Guns of Infinity



I don’t see why anybody would think to themselves: “If this incredibly rich and widely beloved celebrity with tons of money and connections can get away with this horrible crime, then I with my middle class job can totally do so as well.”

One could make the argument that people without power are also likely to commit sexual assault, since the main reason people do so is to feel like they have power over another person. We hear about powerful people doing it more often because the media loves to focus on them.

It’s funny how the injustice of sexual assault angers you, but not the injustice of someone being arrested and thrown in prison (where there’s a good chance they will be sexually assaulted, beaten, murdered, or some combination of the three) for a horrible crime they never committed. Which one is worse, I wonder? Real sexual assault may happen more often, but that doesn’t mean other less common but equally-if-not-more horrific things should be dismissed.

You do realize that someone could easily flip that logic around and use it to say that we should ignore crimes against (insert ethnic group here) because crimes against another group are far more common?


Because the powerful attract emulation, and people generally don’t stop to consider every angle when they’re deciding on a course of action?

You could, and it certainly happens, but generally speaking sexual assault is used to reinforce an existing feeling of superiority. It requires the attacker to make themselves vulnerable which someone unsure about their power relationships is unlikely to do.


If we’re going after what I said I am completely unsympathetic to, it’s this:

I have no sympathy at all for “It’s complicated.”

No, it’s not complicated. Either a) she consented, b) you’re not sure if she consented, c) you’re sure she didn’t consent.

Anything other than A being verboten is simple.

If we’re talking the rest of it, I’m more concerned with the institutional problems than being able to find examples that women facing that is not the only problem. I’m very unsympathetic to brushing aside whether or not (group) faces institutional problems, because institutional problems undermine far more than just Alice - or even “just” Alice, Betty, and Carol.


Not to change the subject, but I have ascended to the next level of Faith in the Holy Red Order of Saint Paul. I have committed a tithe of 2$ monthly.

(Yes it is measly, and yes I should have done it a long time ago, but cut me some slack. Moneys tight, I’m a college student living on a student journalists salary.)


And the odds of Saint Paul the Writer contributing stuff for all of us just went up a little bit.


Curious question regarding the antipathy towards ‘mob justice’. I don’t disagree that it’s not a good thing, mind you. But doesn’t the jury system lend itself to exactly that? I’m assuming most senior judges can remove their emotions from a case simply because you have to get numb to the emotional aspects of criminal cases or break down after a while. But most average people, myself certainly included, seem more likely to decide based on emotions rather than fact.

Case in point, Donald Trump. Apparently a majority of US American voters didn’t care for facts. Speaking of which, doesn’t democracy predispose ‘mob justice’? If all power descends from the people and all that. They voted Trump, he loads the Supreme Court with hardliners whenever he can and it all goes downhill from there.

Or I could point to OJ Simpson who was found both guilty and not guilty of the same crime. Isn’t that kind of the same as being found not guilty in a criminal court and then ruined by social justice warriors on Twitter anyway?


Personally, I think even judges are not immune to personal and political biases. I’m very skeptical of the ability of any judicial system staffed by humans to uphold the law “fairly and impartially” (and even those are subjective standards), especially since laws are also written by humans, in a way which cannot account for every relevant instance, which is why we have other humans (lawyers, jurors, and magistrates) to interpret them.

I think this recent trend of regarding both legal and lawmaking institutions as being institutionally biased as a good one, but I’m not sure I have a good answer for how to fix this. Trying to correct for it in the courtroom means setting precedents which will likely eventually become outdated, while simply ignoring them reinforces those biases as “the way things are done in these parts”.

This might be ideological bias here, but it’s not the “SJWs” I’m worried about.


I won’t disagree with you there. I think it’s pretty obvious that my faith in humanity as a whole is pretty much nonexistent. I just figure that if my TV breaks I don’t get 20 people off the street to figure out how to fix it. I get a professional. Someone who knows what they’re doing. And I realize this is a bad comparison but I couldn’t resist the image of 20 random pedestrians crowding around a broken TV.

Sadly, with the way legislatures work I fear the laws will always lag behind the times. Unless you’re infringing on the profits of someone with a lobby or tax revenues. Then the system is coming for you. I’ve never seen anything curtailed as quickly as vaping for example. Seeing as it hurt both big tobacco and tax revenues.


True, judges are trained to render impartial judgments, and jurors, theoretically, are supposed to be the same, but both magistrate-based and jury-based systems assume that biases can be entirely divorced from a person’s decision-making process, which isn’t necessarily the case.

There’s no simple solution to this (even with robots, since a biased human’s going to have to engineer Justicetron 9000’s machine learning system).


I think it comes down to education. The ability to procure information, understand it and put it into context. If everyone on a jury was possessed of these qualities I’d have more faith in their ability to render a fair verdict.

But if a proper popular education was so easily achieved we wouldn’t still be struggling with illiteracy in the first world. Never mind people for whom Facebook or Twitter are their primary source of information. And our grandparents thought TV would make everyone stupid.


The problem is that critical thinking and the idea of placing information in context isn’t immediately employable, and thus, is not only relegated to higher education (which often means a vast majority of the population can’t afford to access it) and even then is considered part of the much-maligned “Liberal Arts Program”. Frankly, I think this is the sort of stuff which should be taught in high school.


It should. Admittedly I have no point of reference there. The German school system is vastly different. We have three tiers of primary education. Depending on your grades and the teachers’ impressions in Elementary school you get a recommendation to go either Popular School (ends after ninth grade after which people nominally progress to 3 years of vocational school and apprenticeship), Practical School (ends after 10th grade after which you’re qualified to enter technical college) and what the English call Grammar School (ends at 12th grade and prepares you for proper college. I’m a product of the latter and did exit school with those traits to some extent but it wasn’t until I got a job and met people outside that rarefied air that I truly realized that this wasn’t normal. Just like it confusingly enough wasn’t normal for people to care about history (‘Holy Roman Empire? I think I’ve heard of that before…’).

Which is to say, I can see your point but again, I lack the frame of reference because I was taught just that in my highschool time.


I’m not sure that critical thinking is really what we are relying on the jury for. The critical thinking really needs to be handled by the prosecution. Their job is to prove beyond an reasonable doubts 12 different people specifically down selected from a larger group by both legal teams to eliminate bias. The judge’s job is primarily to limit the evidence the jury is considering to only those things that were legally obtained. I though at least my experience with a federal court was that a pretty good job was done to tip the scales in favor of the defense and to reinforce the sobriety of the jury’s job.


On the contrary, you have twelve theoretically unbiased people who two highly trained and highly intelligent legal teams are trying to persuade. While neither prosecution or defense can outright fabricate evidence, they can certainly present that evidence in a context which favours their narrative, a practise which I am keenly familiar with as a historian, and one which a lot of “normal people” seem to have a problem seeing through.


No offense intended to the guys in this thread but I found the past 60 posts or so about the Weinstein et scandal all to be off-point and discussing the wrong focus.

What we are seeing happening is a see of change, meaning that culturally in America we are at a point of no return. This is what the focus should be because, like past points where the genies were released, things going forward will be different for all of us.

As of this moment, 50+ years of past harms are being aired out across all industries and all aspects of society. There is going to be drama and such - like collaboration in World War 2 in the Axis allied countries, these “facts” and such were whispers and tales told in cigar rooms - “facts” like Moore stalking the Mall in Alabama that all the locals knew and know today but were never dared acknowledged before.

Once this phase is over (and it will be a few years before it is) the way these things are handled will be forever dealt with differently then what it was in the past. This is what is important to discuss and understand.

I’d join the discussion on juries but it would feel like too much of an attack, so I’m going to pass on that for now.


I mean the judge is there to prevent the information from being delivered in a speculative or “nonfactual” way. Even the questions to the witnesses aren’t allowed to be leading. One thing I really liked about the military justice system was the Panel’s right to question the witnesses as well.

I don’t think critical thinking is really the right words here. Really the only thing you are asked to bring is your conscience and experience. You should never reach a conclusion that wasn’t spelled out for you as a juror.

In any event I’m not sure there is really an alternative. I personally left the court satisfied that I’d be willing to face the same justice if situations were reversed.


I lied. I will say one thing on the jury discussion.

At least in the civilian law classes I’ve audited and have taken, the professors teach that the whole foundation of the American jury system is to come to the conclusion that is deemed “right” even if the jury decided to ignore everything from judge instructions to physical evidence.


Actually this is a grand comparison. Both history and court proceedings often deal a lot in constructs and theories based on supposition derived from a patchwork of sources.

And to drive home the point one of my favourite books supposes that 300 years of history (from roughly 600 to 900) never existed and Carolus Magnus was invented to create a fake historical precedent for Otto the Great becoming Emperor of the HRE. Author Heribert Illig’s chain of evidence is eerily accurate reading the book while his critics suggest that he’s distorting facts and leaving things out. Sounds like pleading a case to me.


I’m fully aware of that. The problem is that I have no academic background in law, criminology, or gender studies, so I’m hardly qualified to discuss what those changes will look like.

Not that this stops historians and pseudo-historians, who tend not to spell out theses until their chosen facts have been presented and the reader has already felt like they’ve half-figured out the conclusion themselves.

The last bit, the “speculative” bit, is almost redundant in that sense.


I’m a cynic at heart, and I’d love to share your enthusiasm. But.

This might just be a bubble. It might yet lose its momentum and things might go back to The Way They Were Before. Other issues such as race relations seem to ebb and flow, there’s no telling this might not go the same way.