Witness – Thru the Lens of History and Culture

Witness – Thru the Lens of History and Culture

These discussions come up from time to time. How grandpappy or grandmama did some thing they would be d-listed for today. But in their time, everyone else was doing it. So why wouldn’t they? So shouldn’t we just shake our heads and move on with our day?

But then along come the rabble rousers and dreamers of that day, who rightly say, but we didn’t do that thing. Why do grandpappy and grandmama get let off the hook? It didn’t have to be that way. Well yes, but grandpappy and grandmama they just weren’t wired that way. They did as they saw folk around them do, and they put their own thoughts away. It’s not like they had power, money or time to change their day. They were too busy and obedient to do more than put their one foot in front of the other. Like their family had always done.

Then along came the shiftless and the moon-mad and said yeah but we didn’t do that either. And grandpappy and grandmama would be defended by saying in their day that kind of behaviour got you warehoused in a workhouse, jail or asylum. And they didn’t want to live that way. I mean, can you blame them? Those places were so horrendous that books and libraries have many stories about them.

So now you’re looking for excuses, like the people who came across the seas and deserts who brought new thoughts and grandpappy and grandmama should have listened to them. Maybe so but ‘those people’? They just didn’t move in next door to grandpappy and grandmama, did they? So you may know of them, but realistically …. did grandpappy and grandmama ?

Well the books were everywhere, you scream! Thinkers and sages were everywhere. I can’t argue with that. But grandpappy and grandmama could barely sign their names. Let alone read classical philosophy. I mean. I can barely read it and I’ve been to university! So aren’t you being a little hard on grandpappy and grandmama ?

And they had candles or oil lamps to read by, not rooms full of 100 watt bulbs or screen lights on their devices. Grandpappy and grandmama would scream, rebuke the devil and call the priest at even the suggestion that these things might exist some day!

And grandpappy and grandmama’s folk had to travel for days to see a guy about a pair of glasses. READING WAS HARD for grandpappy and grandmama.

So do we and can we really blame grandpappy and grandmama ?

And even now we know the world and nation leaders don’t want to be changed. And those who try/ied were ones who were willing to put their necks in nooses. And truly, was that who your grandpappy and grandmama were?

If so, bully for you! You had an amazing grandpappy and grandmama! They just weren’t my kin folk.

Witness – Forensic Science and it’s ‘EXPERTISE’ in Court in Canada

Witness – Forensic Science and it’s ‘EXPERTISE’ in Court in Canada

We want to believe that the new science and computer toys they use in law enforcement are our best friends, that they will prove innocence beyond doubt. But they don’t. Because no matter which tool you use, there is still a human driving it, with all their prejudices and bad days, with varied education and aptitude make for something that is actually still on shaky ground. It’s not like TV and movies show us at all. It won’t do more than hazard an educated guess. It’s still a tool that is only as good as the programmer and the reader.

And people have been wrongfully convicted because of forensic science. The thing that was supposed to stop that very thing from happening.

If that is true, and it is, then how can courts ethically use this when the stakes are so high?

Yeah most criminals say they’re innocent, but ya know what? Some of them really might be. And the system is SUPPOSED to be fair and just. (No I’m NOT being Pollyanna when I say that!)

…….. references

Properly qualified and admissible expert testimony can be powerful evidence. It can identify a potential suspect to the exclusion of all others. It is a significant assistance to the trier of fact in appreciating specific facts and circumstances in a prosecution that are outside of its general knowledge and understanding. On the other hand, tainted, tailored and unsubstantiated expert evidence, couched in scientific terms and language, based on unreliable fact and ultimately debunked science has long been recognized as a leading cause of wrongful convictions. govt of Canada


Forensic science isn’t all that and a bag of chips. JHS of Canada


[They] must understand that their role as experts in the criminal justice system is to provide the police, the Crown, the defence, and the court with a reasonable and balanced opinion, and to remain independent in doing so. The expert cannot become a partisan.”

The trial judge’s role as gatekeeper has been a part of Canadian jurisprudence for years. Perhaps the scrutiny necessary to perform that function has effectively diminished because of the belief that forensic evidence, like all other evidence, will be accorded the appropriate weight at the end of the day. As a result, in many cases forensic evidence and expert testimony has not been scrutinized to the level expected before the evidence is heard by the trier(s) of fact. ppsc


new theories, methods and techniques are developed every day, and understanding how these change forensic science presents unique challenges and opportunities. We are mindful that these new developments are as challenging to lawyers and judges as they are to the scientific community. CSI fields

Witness – How do you separate what you view from how you feel about the people involved? Or can you even?

Witness – How do you separate what you view from how you feel about the people involved? Or can you even?

Most crime happens in your community, maybe even your own school, job, family, relationship… So how do you separate what you think about or feel about the perpetrator and victim from what they did or experienced? From what you saw, know?

It’s hard(er) to tell the truth when you know the consequences someone will face. And what their state of mind and circumstances were just prior to this event happening. Your inclination might be to protect them for their family’s sake as well.

But is it protection when the person is obv past having a bad day and out of control?

What if their next move is to go home and commit other crimes against the people you’re thinking about? Aren’t you enabling their free fall?

And what about the victim(s)? Do you want them to feel invalidated? Do you want them to have to go thru a cold, harsh system to see any justice at all? Do you want them to be called liars and treated accordingly? What would the consequences be that they would face?

It’s a LOT less complex if what you see is strangers engaging, but that isn’t often the case.

I know that people are concerned about approaching and involving the police and courts. But what is the alternative when you have a conflict &/or someone has lost reason and needs to be confined for at min a few hours till they calm down? Or if you know they’re on a downward spiral and need to be redirected?


So far, those are the people you at least like, if not love. Or at least have to carry on some kind of relationship with. At least pass by without conflict. What happens if you hate them? What if you’re a bigot? How do you tell the truth that is needed for a just world, if you blame the person you most don’t identify with rather than tell the truth? Are you willing to take the risk that further negative entanglements follow and someone you do like and want to protect is next in line?


This is something to consider for real life and web entanglements/conflict as well.


Telling a lie or covering for someone means you are responsible for what they do next as well as what this victim feels today.

Witness : Do you Know what a Loaded Question is?

Witness : Do you Know what a Loaded Question is?

Whether you are being held and interrogated by the police, military, or even a potential boss or a jealous partner, watch for questions that aren’t really questions. They tell you within the structure, tone and content what they want to hear from you, instead of giving you a clear path to express your opinion and needs.

Questions that are more open often begin with the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where and why) and how and are fairly short. They don’t give you any detail of what they know, but ask what you know instead. They aren’t intended to catch you in a lie either, or prove themselves right.


for eg. What did you do last night? When did you get home?
vs Since I heard your car pull in and saw you staggering in, will you confirm you arrived home drunk and at 3 am?


for eg. What cologne is that you’re wearing? Is it new?
vs I smell a woman’s perfume on you. Is it Sherry’s? It sure smells like it! Did you kiss Sherry?

Witness – How This Person Sees it (the Pikangikum tribe crisis)

Witness – How This Person Sees it (the Pikangikum tribe crisis)

Much as we may try to assimilate and clone each other with our fads and commercialism, we are still the products of our cultures and beliefs. So when we see something new or familiar, we add it to the frames or schema we already have.

  • If the experience is in our comfort zone, we might feel less anxious as we tell the story of something we saw.
  • If it relates to something we already know, we might be able to recall more details.
  • If we feel safe with the person asking the questions, we might tell more of the story we saw.

Some groups will feel safer than others, as 2020 has shown us if we weren’t aware before. In the USA, BLM showed us that the black people didn’t feel safe among the police and why. As 2020 has shown us that First Nations people don’t feel safe, and haven’t for awhile.

2020-21 has shown us that the Asian community is feeling unsafe as well.

So how does authority get someone who feels unsafe to tell them when something is wrong and describe it accurately so something can be done. When the witness and the police don’t have a good history,

  • how can they work well together to tell the story that needs to be told, so a crime can be solved?
  • Even to determine what is considered a crime.

Things seem to be coming to a head again in Canada, besides the land defending and eco-defence.

The Pikangikum tribe has basically kicked the govt’s police off the reserve and intend to work with their own peace keepers. So the govt is pushing back by refusing them govt health workers during a pandemic. Doctors for Defunding Police has put together a letter of concern on this issue.

And as the hostility climbs again, the story changes in how it gets told.

But this is where it was at the beginning of Canada before there was a national govt:

voices of the first people who came to Canada, the First Nations and the Norse/Vikings talking about ancestry beliefs.

When Technology is the Witness – Facial Recognition Software

When Technology is the Witness – Facial Recognition Software

Most people who discuss CCTV and digital cameras used by police to surveil the public as a privacy issue. And those who are committing or wish to commit a crime are cautious about avoiding cameras for this reason.

Don’t get me wrong, privacy IS an important issue. But would you believe that is actually not the ONLY reason these shots aren’t the best idea for courts and police to use?

The bigger issue is that the algorithms are inaccurate to varying degrees for anyone but middle aged white men….

And put that into the hands of a police force that has been shown to be racist/bigoted? ‘Houston, we have a problem!’

How can this be corrected? Well, changing the sampling of people who are studied to develop the algorithms in the first place might help. But you’d also have to change the cameras and the site’s lighting. That won’t change the police officer or dept who is racist/biased, but at least they won’t be able to use it to brand someone as a criminal and warehouse them in pretty horrific conditions like jails, prisons and forensic hospitals.

The tech giants are no longer willing to make or sell this tech to police depts as of now. Due to their misuse during the BLM protests. So maybe something good did come of it?


The NIST study evaluated 189 software algorithms from 99 developers — a majority of the industry. It focuses on how well each individual algorithm performs one of two different tasks that are among face recognition’s most common applications. The first task, confirming a photo matches a different photo of the same person in a database, is known as “one-to-one” matching and is commonly used for verification work, such as unlocking a smartphone or checking a passport. The second, determining whether the person in the photo has any match in a database, is known as “one-to-many” matching and can be used for identification of a person of interest. NIST


A growing body of research exposes divergent error rates across demographic groups, with the poorest accuracy consistently found in subjects who are female, Black, and 18-30 years old. Harvard


In June of 2020 IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft announced they would pause or end sales of their face recognition technology to police in the United States. ACLU


the systems generally work best on middle-aged white men’s faces, and not so well for people of color, women, children, or the elderly ACLU


Algorithms developed in the US were all consistently bad at matching Asian, African-American, and Native American faces. Native Americans suffered the highest false positive rates.
One-to-many matching, systems had the worst false positive rates for African-American women, which puts this population at the highest risk for being falsely accused of a crime. MIT

Why Do Some People Compete Over Pain and Victimization?

Why Do Some People Compete Over Pain and Victimization?

I’ve been watching the same stories that you have, all over social media these days. I see the posts made. But even more, I see the comments that compare pain and who had it worse.

I think people respond to pain and those who wish to harm them in different ways. To different degrees. But underneath is a person who was just trying to live their life and along came a truck and ran them over.

  • Maybe just their foot and they needed a cast for six weeks.
  • Or maybe they got chronic pain in the foot and never fully recovered.
  • Maybe the pain spread into their legs and lower back because they were always trying to compensate to take the weight off the foot.
  • Maybe it was just their brain saying ‘ouch foot hurts!’ that they couldn’t shut off.
    And eventually their friends and family lost patience and they lost support they needed. Because that kind of pain is still real to them. To their brain.

Maybe their body was actually run over and developed multiple issues.

  • Maybe they recovered after multiple surgeries and lots of rehab.
  • Maybe they became addicted to not only pain killers, but also to having the support of their medical team and family and friends.
    And again people lost patience with them and they lost support they needed.

Maybe at some point(s) they died, and were resuscitated.

  • And they got addicted to the rush and whatever visions they saw during their crisis.
  • And delved into alternate social systems and explanations to explain what they saw and felt.
  • And their efforts were seen as oddity and they were treated as weak or of frail mind, and given psychiatric names for it.

Does it matter? Wherever they placed in this, it is all within a ‘normal’ range of things that can happen when a truck runs over your foot or your body. If you didn’t respond in one of these ways, now that would be abnormal.

But we don’t treat people the same. We vilify or deify people and it has more to do with us than them. They are in pain and it’s our needs that get met more often than theirs.

It’s fair to say you cannot be available to support someone in need. Maybe you have a foot fetish and cannot see a broken one without nausea and fainting. (silly I know but you get it right?)

  • Some people just aren’t good carers.
  • Some people have very little empathy.
    It doesn’t mean they have nothing else to offer the world. Just don’t put them at a bedside. It’s not playing to their strength.

This is the base discussion under the Meghan and Harry situation. the George Floyd trial and the woman who was murdered this week too. People are comparing the stories and discussing endlessly how what they know is the right take on it, and how it compares, rather than listening and seeing what this story has to teach us about the human condition. As a stand alone event. That is relevant to the people going thru it. And getting derailed by extraneous factors.

  • Does it matter if Meghan always dreamed of marrying a prince and got her wish? And now she is hurt and some people are pointing and cheering rather than showing empathy.
  • Does it matter if Floyd’s family got a settlement? Does that mean that Floyd’s case is over and the cops should go back to service?
  • Does it matter if the woman who was murdered was killed by a woman, man or cop? Dead is dead and her family will miss her.

Pain is pain and we should spend less time analysing it all over social media and MSM and more time empathizing with the people going thru it. IMO

What do you think?

Zeitgeist –

Zeitgeist –

There are so many ways to look at this. To a certain point, you want to fit into the current spirit of your culture, your social group and family. Don’t you? Certainly when you’re a kid and reliant on their good will to survive. But isn’t there a point when you want to/need to individuate?
Just not too much, I guess or you get labelled as odd, eccentric and too much of that gets you called names doctors give you. Which can get you put in a jail or mental health famility.

But then we need people who are different at some level in the arts, sports…. to be that OTT one who shines and does something unique. Something exciting, brilliant.

So when is it crazy, odd, or something that flairs so we keep changing the game posts of entertainment and innovation? ummmm….

Changing the World – What Can John Smith and Jane Doe (You) Do to Make Things Better?

Changing the World – What Can John Smith and Jane Doe (You) Do to Make Things Better?

So many people figure the world is something they have no impact on. It’s too big for one person to change, to improve. But if you consider what you think your world and the world you want for your kids to have, what do you see? And what do you want to be?

And at a time when things are pretty dire and even the leaders of the world are fumbling and going nuts, what can little you do?

It may not be the big picture you can change, but thinking about what is important to you can lead to you at least casting a more informed vote. While it’s true that nothing you do may be relevant to the big parties and their frontmen, it maybe true that you (pl) with your friends, family, co-workers and even neighbourhood can make your voice heard.

So once you’ve found your ideals, you can spread your mssg to the people around you and discuss them. You can hop on social media and get involved in the discussions. Follow the party that most fits your ideals and find out what they’re talking about. Follow nat’l media and independents and see what the topic of the day is. Follow big schools and see what they’re posting about.

Post, repost, and then bring them to your dinner table discussions with family and friends, and your coffee break with colleagues. Back and forth.

The word will spread and it’s possible you will become influential in those chats.

Today looks dismal due to the pandemic, the climate, unemployment, fascism seems to be on the rise again, so many deaths and mourning.

And maybe at this time, since you’re on the internet, you can look up some course you’ve always wanted to take about these things and learn more about what you can do to influence the systems. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few months. I’ve improved my skills in things studied previously that are relevant now, learned new aspects of old loves and new things I couldn’t get to before that I always wanted to learn. Like anthropology courses. I just couldn’t seem to fit them into my course load before for some reason. But maybe the universe was saying I need this info now. I’m ready to hear it now. So now it’s available.

There are courses online now that are free or low fee at some of the best schools in the world. And I love that sooooo much! In the past few months, I’ve been to the Hague, Harvard, Yale, Stanford,… so cool! Don’t worry, they have intro level courses. You don’t need a PHD or MD to get what they teach. Or if you have those levels of education, they have them too.

And all these things give you access to the people who CAN influence the world leaders. See? Maybe you can bend their ear a little! And on social media? They count your loves and your followers to see how important your voice is there. Right?

Square Peg – Round Hole

Square Peg – Round Hole

If I were to meet your …..brother, sister, father, mother….. how much like them are you?
How about your S.O.? Are you a lot like them?
What about your besties? Are you peas in a pod, or leaves from different trees? Things in common but things different too?

Why do we expect or even want people to be like us? Or us like them?
Isn’t the world more interesting when we meet people who are different, so we can listen to a different story, hear a new joke or song? Is that a new prayer you’re chanting, and what is it about?

At what point does it stop though?

I’m a people-curious person. Always wanting to learn about others, excited by novelty. But there are certainly things that turn me off. As I’m sure there are with you as well.

But we have to try to blend with the people, the group around us. To the point of marching lockstep though? Where is that line?

I think it’s a daily struggle, which may be why I have social anxiety and am shy. It’s hard to navigate the world when I think everyone wants a clone of them.

Or do they? Have I finally gotten past high school? Can we truly be ourselves, and is that really ok?

Maybe this is just my headspace everyday? (shrug)