SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:06 am UTC

@sardia, It seems a matter of degree. Some amount of selfish political calculation is accepted even by the opposing judges, just not every amount. The question under debate is not whether the state government was acting in its partisan interest when it made the map, but where it becomes 'too much'. And more relevant, if the courts can decide what's too much, or they should leave it to congress.

Look at these quotes below, from anti-gerrymandering opinions in the previous case. It's 'sometimes it does not', 'is sufficiently demonstrable', or 'sole motivator'. They are looking at degrees.

They are all accepting that partisan considerations are allowed in the process, but they are (in different ways) trying to pin down when it becomes too much in a way that a court can rule on,by tieing it to equal protection.
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The use of purely political considerations in drawing district boundaries is not a “necessary evil” that, for lack of judicially manageable standards, the Constitution inevitably must tolerate. Rather, pure politics often helps to secure constitutionally important democratic objectives. But sometimes it does not. [...]


However equal districts may be in population as a formal matter, the consequence of a vote cast can be minimized or maximized, Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U. S. 725, 734, n. 6 (1983), and if unfairness is sufficiently demonstrable, the guarantee of equal protection condemns it as a denial of substantial equality.

In my view, when partisanship is the legislature’s sole motivation—when any pretense of neutrality is forsaken unabashedly and all traditional districting criteria are subverted for partisan advantage—the governing body cannot be said to have acted impartially.

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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby Ginger » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:52 am UTC

If your entire defense in the supreme courts boils down to a lot of, "scientific words and maths phrase," then that is NOT a defense in court. At best it's like using statistics to BOLSTER NOT PROVE your arguments in courts: Using maths as a tool to highlight your concerns and not making it at the front of your defense. The Supreme Court of the US is in NO WAY biased against mathematical arguments. Maths is just too complicated for laypeople to get. And that is a failing of maths and sciences NOT the SCOTUS.
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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby Yablo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:52 pm UTC

Ginger wrote:If your entire defense in the supreme courts boils down to a lot of, "scientific words and maths phrase," then that is NOT a defense in court.

It's the TL;DR approach to the Chewbacca Defense.

Maths is just too complicated for laypeople to get. And that is a failing of maths and sciences NOT the SCOTUS.

In many cases, mathematics and science can easily get too complicated, yes, but I would argue it's to the credit of math and science rather than a failing. If it's a failure at any level, it's a failure of education. The better an understanding the average person has, the more difficult it would be to BS them with overly-complicated and misleading arguments.

I suppose another failure might be in the entertainment level math and science provide. Some people find it fascinating that an iguana's tail can fall off and grow back, but when you start to explain the how and the why, they drift off.
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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby Ginger » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:01 pm UTC

Well, it's a failure on both levels in my opinions: re: teachers not teachin' right, or inserting their religious or political views into unwilling students or just, like... not knowing the materials THEY ARE SUPPOSE to teach right. And the second failures: Maths and sciences often use their own terminology, which can be varied and complicated, requiring a layperson to NEED A F BOMBING dictionary or sciences/maths books just to understand what the phrases used are saying? AND some scientists and mathematical peoples are DISCRIMINATORY, they say you aren't even a functioning human girl/woman if you don't know HARD MATHS AND SCIENCES.

So in general: I agree that the teachers failed, and the education systems fails, just: It's also a failure of scientists and maths ppls for being TOO ELITIST. So most girls like me... never even get basic sciences and maths teachings... b/c the mostly MALE maths and sciences teachers think we just can't get it? Leading them to either exclude women and girls from the hard maths and sciences, other students exclude them, how the educational systems even gonna teach a girl/woman if... no one wanna let her into their fields? Especially in colleges. ANYWAYS: You right that knowing more about those subjects could lead to a greater understanding of legal defenses... and popular sciences re: animals has A LOT of entertainment values... and ppls misuses/misquotes popular sciences to prove their own arguments? Like Evo Psych a lot a lot. Anyways I rambling so. Take my posts or leave them your choices? <3
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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby ivnja » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:52 am UTC

Ginger wrote:the second failures: Maths and sciences often use their own terminology, which can be varied and complicated, requiring a layperson to NEED A F BOMBING dictionary or sciences/maths books just to understand what the phrases used are saying?

For better or worse, all the terminology exists because the practitioners of those fields need to be able to communicate very specific and precise concepts that often don't have common terms, or for which common descriptions aren't concise enough. For an example of the latter, consider roll, pitch, and yaw (for piloting an airplane). Roll is "rotation around the front-to-back axis" of the plane (or the degree to which the right wingtip is above or below the left wingtip, at least until the plane starts to go inverted), pitch is "rotation around the side-to-side axis" (or nose-upness and nose-downness), and yaw is "rotation around the vertical axis" (or skew of the nose to the left or right of the current direction of the plane). You can talk about steering the plane without using those terms, but it's unwieldy and can lead to ambiguity about what you want the pilot to do, while with those three terms you can clearly and precisely convey exactly what the movements should be. Occasionally you come across gratuitous jargon, but all in all the terminology is there to aid with understanding, not to obscure it - with the caveat that especially with advanced topics you may need to have a reasonable amount of familiarity with the subject matter to be able to understand the concepts the terms describe.

It is unfortunate when scientific terminology and common language use the same word in different ways, with perhaps the worst offender being "theory," which most non-scientists seem to treat as strictly synonymous with "hypothesis." That's the sort of thing that the Justices should be able to understand when it's explained to them, though.
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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:10 am UTC

One of those cases that I always thought was just people sloppily misusing terminology but I was recently informed is actually technical jargon: in sociology, "minority" means any disadvantaged group, regardless of their relative numeric size. So a literal numerical majority, like say women (of whom there are more than men), are "a minority" in sociological jargon. That one seems especially egregious to me since "disadvantaged group" is not exactly an unwieldy phrase to use in its place.

"Theory" in the other hand means different specialized things even in different fields. A mathematical theory, a philosophical theory, and a scientific theory are not the same kind of thing, not different approaches to the same problem, but different kinds of things entirely.
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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby Ginger » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:45 pm UTC

ivnja wrote:Occasionally you come across gratuitous jargon, but all in all the terminology is there to aid with understanding, not to obscure it - with the caveat that especially with advanced topics you may need to have a reasonable amount of familiarity with the subject matter to be able to understand the concepts the terms describe.

It is unfortunate when scientific terminology and common language use the same word in different ways, with perhaps the worst offender being "theory," which most non-scientists seem to treat as strictly synonymous with "hypothesis." That's the sort of thing that the Justices should be able to understand when it's explained to them, though.

Thank you a lot for explaining your opinions in a thoughtful and nuanced way... and now... I actually kind of agree? It's just that I've been given medicines and they use their technical names, don't explain the side effects and... I know I could just read it on the bottle. But sometimes the bottles don't list everything, and neither does the 'net, so... I am force to pretend like I know what my meds are doing to my body even when I don't? Or in schools: They just rattle off their jargon sometimes w/o stopping the lesson, forcing a woman to have to look through the books or, "see them after class." ANYWAYS.

You have several very good points and I agree with your post in general so: U-Up v-votes forever! :D
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Re: SCOTUS Biased Against Basic Mathematical Arguments

Postby idonno » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:48 pm UTC

Given the etymology, I think the common usage of both "minority" and "theory" have a lot more validity than the terminological use. It seems incredibly likely that the specialist area hijacked the word and now it is common place to complain that the plebeians are using it wrong (at least with theory, I've never heard anyone complain about minority).

Theory comes from the Greek theōria, ‘contemplation, speculation,’
Minority comes from the Latin minor, 'smaller'


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