Thursday, September 27, 2018

WaPo: "How Christine Blasey Ford Used Science To Defend Her Allegations"

I can never figure out how to link to these videos on the right hand side of the Post's front page...but Ford didn't "use science." She, rather, gestured at some bullshit about norepinephrine and the chemistry of memory formation...none of which was at all relevant to answering the question.
   Now Corey Booker is unctuously pontificating semi-soto-voce... Jesus Christ...this guy...
   Ford and her lawyers aren't helping their case thus far, IMO...but I try not to rely much on such impressionistic stuff.
   Mitchell's demeanor inspires confidence, IMO.

[Oh, man, now Kamala Harris... Not making it easy to stay neutral...]
[Jeez...she got even worse.]


Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

If only we had a legal organization that has the expertise and experience to investigate these various claims and give us a good indication of which are credible and which are not.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

Wait, not relevant? The point was that there is a physiological explanation for certain details of traumatic experiences being burned into the memory; one doesn’t have to understand the explanation to understand this point. It is relevant because otherwise the selectivity of her memory would lack an explanation. And we have warrant for believing her explanation, inasmuch as (i) she is a research psychologist and so probably has good knowledge of basic neurophysiology and (ii) it can be checked.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I doubt that we know much about the neurochemistry of the stuff. If she'd have just said "it's common for trauma victims to remember some things clearly and some things not at all" (just like everybody else, tho...) that would have been one thing. The chemical flourish seemed like BS to me, and possibly even an attempt to invoke her alleged expertise to illegitimately bolster the credibility of her testimony.

Also: it seems to me like there's always a story about how whatever the alleged victim says, it's consistent with the trauma of sexual assault. Memory too fuzzy? No problem. Memory too clear? Also no problem...

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

Actually Winston, there is a fair amount know about neurophysiological and neurochemical reactions to stress/trauma.
Here is one such study:
There are several similar linked studies on the right side. Quite a bit has been learned over the past 20 years or from combat vets.
So while she may have been speaking in a jargon-y way, she was not mis-characterizing the expected physiological response.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I just don't buy that it was in any way a relevant response. The relevant level of description was the functional level: trauma victims commonly remember things like such-and-so. I don't see any way around the point that the chemistry was gratuitous. I suppose you might argue that she's just such a nerd that she thinks in those terms and can't help herself...but it didn't come across like that, either.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

Didn't really think about it in much detail to be honest. It just wasn't a salient thing to me.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, it really rubbed me the wrong way...too much so, undoubtedly... But, as I've said, on a purely subjective level: there's just something about Ford that I don't like. I don't trust such reactions, and I try to shove them to the side...but something about her demeanor screamed BULLSHIT to me.

Kavanaugh, however, as I've said, didn't exactly distinguish himself in my eyes either, on a subjective level.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

DJ, I watched that again, and that gratuitous pseudo-chemistry was bullshit.

Feinstein: "How are you so sure that it was he?"

Ford: "Just the levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine..."...bullshit bullshit bullshit...

Answer remained unanswered...but the whiff of science is now upon it.

6:44 AM  

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