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Old 12th January 2013, 07:17 PM   #81
ergo
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
In a case of defamation that's the court's primary business. Before the court can determine whether Harrit's reputation was harmed, it must first determine what that reputation is.
And how do you propose the court will do this, JayUtah? On what evidence will it determine Harrit's reputation?

If you'd think about things for about five seconds longer than you evidently do, you'd begin to understand what I'm saying.


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Your entire post is legal nonsense, for the reasons previously stated.
Lol. I'm not pretending to offer a legal analysis. I'm just calling you on your B.S.

The rest of your post, being a reiteration of the mostly personal opinion in your first posts, is not worth responding to.
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Old 12th January 2013, 08:13 PM   #82
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Old 13th January 2013, 03:45 AM   #83
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I've looked into several recent cases where people have sued for defamation and won, and with one exception plaintiffs we're all publicly accused of various crimes ranging from the use of illegal workers/tax fraud to pedophilia. The exception was someone accused of being a Nazi supporter and spreading Nazi ideology when clearly he was not.

Harrit's a tosse for filing this suit.
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Old 13th January 2013, 10:21 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
And how do you propose the court will do this, JayUtah? On what evidence will it determine Harrit's reputation?
Wow, you're really new at this, aren't you?

Gadach v. Benton County Co-op Assn. Start there, and when you're finished I've got four or five more cases for you to read.

The plaintiff's reputation is estabilshed as a finding of fact by the same means every other point of fact is established at trial. The party with the burden of proof first presents evidence in his favor, then the respondent rebuts it and/or makes an affirmative case. The court then decides where the facts most likely lie.

The plaintiff presents evidence that his reputation is stellar, that he is a pillar of the community, and that he has worked hard to achieve and maintain such a reputation. He will present lists of civic, academic, or professional achievements. He will admit lists of awards and recognition. He may present character witnesses, although those are less common because they can be cross-examined. In Harrit's case we would expect him to present a list of his scholarly publications and any awards he may have received from his former university.

Conversely the defendant presents evidence that the plaintiff's reputation is already of low esteem. He may rebut the plaintiff's evidence, for example showing that some particular proffered achievement was, say, routinely granted (e.g., employee of the month in a company with only two employees). He may cross-examine the character witnesses or present some of his own.

But this case-in-chief is typically loaded with sins of omission, so it generally falls to the defendant to attempt to show that the plaintiff's reputation is actually based upon more than the happy items the plaintiff has selected. Hence the defendant brings to the court evidence the plaintiff would rather the court not see. In this case, the public record is full of Harrit's public appearances and statements on 9/11. A basic web search turns up prominent mention of his hoax-promoting activities and alliances with crackpot organizations. Actually that's not true -- it turns up nothing but that.

As part of its findings in the case, a court will determine which picture of Harrit's reputation is most likely true -- in the U.S., the standard is how a reasonable, informed, ordinary citizen who doesn't know Harrit personally will perceive him to be based on all readily and commonly available material. And it is that finding of fact that will be the yardstick against which the court will measure whether that reputation has been damaged by defendant's actions alone.

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If you'd think about things for about five seconds longer than you evidently do, you'd begin to understand what I'm saying.
If you had been inside a courtroom for longer than five seconds, you'd begin to understand that what you're saying doesn't matter. You have absolutely no clue what you're talking about.

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Lol. I'm not pretending to offer a legal analysis.
Of course you are. You just suck at it.

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The rest of your post, being a reiteration of the mostly personal opinion in your first posts, is not worth responding to.
I accept your concession.
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Old 13th January 2013, 10:39 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
Sure it was true but making it public was the act which caused the damage.
There are some universal exceptions to the truth rule, for example in the case of medical records under fiduciary trust. If your doctor casually tells people he treated you for severe bedwetting, for example, he has defamed you. The truth of the statement does not excuse publishing it if the publisher had a duty not to publish it. Truths arising out of an ordinary breach of privacy are also defamatory.

A newspaper does not have a duty not to publish its opinion of someone who has deliberately and aggressively placed himself in the public eye on the nonsensical side of a controversy.

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The rest of your post - well stated - understood and agreed.
Oh, I wasn't attempting a legal analysis. I was just calling someone on his B.S.

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Remember we are operating under "Internet Forum Discussion Rules" so ergo et al can keep pretending that courts and the law of the land don't exist and/or that silly internet debating tricks would be allowed in a court. That is a big reason why the truth movement would never go there or welcome another investigation.
I'm glad you brought that up because it's a corollary to what I wrote above. Crackpots lose their court cases precisely because they think silly internet debate tricks will work in court. That's the only way they know how to argue, and they are wholly unprepared for having feet held to the fire.

Judges are not especially stupid, and unlike the audience for most conspiracists, judges are well attuned to hearing, detecting, and rejecting patently lame arguments.
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Old 13th January 2013, 10:46 AM   #86
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Old 13th January 2013, 10:53 AM   #87
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I'm curious to see how much of a role freedom of speech/freedom of the press will play here.

The comment at issue here is really just "Niels Harrit is a poor scientist." That is an opinion statement, and one which people in a free society are entitled to make. If journalists can be dragged into court and forced to prove their every offhand remark, then free speech is curtailed.

I realize that Denmark is not the United States, and that national jurisprudence may not err so heavily on the side of protecting free speech. But to some extent, whatever libel was caused by the statement has to be reconciled against Sorenson's right to make it.
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Old 13th January 2013, 11:00 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by AsbjornAndersen View Post
The main problem is that "tosse" more often than not is used as meaning "fool" or "idiot" instead of "mentally ill". This alone undermines his case.
Indeed if Common Law serves as an example on this point too, the trier of fact is allowed to determine for himself which of several possible meanings of an ambiguous word was intended. The court is not bound to the literal meaning or to the plaintiff's belief.

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Plus, the column was a debate-column, expressing solely the writer's opinion.
True, but opinions and allegations of fact are inherently what they are. "It is my opinion that John Doe is a child molester" is an allegation of fact, despite my lame attempt to disguise it. "It's a fact that the Bible is the most beautiful book ever written," is inherently an opinion.

As I see it, "Niels Harrit is mentally ill," would be an actionable statement of defamation. "I think Niels Harrit is a fool," is not.
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Old 13th January 2013, 11:37 AM   #89
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double post.
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Old 13th January 2013, 11:46 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
Which brings us back to the points I made.

At first you claimed the court will not need to bother with Harrit's evidence - now you acknowledge it will, of necessity. Now, what evidence is going to be offered to counter this? Some journalist's opinion? You say "hoax-promoting" sites. What are these? And did Harrit willingly submit material to them? Lots of valid information gets published on wacky sites. That does not make the information wacky.
If this is the case and this hurt his reputation it is not the fault of the defendant. He has to prove that the defendant alone hurt his reputation, not his actions or anyone elses.

You're not really reading what is being written.
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Old 13th January 2013, 11:56 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
But this case-in-chief is typically loaded with sins of omission, so it generally falls to the defendant to attempt to show that the plaintiff's reputation is actually based upon more than the happy items the plaintiff has selected. Hence the defendant brings to the court evidence the plaintiff would rather the court not see. In this case, the public record is full of Harrit's public appearances and statements on 9/11. A basic web search turns up prominent mention of his hoax-promoting activities and alliances with crackpot organizations. Actually that's not true -- it turns up nothing but that.

As part of its findings in the case, a court will determine which picture of Harrit's reputation is most likely true -- in the U.S., the standard is how a reasonable, informed, ordinary citizen who doesn't know Harrit personally will perceive him to be based on all readily and commonly available material. And it is that finding of fact that will be the yardstick against which the court will measure whether that reputation has been damaged by defendant's actions alone.
Which brings us back to the points I made.

At first you say the court will not need to bother with Harrit's evidence - now you acknowledge it will, of necessity. Now, what evidence is going to be offered to counter this? Some journalist's opinion? You say "hoax-promoting" sites. What are these? And did Harrit willingly submit material to them? Lots of valid information gets published on wacky sites. That does not make the information wacky.

It seems it needs to be repeated here that your personal and unprofessional opinion of Harrit's 9/11 research does not represent public opinion, and it certainly doesn't represent scientific opinion.

Harrit has presented only factual information, whether it's right or wrong, and whether you agree with it (as an uninformed layperson) or not. If he has also presented his opinions on this information, he states when he does so. As an uninformed layperson, yours or anyone else's personal opinion of him is of no consequence here. One's reputation is not decided by some internet goons on JREF. Do you understand this?

Your entire argument seems to be "Harrit won't win because everyone already sees him as a crackpot, and I too, anonymous JREF poster, also see him as a crackpot." I'm merely pointing out to you that this is not how a court of law operates.
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:03 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
Harrit has presented only factual information, whether it's right or wrong, and whether you agree with it (as an uninformed layperson) or not. If he has also presented his opinions on this information, he states when he does so. As an uninformed layperson, yours or anyone else's personal opinion of him is of no consequence here. One's reputation is not decided by some internet goons on JREF. Do you understand this?
We do. What has any of this have to do with his reputation and how has this newspaper hurt it?

Like I said before. You're on day 10 of a court case that won't last a day.
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:04 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by DGM View Post
If this is the case and this hurt his reputation it is not the fault of the defendant. He has to prove that the defendant alone hurt his reputation, not his actions or anyone elses.

You're not really reading what is being written.
Having something published without one's knowledge on a wacky site is not the same as having your name defamed in a popular or mainstream journal. I think the court can recognize the difference here.

Again, because of your collective skewed perception of 9/11 inquiry, you're not able to see what the issues here are.
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:05 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
...
The comment at issue here is really just "Niels Harrit is a poor scientist." ...
I don't see that these journalists allege that Harrit is a scientist (whether poor or not). They opine that he is a fool, and that his cause is as obviously false, and as much subject to widespread public ridicule, as holocaust denialism etc. They would come to the exact same assessment if Harrit were a lawyer, a taxi driver, a politician or a footballer and did the very same things Harrit did wrt 9/11. His being a scientist plays a minor role, IMO.
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:10 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
I'm merely pointing out to you that this is not how a court of law operates.
And failing miserably! It is amazing, the amount of time spent by patient posters, trying to educate you. Yet, you put fingers in your ears, and hum.
Missing out on a chance to learn. Sad, really.
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:11 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
Having something published without one's knowledge on a wacky site is not the same as having your name defamed in a popular or mainstream journal. I think the court can recognize the difference here.

Again, because of your collective skewed perception of 9/11 inquiry, you're not able to see what the issues here are.
I agree. It is also not the fault of the defendant if these cases hurt your reputation. The paper pointing them out also is not defamation nor is their opinion of the context.

His case due to his own actions is doomed to fail. Had he sued these other publications first.............(unless he can show no knowledge of them).
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:38 PM   #97
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At first you say you didn't see any point in debating me, thus conceding the argument. Now you skip over the parts you can't rebut and try to land on a new point -- a mini fringe reset. Since you've decided to rejoin the debate, kindly address the points I previously made.

Originally Posted by ergo View Post
At first you say the court will not need to bother with Harrit's evidence - now you acknowledge it will, of necessity.
No, you're conflating two bodies of evidence. I said the value of Harrit's claims contained in his pseudoscientific 9/11 research are irrelevant. Harrit apparently wants to use the court as a forum to debate the merits of his 9/11 theories. The relevant allegation of fact, however, is what Harrit's reputation is. A body of evidence attaches to that, but not what is contained in his faux scholarship. Harrit claims his reputation is that of a serious scientist. He will be expected instead to present evidence that this is how a reasonable, generally informed person would see him.

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It seems it needs to be repeated here that your personal and unprofessional opinion of Harrit's 9/11 research does not represent public opinion...
I'm an engineer and a scientist. My opinion of Harrit's work is not unprofessional. Since you've opened that door, please list your qualification, credentials, and other pertinent expertise that would let us decide how qualified you are to judge the scientific validity of Harrit's work. I daresay we can't proceed very much farther without that.

Second, your claim is a straw man. I'm not claiming that my opinion of Harrit's work is identical to public opinion of Harrit. I'm saying that Harrit's reputation is the public opinion of him, whatever it may be, not Harrit's personal opinion of himself represented in his court complaint. Harrit wants to stack the deck in his favor by pretending he is known throughout the world only as a serious scientist who doesn't deserve mockery at the hands of a journalist. In fact he is known throughout the world as a shill for conspiracy theorists.

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...and it certainly doesn't represent scientific opinion.
Asked and answered. The standard a court applies to determine whether something is valid science is whether it arose from and was subjected to the scientific method, including all particulars of review prior to publication and all subsequent particulars of replication and defense. It also considers the reception of the work by the scientific community.

Harrit specifically avoided peer review for his findings and published them in a vanity journal. He has refused to allow other practitioners access to his samples. That alone makes his "have not been refuted" claim legally meaningless -- it has not been refuted due solely to the actions of the plaintiff in avoiding refutation. And his work is not well received in the scientific community.

Harrit wants to dictate to the court what constitutes reliable scientific research. The court already knows how to determine that. In that Harrit has flagrantly disregarded scientific protocols in publishing his claims, he is behaving unscientifically. Further, as a published scientist, Harrit would be expected to know what scholarly requirements attend the publication of reliable science. Hence his decision to disregard them would have to be considered deliberate. Finally, his appeal to public notoriety provides an ulterior motive for eschewing proper scientific practice.

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Harrit has presented only factual information, whether it's right or wrong, and whether you agree with it (as an uninformed layperson) or not.
Actually I studied law at the University of Michigan in conjunction with a program of forensic engineering, which is part of my practice. Again since we have opened that door, what are your qualifications in law?

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One's reputation is not decided by some internet goons on JREF. Do you understand this?
According to you, one's reputation cannot be decided at all. But of course now that it serves your argument to change your story, you now imply that it can. Flip-flopping makes you look desperate and ill-prepared.

No one is claiming Harrit's reputation will be decided by "internet goons on JREF." The claim is, and has always been, that Harrit's reputation will be decided by the court, not by his self-serving fiat. And it will be decided according to all available information, not simply the nice bits and pieces Harrit decides to spoon-feed the court. "All available information" includes material critical of him. As has been belabored, crackpots always lose cases because they don't realize that in court they cannot limit what the trier of fact hears.

Quote:
Your entire argument seems to be "Harrit won't win because everyone already sees him as a crackpot, and I too, anonymous JREF poster, also see him as a crackpot."
No, my argument is that Harrit doesn't get to decide what his reputation is or what the court will use to determine it.

Quote:
I'm merely pointing out to you that this is not how a court of law operates.
I've been in court several times, in various roles. I'll keep my own counsel about how things work in a court of law.

You clearly have no idea how a court operates. You tried to tell us Harrit, as the plaintiff, had no burden or proof. What nonsense is that? And of course none of this, in your estimation, is "legal analysis." Under what fantasy does discussing how a court will approach the merits of a case not count as legal analysis?

Is your purpose here just to spin the thread idiotically?
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:39 PM   #98
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I Googled for the presence of the word "tosse" at jyllands-posten.dk. It turned up about 350 hits, including headlines that translate as "parachute tosse lands in volcano" and "tosse-driving on the highway."

Clearly it's a word the paper has a history of using to describe foolish people, as opposed to people with genuine mental conditions. Is Harrit really claiming they meant the latter? In the middle of an article about a completely different topic? Ugh. The more I dig into this, the more pathetic Harrit looks.
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Old 13th January 2013, 12:53 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
Having something published without one's knowledge on a wacky site is not the same as having your name defamed in a popular or mainstream journal. I think the court can recognize the difference here.
The court can recognize that one who deliberately and purposely seeks public attention by way of controverting an almost unanimous view, is likely to attract undesirable attention. Having persisted in one's attention-seeking behavior in the face of that unfavorable response testifies to one's willingness to accept that condition as part of one's public image.

Harrit arrived at and published his findings in a way he knew would not be palatable to the scientific community. His subsequent actions further illustrate his desire to distance himself from that community and not subject himself to their rigor. It is disingenuous of him now to appeal to that community to rescue his reputation by means of their reflected glow. Harrit has bitten the hand, and now selfishly wants to be fed by it.

Harrit affirmatively and deliberately sought to publish his beliefs as widely as possible to the general public. Knowing that he was taking a side in a public controversy that had raged for more than a decade, he had to have known that by attaching himself very publicly to the debate, his name would be had for good and ill among those interested in it. And by his long-standing participation in the debate and his associations with groups that actively promoted conspiracy theories, he had to have recognized that his belief was distinctly in the minority and was not well thought of by people of all levels of appropriate knowledge.

The court's understanding of Harrit's knowledge of what he was doing in promoting a 9/11 conspiracy theory, and the public's likely reaction to it, is a key point in determining two relevant points of law: first, whether Harrit's actions excuse the newspaper under Danish criminal law (which expressly provides for this); and second, whether Harrit's reputation has been damaged by the actions of another.

Quote:
Again, because of your collective skewed perception of 9/11 inquiry, you're not able to see what the issues here are.
Sorry, I don't recognize arguments that boil down to nothing more than accusing your critics of closed-mindedness for not agreeing with you.
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Old 13th January 2013, 01:00 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I don't see that these journalists allege that Harrit is a scientist (whether poor or not). They opine that he is a fool, and that his cause is as obviously false, and as much subject to widespread public ridicule, as holocaust denialism etc. They would come to the exact same assessment if Harrit were a lawyer, a taxi driver, a politician or a footballer and did the very same things Harrit did wrt 9/11. His being a scientist plays a minor role, IMO.
Correct. This goes back to the point I extracted from the complaint where Harrit objects to being lumped together with Holocaust deniers and Creationists. Again, he may be arguing that because he's a serious scientist he doesn't deserve to be lumped together with them and called a fool. But that presumes why the author thinks he's a fool and worthy of such dismissal.

I could say, for example, that I think he's a fool for throwing away an honorable scientific career by associating in any way with a conspiracy theory, on whichever side.
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Old 13th January 2013, 01:32 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
It did not mention science as you Oystein correctly point out.
I disagree; it is clearly implied. The statement in question equates Harrit with other forms of pseudoscience, namely Holocaust denial and creationism. Here it is in Google Translate form:

Quote:
"Should we have a poster with creationist plattenslageri to town on one of the finest information institutions? Why not just invite Niels Harrit and the other fools from 9/11 skeptic community in, now we are going, what with Holocaust denier environment?" said Søren K. Villemoes.
"plattenslageri" seems to be a compound word based on "platform", which would make sense in this contet.

Perhaps "poor scholar" would have been a better choice of words on my part than "poor scientist." But I'm working with an unrefined machine translation, so I'm going to stick with broad terms.
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Old 13th January 2013, 01:47 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
I disagree;..
You are welcome. If your interpretation is correct it simply shifts the problem - how do you get implication into evidence in court in face of explicit evidence that may differ.

And any difference between our positions almost certainly moot. Whether or not the whole issue of science or scholarship gets before the court will be determined by the tactics of both sides - P and D.

My money still on "it won't get to court" or rather "It will not get to a full hearing before the court."
Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
... But I'm working with an unrefined machine translation, so I'm going to stick with broad terms.
My choice too. This thread has a clear split between those who have some understanding of law and those who don't and one who, true to form, is trying to pretend that Internet pseudo logic will apply in court.

Since I an rusty on Common Law and zero knowledge on Danish law I am limiting myself to broad concepts. JayUtah is doing a good job.
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Old 13th January 2013, 02:00 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
I disagree; it is clearly implied. The statement in question equates Harrit with other forms of pseudoscience...
No, other conspiracy theories.

I'm not saying pseudoscience doesn't play a part in all of them, but if you think like a lawyer then you're not constrained to belief they are united only by pseudoscience.

They may be examples of "conspiracy theories."
Or "religiously divisive issues."
Or "politically-driven beliefs."
Or "money-making schemes."
Or "topics over which proponents tend to sue their critics."

The point is that Harrit assumes why the author has lumped them together and basis his complaint only on the notion that it's aimed at his scientific reputation. He's projecting his own ideas onto the author.
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Old 13th January 2013, 02:11 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
"plattenslageri" seems to be a compound word based on "platform", which would make sense in this contet.
"Plattenslageri" roughly translated to "tricking people for money" - Google suggests "con man". It can also mean to use a particular case to promote a specific agenda or just earn money.

But from what I can gather, Harrit's primary claim is that the journalist calls him mentally ill, and that will never hold any water. As an example, a Danish politician sued for defamation a couple of years back, because she didn't want to be called a racist. She lost that case because the court found that "racist" didn't necessarily mean someone who dislike people of other races. With that as precedence, I highly doubt they would declare "tosse" as meaning specifically "mentally ill".
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Old 13th January 2013, 02:40 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
I'm not saying pseudoscience doesn't play a part in all of them, but if you think like a lawyer then you're not constrained to belief they are united only by pseudoscience.

They may be examples of "conspiracy theories."
Or "religiously divisive issues."
Or "politically-driven beliefs."
Or "money-making schemes."
Or "topics over which proponents tend to sue their critics."

The point is that Harrit assumes why the author has lumped them together and basis his complaint only on the notion that it's aimed at his scientific reputation. He's projecting his own ideas onto the author.
I see your point. But clearly, some kind of negative comparison is being made here, and I can see why someone who thinks himself a practicioner of proper science would take offense. But Harrit's case is fatally flawed in so many other ways that this nit probably isn't worth picking.
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Old 13th January 2013, 03:35 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
I see your point. But clearly, some kind of negative comparison is being made here...
Very clearly. But you can sue everyone who smack-talks you.

Quote:
I can see why someone who thinks himself a practicioner of proper science would take offense.
Some people realize that they can go over to the dark side and earn far more money and get far more attention than they would by just plugging along the mainstream path. They're unsatisfied with obscurity. Unable to achieve notoriety in mainstream achievement, they turn to a venue in which they can be the Big Fish. And when that happens, they tend to be very sensitive to questions of their legitimacy.

Quote:
But Harrit's case is fatally flawed in so many other ways that this nit probably isn't worth picking.
A good lawyer knows all the ways in which his opponent's case is flawed. He may only argue one or two, but there you go.
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Old 13th January 2013, 03:46 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
My money still on "it won't get to court" or rather "It will not get to a full hearing before the court."
So, you're saying it will be "tossed" out of court?
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Old 13th January 2013, 03:49 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
Your entire argument seems to be "Harrit won't win because everyone already sees him as a crackpot, and I too, anonymous JREF poster, also see him as a crackpot." I'm merely pointing out to you that this is not how a court of law operates.
The highlighted bit, your standard debate tactic slur, does not apply in this case. Your debate opponent is well known in this forum by his real identity and he has also made several TV appearances.

Feel free to carry on with the remaining flailing in your argument, dear ergo. It does appear to have been turned to a moon-sized pile of rubble.
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Old 13th January 2013, 04:40 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
So, you're saying it will be "tossed" out of court?
I have been resisting the obvious pun....

someone had to make it.

More seriously:
-may not get to court because his lawyers advise him not to waste his time; OR

- may not pass the threshold test of a "case to answer" - however that prima facie threshold is defined within the Danish Court system.
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Old 13th January 2013, 04:42 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
... It does appear to have been turned to a moon-sized pile of rubble.
The case will have to get into court.
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Old 13th January 2013, 08:18 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
The court can recognize that one who deliberately and purposely seeks public attention by way of controverting an almost unanimous view, is likely to attract undesirable attention. Having persisted in one's attention-seeking behavior in the face of that unfavorable response testifies to one's willingness to accept that condition as part of one's public image.
Perhaps this will be the defence, but I don't think it's a winning argument. As I've been trying to point out to you, your assumption of what is an "almost unanimous view" here is not based on reality. You keep assuming the court and this homogenous entity you call "public opinion" already "knows" about 9/11 conspiracy theories and that anything involving independent 9/11 research automatically falls into that category. That may be true here on JREF, but it's not really true in the rest of the world, especially outside of North America, and I suspect this is why Harrit does feel confident in challenging this.


Quote:
Harrit arrived at and published his findings in a way he knew would not be palatable to the scientific community. His subsequent actions further illustrate his desire to distance himself from that community and not subject himself to their rigor.
Well, which is it? Either the scientific community has ignored Harrit's 9/11 research (as most of you here assert), or they have taken notice of it and attempted to communicate with Harrit about it, only to be rudely rebuffed by him. Which is it, JayUtah? I'm really just curious now, since you claim to now be speaking as a scientist.
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Old 13th January 2013, 09:13 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
You keep assuming the court and this homogenous entity you call "public opinion" already "knows" about 9/11 conspiracy theories and that anything involving independent 9/11 research automatically falls into that category.
Courts are not so ignorant as to be fooled by whatever labels people try to paste onto things in order to dress them up. In fact, trying to deny the essential nature of one's claims rapidly leads to strongly-worded rulings against you. Conspiracism is as conspiracism does, and I have yet to see a single conspiracy theorist convince a court that his "independent research" is legitimate science. Harrit's is not, for the reasons cited.

Quote:
Well, which is it? Either the scientific community has ignored Harrit's 9/11 research (as most of you here assert), or they have taken notice of it and attempted to communicate with Harrit about it, only to be rudely rebuffed by him.
Herrit: I did this analysis that proved 9/11 was an inside job.
Science: Fine, let us see your samples and method so we can replicate your results.
Herrit: No.
Science: Very well then, we will ignore you.

Pedantry isn't an argument. Answer the real issue, not the straw man.

Quote:
Which is it, JayUtah? I'm really just curious now, since you claim to now be speaking as a scientist.
This is the second time you have tried and failed to manufacture a false dilemma. Do you really think we can't see through these childish trolls?

I have asked you for your credentials in either science or law. I assume that you have none, since you have failed to acknowledge the request. As has been pointed out, many people here know me by my real identity and are aware of my recognition, publications, and television appearances on the subjects of science and pseudoscience over the past decade or so. Good luck trying to dismiss my arguments as those of some internet blowhard, but your audience knows differently and is laughing at you for it.

Please tell us why you deserve attention.
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Old 13th January 2013, 09:19 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by ergo View Post
Well, which is it? Either the scientific community has ignored Harrit's 9/11 research (as most of you here assert), or they have taken notice of it and attempted to communicate with Harrit about it, only to be rudely rebuffed by him. Which is it, JayUtah? I'm really just curious now, since you claim to now be speaking as a scientist.
The scientific community has noticed whacky old Harrit and the response has been pretty-near unanymous:

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Old 14th January 2013, 06:13 PM   #114
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OK, I've got a question for the cognoscenti. The article in the OP says this (Google translated):

Quote:
Niels Harrit has chosen to summon the two for libel after the Penal Code article 267 of the Copenhagen City Court.
Which sounds to me more like pressing criminal charges, rather than filing a civil lawsuit. The code in question, from Danish wikipedia, once again Google translated, says:

Quote:
Any person who violates another's honor by offensive words or actions or by making or spreading allegations of a relationship that is likely to reduce the victim of fellow-esteem, punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 4 months.
I would never try to read too much into Google translations, but I have to ask: does it even matter if Niels Harrit is a "public figure?" I can't see how it would. It seems to me the case is a simple matter of determining whether or not calling someone a "tosse" meets the requirements called forth in the law.
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Old 14th January 2013, 06:40 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
...Which sounds to me more like pressing criminal charges, rather than filing a civil lawsuit...
As far as us Common Law trained lawyers can tell - yes it is criminal in Denmark whereas the type of claim would be civil in Common Law jurisdictions.
Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
...It seems to me the case is a simple matter of determining whether or not calling someone a "tosse" meets the requirements called forth in the law.
That is near enough to the situation. Ergo is trying to pretend that the legal system doesn't exist or will operate the way he claims or that the trial will be conducted under Internet Trolling rules or....(anything else that meets the trolling goal)
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Old 14th January 2013, 07:19 PM   #116
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As far as I read it Harris does not have a leg to stand on.

Calling him "Tosse" is not a legal term* and he does represent a rather silly point of view.

From the journalist school homepage:
Quote:
I den offentlige debat skal der være plads til overdrivelser og provokationer, men beskyldninger må ikke være grebet ud af den blå luft. Der skal være et vist faktuelt grundlag for dem, men der kan ikke stilles krav om ”beviser”.
Quote:
In the public debate, there must be room for exaggeration and provocation, but allegations must not be plucked out of thin air. There must be some factual basis for them, but there can be no requirement for "evidence".
It should not take long to locate "Some factual basis" from assorted 9/11 sites to justify calling him silly.

*Unlike a biker who won a case where he had been called a "murderous psychopath", he had been convicted for a murder, but the psychopath claim were concrete and not provable.
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Old 14th January 2013, 10:03 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
I have asked you for your credentials in either science or law. I assume that you have none, since you have failed to acknowledge the request.

To be fair, though, your own "credentials" in "either science or law" do not appear to be particularly impressive, either. A BA (or BSCS, depending upon the year) in computer studies isn't really considered a "science" degree. It's a fairly run of the mill degree that anyone can attain. Calling oneself a "Software Engineer" does not = being an engineer. Calling onself a "Computer Scientist" does not = being a scientist. Taking a few courses that mention law somewhere along the line does not = having any "credentials" in law.

I think that you would be better off sticking to what you know best, rather than staking claim to areas of expertise where you actually have none.

ETA: It seems to me that it is always better to stick to the facts instead of trying to start a contest of credentials, particularly when your own appear to be potentially sketchy and not particularly strong in any event. Why even start that kind of contest when it has nothing to do with the actual argument at issue? You've made yourself the topic of discussion here when that was neither necessary nor desirable.

Last edited by LashL; 14th January 2013 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 15th January 2013, 02:32 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by LashL View Post
...
Just to throw in my $0.02 -- Formal credentials are fine as a starting point, but they can not be relied upon as an absolute marker of expertise. It is not difficult to find highly credentialed crackpots.
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Old 15th January 2013, 02:32 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Toke View Post
It should not take long to locate "Some factual basis" from assorted 9/11 sites to justify calling him silly.
Hell, just the company he keeps should be enough to have the case thrown out. Looking up Harrit on Ekstra Bladet (Daily Mail'esque tabloid for you non-Danes) reveals an 'article' on this case, as well as an article on how he'll be appearing at a conference along with a man who claims to have fathered an extra-terrestial child

And then there was the cancelled (I think?) conference not too long ago.
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Old 15th January 2013, 12:26 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by LashL View Post
...
I prepared and discarded a half dozen replies to this post, but I think instead I'll just make a couple points in my defense and then move the rest to private discussions or another thread.

Quote:
I think that you would be better off sticking to what you know best, rather than staking claim to areas of expertise where you actually have none.
Very well, do you consider yourself an expert on my academic, professional, and extracurricular careers?

Quote:
ETA: It seems to me that it is always better to stick to the facts instead of trying to start a contest of credentials...
Begging pardon, but I don't believe I started it nor especially advanced it. In this post, ergo asked me where I studied law. I did not take the bait.

In this post ergo upped the stakes. He suggested that all the foregoing discussion was "personal and unprofessional" opinion, which I interpreted to mean "subjective and uninformed." Once again I did not take the bait. Instead I wrote this post in which I didn't discuss qualifications or credentials, but stuck to facts and law as I understand them. A number of posters seem to have considered it well written and at least one of the nominated it.

This is my first mention of qualifications and experience. The disclaimer posted by ozeco41 convinced me to state what my own actual expertise was and where my own knowledge of law was coming from. He clarified that law was not his primary expertise, and I felt it important to give a similar clarification. Under no circumstances did I intend that to "start a contest of credentials" or to imply that my expertise met some external standard.

Finally, here ergo for the third time raises the question of qualifications. He directly calls me an "uninformed layman." Further he suggests that he need not respond to statements he styles as subjective and uninformed. This and this and this support the idea that this poster habitually uses this sort of argument as a dodge.

When the argument you're presented with is, "You can't possibly know anything about the subject to justify your opinion, but here's my opinion which you should take as gospel," then a justifiable response is, "Well, here's how I know what I know. How do you know what you know, to make your opinion so much more favorable than mine?" I.e., it asks the proponent of a affirmative and congruent counter claim whether he's willing to subject it to the same standard of proof by which he rejected a case in chief. I have to work with the argument I'm given. When that argument is naked assertion based on implied expertise, that's the argument I have to address.

That turnabout rhetoric was my plan. I was trying to call his bluff. I was hoping that if he realized he'd be requested to justify the basis for his opinion, he'd get bored and stop disrupting what would otherwise be a good discussion.

Quote:
You've made yourself the topic of discussion here when that was neither necessary nor desirable.
And thanks to your post I remain the topic of discussion whether or not I intended to be, whether or not I desire to be, whether or not it would have continued but for your interposition, and whether or not I had an overall plan in my line of questioning.

Now I've become stuck between the rock of going further off-topic by answering your criticism and the hard place of letting that criticism stand unchallenged. I'm shamed either way.

Well played, counselor.
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