Technology And Social Trust

People working in criminal law have been saying for years that Hollywood’s portrayal of forensic evidence has made it more difficult to prosecute criminals. They call it the “CSI Effect” named after a TV police drama. It is where jurors demand comprehensive forensic evidence, which effectively raises the burden of proof in criminal cases. Instead of eye witness testimony placing a suspect at the crime scene, jurors now expect physical evidence and testimony from an expert on the use of DNA to identify the suspect.

There’s no data to support this observation, but it is something that gets said a lot on TV, so everyone believes it. The increased expectation of what science can do has effectively raised the standard of proof. Another way to look at this is better technology has lowered the standard of trust. It used to be that people could trust themselves to judge the testimony of a witness. They could count on citizens being honest to them. Now, they want physical proof before taking the word of anyone in criminal court.

Of course, now that people in the legal system think this phenomenon is true, they operate on the assumption that no one will take anyone’s word for anything. That means the state invests in high tech forensic labs and pays a lot of experts to testify to jurors in criminal trials about the physical evidence. On the other side, the defense thinks simply being innocent is not enough, so they require experts and private labs to both provide an objective denial of guilt, as well as a counter to the state’s battery of experts.

It is a great example of how new technology can have unexpected results when introduced into a complex system like the criminal justice system. The underlying assumption of our system is that regular citizens can weigh the evidence and decide the guilt or innocence of the accused. Now the assumption is no one can weigh the evidence, other than specially trained experts. Technology has conjured into reality the idea of the fair witness from Stranger in a Strange Land.

The courtroom is not the only place where technology is causing us to lose faith in our senses. The advent of the hyperlink has made it so that any controversial assertion on-line is assumed to be false if it does not have a link to an authoritative source. In every on-line community you see demands for links to authoritative sources, whenever there is a dispute over something. These appeals to a neutral authority correspond to a decline in the lack of trust between people. It’s not true unless you have a link.

Something similar may be happening in the news. Take the Jussie Smollett incident in Chicago. Exactly no one believed him, because there was no video and no corroboration from a neutral technology source, like a cell phone camera. As soon as the cops revealed they could not find confirmation on their surveillance cameras, everyone just assumed it must be a hoax. There were plenty of doubters to begin with, given the number of prior hoaxes, but even the gullible are now expecting proof from technology.

The proliferation of cameras and now listening devices on public streets means it is increasingly difficult to do anything without being seen. Even if that is not true, it is assumed to be true. That means if there is no video, it did not happen. It also means if there is no video, there is no investigation, as the cops will soon figure out that it is waste of time to investigate crimes unless you can get video. The criminal mastermind of the future will be the guy who figures out how to avoid being identified by CCTV.

Another way the proliferation of technology changes social trust is seen on the college campus. In order to avoid being accused of rape, males now tape their interactions with coeds. They may have a buddy record audio so they can prove the encounter was consensual. Young people are growing up to expect everything to be recorded and to not trust anyone unless they can see video or hear audio. People mock the idea of getting consent in writing, but that’s probably better than everyone taping their encounters.

The other side of this coin is the casual way in which people allow themselves to be recorded by others. Every internet drama seems to involve one party publishing chats, video or audio of another party. Super villain Jeff Bezos is an obvious example. He broke the cardinal rule of super villains. Never write when you can speak. Never speak when you can nod. Most important, never send pics of you wiener to people. He was cavalier about being recorded and now is the world’s silliest super villain.

The result of all this is two things. One is the total lack of privacy. The only place that will be safe for anyone to imagine bad things is in their own head. When the internet of things is quietly spying in every home, car and public place, there will no longer be the concept of privacy. Imagine a land where there are no walls and no clothes. Everyone walks around naked and in full view of everyone else. It sounds crazy, but people adapt. The citizens of the future custodial state will get used to a word without privacy.

The other thing is no one will take anyone’s word for anything. This will include people in authority. If you can’t trust your own senses, you’re unlikely to trust the senses of some guy on television claiming to be your leader. Civic duty will have to be replaced with some form of coercion. Perhaps nudge technology will reach a point where the nudged will think they are acting of their own free will. Maybe the people in charge will fit everyone with a WiFi enabled technology collar that ties them into the internet of things.

It is assumed that technological advance always improves the material world. It certainly seems that way. It’s possible, however, that the trade-off for technological advance is the decline in social trust, maybe even a decline in empathy. In order for these new technologies to thrive, people have to abandon their ability to share the feelings of others and maybe even abandon their sense of self. The future will be a world of indifferent automatons, living in glass houses, under the eye of the state.

108 thoughts on “Technology And Social Trust

  1. Technology didn’t create the low trust society. Technology validated what most people already believed to be true: humans are liars, by nature. Yes, there are genuinely good and virtuous people. But the Gen-Xer in me is the cynical one, and I’ve met way too many people in my life who are nothing short of f&*$ing contemptible liars to believe it’s not a significant percentage of the population.

    The kids today have a phrase, “pictures, or it didn’t happen”. That started off as a joke meaning that it didn’t “really” happen unless you plastered it all over social media. But, it has evolved into somewhat of a truism: if you really did it, then you probably have a picture of it somewhere. That’s just the shifting nature of the culture. I never had security cameras on my house until some local teens decided to vandalize our home for the 5th time in 3 months. I got them on film, and put their pictures up on the mailboxes around the neighborhood that said, “IS THIS YOUR KID?” I also posted the pictures on Facebook and other places I know my own kids frequent.

    Haven’t had a problem since then, and that was 8 months ago.

    My wife got hit-and-run in her brand new Acura 2 years ago. She was in the store, and had parked 10-15 spaces away from all other cars. So, somebody cutting across the lot must have tagged the car. $3,000 damage. Of COURSE that lying, dishonest, sack of shit ran off. Sadly, the store security cameras did not capture it. Did the security cameras create a low trust society. Or, do we have a sick culture where smashing into somebody’s brand new car means “RUN FOR IT”?

    The issue isn’t the technology eroding trust. The issue is needing security because society is collapsing all around us. People aren’t suddenly requiring proof where they accepted somebody’s word before. People are requiring proof because before the technology they had NO OTHER CHOICE but to take that lying sack of excrement’s word for it.

    Technology simply turns on the light in a dark room to reveal what is already there. And it ain’t pretty.

    • “Technology didn’t create the low trust society. Technology validated what most people already believed to be true…” There’s that, sure. Somewhat along those lines, I think what tech and social media have done is, in effect, put all of us in a room together. It’s made the maxim “familiarity breeds contempt” painfully, inescapably real. Anyway try not to blow a gasket Hokkoda.

  2. You’ve got the CSI Effect backwards. It has primarily made it very easy to convict people because all the State has to say is “we have forensic evidence” and that ends the debate, no matter how shoddy, flawed, fabricated, pseudoscientific, etc. that evidence really is.

    It is quite easy for our Anarco-tyrannical state to convict almost anyone for a crime, regardless of actual guilt.

  3. Hollywood’s portrayal of reality does affect law enforcement to its detriment- that’s easily seen by “automatic weapons” as portrayed in movies & TV, where every two-bit crook has a machine gun with endless bullets to shoot up the 7-11, in contrast to reality where automatic weapons are very seldom used in crime; legally owned full-auto weapons virtually never. Yet a great many people seem to think that full-auto guns are used all the time, because that’s what they see on TV; in the same way, people expect instant “proof” from “experts” like on CSI.

    Heinlein’s “fair witness” doesn’t fit here though. They didn’t weigh the evidence, but only provided it. “A fair witness is an individual trained to observe events and report exactly what he or she sees and hears, making no extrapolations or assumptions.” They were a source of information, they didn’t discuss it or give expert opinions, they just stated what they had seen.

    Most observers don’t actually see what they think they see. In college many years ago I had a Psychology professor who demonstrated it thusly: at the beginning of class he busily set up a projector, at the front of the class and in full view of everyone. He went in & out of the classroom fetching items from a cart outside; he spoke to many of the students. Finally, he was all set up & told the students to pay close attention to the film, as he’d be asking questions about it afterward. Then he started the film & went out of the classroom.

    The film was all about perception. It showed different witnesses to an automobile crash testifying to what they’d seen: some saw the crash very different to others, and most got essential details (like the color of the cars, their speeds & who crashed into who) completely wrong. When it had finished, the professor came back into the room- wearing shorts and a T-shirt!

    On the chalkboard he put down what each of us remembered of his attire before he’d walked out. Not one of us out of some 30 students remembered his clothing correctly, and most of us (including me) were way off. Our recollections were inaccurate, as eyewitnesses often are.

    This is well-known in psychology, and today there’s a Selective Attention Test demonstrating that point, known as “The Invisible Gorilla.”

  4. Between the dictatorship of technology and the technology of dictatorship, Man no longer finds a crack through which he can slip away.

    -Don Colacho

  5. The state of Virginia spent millions of dollars to provide faked evidence during the Fields trial, and probably the others that would charged in other trials. The negro that attacked whites as they were leaving received next to no punishment while those who defended themselves from him received years in prison for “malicious wounding”, the judge disallowing pleas of self defense.

  6. The blame for loss of trust lies with poor education (intentional or otherwise), not technology. All these supposedly novel cases of “people behaving badly” due to technology are just modern examples of the same old “people behaving badly” that has been documented since the time of Adam and Eve. But, “educators” no longer teach history and literature, which is where young people used to learn about the consequences of “behaving badly.”

  7. The really frightening thing is the rapid change to the underlying basis of trust. Trust was formerly based on personal relationships or respect for certain professions (doctors or police officers). Soon, you will not be worthy of trust unless you have many thousands of followers or a blue check mark on Twitter. Trust will be crowd sourced and no longer rely on a personal assessment of honesty, reliability, intelligence etc. Absent a massive social following, your opinions and statements of fact will be deemed unworthy of consideration. You will be merely a living ghost haunting the fringes of others’ perception, little better than an annoyance.

    • Perhaps, but one might think of it in another way. I, as a single human being, am more probable to err on the side of trust when trust is not warranted for any particular individual or reported event. However, I and several hundred other folk, some of whom I may have trust relationships with myself, are probably less likely to err in the aggregate. To me, that’s not a bad thing.

    • Twitter is dying. Instead trust will revert to personal relationships only

      Longer time frame, its back to tribes and clan which means modernity bites it and the best you can manage is everywhere is Yemen

  8. “Take the Jussie Smollett incident in Chicago. Exactly no one believed him…”

    because people have begun to recognize the pattern established by several years of high profile hoaxes committed by certain groups of perpetual grievance mongers.

    2am on a weekday
    Negative 20 degrees
    Rednecks terrorizing the north side of Chicago? (LOL)
    Rednecks also apparently watch the TV show he’s on and know him well enough to identify on sight… at 2am when it’s negative 20 degrees (double LOL)
    Accuser is half black half Jewish in the era of peak victim profiteering who is refusing to fully cooperate with police.

    I understand your overall point but this isn’t a good example to illustrate it.

    • Agree. Z could have done without wedging in the Jussie thing to illustrate his point. But aside from that, he’s right. When the news started talking about how there’s no video evidence, it made me uneasy too. Yes, there’s lots of cameras around, but they’re not literally everywhere. By the way, months ago, many people argued that Kat Timpf was surely lying about being harassed at a bar by Lefties. Why? Because there was no camera footage.

  9. One of the major issues with trust in American society today is the exposure of so many of our government institutions as hopelessly corrupt. The Obama admin used the IRS to target conservative groups and nothing was done. AG Holder ran guns to Mexican drug cartels and nothing was done. AG Lynch conspired with Clinton to cover up her lawbreaking and nothing was done. The FBI has been corrupt since it’s founding but it’s even more glaringly obvious today. How do these institutions regain the public trust? They can’t.

    • One of the major issues with trust in American society today is the exposure of so many of our government institutions as hopelessly corrupt.

      Here are the three major issues with trust in American society today, ordered by importance:

      1) Multiculture
      2) Multiculture
      3) Multiculture

      Corrupt civil servants are a nuisance, not an existential threat.

      • “Corrupt civil servants are a nuisance, not an existential threat.” that depends on how much power they accumulate, I say they can be way more than just nuisance.

      • Those corrupt people are a tribe that wants you and I gone so they are a huge threat.

        Granted the the multiculture needs to go fast but a highly corrupt society cannot handle complexity and will revert to tribe very fast

    • One correction to the above. Holder did not initiate the gun running MX fiasco. He inherited the operation from the Bush administration. However, he did not stop the operation, nor handle the scandal well.

      • Compsci, Bush was as bad as any of our current batch of petty tyrants. Remember when, instead of infiltrating and surveilling mosques after 9/11, “W” instead signed legislation to monitor the rest of the American Public while his faithful supporters cheered? Good times.

  10. Yes, the “Hive City” is the likely end-state of the current social/political evolutionary trend. It should be noted that this transition is not being guided or forced by some evil cabal that desires a bifurcated community of elites and drones, but rather is the natural organic adaptation to this new environment. Crying “wolf” will not change that course, nor will voting or revolution. None of these things change the environment. But there is a path out of this dilemma.

    • So what is your path out?

      Anyway no modern society is having many children, its self correcting over time. Its hard to maintain a complex society without people in it

      This is assuming all the looming catastrophes that have taken a number don’t have that number come up

      Also revolutions that smash tech such as the yellow vest in France vs Speed Camera or if needed techies tend to spoil totalitarian dreams

      As East Germany learned you can make a literal 1/3 of your population into snitches as still fail.

      If future societies want our tech and outside maybe some medicine, no we don’t is a valid answer, they’ll have to control it tightly. We’ll probably get something that resembles Dune or 40K far more than anything else.

    • Evil cabal for sure
      Animals don’t import millions of hostiles and then urge their females to breed with them.

  11. Something else struck me. The banalaty of accepting evil.

    No culture, even the “barbaric” ones, accept hookup culture. They have either figured out marriage is needed or they died out.

    But what was one of your key examples? When a guy wants to “hook up”. Not even long term “living in sin” – that is what it used to be called when you were expected to be chaste until you were caught in the bonds of matrimony, holy or otherwise (sometimes with daddy and his shotgun in the back of the room).

    Technology has created this too – contraception. If it fails, we can kill the baby! STDs? Big Pharma has treatments for viruses and most of the antibiotics are still effective, so what if you become sterile.

    Just remember to record the encounter because “consent” is a messy and subjective thing and regret is common so as to be able to have proof aganst violating the commandment of bearing false witness concerning violating the one on adultery.

    We are not honest, chaste, temperate (DUI checkpoints), industrious and thrifty (usury). And we expect a different outcome? And yet all that is accepted as a given and that we can’t change?

    The alt, unauthorized, or whatever this new fight for right will fail if they wish to hold on to “just a little of the evils” that the left introduced because it seems hard to combat them as it involved cultivating the virtue which is part of the free will that was practically denied in an earlier post.

    Genes also gave me lots of muscles, but if I don’t work out or use them, they will be weaker than someone with half of what I have that regularly does weights.

    If we really wish to have Western Civilization back, we need to repent and return to the Christian culture and not tolerate (repeal the Civil Rights Act) lying, unchastity, usury, and the rest. If we try to play the game to see how much evil we can keep, we will lose. Even worse, at least a total Faustian bargain gives temporal pleasure. The petty evils will still drag you into hell, but you will still be mostly miserable here.

  12. Many cities hire immigrants to work in labs that test evidence. many immigrants come from countries that place a lower value o integrity in their culture. As time passes expect to see many cases of lab workers who were either unskilled at their job and providing inaccurate data or immigrants who were lazy and greedy and deliberately falsifying data to save themselves the time and work to complete it properly. This will result in potentially thousands of criminal cases being overturned and billions of dollars in lawsuits and diminished trust in technological evidence.

  13. Social trust and empathy is a feature of the Ice People from Northern Europe, but it’s getting beaten and pummeled from all sides. We’re getting flooded with low-trust and clannish Sun People from the Third World. At the same time, the collective IQ of Congress is rapidly declining, while their hostility for Whitey is increasing. Also, Big Tech and the banks are banishing those with dissident thought. The result of all of this is what the overlords want: a citizenry with its head down, mouth shut, and keep shopping.

    • Bad for us in the present, good for us in the long term? See it sometimes all comes out in the wash on a historical timeline. We just need to see if the path of history follows that arc.

      Can you imagine “Ice People” with the clannish nature of Africans? That is the thing when you are pushing people’s back against the wall and constantly putting more & more strain on the system. “Be careful what you wish for” isn’t a saying thought up in a vacuum. Should these people get their wish of a completely ostracized European Clan, they will woefully and immediately regret the last few decades.

      When roused to action or anger we are world bestriding conquerors and have no historical equal in this regard. So, keep pushing, you may get the downstream effects you were to myopic to anticipate. It looked sort of like this last time…

    • So very true

      The fact that wages keep declining and no one even recent immigrants is having kids must cut into the gulag shopping mall dreams of the elite.

      No money and no young new consumers is makes society less stable and a consumer society a total no go

      Its also understandable why the left wing pressure is being applied so hard, People have less to live for they have to fill the void with something

      If people were to fill it with religion any of them would regard the people in charge as evil and want them gone.

      However the Left kind of shot itself in the foot by tolerating intersectionalism . Even soft trusting Whites will only tolerate being at the bottom of the progressive stack for a little while and the constant jockeying for power in that lunatic belief system makes people more tribal

      This is why I suspect people like Jordan Peterson are being promoted, he vents a bit of steam but allows the multicultural consumer society to still exist and even promotes it

      Its not going to work though. Its fake and incoherent

      . Every human from a 68 IQ Somali on up knows tribe is truth even Whites though as people here have noted once they revert, you really won’t like the results

  14. The increased expectation of what science can do has effectively raised the standard of proof. Another way to look at this is better technology has lowered the standard of trust.

    The same is true for health or environmental issues, where you can whip up a scare with a spectrometer; suddenly the food and the air and the water are filled with chemical elements and genes and atoms and whatnot, and then the frogs turn gay.

    So unless you can account for every single molecule in your sausage, you’re suspect of selling carcinogenic hotdogs.

    • Jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams and UFOs do all the cattle mutilations. Philosophers and people who’ve never set foot on a farm before told me so.

  15. Nobody believed Jussie Smollett because his story was fantastic and unbelievable. The MAGA KKK was lurking around the streets of Chicago in the middle of a -20 night with a noose waiting for a gay black man to go for a walk?

    • The disturbing part of this episode is that it would have worked if he just didn’t play it so over the top. Even then, to the lefty side it is believable because it helps their narrative.

    • On Facebook, a buddy’s wife virtue-signaled her outrage at Smollett being attacked, and how the hatred against gays and blacks needs to end, etc. Her husband then posted that it’s likely false, and she responded that “it doesn’t matter if it’s false, because these kinds of attacks are happening all the time!”

        • MikeW, you nailed it. It “could have happened”, and that’s enough, if the proper sort of privileged person makes the claim. See Dan Rather and the GWB false papers fiasco. If those same privileged people actually did do something seriously wrong, see VA Lt. Gov. Fairfax, then they are given a pass.

          The “rule of law” is losing respect, why exactly?

      • If you go look at Kersey’s blog (SBPDL), you will see that in roughly a week after Smollett reported his nonsense claim (and received national attention and personal support from Dem front- runner presidential candidates), at least four White persons were murdered in cold blood by feral blacks. None of these White victims received a jot of coverage beyond local news, and none of their families got sympathetic tweets fro Karamel HARRIS.

        To recap: an obscure gay/black actor makes preposterous claims, and even if we believed him, the worst that ACTUALLY happened to him was, he was called naughty names and slapped around a bit. This provoked national outrage, wall-to-wall coverage, public discussion at top political levels, and even bogus legislative proposals at a federal level.

        In the very same time period, four ACTUAL White people were murdered — not slapped around, but /murdered/, these people are dead. They were all murdered by black perps, and the murders were quite clearly racially motivated. (One young White woman had her head stomped on over 40 times by an upstanding African citizen of color.)

        There was no national coverage, no outcry. Certainly no tweets from Karamel Harris. Keep in mind that prior to the fake attack, Jussie Smollett was not “famous” in any real, meaningful sense — he was a C-list minor actor on a tanking show that nobody watches. Some guy caught on YouTube urinating on a bus was more famous than Jussie Smollett, in realistic terms. So it was not a noteworthy story, except for identity politics, hysterical symbolism, fake historiography, and rabid anti-White / anti-Trump (BIRM) activism posing as news.

        Meanwhile four dead White people, all murdered due to racism, were not a story. White privilege in action.

        If you get to a rally for a Dem candidate, ask them if they know who Carlie Beaudin was, and why her murder was less important than Jussie’s sandwich.

        • Unreal City,
          Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
          A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
          I had not thought death had undone so many.
          Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
          And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

      • Wolf Barney: “…she responded that “it doesn’t matter if it’s false, because these kinds of attacks are happening all the time!”

        When Jussie finally released a statement on his blog, he emphasized how it’s not about his attack, but rather the attacks on millions of other minorities. He’d realized that his made-up story was so poorly done that even Lefties needed help with it. So he went full Bruce Jenner ESPY speech with the, “For god’s sake it’s not about ME. It’s about our pozzed brothers and sisters!”

  16. Witnesses are very unreliable – we never should have trusted them so much in the first place, especially in a multiethnic society. People are very bad at remembering things, and often are more certain of what they say than they should be.

    In 1975 Australian Donald Thompson was doing a TV interview, and then later appeared in a lineup. The woman identified him as the one who had raped her. He was *on TV* at the time of the rape. Eventually he was cleared. Turns out she had watched the program that he was on and recognized him.

    Misattribution is a big problem with eyewitness testimony. Technology has showed just how bad the old system is – how many innocent folks were declared guilty because of somebody’s poor memory (or even active malice)?

    • The shortcomings of witnesses are overblown. If you focus on Minor details and irrelevancies, you will very clearly find inaccuracies. They may think the car that hit the pedestrian was deep purple instead of royal blue, but when it comes to “what hit whom and when,” they get it right. In my humble experience of hundreds of depositions, eye witnesses will get it about 85-95% correct. They may not remember if it was April 6 or 16 when the engineer changed the plans, but they remember that the change in plans led to the roof caving in. If you focus on recalling the minutia then you will get the “unreliable” conclusion, but that is disingenuous.

      • Yes, but the anecdote in point was an eye witness ID of a perp, and that is somewhat different than a more elaborate “story” about a generalized sequence of events. This is especially true when the race of the individual is different than the perp. Cop’s will often discount such descriptions when they drag the area looking for the suspect. A “blue” jacket may mean a dark jacket, or even a shirt to a street-wise cop. Hence a lot of blow back in minority areas when so many folk are stopped and questioned.

        • Criminal lineups are not a good example for reliability of a witness’ recollection. The witness is not even relating their recollection, they are trying to match a recalled image to a group of examples. Actually interrogating the witness will be a better measure of what and how accurately they can recall facts. Claiming witnesses are unreliable because criminal lineups are of dubious reliability is false generalization from a weak special case. The Aussie case is demonstrating the fallibility of lineups, not witnesses.

  17. We went through the raised expectations thing in medicine a few decades back with all the doctor worship on TV. Nowadays it’s as if people almost expect you to make a mistake and kill them, and only the technology will save them. I like the way things are now better.

    One other thing I find remarkable is the fact that, while new technologies raise expectations in medicine, the initial results never quite live up to the expectations of the public, in part because of the hype associated with the launch of the new tech; however, with the passage of time, usually after expectations have lowered, results usually improve because of either marginal improvements in the tech, or because docs have learned to use it better, or have learned to be more selective in the use of it. By then the hype is in the past and the new normal is just the new normal.

    • Medicine is doing itself no favors, selling itself as having all the answers. “Talk to your doctor about X, Y, Z”. We’ve got some major medical problems in my immediate family and the Doctors (or ‘nurse practitioners’) are useless to clueless.

      Even simple things they get wrong.

      Doc treated ringworm with a week of antifungal drugs, then when it didn’t go away just said “keep using the cream”. Month later got into see a dermatologist who was like, yeah that would never have worked you need a month of antifungal drugs.

      If you are very sick, many docs don’t want to deal with you because you’re a hard case. They say things like ‘coordination of care’ but then never actually COORDINATE the damn care. I’m so tired of how awful medicine is.

      The worst of all is either pain management or psychiatry. Pain mgmt won’t help with pain unless you are old, and psychiatrists just throw pills at the wall to see what sticks, never mind that their pills likely caused half of the problem in the first place.

      • BadThink;
        In defense of Docs, those ‘ask your doctor’ ads are run by Big Pharma or their front groups, to create demand. To judge by their placement, the target audience is the idle elderly who have nonspecific aches and pains (which *can* be serious), the leisure to go in and do the asking and who are (mostly) not paying themselves. One reason why medicare is always broke is Big Pharma using the idle (and sick) elderly as cats paws to pick taxpayers’ pockets.

        • It’s not just the ads I speak of, though those are a part. It’s the constant refrain on medical websites “see your doctor about X” if you have these symptoms combined with these symptoms, and when we see the doctor they are clueless. We sit with these ‘experts’, and while some of them are ‘nice’, they’re pretty much robots with a white coat that look up the stuff on their little EMR systems.

          I would be happier if the Doctor would say “well there aren’t really any good treatments for X” rather than BSing around.

    • Interesting. My mother and my older brother are doctors and I don’t generally trust doctors. I was up visiting my brother at his office a few years ago when in walked the nicest pair of tits I’ve seen in a long time bringing lunch for his whole office. Who the hell is that I ask? Oh, just my pharmaceutical sales rep.

      He got sick of private practice and started working emergency rooms for some company. They apparently had a meeting with the staff and demanded a 30% admittance rate to the hospital from the emergency room. Apparently they don’t start making real money off of you until they get you admitted to a hospital.

      He had a 90+ year old women with dementia and abt 6 months left as a patient. A surgeon/cardiologist, or whatever the hell they are, talked the family in to installing a pace maker in the old lady. A cool $50,000.00 from medicare. My brother threatened to whip dude’s ass. Story after story after story.

      No offence to you, I’m sure you’re one of the good ones, but I’d trust a lawyer over a doctor anydayoftheweek.

      • Doctors have never been as honest or disinterested as people would like them to be. There is very little linkage between professional achievement and character. There is no way to judge from what you see on a superficial basis the honesty and skill of anyone. I would not even trust statistics on them if they were available. It is in fact easier to lie on a quantitative basis than a qualitative one.

        • So how do you find a good doctor when you have multiple conditions? Is it even possible? If you’re chronically sick, are you doomed?

    • As a lawyer, I can tell you that the probative value of “CSI” forensic evidence has been *greatly* exaggerated. Not to mention that a non-trivial portion of such evidence is either (1) completely fabricated by the cops, or (2) treated/processed/stored/etc. in ways that completely invalidate the hypothetically sound forensic science.

  18. You know, it’s entirely possible that you have this dynamic entirely backwards.

    It’s not technology causing distrust. It’s technology exposing the preceding lying of of conmen, large and small, who were taking advantage of our high trust society. Which has itself been undermined by diversity.

    The media has long lied to the public to push its narrative du jour. like for many decades, certainly longer than the 6 that I’ve been around. We assume that they were better at it in the past. But when you examine particular instances, no they were as ham fisted and blatantly fraudulent as they are today. Maybe people at the time were more naive and just believed them, or maybe not and just automatically discarded their nonsense. It does seam to me that there was a period of heightened trust in the media from roughly the mid 80s to the mid 00s. IMO it was a result of more people attending higher ed, which devolved into operant conditioning in deference to authority. It ended when journalist became more known from appearing on shows, blogs, and twitter to the point that people could see that they weren’t all that bright and were terribly biased. The internet gave us the ability to fact check them directly to their detriment.

    Likewise, eyewitness testimony is very flawed, human memory highly fallible. And no doubt, false accusations against criminal activity has always happened. Skepticism should be called for in a case like the one in Chicago. Technology has exposed all of these flaws to the previously naive.

    We’re living through. A transition period now. Many People continue acting as if this technology could not easily expose their frauds. It’s entirely possible that in future decades the lack of privacy, and secrecy, will lead to less fraudulent behavior, as it is quickly and easily exposed, thereby lowering the utility of engaging in it in the first place.

  19. I think that this breakdown in trust and the constant questioning has its antecedents in the scientific method. The scientific method ushered in a change in the western world from ideational culture into a materialistic culture which has moved out into the wider world. Scientists have been turned into the high priests, ie climate change and environmentalism, and so questioning everything has become a spiritual good which ironically is now turning those questions to the scientific method itself. Is this the snake eating itself?

    • Do you really want to abandon the scientific method? We must distinguish between the scientific method and scientists. Just because Boas and Gould were frauds does not indict the method. Just because the scientists championing climate change are using it as a vehicle for totalitarianism does not indict the method.

      The big problem with scientific conclusions drawn from complex domains is that we still must trust the scientists who conduct and interpret the research. It’s still an argument from authority that allows for treachery.

      Paraphrasing Derb, “trust science, not scientists.”

      • Scientific method is dead. Idiots with socialist agendas will latch onto any half-baked unproven hypothesis regarding “climate change” that helps them take over the economy. Any study or experiment that pokes holes in that hypothesis is written off as the work of “deniers”.

        The Catholic Church wasn’t half as vigorous or successful in their suppression of people like Galileo.

    • Generally, I approach science as not being fully sound until I can see engineering results from the science. Physics and Chemistry, A+ (except for some Astrophysics, which gets a C). Biology, B-. Psychology, C-. Sociology, D-. “Ethnic” Studies, F.

      Science is useful, but we have a bunch of Dunning-Kruger idiots running around now who “f**king love it”. Which itself is a *religious* statement, not a scientific one.

        • Does your house stay up? Engineering via principles of Physics and Materials Science (Chemistry). Does the engine in your car work? Engineering via principles of Physics & Chemistry. The roads your drive on, the clothes you wear, the appliances in your house, your PC you use daily, your cell phone, etc, etc are all due to Physics and Chemistry.

          Sure, Astrophysics is a lot of guessing, but even there we have things like Quantum Computers, which *work*. The reason I gave it a C is due to a lot of the field is ‘computer modeling’ without experimentation or any engineering done (‘weather control machines’ fail, ‘seeding clouds’ fails’ etc)

  20. It has occurred to me that the surveillance state is inevitable, and that the only way to make it fair is for it to run both ways, from ruler to ruled and back again. No privacy for anyone, for any reason. The custodial state will be embodied in a grand social consensus, as we all watch one another all the time. Conspiracy of any sort will be impossible.

  21. Z Man;
    In the Smollett case, since the drama queen was at or near the top of the SJW preference stack, and since the mayoral primary (the real election in Big Blue) is this month, the cops were compelled by TPTB to waste lots and lots of hours searching the surveillance tapes for confirmation they very well knew they weren’t going to find. They said as much at the outset but were ordered to keep looking in order to show due difference to the privileged. This is but one more reason why the clearance rate on the city’s many murders is only ~ 15%.

    The cops eventually found two bums walking but at the wrong time and place after days of effort. This should have made it worse for Smollett’s story but didn’t because ‘believe the victims’. IOW, the existence of and evidence from the technology didn’t matter a whit.

    So I’d say that it was because of SJW privilege emboldening the drama queen, not technology, that Smollett floated his tale. Just like Cloud privilege emboldening Bezos to send the dick pics. It was because of the tech the cops were forced to wast time trying to prove the negative.

    So is the driver the tech or the privilege_? In the bad old days Smollett probably would not have tried to make the false accusation, knowing full well that he was unlikely to be believed. As it was, the vast preponderance of circumstantial evidence was against him: White guys wearing (only) MAGA hats on their heads in hostile territory, i.e. SWPL-Ville, at 2:00 am, in 12 deg F weather, AYFKM_?

  22. I think you have it backwards.

    It used to be a high trust society where people simply didn’t lie, i.e. bear false witness. When you say “eye witness”, why should anyone today not expect them to be committing perjury? We used to have the local banker who knew you and whether you were a good risk. That has been replaced with the FICO score.

    Since people have lost their honor and integrity, something has to try to replace it.

    You see this with the imaginary epicycles of the Libertarians where they create “dispute resolution organizations”, and if you don’t volunteer to buy insurance, they will lay seige to you and starve you out, but that isn’t coercion (see Molyneux Podcast only 3255 about 50 minutes in – I’m not kidding).

    You cannot replace honor and integrity, virtue and righteousness, with coercion, force, or technology. You simply create systems the dishonorable can game and burden the remaining honest people.

    • “You simply create systems the dishonorable can game and burden the remaining honest people.” Hence the Constitution. The first (and probably most successful) attempt to control the dishonest people with laws. Naturally it has failed, as all human works.

      Note that people have not changed much, there were still many conmen in the past, but usually those conmen were kept in check by more trustworthy folk. Now we’ve got African, Chinese, and (dot) Indian bandit cultures taking over.

    • Yes! Lying is dishonorable and a violation of God’s Law. That used to be enough for most people. As we lose our religion and “honor” becomes a quaint outdated idea, everyone lies whenever it’s convenient.

      • I was never enough (and never will be) for “most people”, hence the need for confession and repentance when we fail, because we will. Liars are at the top of many churches, and have been for many times in the past as well (the Pope Alex VI comes to mind).

        Christianity doesn’t make bad people good, it helps them know they’re bad. I’m firmly in the camp that lying is built into our biology and not just an artifact of ‘culture’. 1500 years of selection pressure might have increased it among Europeans, but the multi-ethnic society we are in now has caused the old belief “it’s OK to lie to someone not in your tribe” to resurface.

      • Partially, but lying is honorable and in tune with God’s Law when done to protect your family or people

        If a Frenchman lied to the Nazi about knowledge of a resistance fighter, is that dishonorable and a violation of God’s Law? Of course not. If I could lie to save white Americans, I would. Is that dishonorable and a violation of God’s Law?

        That is why a multi-everything society cannot trust.

  23. What is baffling, or not really given the state of our society, is how casually people give samples of their DNA to corporations with no thought of how that information could be misued or place what amounts to listening devices in their homes like Alexa. Haven’t these people ever watched a movie?

    • That’s the reason why I keep getting overlooked for positions at big corporations. “The public would never willingly pay for and install a listening device in the homes or willingly fork out a sample of their DNA to a faceless organisation…”

      That and the fact I don’t get along with people.

    • Good points. I can feel the pull to send in that spit sample, have strongly resisted doing so as not to find am related to Attila the Hun, Madame Tussaud, Trotsky, insurance company drops me and my daddy ain’t my daddy. Better leave well enough alone.
      My listening devises were last seen exploding into infinity like the birth of a galaxy due to the massive black cloud of high volume expletives I emit at my tech devices, descending with the force of a pyroclastic flow onto Herculaneum searing all into molten oblivion. Warning! Do not attempt this near cats or husbands.

    • It’s not your DNA that will get you in trouble. Thanks to those data banks, law enforcement can find out who committed a crime using your second cousin’s sample. Most of white America can now be traced via this method.

  24. I don’t think most people needed any tech or surveillance help with that Jussie fellow. Even normies smelled that one out but the cops needed it to cover their arses.

    The Netflix series the Black Mirror has some decent insights to how our near future will be impacted by technology. CSI and it’s clones are crap.

    • Right, no one believed Smollett because his story was ridiculous and he was pushing the hate crime angle. If he had made up something plausible a lot people would have reserved judgement until more evidence was reviewed.

      • The leftists, including the mainstream media believed Smollett, or at least strongly wanted to believe him because the story had irresistible elements that pushed aside evidence and common sense: MAGA white guys who hate blacks and gays, and a noose! It was the same thing with the Covington story, the UVA fake-rape story, and all the rest of them that are eagerly pounced upon before any evidence comes in.

        • Wolf, you hit the nail on the head. Just about all these stories are reported and spread—not by a gullible media—but by a duplicitous and corrupt media. The truth or falsity of the story is secondary to the story giving cover for yet another attack on Trump, or his perceived supporters, or just in general YT. That the story falls flat upon inspection means nothing as tomorrow brings along another hoax to begin the process again. In the meantime, they are laughing their asses off in the newsroom or at the local “happy hour“ meeting places.

        • For sure, 99% of the media believed the story as did all those folks who hate Trump.
          Any crime, real or imagined, committed by a white person, which targeting a black person is by default due to Trump and his racist, homophobic policies.

          • Well, I admit, I can’t get into the head of the typical media reporter so as to definitively state their “true” belief wrt any particular story. However, to assume that the typical reporter actually believes these stories exceeds my credulity and only serves to give these folk plausible deniability and excuses their malfeasance. Enough is enough. Hold them and their profession responsible, and in these situations *do* assume the worse case possible.

    • JZs;
      Great link, particularly for those with a dark sense of humor, like me. BTW, ‘Special Ed’ is the street cops’ nickname for Police Superintendent Eddy Johnson. It means just what you think it means from grade school.

    • It is not about the truth of the thing. It is all about establishing a narrative about what things are like out there, and whether any part of it is the truth or not is irrelevant.

      Talk to a leftie about Kavanaugh. He is a serial rapist in their eyes. The woman who accused him is a follower of “recovered memory” and made her accusations based on it. Go look at how reliable “recovered memory” is. The fact that she was an advocate of recovered memory and employed it in her testimony was never discussed.

    • The lack of surveillance footage of the Smellett case had no influence on me at any point. I heard about it on the radio and burst out laughing. The story was written like a 12 year-old SJW schoolgirl had concocted it to impressed her cat-lady teacher. Even the newscaster had trouble getting it all out. I honestly hoped for CCTV of the event because then you would see this methed-up degenerate get beaten by a vibrant punk. I imagine the local street hustlers know where the cameras are and aren’t.

  25. Having replaced the concept of oversight by an all-seeing, compassionate God, humankind will now be kept in line by a venal, sociopathic Superstate.

    But it is the very definition of schadenfreude to see Bezos hung (well-hung?) by his own p..p..petard.

  26. I’m really not sure which is worse, the pathological altruism or virtue signaling about forced (government/socialized) empathy. The cucked political response to both is just the larger part of a death by a thousand cuts. The green new deal appears to embody some of the deeper strokes.

  27. No. Social trust has vanished as is usual for a multiethic society. People noticed that social trust has vanished and therefore do not rely on a witness statement anymore.

    The vanishing social trust has nothing to with technology.

    • For most of our evolutionary history, when encountering a stranger, our instinct was to make careful observation at distance and rely on visual cues to ascertain if friend or foe. Friend was based upon familiarity and prior experience, foe was everything else. This is a feasible survival mechanism in relatively simplistic landscape, but breaks down in a crowded, complex, and chaotic environment.

      • “A stranger, if he be not a trader, is an enemy.”
        — old Saxon proverb

        “Law which is not a weapon and a wall is madness.”
        — zany sci-fi character proverb

    • I tend to agree. Zman has a cause and effect problem. Trust broke down first, albeit gradually, then technology was required to shore up the short fall. But, I’ll admit this is only anecdotal experience, I can cite no authoritarian source so I guess you should ignore this comment. 😉

      • Trust began breaking down in the seventies. As the PC monster grew, some people went along with it…others abstained. Quietly. Those of us who were dissenters at first argued with the weak among us, then noticed they were betraying us in a thousand ways, perhaps not overtly. That’s when the distrust penetrated – when we disdainfully thought of many of our own as Quislings. And now it has metastasized.

      • There is something to this, but decades of lying leaders, lying media, lying social institutions and the apotheosis of morons and lowlifes – all of this made even more apparent thanks to tech, is what got us to this point.

    • A good example of that is the Michael Brown incident. The eyewitnesses in that case blatantly lied. They took the side of their race.

      • This happens everywhere now and it will get MUCH worse. The shooting of the young black girl in Texas which happened when dawn was first breaking. “It was a white man with blue eyes”. Boy those people have GOOD vision for being several cars away don’t they?

        No, it was a black male, quelle surprise! And god forbid you get a black jury or black judge. We have a broken system now and this technology is as likely to save you as destroy you because if its a video camera against 5 black ‘witnesses’ with a bone to pick? I’m taking the camera EVERY time.

        The rule of law is nearly dead you see the evidence all around you with the egregious double standards displayed on a weekly basis now.

      • RE: the Michael Brown shooting, there were actually several eyewitnesses and they overwhelmingly corroborated the Officers account. The grand jury testimony is a matter of public record, but the witnesses wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the “community”.

        Of course the media never reported any of this, opting instead to go with the “hands up don’t shoot” agitprop.

      • And perhaps most importantly, those bearing false witness received no consequences for their actions. This is repeated over and over again in these and perhaps in thousands of other lessor known cases. And we speculate why trust has broken down, or witnesses are simply no longer believed?

      • And the people holding the flashlight simply shine the light on the narratives they want. Its a tool, not a magic solution.

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