Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Are you truly surprised?

The Raw Story | Documents prove FBI has national eavesdropping program that tracks IMs, emails and cell phones

Money shot:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been routinely monitoring the e-mails, instant messages and cell phone calls of suspects across the United States -- and has done so, in many cases, without the approval of a court.

And now juxtapose: Judges can still punish acquitted defendants - Los Angeles Times

Money shot from that:

The Supreme Court declined Monday to reconsider a legal rule that might surprise most Americans: Judges can punish defendants for certain crimes even after a jury has acquitted them of those charges.
In recent years, the justices have described the right to jury trial as one of the bedrock principles of American law. At the same time, they have been unwilling to say that a jury's not-guilty verdict on some charges means the defendant cannot be punished. Instead, the court has said judges may take into account "acquitted conduct" when they decide on a prison term.

Let me address that second article first. Acquitted conduct means conduct a jury acquitted you of. As in, the jury ruled that they did not believe to a sufficient level under the constitution and law to convict and hence as far as American legal tradition is concerned, IT IS NOT CONSIDERED TO HAVE HAPPENED IN THE EYES OF THE COURT. Only things you are actually NOT acquitted of happened. If the jury acquits you, it did not happen, they cannot retry you (generally) for that charge again under the double jeopardy rule.

So conduct that our legal tradition says did not happen can now get you a prison sentence anyhow.

Nice end run around double jeopardy, huh? The right to a jury trial is now no impediment. Even if they fail to convict, they need only convince the judge to sentence you as if you were convicted.

Now then refer to the first subject. The FBI is now feeling free to conduct surveillance at will WITHOUT ANY ORDER AT ALL.

They say corruption proceeds from the top down. The people learn it from the rulers. This is how great civilizations collapse. The corruption of the powerful and in charge breeds contempt for the structures the corrupt represent. Without respect for those structures, the society which forms around those structures cannot stand.

Our courts, our executive, and our legislative are all on a feeding frenzy of self-aggrandizement and empowerment at our expense and will bring the police powers of the state to bear against we people at will.

OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE... NEXT ELECTION, VOTE EVERYONE OUT AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION. AND FORCE THEM TO EXPLAIN THEIR UNELECTED APPOINTMENTS UNTIL THEY SCREAM FOR MERCY. This government belongs to us, not "them". We are slowly losing our freedoms regardless of which side wins elections. How sad is it that the once great USA's system can no be fairly covered with a tag line from Aliens Versus Predator 2?

"Whoever Wins, We Lose"

Astronomy Picture of the Day