Monday, January 31, 2011

JREF off topic

This is an open thread for comments coming from the James Randi Forum's Amanda Knox discussion.  Its purpose to allow off topic materials to float over somewhere.

Please link to a post in the related discussion, when you start a new topic,  if you know how.  Otherwise I'll try and do it.  



halides1 said...

To the JREF commenters who come over here, my suggestion is to avoid being goaded by some of the commenters at JREF if the thread reopens. Stilicho and SPepys want to close the thread permanently, and lionking wants to move it to CT. There is no advantage in playing their game and getting nasty.

I also think that lengthy discussions of John Kercher are sometimes counterproductive because emotions run strongly. He has not said anything unique with respect to the evidence; therefore, his positions can be examined and critiqued without bringing him into it.

CD-Host said...

Hi Chris --

Your comment spurred a reaction on PMF, 2 removed Most communities quickly regard threads on 9/11, Bigfoot, moon landing hoaxes, homeopathy, anti-Semitism, and other kook stuff to be irrelevant and will just warn, suspend, or ban people who can't do anything except regurgitate nonsense and waste bandwidth. They certainly don't engage them as the JREF typically does. full context

I'd respond the whole point of the James Randi movement is to address these sorts of issues. That's what it exists for. A place where those sort of issues get critiqued in an intelligent fashion.

I'd also comment that while a small percentage of people believing in any one of these specific things in a focused way, a huge percentage of people believing in these things in a collective way. So for example Randi is going after liberal pet causes like anti-vaccination.


In terms of your comment directly, this thread seems to be subjected to much harsher moderation than others. On the other threads the conversation goes where the conversation goes. So for example a thread that started on Mac virus has moved over to a question of what is fundamentally signified by the term "Unix", a much more interesting topic but one completely unrelated to the practical concerns of the original poster.

I guess I'd open the conversation up more. Given how heavy handed the moderation is on this thread, is JREF the right place to host it? Might something like your blog be a better place?

CD-Host said...

As far as John Kercher specifically I think we need to fork to some extent the criminal case from the civil case from the political case.

In terms of the criminal case, he doesn't play much role. I agree, he parrots Mignini. For the criminal side we are looking at an obsessed prosecutor playing way over the line, and the two sides of his enablement: a permissive judge who likes to fill in prosecutorial holes with WAGs and a police force that goes along.

In terms of the civil case John Kercher a primary. That one hasn't attracted as much English language attention but it might later, and there is no way he's not going to come up. Mignini / Maresca have essentially put John Kercher into a situation where if AK & RS are not convicted he is likely to be bankrupt because he'll owe Maresca the fees. I think discussing the fact that Kercher is now all-in on RS is worth discussing because it influences his ability to evaluate the evidence. If RS is not guilty, he's broke. Not too much interesting to say there.

In terms of the political case, he is a definitely a primary. He's the face of the argument that organizations like FOA are morally illegitimate. Mignini's goal was to make the case that there is no significant difference between Amanda Knox and Charles Manson. The people who believe this nonsense quite openly say they believe it out of love and respect for the Kerchers. The whole reason that groups like PMF believe their formation of a hate cult directed at a child honors Meredith's memory is because John Kercher said as much.

Political debates are nasty because their frequently is just competing rights. John Kercher wants to mourn his daughter in peace. Not only did he lose a child, which is devastating, he lost her in a brutal heart wrenching way; and regardless of what theory of the murder you believe a senseless way. For him to be able to put this behind him, is something everyone wishes for. And that very human, very natural, wonderful empathetic sense is why there is support in places like England to murder 2 innocent kids.

CD-Host said...

So in terms of the recent suspensions and bans any idea what the charges are?

halides1 said...

I have no idea why they suspended or banned some people and not others. Puzzling

CD-Host said...

I got a hint from a mod it was over my comment regarding guilter psychology. You fundamentally stuck to the facts of the case. I didn't really understand the rules, but, I knew I was moving into a forum with lots of controversy; I guess I deserved the suspension. I do think its impossible to talk there, I'd like to move to another forum and I think JREF wants the traffic way down.

I'm kinda enjoying IIP. A wish there was more traffic but at least no censorship.

As far as the actual mechanisms, JREF stinks at discipline. Internet sites in general are getting very casual with disciplinary actions. The banning policy is extremely unwise, lifetime bans are a terrible idea for a forum that wide open see meaball wiki:lifetime ban. They can't enforce it so what's the point?

Kaosium said...

That was a nice comparison between Gilmore's and Knox's statements. I hadn't had a chance to read the whole thing yet, it was touching. I can't blame Maresca for walking out now, he must know Amanda is innocent, especially the way he jumped up like he had a liquid fart when they wanted to take the knife apart. Maybe he knew he wouldn't be able to keep his composure. There's a line in Dempsey's book where one of Amanda's sisters says they saw Mignini outside the courtroom tear up when Amanda gave his closing statement or somesuch. It was claimed it was just water or something. Probably was, but you never know.

My suspension was 'officially' for my post to the surfer about Machiavelli, 'trying to derail the thread' (?) but oftentimes when they make those decisions they just grab one of the AAH posts and tack whatever they want onto it. Three days is hardly onerous, thus I count my blessings. I'd like to know how Lionking danced through the raindrops like that though. Methinks there was a message being sent in the composition of the suspensions.

Currently I'm over at:

It's a decent board with some resources handy, trial transcripts and the like. I get the impression it's a younger crowd.

Malkmus from JREF is there and a few leaners both ways and some who've figured it out. There's at least a couple PMFers there, two of the nicer ones it seems. I get the impression they *really* want me to go away and might be keeping better track of my suspension than I do. :P

Nice place to work out a few thoughts though, with the materials right at hand.

CD-Host said...

Methinks there was a message being sent in the composition of the suspensions.

I would agree. Well JREF got unbalanced and one of the bans was for a guilter. Maybe they want to restore balance. Or maybe they just want to flush the thread.

I might try insessiontrials. It may be that by the time I joined JREF they were just beyond the tolerance point.