Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Dec 2012 14:31 UTC
Legal Lots of news about Apple vs. Samsung (and vice versa) in both the US and Europe today. In the US, judge Koh dealth two blows: one to Samsung (no retrial based on juror misconduct), the other to Apple (no permanent sales ban). In Europe, in the meantime, Samsung announced it will cease all lawsuits injunction requests against Apple... But only in Europe.
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RE[5]: Jury qualifications?
by saso on Wed 19th Dec 2012 08:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Jury qualifications?"
saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

The assumption that the public are all idiots has led us to such fantastic decisions as:

It is no assumption that the average person is highly susceptible to a myriad of cognitive biases, especially in high-stakes cases. Attorneys in common law systems are educated how to exploit these biases, there are practices for favorable jury selection based on case, etc.

1. Speed cameras.
2. Many thousands of health warnings on everything.
3. Bans/limits on alcohol, tobacco.

You are espousing a trivial libertarian ideological standpoint, that given freedom, people would know what's best for them - essentially a form of radical libertarianism. That is factually just plain not true. Besides example 2 (which I'm not sure about), both 1 (traffic regulations in general) and 3 (regulation of hazardous substances) have, as a matter of fact, reduced deaths among the general populace from these risks.

This has now been replaced with an arrogant, cynical view that people are simple minded idiots who need hand-holding.

Again, an extreme libertarian viewpoint. What you fail to appreciate is that humans are a social species and thus we form superorganisms called "societies". These are more than the simple sum of the capabilities of their members, and thus work naturally to protect themselves from harmful influences. This needs to be balanced with individual concerns, or the society devolves into a tyranny.

It's a pretty short hop from the view that people are too stupid to be on a jury, to thinking that they are too stupid to vote.

Perhaps saying that some people are too stupid to vote isn't that crazy after all. Look at the 2008 presidential election in the US - how on Earth was it possible that somebody as vapid as Sarah Palin stood a real chance of being elected to the second highest office in America? Or 2012 and Romney's comments that he believes in an apocalyptic return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives. A doomsday loonie stood a very real chance of being elected president in a country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons on Earth. When you have somebody like that in office (elected by popular vote, mind you!), is this: [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CdKuLRmg8k ] really such a remote scenario?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Jury qualifications?
by M.Onty on Wed 19th Dec 2012 13:19 in reply to "RE[5]: Jury qualifications?"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23


Perhaps saying that some people are too stupid to vote isn't that crazy after all. Look at the 2008 presidential election in the US - how on Earth was it possible that somebody as vapid as Sarah Palin stood a real chance of being elected to the second highest office in America? Or 2012 and Romney's comments that he believes in an apocalyptic return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives. A doomsday loonie stood a very real chance of being elected president in a country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons on Earth. When you have somebody like that in office (elected by popular vote, mind you!), is this: [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CdKuLRmg8k ] really such a remote scenario?


Who gets to decide who's too stupid to vote? Who gets to decide whether the elite who make that decision have the right kind of intelligence to make that system? Institutions and rules are important, and I don't think the post you're responding to is anywhere near as libertarian as you suggested, but fundamentally even the strictest system must comes down to trusting your fellows. Healthier for society to take a risk on a significant minority of its own being plonkers and base itself on trust than to try to exclude them and base itself on distrust.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Jury qualifications?
by saso on Wed 19th Dec 2012 14:45 in reply to "RE[6]: Jury qualifications?"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Who gets to decide who's too stupid to vote?

That, of course, is largely why meritocratic systems haven't been implemented - it's hard to find a good standard for that and agree to use it ("intelligence" is no easily quantifiable metric).

I don't think the post you're responding to is anywhere near as libertarian as you suggested

He criticised regulating hazardous substance use, such as alcohol/tobacco consumption - sounds pretty hard-line libertarian from my point of view, especially when you consider that we know, unambiguously, that these substances can cause significant harm, they regularly do, and that regulation has lowered the incident rate.

but fundamentally even the strictest system must comes down to trusting your fellows. Healthier for society to take a risk on a significant minority of its own being plonkers and base itself on trust than to try to exclude them and base itself on distrust.

Fundamentally, I'm not arguing for anything else, but I am arguing in placing trust in qualified people vs. just the grey masses. This becomes especially clear when dealing with matters where tolerance for error is very small, e.g. medical doctors, engineers, scientists, etc. We do not elect them by popular vote, they earn our trust on track record. All I'm asking for is that we use the same principle in the judicial process as well (the "track record" being composed of accurate judgements, not on how many people they incarcerate - a common misconception of justice in the US).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Jury qualifications?
by HappyGod on Wed 19th Dec 2012 13:50 in reply to "RE[5]: Jury qualifications?"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

The main problem with your argument is that you think that because people can sometimes behave this way, that they always behave this way. Worse than that, you are prepared to deal with people in a guilty-until-proven-innocent manner. Scary.

You also use words which demonstrate (in my view) a lack of tolerance for views that differ from your own. You twice dismissed my point of view as "trivial", and "extreme", which was clearly an overreaction. You then went on and vindicated my second point by agreeing with it (viz. Voting).

Perhaps it is this inability to take a more balanced view that may be responsible for your dislike of democratic institutions like juries, and voting. These things inherintly require a level of trust and acceptance that I fear you lack.

I don't doubt your motives, but I would be very careful if I were you. Most dictatorships begin this way, and even to the end maintain a viewpoint that "the people just need guidance". It's a slippery slope.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Jury qualifications?
by saso on Wed 19th Dec 2012 15:18 in reply to "RE[6]: Jury qualifications?"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

The main problem with your argument is that you think that because people can sometimes behave this way, that they always behave this way.

Do you dispute that the human psyche is rife with cognitive biases and faults of various sorts?

Worse than that, you are prepared to deal with people in a guilty-until-proven-innocent manner.

I never said that. I said that, on average, most people are easily manipulated - it's the only reason why things such as cold reading, channelling and yes, even religion, work. That being said, I have never advocated for changing the voting system. I was speaking hypothetically (that's why I started with "Perhaps") in an attempt to point out a problem and that it needs solving.

You also use words which demonstrate (in my view) a lack of tolerance for views that differ from your own. You twice dismissed my point of view as "trivial", and "extreme", which was clearly an overreaction.

I can dismiss arguments once I provide reasons for doing so. My reason is that your points 1 and 3 have been shown to be factually false. Traffic regulation and control of hazardous substances has, in all instances, resulted in a safer environment and fewer casualties. Please note the difference between "control/regulation" and "banning".

Perhaps it is this inability to take a more balanced view that may be responsible for your dislike of democratic institutions like juries, and voting. These things inherintly require a level of trust and acceptance that I fear you lack.

So for not taking the extreme view that these things can only be best decided by democratic vote I am considered not balanced? Uh huh...

My dislike of juries stems from my knowledge and experience of how easily people are manipulated. I would be all for juries with a certain number of modifications to the judicial process.

As for voting, it's more complicated than that. On paper, democracy is great, but it expects the electorate to have a certain educational level. I support a general right to vote simply because all alternatives are worse. In theory an enlightened monarch would probably be best, but then, those are pretty hard to come by (read: impossible, I don't want a monarchy).

Most dictatorships begin this way, and even to the end maintain a viewpoint that "the people just need guidance".

Can you support this claim? Because I don't think it's true. From what I can recall, most dictatorships have been established in sudden popular uprisings or military coups with the notable exception being Nazi Germany. The PRC, USSR, Iran (under the Shah), Iraq, etc. were all established as dictatorships without ever consulting the people.

Reply Parent Score: 2