Monday, August 11, 2008
Throughout our professional life, we have been very skeptical of "experts", especially if this involves any of the humanities. In the physical sciences, an engineer's motor is subject to testing. Either it runs or not. This is often not true for expert testimony in other less exact fields, however, where witnesses seek to exert their alleged "authority", without any better proof for their opinions than those held by normal citizens.
In this regard, it is thus interesting to read Lady Justice Arden's UK ruling in Judge says expert witnesses are rarely useful for trade mark disputes. As the ruling clearly demonstrates, it is all really rather a matter of opinion...but there are SOME facts.
Hat tip to Out-Law.com.
OK, this posting ends our experiment with Zemanta. Some interesting ideas, but not yet that useful to us in terms of links or the photo gallery provided.
UPDATE ON EXPERT WITNESSES
Martha Neil at the ABA Journal News may have the "down under" solution in her posting today, When Expert Witnesses Disagree, ‘Hot-Tubbing’ is a Possible Solution, where she writes:
"When expert witnesses have opposing views of the same evidence, even the judge can be daunted.... Australia, however, has successfully pursued a different path toward resolution: "hot-tubbing." Putting the experts together and allowing them to question each other, rather than making their reports in isolation, can eliminate many disagreements. The Australian approach also accords with the established American system of allowing each side to present its own case."
A SECOND UPDATE ON EXPERT WITNESSES
It is sometimes remarkable how some topics seem to surface concurrently on media. Adam Liptak at the The New York Times also has an article on expert witnesses, as his article In U.S., Partisan Expert Witnesses Frustrate Many targets the major weakness of the US expert witness system, which is that expert witnesses tend to take the side of the party who is paying them, leading to biased testimony on both sides of a legal case.
Again, we think that "hot tubbing" would also be a recommended solution for the problem we see in peer-reviewed academic journals especially in the humanities - but also in the physical sciences, which is that there is primarily a one-sided presentation of issues, rather than a balanced handling of important scientific questions.
Email Archiving and Hosting Outsourcing Solutions for Firms and Businesses in Compliance with Legislation : SEC CFTC Sarbanes Oxley NASD NYSE FRCP
GFI Software, a software company specializing in content and network security, messaging and compliance solutions for SMBs, at very competitive prices, has compiled various documents focusing on email archiving laws affecting businesses in the United States.
One such particular document by GFI is a short article on Email archiving in the US : The key laws that affect your business covering the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
One of the products of GFI is the GFI MailArchiver, designed to comply with legislation covering email archiving, and we find that it can be downloaded on a trial basis at ZDNet. It claims to be the number one email archiver for SMBs.
ZDNet also has an interesting article on Email value management, referring to InBoxer, which has on its website several white papers on: FRCP IT Obligations for Email, Email Harassment, Email Retention, Email Archiving for Schools and Local Governments, and Discovery involving Email.
ZDNet also links to Arcmail, a higher-end and pricier solution, which also points to the need to comply with email archiving requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, HIPAA, the Freedom of Information Act and other regulations.
Business.com lists not only GFI Software as an email archiver, but also refers to Symantec email archiving as also to FuseMail, the latter of which offers high quality email hosting outsourcing with e.g. sync clients for Outlook and Blackberry at a very reasonable price. See their blog posting about their New HTML Editor in Webmail v2.0.
That is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject, nor are we expressly recommending any of the email services linked above, but they are a good place to start for those in need.
Russia Georgia Caucasus Ossetia Abkhazia : Ethnolinguistic Map : Empty Google Map : Ancient Peoples of Region : Jason and the Argonauts : Zemanta
In addition, we have a map mystery. We wanted to look at Georgia on Google Maps today, only to discover that Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are as good as blanked out. As written at Google Maps censoring the South Caucasus region?
"Take a look at this screenshot I took from Google Maps:
[see here for the screenshot]
Notice anything odd? The capital cities, or any cities for that matter, are not displayed for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. I know they were previously there because I often consulted Google Maps while planning my trip to the region a few years ago. So why, in this time of conflict when people might want to take a look at the region, has Google stripped out all the identifying information for these three countries?"
We will be interested in the ultimate explanation from Google for this unusual development.
In any case, rather than taking sides in the conflict, as most people on the web are doing, without knowing anything about this region of the world, we found an ethnolinguistic map from Wikimedia Commons at Wikipedia which shows at a glance the distribution of numerous ethnic groups in this bottlenecked region of the world between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and why peace in the Caucasus is such a difficult thing to achieve in this multicultural setting:
For those who might have an interest in the "speculative" far distant history of this region, which might have relevance to the issue of where peoples of this region belong in the political scope of things like national allegiances, take a look at our interpretation of the ancient dolmens found along the coast of Russia in the West Caucasus and running down to and including Abkhazia and ending at what we presume was the ancient border to the ancient peoples of Georgia.
The first map below shows the location of the dolmens:
The second map below shows our interpretation of the dolmens as a planisphere of the heavens, which we think were placed there in ancient megalithic days by astronomy as border landmarks for that region.
These dolmens could - very speculatively - have been placed by the perhaps more real than legendary group of Jason and the Argonauts, who, according to legend, and the fact that the Greeks called a part of this region Colchis, allegedly gave their name to the Ossetians:
"The Russians originally called the Ossetians Jas possibly related to their contact with Jazones.
In Argonautica (of Apollonius of Rhodes) Jason's companions land on a beach of Colchis called Circea. They saw tamarisk and willow trees having corpses tied to the tree tops wrapped in an ox's skin. Apollonius explains that even in his day, when a male died, they hung him from a tree outside the town. The women, in contrast, were buried. In particular among the Ossetians, these funereal practices were still widespread up until a few decades ago. In Late Antiquity, records become much more diffuse, and the Iazyges generally cease to be mentioned as a tribe. In the Middle Ages an Iranian people appeared in Eastern-Europe, the Jazones (named in Latin diplomas also from Philistei/Filistei from the Biblical nation). Jazones, an Ossetic people migrated in Hungaria, are first mentioned in Hungarian records in the year 1318, and their name, spelled in Greek Language means "jason's" (Ιασονες)."
In the late 14th century adopted the Georgian name of the Ossetians and their nation. In the Georgian language, Alania and the Alans are known as "Oseti" (ოსეთი) and "Osebi" (ოსები) respectively. From the Russian language the names Ossetia and Ossetians came to other languages.
Accordingly, there are historical reasons in this region for certain peoples tending to align with other peoples and not with others. Most commentary on the Internet makes this appear like a simple modern issue between Russia and Georgia, but it has far deeper roots than that, and can only be understood in a historical context.
Please note also that we are also experimenting here for the first time with a fairly new add-on extension called Zemanta by which a blog posting can be "zemified", i.e. Zemanta in the course of our posting monitors our typed text every 300 typed characters and then makes suggestions as to possible links and graphics that could be added to the posting based on the text typed into the posting content. It is something like a real time research aid, although in this case we did not use any of the suggested graphics but rather found on our own. However, we did apply the labels as a test. We are not sure we will keep Zemanta, but we are going to give this add-on a fair trial. Also the labels for the posting are automatically suggested by Zemanta.
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