People Nowadays

Sun May 22, 2005

Talk a lot about media restructuring consciousness and the like. I’m sympathetic to some of these arguments to an extent, but a lot of the trick is defining what “consciousness,” particularly “social consciousness,” means at any given argumentative moment. Since I pointed the site’s immense readership to two Washington Post articles last night, I’m continuing the trend.

I’ve never watched an episode of CSI: Anywhere, I should say. What then should we think of this?

“There is an increased and unrealistic expectation that every crime scene will yield plentiful forensic evidence,” said Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Randolph Sengel, who talked to jurors after the drug trial. “As a result, we spend time now explaining to juries the absence of evidence.” And when interviewing potential jurors, Sengel said, he and his team of prosecutors have “recently taken to reminding them that this is not ‘CSI.’ “

Butterflies, zebras, moonbeams, and now this. Readers of C.P. Snow’s Varieties of Men may remember his remarks about Stalin and what a real literary culture does to your worldview. Mutatis mutandis, but this is nothing new. Note that a Chaminade University forensic scientist is quoted here, and he does not mention that institution’s heroic triumph over UVA. I’d be curious to know to what extent so-called behavioral forensics, profiling a la Will Graham, has played in the comparatively and thankfully rare jury selections where it was relevant.