Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gotcha [thanks to Richard Wiseman]

This post was prompted by the following video link.
Please watch it before reading:

This video demonstrates the reality of people overlooking environmental changes...even changes that we would consider fairly obvious.

One of the favorite games that is played in the US these days is "Gotcha!". The place where "Gotcha!" is most valued is in the legal system. Side "A" tries to impress some monied party that Side "B" didn't notice something and therefore "B" should pay "A" money. Often, side 'B' pays because either they can't prove the negative...that something WASN'T overlooked...or the effort to fight a suit will take significantly more resources than proving that oversight did not rise to the level of endangerment or negligence.

In Wiseman's video, we see a demonstration of how we overlook matters while focusing on an involved but different targets. A good ambulance-chasing lawyer would impress these obvious oversights on his/her potential client & will probably sell a case to the client. Whether or not a judge would buy the ambulance-chaser's argument would be a matter of chance. Most of us, judges included, do not understand how easily we're fooled...especially by unethical lawyers.

I think this video would be a good "required watch" for any judge or jury member.

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