Professional witness (was Re: Transparency Debate: test case!)

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 00:17:49 MDT

On Fri, 31 Mar 2000 19:49:07 -0800,
Spike Jones <>, wrote:

>It has been years since I have received
>a traffic fine, however I have been known to blow a stop sign
>at 80 kph, as can be testified by Jeff Davis who was with me
>last time I did so.

I don't think so, Spike!

First off, let me say without equivocation, that it never happened.

Next, to my knowledge, Spike Jones is an individual of the very highest
character, and highly disciplined, who would never intentionally commit an
act which was socially irresponsible, such as endangering himself or others
by operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner.

Next, I'm no paragon of virtue, but I have a strong disinclination to
ratting on my friends.

Next, it is clearly impossible for me, from the passenger's seat, to have
been looking towards the left, at the speedometer, so as to be able to
verify that the speed was 80 kph (or whatever) and, at the same time, to
have been looking forward and to the right so as to witness the passing of
the alleged stop sign. There is a simultaneity problem here. Even if I
had the memory of the experience of the perception of the approach to what,
at a distance, exhibited the phenomenal characteristics of stop-sign-ness,
the diversion of my attention at the crucial moment would make it
impossible for me to say with certainty that we had in fact "passed" it.
For instance, if there had been an authentic stop sign there (a point,
which among many others, is by no means established), who is to say that
some person in authority did not remove it at the very moment when by gaze
was averted? No, in the matter of the reputation of my good friend Spike,
I shall be making no unverifiable assumptions.

Next, there is the matter of the reliability of my percetions and memory.
Heavy drug use during the seventies has left its mark. Sometimes I can be
sitting home in my living room and will seem to see, out of the corner of
my eye, stop signs whiz by at 80 kph. Followed by police sirens. Are they
real stop signs? Are they real sirens? Under the circumstances, I'd
really feel quite unsettled testifying about real people and real events.

Finally, I have no honor, and my integrity is for sale at any time. For an
appropriately substantial package of unmarked bills (bidding starts at five
figures, none of which can be smaller than a five), or a candlelight dinner
with Cindy Crawford, I will testify to anything. Nothing I say can be
trusted. You must be mistaken. I wasn't there. I didn't see it. I don't
know anything. I can't remember. Spike who?

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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