Ernie the Attorney : searching for truth & justice (in an unjust world)
Updated: 6/5/2003; 10:33:36 PM.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2002

A picture named Poll.jpgAnyone want to offer a legal opinion?

I love "polls" like this.  The assumption is that we somehow have enough knowledge about the law in intricate area of corporate securities that we could even begin to hazard an intelligent guess about the merits of this lawsuit, the facts of which we have only gleaned from news accounts.

This is the press feeding the notion that it has supplied us with the necessary underlying information and so that now our opinion is now somehow meaningful.  Give me a break!

My favorite one was when the anthrax scare happened and CNN ran a poll asking if we were in favor of innoculating people with the anti-anthrax drug (the name of which now escapes me).  What was the point of such a poll? 

I'm not a trained medical professional, so how would I know if the benefit of the injection would outweigh the risk?  In the case of this question over here, I'm a lawyer and I still don't know the answer. 

These sorts of polls are just feel-good exercises -- designed to make us feel like our opinions count.  We're Americans after all, and we "know stuff."  That's 'cause the news organizations keep us informed.   Yeah right!   We can't even tell when we are being patronized.  That's what the poll results tell me.  And I don't even need to see them.  That's my opinion....
5:37:13 PM    

The Paradox of our time by George Carlin

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints..." [click here for the rest of the essay] [from Turfman; no link though 'cause he doesn't have a 'blog yet]
4:16:42 PM    

In Panama, Nobody Here but 289 Birds.

If my brother Stuart (who lives in Panama) checks this he'll see how I use my aggregator to gather news on Panama.  [New York Times] [Moreover - Panama news feed].

The News Aggregator function of Radio is one of the really cool things that "outsiders" can't really grasp.   Too bad....
12:39:32 PM    

What's truth?  And is Bill Gates Lying?

As one who operates in the world where truth is supposedly sought out, I think that Robert Scoble has penned the most captivating discussion I have seen recently on the subject of truth (done in the context of Bill Gates' testimony about separating the browser from the Op system).  It's "captivating" not because it is full of high rhetoric, but because of its cautious simplicity.  Truth is hard to find, and it can't be reduced to ones and zeros.  People have different ideas of what is true based on their preconceptions.  After analyzing the issue a bit, Robert says:

"I can see where folks might say Microsoft is in the wrong and I can see where Bill Gates might say the OS and the HTML rendering technologies are inseparable. It's up to the judges to figure out who's version of the truth is correct."

I admire Robert, and if I were the judge and wanted to select an independent expert of my own (which judges are empowered to do) I would hire Robert.  It's easy to find someone who'll tell you that the answer is easy to figure out.  Few people recognize that some decisions are hard because there is truth on both sides.  But there is one easy truth that I have found works pretty much across the board: people are inclined to believe what they want to believe and simply look for signs of affirmation that they are right.
8:24:29 AM    

© Copyright 2003 Ernest Svenson.

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