This is a bio for my tumblr. It tells you things about me. I'm an age & living in a place & tumblr is for all the things that make me smile & laugh.
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”
powerful Black Science Man
“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.
I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.
he wasn’t really thrown out for being able to do math; he was thrown out for trying to eliminate jury bias. if a judge says ‘1700’ rather than ‘1.7’ then it sounds like it’s a lot more than it is. even if they add the ‘milli-’ prefix, most people won’t know what it means or won’t hear it and all they hear is ‘1700’ and ‘cocaine’ and immediately they’re biased to put the guy away
it’s a marketing strategy as well, but it’s shit that they’re doing that in court, especially for something - as tyson says - that weighs less than a dime
Probably not, partly because I am still recovering from meningitis and so the thought of doing anything out of bed is a bit overwhelming, but also for other reasons. I worry this makes me a totally humorless party pooper, but…
ALS is a terrible disease and there isn’t enough research money devoted to it. Raising money for ALS research is important, and while some people complain that the whole ice bucket challenge thing is mere slacktivism, the ALS Association has raised millions of dollars it otherwise wouldn’t have raised. And that’s great. This has been an extremely successful campaign, and I think it’s wonderful.
That said, I have mixed feelings about tying fundraising (or awareness campaigns) to stuff like the ice bucket challenge. Here’s the question: Why are we raising money for ALS instead of raising money for pediatric cancer research or food aid or for domestic violence shelters?
I feel like the answer to that question ought to be, “We’re raising money for ALS because ALS research is underfunded and can benefit from these resources,” not, “We’re raising money for ALS because the ice bucket challenge is a thing on the Internet right now.” If our philanthropy is dictated only by what happens to bubble up to the surface of the Internet’s consciousness, we’re not making careful choices about how to distribute our limited resources.
And when it comes to charity, everyone has limited resources. Whether you give $5 or $5,000,000 a year to charities, there will always be good causes you cannot fund. So you need a very good answer to the question, “Why did you donate to X and Y?” because there will always be a Z—a very worthy Z—to which you did not donate.
This is not meant in any way to diss those who’ve participated in the ice bucket challenge: it’s an important cause and it has been tremendously successful. And I certainly don’t want to strip the joy of giving and sharing from charity. Sarah and I are just focused on trying to make sure our giving is driven by need and the opportunity to create lasting change.
Totally agree with john green about this. Not about the meningitis part. Just the general conversation around charitable giving ect.
- Good morning.
- You look beautiful.
- Your outfit is hella cute.
- Your hair smells good.
- Nice butt.
- You’re sexy.
- Good job.
- You’re smart.
- Keep going.
- Stay strong.
- Bon appetit.
- You have great music taste.
- Your blog is flawless.
- I love you.
- Good night.
It’s my nephews birthday today! Unfortunately i don’t think it’s warm enough for swimming, but I’m excited to see them along with my brother @mjboppski, his fiancé Jenn and Noah and the whole crew!