeepers.org and while I am a bit critical of the site’s aesthetics, the base idea id simple. These are people serving the people by making it clear they have no intention of willfully breaching peoples’ constitutional rights. While I am not a public servant in the capacity they are recruiting membership from, I certainly share the sentiment. There are a couple very decent videos in there too.

Now here’s my beef. These organizations are doing nothing more than employing some common sense (with a dash of conviction). If I was in a similar situation, that attorney would likely get a sharp-tongued response noting specifically that he was NOT a representative of the court nor a representative of the Judge and his candor was fallacious and threatening. Some Judges might be inclined to spank that asshat dress that attorney down for doing so. Why on earth aren’t more people on board with this philosophy of ardent informative activism? Is it just laziness?

Anyhow that’s all I have for the night.

If you’re interested in more of John Jay’s words, you can find him at http://johnjaymyers.com