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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » How to kill a child and get away with it (Page 13)

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Author Topic: How to kill a child and get away with it
Orincoro
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And you continue to demonize the person who is unable to defend himself, of course. How wonderful for you; certainly a teenager who smokes a little weed and possibly even stole some jewelry, allegedly, deserves to be followed, accosted, and subsequently shot. And of course, zimmerman *knew* these details about him when he followed him... Or not.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Rabbit....are you saying that we should treat everyone as innocent until proven guilty EXCEPT for people accused of murder? I am not trying to shark you, or trap you.....but that is what it seemed you were implying above, so I thought I'd let you claify.
I think it's been established beyond any reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed homicide. The question remaining is not whether or not he is guilty of killing Martin, it's whether he was justified in killing Martin. Are you saying that we should assume that everyone who is proven to be guilty of killing someone was justified?
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Orincoro
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That's beside the point. Homicide is not illegal, the only question is whether or not he is guilty of murder, which is something a jury will decide. You saying "guilty of killing someone," casts this as a question of greater wrongs, when the killing itself has not been established as a matter for guilt.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
And you continue to demonize the person who is unable to defend himself, of course.
Treyvon Martin has a whole army of people willing to defend him. Treyvon Martin has even the President of the United States willing to defend him. He may be dead, but he's not lacking thousands of willing defendants. He's getting a better defense than he could ever have provided for himself. That's why we get his picture as a 12-year old in the news, instead of a more recent one.

quote:
How wonderful for you; certainly a teenager who smokes a little weed and possibly even stole some jewelry, allegedly, deserves to be followed, accosted, and subsequently shot.
I'm in favor of legalizing marijuana, and I'm against the death penalty. But both of this aren't the *point*. What people "deserve" isn't the point. What people "deserve" isn't even part of the calculation.

The point is how much said crimes increase the probability that he was the type to initiate violence.

And oh, they increase it so very severely, and so very inconveniently for all his defenders.

quote:
And of course, zimmerman *knew* these details about him when he followed him... Or not.
Of course Zimmerman didn't know those details, that's EXACTLY WHY it would be a non-credible coincidence for Zimmerman to be the assailant in this case.

If Zimmerman had known all those details, then one might hypothesize that he had intentionally stalked someone he had already tagged as a "troublemaker", for the purpose of shooting him.

But Zimmerman didn't know all this. It's just that he chanced on a *real* troublemaker, a real vicious person and assailant; and that's why we heard of this case in the first place. Because if Treyvon Martin wasn't the sort of troublemaker who'd violently attack another person, he'd almost certainly never have been shot in the first place.

If Zimmerman had been equally likely to shoot an innocent person, then by the laws of probability, he *would* almost certainly have shot an innocent person.

But he chanced on a thug. And that's why he got assaulted, and was forced to shoot him, and that's why we hear of this case in the first place.

That's the narrative that makes sense. Not that he just decided to shoot a random child or even a random black child, as Samprimary's initial post and the title of this thread so charmingly imply.

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Xavier
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quote:
But he chanced on a thug.
Wow, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt about your passionate defense of Zimmerman not being racially motivated.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
The so-called "experts" people here babble about claimed >90% chance that it wasn't Zimmerman's voice. Even given that they trust the findings of said experts this supposedly meant "practically no chance it was Zimmerman" (though ofcourse 90% just means "one chance in ten for the opposite scenario")
...that's not what that 90% means. That's a confidence interval, not a measure of conditional probability.

I think maybe that's the source of the misunderstanding. You're reading conditional probability when what is being talked about is statistical analysis.

I also think people are reading the initial statement in a way that it is not intended. The question it was trying to answer wasn't really "Was that Zimmerman on the tape?" but rather, "What is the probability that the person (Zimmerman) who provided this voice sample could have also have produced the sounds on the 911 call?" If it is put that way, do people realize why the "This will sum to over 100%" idea doesn't really make sense?

Taking the very low result from that analysis, the voice guys concluded that it was not him with a 90+% degree of confidence. That degree of confidence was reached through the use of well understood and established mathematical calculations.

As I've said, everything that was quoted in that article from the voice guy made sense and was consistent. I can see where people might be confused by it, but you need to realize that this confusion springs in large part because you don't understand something about what was said, not because what was said was wrong.

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Rakeesh
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Ok, just to get your latest bit of nonsense perfectly clear (and I note with a total lack of surprise your unwillingness to clarify and stand by your thoughts on the voice experts): someone smoking pot and (possibly, though in this case I wouldn't bet against if) makes it severely more likely they would abruptly decide to attack someone with savage violence?

Are you insane, or simply so committed to your defense of Zimmerman at this point you're taking a shotgun approach? You talk at length about probabilities (even though you already had to be schooled about math in this thread) as though your wild-ass guesses were authoritative somehow, instead of simply your complete opinion.

Nowhere do you talk, unsurprisingly, about Zimmerman's very possible history of violence, what with a restraining order against him, and his altercation with police. Quite aside from the fact that he made a habit of patrolling his neighborhood with a gun, behavior expressly rejected by police and neighborhood watch groups.

These behavior patterns, they apparently don't point to anything except virtuous vigilant watchman. Martin's pot smoking, not even very heavy, and some jewelry, though...yeah. It's 'severely' more likely he was a violent thug.

Laughable and blatantly hypocritical-and that's not a claim I make lightly. I've disagreed with several people in this thread, some strongly, but you're the first to openly insist we look at what little we know of Martin's past and infer violence, but say nothing at all about Zimmerman's past. Hypocrisy.

Oh, and just to illustrate how clearly ignorant you are about probabilities: how do you know he DIDN'T shoot an innocent person? That this wasn't the time right here? Of course you don't, but will insist you do, but even so: 'we can reckon he's not the sort to shoot an innocent person because he likely would've done it before, or this case would be about a little girl on her way to choir practice or something'. Ridiculous. Even if we granted your premise, something being probable not happening doesn't, of itself, serve as evidence it's improbable!

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
That's beside the point. Homicide is not illegal, the only question is whether or not he is guilty of murder, which is something a jury will decide. You saying "guilty of killing someone," casts this as a question of greater wrongs, when the killing itself has not been established as a matter for guilt.

It's not that simple. The only condition under which Homicide is not a felony is if the victim was trying to kill you. To presume that Zimmerman is innocent requires we presume that Martin was guilty of attempted murder. Is the victim of a killing less deserving of the presumption of innocence than his killer? Should we presume that every teenager shot while walking home from the store deserved to be killed unless we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did not?
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Destineer
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quote:
The question it was trying to answer wasn't really "Was that Zimmerman on the tape?" but rather, "What is the probability that the person (Zimmerman) who provided this voice sample could have also have produced the sounds on the 911 call?" If it is put that way, do people realize why the "This will sum to over 100%" idea doesn't really make sense?
What does "the probability that X could be the case" mean? In all my studies I have never before encountered that locution.

It sounds like it means "the probability that X is possible." But "X is possible" normally just means "the probability that X is true is greater than zero."

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
The question it was trying to answer wasn't really "Was that Zimmerman on the tape?" but rather, "What is the probability that the person (Zimmerman) who provided this voice sample could have also have produced the sounds on the 911 call?" If it is put that way, do people realize why the "This will sum to over 100%" idea doesn't really make sense?
What does "the probability that X could be the case" mean? In all my studies I have never before encountered that locution.

It sounds like it means "the probability that X is possible." But "X is possible" normally just means "the probability that X is true is greater than zero."

I'm not sure I can explain that without a couple weeks of statistics lectures but I'll give it a shot. I'll use a voice recording as an example but the principle applies to almost anything that can be measured.

Suppose we were to record you saying "possible" a thousand times. No two of the recordings would be exactly the same for a number of reasons. There is a normal variation in the way people speak. There is going to be some variation in the distance and angle between your mouth and the recording device. There will be be differences in the background noises and there will be random errors made by the recording device.

However, even though no two recordings would be exactly the same, most of them will be quite similar. If the recording is digitized on a computer, you can compare two recordings and calculate a "difference" between any two recordings. If we did that for a thousand different recordings of you saying "possible", the difference would be small most of the time, but occasionally we'd find one where the difference was a lot greater than average. We might find for example, that 50% of the time the difference between recordings was less than 0.5, 90% of the time the difference was less than 1.5 and 99.9% of the time the difference was less than 4. Given that information we could take a recording of an unknown person saying "possible" and compare it a recording of you saying "possible". If the difference between the two recordings was 4.5, we could then say that there is a greater than 99.9% probability that the unknown speaker was not you.

Does that make any sense?

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The Rabbit
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If that last post made sense, then consider the case where we compare a recording of an unknown speaker saying "possible" to a recording of you saying "possible" and the get a difference of 0.1. We could never say from that alone what the probability was that you were the unknown speaker. We'd need to know how likely it would be for some other person to say "possible" very nearly the way you say it. So rather than saying there is 90% chance that you were the speaker, one might say there is a 90% that you could have been the speaker. I doubt that's the technically correct term but I'm confident that's what MrSquicky was trying to get at using layman's language.
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The Rabbit
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I think I've found a better example for explaining this. Suppose that there is a dark figure in a surveillance photo. An image analysis expert determines that there is a 90% probability that the person in the image is my height and weight. If the person in the image is my height and weight, it could have been me. So it could be sensible to say that there is a 90% probability that the person in the image could have been me.

The expert might also find that there is a 50% probability that the person in the image is your height and weight. So it would be entirely possible that there could be a 50% change that the person in the image could have been you and a 90% chance that the person in the could have been me.

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Stone_Wolf_
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That is a painful example Rabbit, as our voices fluxuate wildly with our mood and other factors...where as adult's height and weight are much more constant...except at Thanksgiving.
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happymann
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So Jim Henson and Steve Whitmire are caught on tape...
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James Tiberius Kirk
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
To presume that Zimmerman is innocent requires we presume that Martin was guilty of attempted murder. Is the victim of a killing less deserving of the presumption of innocence than his killer? Should we presume that every teenager shot while walking home from the store deserved to be killed unless we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did not?

I'm not sure a satisfactory answer to this question exists.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
someone smoking pot and (possibly, though in this case I wouldn't bet against if) makes it severely more likely they would abruptly decide to attack someone with savage violence?

No, what I'm saying is that someone having three suspensions from school, for (a) carrying a baggie with drugs (b) vandalism (c) suspected robbery, and (d) whose cousin implied in twitter that he swung on a bus driver -- is severely more likely to attack someone with savage violence than a student who doesn't get suspensions, and is *actually* a good student.

If you want me to cover the racial angle as well, I'd say that someone calling themselves "No_Limit_N*gga" in twitter, is also more likely to be confrontational towards white people.

Are you saying that such a person is *less* likely to initiate violence? Or are you saying he's exactly the same amounts of violence as someone who never got suspended from school at all, never did drugs at all, never swung on a bus driver at all?

quote:
You talk at length about probabilities (even though you already had to be schooled about math in this thread)
Oh, so you're back to the "I don't know math" approach, when previously you had supposedly conceded my point that the math didn't match up?

Stop schooling me on basic math. Learn conditional probabilities.

quote:
Nowhere do you talk, unsurprisingly, about Zimmerman's very possible history of violence, what with a restraining order against him, and his altercation with police. Quite aside from the fact that he made a habit of patrolling his neighborhood with a gun, behavior expressly rejected by police and neighborhood watch groups.
Yes, this behavior makes him quite likely to be the sort of person to follow someone he considered a suspect with a gun, and not pay too much attention to the police's instructions.

Thankfully this part of the story isn't actually in doubt. We are all in agreement that he followed Martin, while carrying a gun.

quote:
Martin's pot smoking, not even very heavy, and some jewelry, though...yeah. It's 'severely' more likely he was a violent thug.
Perhaps in your universe theft isn't a severe crime. It's a major crime in my universe, and yes it most certainly correlates strongly with all-around thuggery.

But you need to justify and excuse major theft now as well, don't you?

quote:
Oh, and just to illustrate how clearly ignorant you are about probabilities: how do you know he DIDN'T shoot an innocent person?
Perhaps you misunderstand me. A jewelry-thief doesn't count as "innocent" in my books.

I meant *actual* innocent, e.g. not a participant in thefts, drug-dealing, etc.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Wow, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt about your passionate defense of Zimmerman not being racially motivated
I suggest you care more about conditional probabilities of scenarios depending on evidence, and less about assigning motivations of those that bring said evidence to your attention.
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Destineer
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quote:
If the recording is digitized on a computer, you can compare two recordings and calculate a "difference" between any two recordings. If we did that for a thousand different recordings of you saying "possible", the difference would be small most of the time, but occasionally we'd find one where the difference was a lot greater than average. We might find for example, that 50% of the time the difference between recordings was less than 0.5, 90% of the time the difference was less than 1.5 and 99.9% of the time the difference was less than 4. Given that information we could take a recording of an unknown person saying "possible" and compare it a recording of you saying "possible". If the difference between the two recordings was 4.5, we could then say that there is a greater than 99.9% probability that the unknown speaker was not you.
That last step doesn't follow, though. For instance, imagine that I have the highest voice of anyone in the world, and the events where the difference from the average is 4 or greater represent my hitting the highest notes I ever hit. No one else on earth could hit these high notes. Then, when the difference is 4.5, the probability that the voice is mine will be 100%--even though less than 0.1% of my utterances are that high-pitched.

quote:
I think I've found a better example for explaining this. Suppose that there is a dark figure in a surveillance photo. An image analysis expert determines that there is a 90% probability that the person in the image is my height and weight. If the person in the image is my height and weight, it could have been me. So it could be sensible to say that there is a 90% probability that the person in the image could have been me.
Now this makes sense to me! But in this case "probability that the person could be you" is just another way of saying "probability that the person has the same height and weight as you." Is that what's going on in the voice case? We're talking about the probability that the voice in the recording shares some relevant characteristics with Zimmerman's voice?

If so, that's a very different thing from "the probability that the voice is Zimmerman's" (which is what the article was talking about). But I can see, from your example, how "the probability that the voice could be Zimmerman's" would be an appropriate way of putting it.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
The question it was trying to answer wasn't really "Was that Zimmerman on the tape?" but rather, "What is the probability that the person (Zimmerman) who provided this voice sample could have also have produced the sounds on the 911 call?" If it is put that way, do people realize why the "This will sum to over 100%" idea doesn't really make sense?
What does "the probability that X could be the case" mean? In all my studies I have never before encountered that locution.

It sounds like it means "the probability that X is possible." But "X is possible" normally just means "the probability that X is true is greater than zero."

I was just restating what I'd said earlier, or at least trying to. It's a question of what they are testing and what the probability space is.

The point I was making was that in a matching situation like this, you're not actually trying to directly answer "Who did X?" You are testing the probability that person A...you don't seem to be getting what I'm trying to say with could...how about is capable of doing X. Rabbit touched on this above.

The probability space for who actually made the sounds in the recording is very wide. There's a non-zero, but infinitesimally small probability that it's me on that tape. There's only one answer, so each probability is dependent on each other, and thus cannot sum greater than zero. To put it another way, the probability space contains a vast number of collections where a given person did it and everyone else did not.

Whether a specific person could have been the source, as measured by forensic voice analysis, is, however, independent of whether another given person could have been the source. In that sort of analysis the probability space is contains only "person X could have been the source" and "person X could not have been the source".

This is a pretty basic point of how we do statistical analysis. When testing an apparent relationship between aspects of a set of data, we're not really looking it as "Does this relationship exist?", but rather how likely is it that this pattern could be the result of random chance. We then use that likelihood to determine how confident we can be in saying that a relationship exists.

edit: You posted while I writing this. It looks like you got Rabbit's clarification. I'll just add this:
quote:
If so, that's a very different thing from "the probability that the voice is Zimmerman's" (which is what the article was talking about)
That depends on what your definition of "is" is. Like I said, I can see how this could be confusing, but in the context they were speaking in, that statement is not incorrect.
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Rakeesh
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As an illustration of how bankrupt your position is on this matter: in the very same post, Martin progresses from recreational pot user (all that can be inferred from actual physical evidence) to 'drug-dealer', we can infer from some pot smoking and jewelry theft and unconfirmed cousin Twitter accounts a likelihood of violence (while Zimmerman's history only goes just so far as to point to behavior that isn't at all in doubt), and among crimes, stealing some jewelry of unknown value counts as 'severe'.

Yeah, you're full of crap is I believe the technical term appropriate here. I'm not sure why I'm still surprised when with almost each passing post there's another blatant contradiction or double-standard, but there is.

Here, using your standards: Zimmerman is a wife beating man who moonlights as a cop-beater, too. *snort* And I suppose you'll have some absurd excuse why *this* is unfair, but your not just speculations but outright statements about Martin aren't.

Still waiting to see if you'll commit to your claims that the two experts are liars and/or quacks. I'm not going to drop this, either, as long as you're still blathering on. I understand your reluctance, though. Committing to your statements carries a serious risk of being made to look ridiculous later on, if/when those two experts are respected and credible, whereas backing off now would just be awkward. Best to pretend it didn't happen!

Oh, and re: probabilities and math. By all means, keep sticking to your claim that your only issue was with the article, even though you've since suggested they really were idiots. That's clearly not a pair of contradicting statements. In any event, you're not fooling anyone with the possible exception of yourself as to what your *actual* initial position was. And it wasn't just that the math didn't make sense as presented in the article. It's been explained multiple times now by multiple people, but you're right: if it doesn't make sense to you, Total Layman Aris, then it must obviously be junk science.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Here, using your standards: Zimmerman is a wife beating man who moonlights as a cop-beater, too
Yes. So? You somehow think that I've not taken this into account? Thankfully we know all this from the very first post of the thread, you don't need me to remind people *these* bits of information. It's all the misinformation about Treyvon Martin that needs to be corrected.

quote:
Still waiting to see if you'll commit to your claims that the two experts are liars and/or quacks.
They're quacks. They may be well-respected quacks for all I know, but they're still quacks, if they claimed high-level probability conclusion, and ended up so wrong.

quote:
in the very same post, Martin progresses from recreational pot user (all that can be inferred from actual physical evidence) to 'drug-dealer',
The drug-dealing is inferred from when a friend's comment is "Damn were u at a nigga needa plant". It's not conclusive evidence, but it's still evidence, in the sense that P(D|C)>P(D) where P(D) the probability of drug-dealing, and P(D|C) the probability of drug-dealing conditional on the comment.

But would it make the slightest difference to you if he was absolutely proven a drug-dealer? Would you update the probabilities in your mind regarding the case at all?

Or is this another case where something will suddenly not matter anymore, same way that it has stopped to matter whether Zimmerman was focused on Martin's race, whether Zimmerman had injuries, whether Martin was a good student, whether Martin was a law-abiding kid, whether Martin was a violent person who was likely to seek a violent confrontation -- and all the other tidbits of information that you adamantly refuse to update your probabilities on?

Right now I'm assigning P(Z)= 95% that it was Zimmerman's voice shouting out for help.

Tell me how much probability *you* assign that it was Zimmerman's voice. If you don't put a number on it, you'll just pretend afterwards that you were just arguing against my methodology -- as opposed to my conclusion.

Come on, Rakeesh, assign a percentage of certainty. You have all the "experts" on your side, and I'm just a "Total Layman". That should therefore be easy for you.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
It's just that he chanced on a *real* troublemaker, a real vicious person and assailant;

Who was waking home from 7/11 with what... a candy bar? Surely, he wlas a violent assailant, making trouble. That's why Zimmerman followed him, got into a scuffle with him, and subsequently shot him to death. Because he was a troublemaker.... walking home with a candy bar.

I'm waiting for you to demonstrate how you can reconcile the actual facts of this case with your innate biases: Martin was walking home, in a neighborhood in which he belonged. Zimmerman followed him. The notion that Zimmerman was justified in following him *because* of the subsequent violence which occurred (the details of which we do not know), is just post hoc rationalization. Zimmerman may have been within his rights to follow anyone of whom he was suspicious, but you may not credit him with foresight and intuition in this case; not least because had he been more cautious, and had he sincerely believed Martin to be a dangerous threat, he might have avoided a physical encounter. As it is, the locus of this event begins with his following Martin- it does not begin with Martin having committed a crime, having been a violent or dangerous person, or even having been in a place he should not have been. The locus of this event begins, possibly, with Martin being a young black man, and Zimmerman being suspicious of such people. It's not unheard of.

[ May 27, 2012, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Right now I'm assigning P(Z)= 95% that it was Zimmerman's voice shouting out for help....If you don't put a number on it, you'll just pretend afterwards that you were just arguing against my methodology -- as opposed to my conclusion.
But you haven't demonstrated any methodology in this assignment. You've just put a number on something and asserted that you reached that conclusion based on evidence beyond your own bias.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"That's why Zimmerman followed him, got into a scuffle with him, and subsequently shot him to death. "
Zimmerman followed him because he didn't recognize him in the neighborhood, and thought he was behaving suspiciously (and he might have looked suspicious for a number of reasons, either benign and non-benign). He got into a scuffle with him, because Treyvon Martin attacked him, probably offended that a white guy had tagged him as suspicious. Zimmerman subsequently shot him to death, because he was losing the fight and was afraid for his life.

quote:
But you haven't demonstrated any methodology in this assignment.
Nobody here is going to use formal math, and neither am I -- my number is derived from a list of intuitions about the probability of each event, and so obviously the conclusion is just a rough sum of rough approximation. But "intuition" isn't the same as "pulling a number out of one's ass" -- it's the unconscious calculation derived from how one evaluates all evidence.

When a new piece of evidence appears -- and in the logical sense, evidence E towards a conclusion C is any E in which P(C|E)>P(C|~E); one must adjusts one's assigned probability upwards -- and downwards if it goes the other way.

If e.g. I already think that a person Z getting pummelled is four times more likely to shout for help than the person M having the upper hand, say I must assign a 80% probability on the voice being Z's, let's call it P(Z). If I *also* know that person Z has called the police, then my probability P(Z) must rise a bit further, though there can be no *exact* number for that -- but one informally boosts it up to 90%. Then I see that the initial testimonies had Zimmerman being the one that shouted, and it rises to 99%. Then I see some changed their words, and it pulls a bit down, to say 97%. Then the "expert testimony" that supposedly >90% it wasn't Zimmerman's voice pulls it down to 80% (which may not seem like much, but it effectively takes P(M)=3% to P(M)=20%, and it means I gave it enough value to make that evaluation 6 times more likely). But Then I read that Martin was the type who probably "swung on a driver", was probably dealing drugs, had multiple suspensions, and gave all the signals that he was all part of a macho culture applauding violence, and it goes up to 90%. The I see how the 'expert testimony' is disputed by other experts, and the thing goes to 95%.

This is all informal and imprecise; and for the most part unconscious: one doesn't truly make a knowing separate calculation each time a separate piece of evidence appears; it's just the cumulative effect of all pieces of evidence. There is after all no hard math to precisely calculate the conditional probability of each separate evident -- but one logical necessity remains: RELEVANT EVIDENCE MUST ALWAYS ADJUST ONE'S PROBABILITY UPWARDS OR DOWNWARDS.

When someone keeps dismissing all the evidence in question: "Oh, it was just *jewelry*", "Oh, he was just suspended", "oh, it was just some cousin's words that he perhaps swung on a driver", "oh, it was just minor wounds" -- then effectively one isn't using any methodology at all; one has just already written their bottom line, and are dismissing all evidence that are inconvenient towards that conclusion.

If the jewerly was few, or the injuries were minor you can perhaps adjust the probability *less*. You aren't logically allowed to not adjust them at all.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Martin was walking home, in a neighborhood in which he belonged.
In which he *recently* belonged, having come to stay with relatives only during his suspension, and who therefore wasn't recognized by Zimmerman.

quote:
Zimmerman may have been within his rights to follow anyone of whom he was suspicious, but you may not credit him with foresight and intuition in this case;
Thankfully I don't desire to credit Zimmerman with either foresight nor intuition.
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Rakeesh
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And now you're actually lying about what people have said. Shocker.

I didn't say that Martin's past, what we know of it, shouldn't be taken into account. I-and others-have tried to explain why the details we know about his past don't add much at all to the probability that he just snapped and went murderously berserk on a guy without physical provocation.

By your own 'methodology' (ha), we must now say Zimmerman was a likely wife beater and a likely attacker of police. I'd be curious to know if your shoddy thinking extends so far to let that impact how much weight is given to Zimmerman's claims of events.

I suspect it won't, though. Zimmerman's injuries-which may or may not have been caused by the level of violence he claims took place-they 'substantiate' his claims. Witness reports ought to be believed...the ones that exonerate him, anyway, even if they sometimes changed. People claiming to know whose voice it was, even when experts dispute that-they're just quacks and possibly outright liars (it was nice of you to finally take a stand on that. More guts than you've shown in this discussion so far, which isn't saying much). Zimmerman called the police, that needs to be taken into account-even though he called the police for *all sorts of things* from 'suspicious persons' to open garage doors. Martin's cousin's hearsay on Twitter should be considered, and with more weight than by the same standard Zimmerman's history of beating his wife.

The willful ignorance you're demonstrating in this discussion on so many levels, from judging witness testimony to crediting or discrediting witnesses, to your double standard about wild-ass guessing of probabilities, goes further than just disagreement about current events. There are several people in this discussion who believe closer to you than myself and others, but at least they don't get there like you do.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I didn't say that Martin's past, what we know of it, shouldn't be taken into account.
Then take it into account.

And let me repeat: Tell me how much probability *you* assign that it was Zimmerman's voice.

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Orincoro
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Because you will have the slightest respect for an opinion as based in ignorance as your own? Given your view of expert opinions on the matter, I guess that only makes sense.

Though, I think it's cute that you think the question is a zinger and not a big fat "Huh?"

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Rakeesh
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A very low probability. When witness accounts and forensics don't match up, the answer is-barring something questionable about the experts themselves-almost always the way to go. Human memory is spotty at best-eye and ear witness reports simply aren't as absolutely credible as you've repeatedly suggested. Which you would know, and probably admit, if the forensic evidence supported Zimmerman and witnesses Martin.

And no, there is simply not a good reason yet to dismiss the two experts as quacks. Your own misunderstanding of their math founded in your *persistent* ignorance doesn't cut it. It's been explained in detail at least four times now, with each explanation being blithely sidestepped by you.

Hell, even the other questioning expert doesn't count by the kinds of standards you're using: he's outnumbered two to one.

But anyway, just for fun and as a measure of how deep your dishonesty runs in this matter, what probability would you assign that a wife beating cop fighting wannabe police officer such as Zimmerman (I don't actually claim he is those things, I'm just using your methods here) would pursue someone he deemed suspicious and start an altercation, then lie about it to save himself from a murder rap?

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Because you will have the slightest respect for an opinion as based in ignorance as your own?
I don't have enough respect for *your* opinion, or Rakeesh's either, I'll make it clear right now. I'm asking for the probability you assign, so that you don't try to squirrel out of your respective positions afterwards.

quote:
Given your view of expert opinions on the matter, I guess that only makes sense.
Yes. "Expert" opinions that claim 99% confidence, tend to be wrong 3 times out of ten. When they claim 90% confidence, it's probably even less.

quote:
Hell, even the other questioning expert doesn't count by the kinds of standards you're using: he's outnumbered two to one
Except that the fact the other experts were hired by a newspaper, means we have no clue what selective reporting *they* used. For all we know they may have contacted ten experts, and reported only the two answers that suited them, covered up the ones that didn't.

That's what makes being hired from a newspaper suspicious -- as opposed to being part of an official lab examination, whose results would have to be reported either way.

quote:
But anyway, just for fun and as a measure of how deep your dishonesty runs in this matter, what probability would you assign that a wife beating cop fighting wannabe police officer such as Zimmerman (I don't actually claim he is those things, I'm just using your methods here) would pursue someone he deemed suspicious and start an altercation, then lie about it to save himself from a murder rap?
Start a fistfight then lie about it? About 75%

Start a fistfight with a stronger taller man, then lie about it? About 50%

Start a fistfight with a stronger taller man then lie about it, after being the one that called the police in the first place? About 20%.

Start a fistfight with a stronger taller man then lie about it after having called the police, while carrying a gun? Probably about 10%

Start a fistfight with a stronger taller man then lie about it after having called the police, while carrying a gun, but only he suffering injuries, and the other person not? Probably about 5%

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Because you will have the slightest respect for an opinion as based in ignorance as your own?
I don't have enough respect for *your* opinion, or Rakeesh's either, I'll make it clear right now.

I think it's clear that you don't have enough respect for us. If you did, you would follow our example and learn how to think more rationally.

quote:
I'm asking for the probability you assign, so that you don't try to squirrel out of your respective positions afterwards.
Which is a key problem here: I do not assign a probability to something, and then just stick to arguing that point to death. In fact, I don't even see the benefit in expressing my credulity of something in numerical terms- other than you think, clearly, that this makes my position more easily impeachable. Not least because I'm not a voice recognition expert, and hearing compelling evidence would actually *change my opinion.* Of course, hearing uncompelling and deeply flawed rationalizations and brash declarations from you is not likely to do that. I get the sense that this is what you think discussion means. You are wrong.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
In fact, I don't even see the benefit in expressing my credulity of something in numerical terms- other than you think, clearly, that this makes my position more easily impeachable.
It makes your mind more easily updateable, when you don't require yourself to flip "I'm sure he's guilty" to "I'm sure he's innocent", but can assign yourself various different probabilities in between, as evidence accumulates in one direction or the other.

If at the beginning you had assigned yourself, e.g. a 90% probability that Zimmerman murdered Martin in cold blood, then after other evidence in Zimmerman's favour had come out, you'd have known that logically you should now assign a lesser probability.

And eventually you'd have reached a probability low enough that you'd say "Zimmerman is just innocent of murder, I can say that beyond all reasonable doubt."

But by assigning no probability, not even in your own mind; you can keep on saying "It's not compelling enough evidence to make me change my mind" each and every time something more in Zimmerman's favor appears.

So you get stuck in your first position.

quote:
and hearing compelling evidence would actually *change my opinion.*
The problem with that, is that by demanding individual "compelling" evidence, you prevent yourself from acknowledging the mountain of non-compelling bits and pieces of evidence that make in their sum a compelling case, though individually they would not.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
In fact, I don't even see the benefit in expressing my credulity of something in numerical terms- other than you think, clearly, that this makes my position more easily impeachable.
It makes your mind more easily updateable, when you don't require yourself to flip "I'm sure he's guilty" to "I'm sure he's innocent", but can assign yourself various different probabilities in between, as evidence accumulates in one direction or the other.

Ah, I see. You have a problem with uncertainty and are attempting to compensate with a false sense of objectivity about your conclusions by couching them in percentage chances rather than actually attempting to reason them out.

I for one don't need to believe in guilt or innocence as binary properties. Your mental process requires that approach. I feel sorry for you.


quote:
It makes your mind more easily updateable, when you don't require yourself to flip "I'm sure he's guilty" to "I'm sure he's innocent", but can assign yourself various different probabilities in between, as evidence accumulates in one direction or the other.
A minute ago this was so that you could pin us down to a specific position that we couldn't weasel out of later. Your inconsistency knows no bounds.

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:

quote:
and hearing compelling evidence would actually *change my opinion.*
The problem with that, is that by demanding individual "compelling" evidence, you prevent yourself from acknowledging the mountain of non-compelling bits and pieces of evidence that make in their sum a compelling case, though individually they would not.
You are not understanding me: I would be swayed by a compelling case; your case is not compelling, and is based on a rather fervent attachment to specific "bits and pieces," that you wrongly believe to be compelling as a whole.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
You have a problem with uncertainty
No, I'm much more comfortable with uncertainty than most people here are, that's why I keep mocking the people that demand individual conditionals to be "guaranteed" before they take them as acceptable evidence towards a conclusion.

quote:
I feel sorry for you.
Feel whatever you like, but since I wasn't a participant in the Martin/Zimmerman case, your estimations about my character don't actually affect the conclusions you should derive about the case based on the evidence, and are thus irrelevant for the thread.

quote:
A minute ago this was so that you could pin us down to a specific position that we couldn't weasel out of later.
Yes. That's why I asked you to *tell me* the probabilities you assign. The reason *you* should want to think in terms of probabilities, even if you don't reveal them to me, is because it makes your minds more easily updateable.

quote:
You are not understanding me: I would be swayed by a compelling case;
I'm understanding you, I just don't believe you. I think you're fooling yourself about whether you would be swayed or not.
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Orincoro
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That's a belief predicated upon your conviction in your own conclusions. I don't agree with you, therefore I don't respond to compelling arguments. Let us not consider whether your arguments are actually compelling, because they are not, or whether your approach and your selective treatment of the facts and your subsequent conclusions betray a strong pre-existing bias, which they do.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I don't agree with you, therefore I don't respond to compelling arguments.
No, more like "You refuse to assign a probability on your current certainty, even for your private usage, therefore you lack the ability to evaluate whether said probability is wrong. By not pinning down your position, you can't actually change it."
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Orincoro
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That's complete rubbish.
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Rakeesh
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I would love for you to quote something that clearly demonstrates your claim that the people disagreeing with you are committed to 'totally innocent' or 'totally guilty'.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
No, more like "You refuse to assign a probability on your current certainty, even for your private usage, therefore you lack the ability to evaluate whether said probability is wrong. By not pinning down your position, you can't actually change it."
Another amusing notion underlying all of this rot: if you assign something a 'probability' (wild-ass guess), and it turns out not to have happened or have evidence against it, that means your probability was itself flawed.

Which is rot, of course, especially when what you're actually doing is just piling one guess on top of another. You've no real idea how sound each link in your chain is.

Anyway, on another note, likelihood of a fistfight: it was dark, so he could hardly get more than a rough estimate of Martin's approximate size and strength; Zimmerman was armed; and (again, using your standards) has a history of attacking police and beating his wife.

This is someone with a history of experience of beating people and getting away with it, as well as a firearm to help him feel extra safe.

I used your own methods here. Tell me again the likelihood that that man would start a fight with a 'suspicious looking' stranger is 5%. I also love how you suggest that it's *unlikely* Zimmerman would lie about it. If he is lying, it's to avoid a *murder conviction*! How unlikely is that?

Ohh, hey, another little scenario using your methods: how likely is it that this wife beating, cop attacking wannabe police officer, a man who patrols his neighborhood with a gun, would approach a 'suspicious' stranger and demand answers to questions he really doesn't have the authority to demand answers for. The stranger, a young hotheaded teen with a history of bad decisions and exactly half as much history of violence as Zimmerman (again, using your method, cousin tweeting vs restraining order and resisting arrest), unwisely mouths off very rudely to the questioner, who then acting on his history of violence with impunity starts a fight.

Not having realized that unlike his wife, he couldn't simply tune Martin up as he liked, and feeling secure in his gun, the fight begins to go against him, and he receives injuries that could come from a very mild degree of violence or severe. He panics and shoots Martin to end a fight he started.

Yeah, 5%, right? And before you go on about ANY of that, tell me which piece-specifically-wasn't using your methods.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"Yeah, 5%, right? And before you go on about ANY of that, tell me which piece-specifically-wasn't using your methods."
All the pieces where you are supposed to assign probabilities, atleast vague ones, and adjust upwards or downwards.

Someone starting a fight when they know police is on the way -- you must adjust downwards.
Someone starting a *fistfight* when you have a gun, and the other guy may have a knife for all you know? You must adjust downwards. People with guns don't start *fistfights* with strangers.
Someone starting a fight with a taller person (and yeah, in the dark you can see someone being taller, if you can see them at all) -- you must adjust downwards.

I've explained all this already, but you don't care. You just care to insult and misconstrue and pretend to misunderstand. So I'll be skipping your posts from now on.

After all you're not discussing the case anymore, you're discussing me.

And I'll repeat: Zimmerman is innocent. The case is effectively over, except for those who actively want it to not be over, because they'll never accept Zimmerman's innocence, ever.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
I used your own methods here. Tell me again the likelihood that that man would start a fight with a 'suspicious looking' stranger is 5%. I also love how you suggest that it's *unlikely* Zimmerman would lie about it. If he is lying, it's to avoid a *murder conviction*! How unlikely is that?
Let's look at the evidence on this. In the 911 phone call, Zimmerman was asked to estimate Martin's age. Here is the exact exchange.

quote:
911 dispatcher: How old would you say he is?

Zimmerman: He’s got something on his shirt. About like his late teens.

Then during the court hearing Zimmerman said.

quote:
"I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am."
Zimmerman is 28, at least 9 years or 50% older than the age estimate he gave to the 911 operator.

Based on this fact, we can very accurately say that the probability that Zimmerman would lie about what happened is 100%.

Of course that does not prove that any other part of his testimony was lies, but we know without question that he has lied about what happened.

[ May 27, 2012, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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The Rabbit
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In addition to that clear lie, in the same apology Zimmerman say he did not know whether or not Martin was armed. When the fight started, I don't think there is anyway Zimmerman could have known that Martin was unarmed.

But at the time Zimmerman fired the gun, the two had been fighting for over a minute and Zimmerman knew that Martin had not yet produced a weapon.

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Aris Katsaris
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Rabbit, let me note that Rakeesh was himself lying or playing dumb when he suggested that I assigned 5% chance that Zimmerman would lie.

I assigned 5% chance to the combined scenario of "Start a fistfight with a stronger taller man then lie about it after having called the police, while carrying a gun, but only he suffering injuries, and the other person not"

Ofcourse Rakeesh pretended that I assigned just 5% to him lying, when I assigned 5% to the combined scenario.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Rabbit, let me note that Rakeesh was himself lying or playing dumb when he suggested that I assigned 5% chance that Zimmerman would lie.
Aris, I find it particularly offensive when you accuse people in this thread of lying or playing dumb. I've have interacted with many of people you have accused of dishonesty for years in this forum and I have no reason to believe that they are not arguing in good faith.

I have disagreed with many of the people you are debating on many occasions. I have often founded their arguments to be wrong headed. I've occasionally questioned their knowledge, reasoning ability and their objectivity -- but I've seen absolutely no evidence that they are less than sincere about what they post.

We do occasionally get people in this forum who like to play the devils advocate and bate people, but I've seen no evidence of that in this thread.

Your repeated accusations are rude and detestable. The demonstrate the lowest form of debate. If you sincerely believe that the other people in this thread are not arguing in good faith, I suggest you simply walk away.

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Rakeesh
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I suppose you started skipping posts you didn't like earlier than your announcement, because my question wasn't about whether Zimmerman would lie, but that the entire scenario happened as described. Wife beater, cop attacker, etc.

Of course it's easier to seize on another unrelated claim that I didn't make, declare that absurd, and then back away. Not at all transparent or anything.

People with guns don't start fistfights...right. That's just a rule or something, apparently. Anytime anyone has a gun on or near to hand, whenever they initiate violence they immediately start with brandishing their weapon. Makes sense, really. I swear.

And people say I'M too judgmental about gun owners!

Oh, and another fun little 'probability' to consider: if Zimmerman believed Martin was 'suspicious looking', why did he turn his back on this scary character at night and begin walking away? That hardly fits what we know of his character, and I'm back in the real world now, not the Aris world where potentially petty theft is a 'severe' crime and a cousin's twitter report indicates a history of violence.

I'm back in the real world where whatever else we can say about Zimmerman's judgment, he was someone who took his personal and neighborhood safety seriously. He was a major mover in that neighborhood watch, he called 911 let's just say a LOT, and was the sort of man who felt he needed a gun for grocery shopping (thus far I know of no reason he felt this way except that the world is scary, or something, but a reason may very well exist).

He sees this 'suspicious character' in his neighborhood (coincidentally also close to Martin's as well, the little thug). Said character is suspicious enough to warrant following, and calling 911 (though really, for Zimmerman, that's not saying much), and exiting his car at night to get closer on foot against dispatch's recommendation.

Then, after whatever happened after he got out of his car and the altercation began...he turned around and walked away from Martin, who then rushed him from behind and began attacking him.

So you're all about your 'probabilities' here, Aris, therefore tell me: what is the probability Zimmerman did that? And for any other part of Zimmerman's story to be true, that part MUST be true: that he put his back to Martin and began walking away. If he backed away from him, he had the gun, why didn't he brandish it if this suspicious character approached him? Tell him to back off, make a move for his gun? What?

Or you could just cut and run. That wouldn't surprise me.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Aris, I find it particularly offensive when you accuse people in this thread of lying or playing dumb.
Rakeesh has been calling me dishonest since page 2 of this thread, and Orincoro has been calling me obtuse since page 1.

As a sidenote let me quote some other bits from April 02 comments in this very thread (first page)
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris
We know that Zimmerman had injuries on both the back and the front of his head.

And indeed we did know it.

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
[qb]We do not know that. *We* have been told that. The evidence was not properly collected.

But yeah, it was.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh
A minute ago we 'knew' Zimmerman had been seriously beaten-injuries which he didn't get extra medical care for, which didn't leave signs that could be seen from looking at his face,

Oh, my.

My point: Better go with my judgment of the evidence, rather than with Rakeesh or Orincoro. They tend to oh-so-very-reasonably be *wrong*, while I tend to be right.

No, I won't convince them of it. I won't convince them that it's pretty much certain it was Zimmerman's voice. But then again they weren't convinced that Zimmerman had injuries in the front and the back of his head either.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
People with guns don't start fistfights...right. That's just a rule or something, apparently. Anytime anyone has a gun on or near to hand, whenever they initiate violence they immediately start with brandishing their weapon. Makes sense, really. I swear.
Let's assume for a moment that "People with guns don't start fist fights" is something any reasonable person would expect to be accurate almost all the time. If that's the case, then when/if Martin started a fist fight with Zimmerman, any reasonable person would have expected he was unarmed.

If you accept that premise, then Zimmerman should have known he was an armed man fighting a teenager who was almost certainly not armed.

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The Rabbit
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Aris, Lying is not the same thing as making an inaccurate claim. People can be mistaken, like you were when you claimed that the coroner report said Martin had bruised and bloody knuckles.

Lying or "playing dumb" as you call it implies that a person knows that what they are saying is false and is deliberately and intentionally trying to deceive others. Making that kind of defamatory statement about others in this forum violates the terms of service. Please stop. If you sincerely believe that people in this debate are lying or being consciously dishonest and deceptive, then there is no reason for you to continue the discussion. Either show respect to the other members of the discussion, or walk away.

When you mad the false claim that the coroners report said that Martin had bruised and bloody knuckles, I could have assumed that you had read the coroners report and knew the claim was untrue but were choosing to lie to make your point. I could have assumed that you were intentionally saying something you knew was untrue. I granted you the benefit of a doubt and assumed that you were simply repeating what you had heard from other sources without checking the facts. Give others that same benefit of a doubt or you don't belong here.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
like you were when you claimed that the coroner report said Martin had bruised and bloody knuckles.
I never used the word "bloody".

quote:
When you mad the false claim that the coroners report said that Martin had bruised and bloody knuckles
I never used the word "bloody".
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
like you were when you claimed that the coroner report said Martin had bruised and bloody knuckles.
I never used the word "bloody".

quote:
When you mad the false claim that the coroners report said that Martin had bruised and bloody knuckles
I never used the word "bloody".

I'm sorry, I didn't go back to check your original post. My memory of the post was inaccurate.

You did however use the words "bruised" and "knuckles" neither of which appear in the coroners report. Would you prefer that I believe that you knew these words were not in the report but chose to deliberately lie about it or that you were mistaken when you made that post?

If you would prefer that I presume you were mistaken, then grant others the same courtesy.

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