Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘forensic experts

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 197

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Choosing is a necessary conscious decision to defining your personality of the moment.  The selection is necessary for a free man, but not sufficient for an “honorable” man. Did you decide to be the “idiot of the village” or the sane member of the community?

I would hate after death to be condemned for laziness in the mind, or condemned for Not acting according to my own labor of reflection.

Justice is ultimately an individual case and what the community believed in is totally irrelevant and redundant for supporting clemency.

Do you believe that the purpose of life is living? How to live life is the main problem.

We can differentiate between expert opinions delivered in court of justice and expert opinions disseminated by the “talking heads” in the news media (the typical rosters on Hot Topics).

Both kinds of opinion experts earn a living from their opinions and they have a long CV of credentials, but they differ in their levels of “professionalism” and activism.

The courts admit forensic experts (professional in engineering related fields) because their opinions resolve 90% of the cases before they are brought to justice:  Those expert mediators help reduce congestion and backlogs in courts.

“We landed among wonderful people. And we fucked it up…”

Le patriotism des Palestiniens s’exprime a travers des choses concretes: une maison, un champ, un jardin, un village

“Who are the terrorists?308 actions were conducted by Zionists terror organizations (Palmach, Irgun and Stern) against civilian Palestinians before and just after recognition of Israel as a State by one vote

The next Parliament will be either the continuation of militia-style or institution of a State. The constraint of depositing 160 million LL to be able to apply as candidate means that the same state of affair is to resume for another 4 years (tadweer al tabakat al 7aakimat)

Sexual Abuses? Time to define Operationally the variations in abuses…

Not a day goes by without the news media displaying their favorite topics “Sexual Abuses”, particularly when involving “public figures“.

Sexual abuses are pretty common everywhere around the world. In many societies, the abuses are not made public, hidden under the carpets, for the sake of Honor in the communities, and much less taken to court. In India, occasionally, the community orders a gang raping ritual to salvage the community honor.

In a few developed or “civilized” societies, sexual abuses have been legally prosecuted in the last 3 decades, in the laws and in courts, as long as an adult member files charges.

The trials and investigations are very lengthy, time and energy consuming, and only people with deep pockets can afford to go ahead with the case to reach any resolution.

Usually, it is the victim that carries the brunt of the burden to “prove” the case, given that the victim is willing to have her life-style and history (sexual and other crimes) divulged and thoroughly cross-examined by the defense lawyers…

There are too many claims and cases of sexual abuses in the court pipeline, and most of the times the verdict rendered is “We might never know the truth“.

What truth are the victims and defendants are expected to know?

Unless the victim and perpetrator are very disturbed and mentally sick, they know exactly what happened and not many people care to know how they are going about their life.

It is about time that these “sexual abuses” allegations be defined operationally, every term of the dozens of innuendos related to sexual abusesharassment, molestation and their various synonyms.

The need for an exhaustive taxonomy of “Family Violence” is becoming an urgent matter, and sex abuses be a subcategory. Factors like level of seriousness (physically, mentally, socially, legally), frequency and duration of the abuse, idiosyncrasy of the community…

The general public must have a clear idea what the charges are, simply by reading the definition and description of the charge, complete with the consequences and damages (physical, mental and legal) understood to carry with.

We need a pragmatic notion of operationally defining and describing sexual abuse cases.

You have armies of psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, medical professionals, lawyers, social workers, judges, social institutions, investigators, police officers, clinical institutions… All of them getting a “cut” in this multi-billion cake industry.

If 90% of all liability cases (work related safety and health, car accidents, business related charges…) are settled out of court, why should sexual abuses not be of the negotiated kind by sexforensic experts“?

Why family violence of the very serious kinds, like beating, bruising, breaking of bones, raping… get a slap on the wrist on the ground of “family matters” and no one has to interfere and the cases are hushed up and not disseminated by the media?

Why people who take pleasure in sniffing pussies, holding a kid on their laps, touching breast, buttocks and other body parts or enjoying nudity… have to be considered monsters of sexual abusers and the cases be dragged on for years and the parties have to suffer the ignominies of social stigma and pay the heavy price in shame, time, energy and financial loss?

And the family swimming in that ugly morass of blurred legal territory with countless connotation attached to a broad term according to various idiosyncrasies.

Teams of Medical professionals, jurists, social workers, politicians, judges and representatives of communities… must be given the task of operationally defining the sexual abuses, such as frequency, duration, long-term consequences, cost of trials and recovery, community idiosyncrasies…

The victims and perpetrators should be able to expect how long and how bad are the consequences for carrying on in the process.

Possibly, many defendants might acknowledge the ill-behavior if the definition of the case is not that damaging: Kind of trade-off issue in time, energy, cost… in order to get on with their lives.

The court should be the last resort for most cases, as is the custom in other types of liability cases of safety, health and financial charges.

Let’s tackle this multi-billion business by the horns.

Any educated person and those who experienced the harrowing process can suggest a taxonomy of family violence. This is a worth it endeavor in the right direction.

Frankly, if the definitions are operational and detailed, I don’t see why a few police officers in the precinct are not trained to explain to the person filing charges what are the process, the consequences and length of time and difficulties that such a charge entails.


Is it the “human factor” behind credibility of an expert opinion?

J. Krishnamurti wrote: “If you depend on books (of the left, of the right or on sacred books), then you depend on mere opinion, whether of Buddha, of Christ, of capitalism, communism or what you will. They are ideas, not truth. A fact can never be denied. Opinion about fact can be denied. If we can discover what the truth of the matter is, we shall be able to act independently of opinion.”

The last sentence key opinion is “If we can discover what the truth…” and in my opinion, we cannot discover truth of anything: We have an idea or a feeling of what opinion means, but can we ever know what truth is?

This article is NOT about discriminating among: Fact, observation, experience, experiment, expert opinion, consensus opinion,truth… I have already published several posts on that interesting topic.  This post is about differentiating among “expert opinion” types.

We can differentiate between expert opinions delivered in court of justice and expert opinions disseminated by the “talking heads” in the news media; you know those in the rosters of the news media who are supposedly considered experts in particular political, financial, economic, or social “Hot Topics”.

Both kinds of experts earn a living from their opinions and they have a long CV of credentials, but they differ in their levels of “professionalism” and activism.

For example, the courts admit forensic experts (professional in engineering related fields) because their opinions resolve 90% of the cases before they are brought to justice:  Those expert mediators help reduce congestions and backlogs in courts.

What contribution could talking heads bring to mankind?

For example, most will agree that the expert opinions of Egyptians who are demonstrating and marching in the last two weeks, in every city  of Egypt, are far more convincing and carry higher weights and values than the opinions of Mubarak, his oligarchy, the western media, or the “moderate Arab” dictators, monarchs, theocrats, and one party regimes.

You can also agree that a forensic expert, ready to face examinations and cross-examinations in court is more convincing than a talking head opinion who is not willing to face the firing squad of a dictator for his opinions.

It boils down to the equation: “How much an expert is willing to challenge opinion takers by his actions, perseverance, activities for a cause, and versatile knowledge?”  It is a matter of “human factor” behind the opinion that makes a difference in credibility and acceptance of an expert opinion.

For example, if a community decides to have a blackout on cosmology, in learning, and pictures of planets and stars, then you can be assured that the new generation will believe as Facts that earth is the center of the universe, that the sun revolves around earth, and that earth is evidently FLAT.  The horrifying part of my conjecture is:  “It is very easy to test it“.

What we already know for facts are related to institutions transmitting these facts on a consistent basis.

Institutions, even oral customs for educating children in communities with dying languages, are purposely established to disseminate consensus opinions by the standing power that is running the community.

Professional organizations in all fields of leaning and practices are examples of institutions with objectives of  keeping alive opinions agreed upon to be facts.

Professional organizations and institutions are the last defensive barriers or bastions against the onslaught of paradigm shifts in the fields of knowledge.

Even personal experiences are not immune to changes and to be revisited, as life progresses in varied experience and knowledge:  Experiences that were considered to leave landmark impacts on our impressions, our views, and opinions could be toned down later on, and even literally forgotten. And vice versa with personal experiences that were not judged of much impact in matter of lasting impressions and effects.

Anyone who believes that facts are “stand alone” truths (not in a legal sense) is missing the powerful reality of how life processes can change and alter most of everything, in our knowledge and sets of facts and opinions.

In general, it is the youth and the lazy in the mind who hold absolute conviction in their positions and opinions.

Statistics are not facts and are not neutral:  They are funded and backed by interested parties.

Statistics are fundamentally biased, no matter how “scientifically conducted” the technique is claimed.   You have to realize that the scientific community has set up rigorous rules and set of regulations on how to conduct “peer-reviewed” experiments or research.

Basically, a consensus opinion among the majority of the professionals who have standing power established the scientific procedures and rules to claim which results are facts.

Not only the design of the experiment has to be satisfactory, but the procedures and processes of running the experiment, collecting data, and controlling the confounding variables that may affect the results.  You have to use a statistical computer package to statistically analyze the data, which means you have to agree that the mathematical model is representative of the intended research, you have to take account of the level of significance relative to the seriousness of research, and then you have interpretations that are expert opinions in the final analysis. 

Tell me, how many research can pass all these stringent guidelines in order to claim that the results express facts?

There is a controversy for selecting the 5% significance level to claim that results cannot deny the hypothesis to be very plausible.  It appears that the notion of level of significant is very complex and demanding that researchers include a section explaining their selection of level of significance would be troublesome.

What if the “Claim is extraordinary”, wouldn’t it require extraordinary evidences?  We know that the most dangerous and important events are those falling at the extreme end of the bell-shaped probability:  Thus, if the claim is extraordinary then, the level of significance should be in the 1% range and a special section in the research paper must explain it.

All it takes is a biased step in the experiment in order to have doubt on a proclaimed fact.

Who is to investigate every experiments?

What profession can claim to have the means and the will to double-check the procedures of every experiment or repeat the experiment with an independent team of researchers?  In that case, it is a matter of expert opinions, even if the results were supposed to be accepted as facts.

If you cause is to support the rights of people, you better test again the methods used to taking the statistics and formulate your own framework for controlling the variability.

No facts come the easy way; and they are not “stand alone” immutable facts that time and effort cannot alter. It takes purposeful efforts, time, and determination to untangle complex interactions among human associations.

Facts are the work of willing people in their drive to change current opinions and consensus that disfavor the majority of people in their survival and dignity.

Someone commented on Krishnamurti quote saying: “My view is that all books are written from a point of view, movies are worse, but books telling us about Christ, Buddha, Krishna… Teachings were not written by them, so there’s truth in their teachings but the books can add or delete some views.” This comment is confusing and not standing up properly; since when teachings, not written by the concerned people, may harbor truth, particularly since teaching is a point of view? Most probably, the comment was meant to be read “so there isn’t truth in their teaching…”

Facts are too boring and uninteresting to people; besides, even when someone claims that what he stated is a fact or an observation, people do not believe him unless he shows his “credentials”, meaning that he is close to be recognized as a prophet…

People are far more interested in opinions so that discussions are heated up.

People want to communicate impressions and feeling.

People throw around pieces of facts just to start a dialogue and impress the audience.

There are no “stand alone” facts and opinions:  They are dependent on the “human factors”.

It takes bribing a “credible” eminent personality to express some hesitation to a fact and then enticing an ignorant to vehemently second the credible person for doubt to taking roots.

Professionals who disseminate falsehoods appreciate this technique and apply it consistently.

How many people have the necessary knowledge to read research studies and criticize them judiciously as appropriate for enhancing knowledge?

Who has the patience to critique every article stating that “it is based on facts”?




November 2022

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