Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lawyers and Scientists: When Exactly Do They Leave Their IQs On A Bus?


At the end of last year I was contacted by a lawyer claiming that I had witnessed an accident in front of my house in which a client he was representing was involved.
"Do go on" I said.
"You don't remember it?"
"Not a crash, tinkle or swear word" I replied.
"I'll fax you your statement"

"Now do you remember?"
"Are you sure? It was a pretty bad accident."
"Yeah, judging by what the statement says it was, but I wasn't involved, we get lots of accidents on that particular corner and it was three and a half years ago. The statement looks like it was written by me and the signature looks like mine."
"I need you to come to court and say that."
"Why can't I just swear out an affadavit?"
"I need you in court. We'd transport you to Riverhead."
"Riverhead?" You are talking about me getting up at the crack of dawn and taking a whole day off work!"
"I don't expect it would take all day..."
"I work in Manhattan! Even if this thing only lasts until 11 am, once I've come back from Riverhead and waited for an off-peak train I will maybe get a couple of hours of work in before the end of the day. This is an all-day affair from where I sit."
"We'd reimburse you for your time."
"Oh all right. When is it happening?"

On Monday I get a frantic phone message on my machine. "Mr Stevie, we need are going to trial on the Tuesday after Labour Day" (now exactly 6 and a half days away and over four years from the incident I couldn't remember last year). I call the law firm and opine that it is very short notice and remind them that I can still only swear to the signature being mine. "Is that all?" an incredulous staffer asks. When I again say I don't see why this necessitates a trip to Riverhead, the staffer agrees but tells me that the lawyer is actually in Riverhead impanelling a jury and so will have to get back to me. The staffer claims letters have been sent to me throughout the year too. These have never arrived.

At what point do these people actually start to operate on the same terms as the real world? The one where if it is important to you that a letter be received and read that a follow-up phone call is made. I used to think lawyers were smarter than everyone else. Now I realize that they only have to shine twice in their carreers: during their law-school finals and when they take the bar exams. After that, the brain evapourates it seems. With that - lets go to the scientists, fresh from their dippy Pluto-deplanetisation.


From the Register today: To investigate the hypothesis [that religious experiences all involved a common part of the brain], researchers hooked 15 nuns up to MRI scanners and asked them to recount religious or mystical experiences they had had.
During the retelling, brain activity was monitored and found to increase in up to 12 regions of the brain, including areas normally associated with emotion and self-consciousness...
Lead researcher Dr Mario Beauregard told the Beeb: "Rather than there being one spot that relates to mystical experiences, we've found a number of brain regions are involved.

No, you incredibly dense tw*t, what you have found is that a number of regions of the brain are involved in talking about mystical experiences. You are still in the dark as to what happens during them, brain-wise.

Even Mr Brain could spot the hole in that theory.

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