04-10-09, 07:16 AM #121
Mr. Nakamura had many other avenues available to him. It was his courtroom. He could have modified the warrant to preclude it being executed in his courtroom. He could have recalled it. He could have recessed the trial for a few hours while bail was being posted. He could have requested the sheriffs wait until 4:00 PM when the trial ends for the day. None of those events were done.
Now tell us, rpenner, how that case relates to the LHC and the Law thread you initiated? Isn't this just an effort on your part for an ad hominem attack?
04-10-09, 09:16 AM #122
Forgive me, I know my physics is not up to par (in fact it's beyond rusty or mature), however I'm pretty sure that *if* CERN and it's LHC was to generate a blackhole that swallowed the world, we would already know about it far before the actual activation.
The reason I pose, would be down to a blackhole distorting spacetime enough and having an "Event Horizon". What I mean is that during the passage of time up to the event of a blackhole, our space would be distorted as it would actually be a proportion of that Event Horizon.
(I'm pretty sure some might be able to reason further if they are willing to theorize in regards to the EPR Paradox and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Events.)
I guess I'm saying I see it pretty foolish to be chasing lawsuits on something that should be pretty fundamental.
04-10-09, 11:14 AM #123
in the transcript or are forthcoming from other sources...
04-11-09, 02:44 AM #124
It is sufficient to demonstrate that if dangerous black holes could be formed at LHC that the universe would look different than observed, to eliminate the possibility of dangerous black holes at LHC.
04-15-09, 10:41 AM #125
My heroes! The amici are back (April 13) to again pop the bubble of claims of expertise by Wagner.
Amici have special knowledge which they believe will assist the Court in this case. Moreover, amici are concerned that Appellants have misunderstood, misconstrued and misstated the import of amici’s submission to the district court, and have misrepresented that submission as supporting Appellants’ claims.
Amici are aware that the LHC has undergone thorough scientific safety and risk analyses, and are familiar with the numerous scientific papers examining the risks associated with the LHC. These scientific papers have examined, inter alia, the very claims asserted by Appellants here. Appellants’ claims have not been accepted by the scientific community and are not based on rigorous scientific analysis.
Amici are concerned about the use of litigation based on misinformation about and misunderstanding of science under the guise of concern for the environment that inhibits vital and important scientific inquiry. Amici are prompted to submit this brief in part because the Appellants have misconstrued and misrepresented the nature of science and scientific knowledge, and have misused and misconstrued our amicus brief in the district court to support their fallacious arguments in this Court.II. APPELLANTS’ ARGUMENT THAT AMICI’S CONCLUSION THAT A CATASTROPHIC EVENT AT THE LHC IS “UNLIKELY” SUPPORTS PLAINTIFFS’ CLAIMS IS BASED ON A FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURE OF SCIENCE
Appellants argue that: “Merely being ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ that the LHC will create conditions that destroy Earth is every reason not to proceed with the experiment unless and until it can be proven to be impossible to destroy the Earth.” (Appellants’ Brief at 11 (emphasis supplied)). Appellants’ proposed standard, that for something to be safe experts must conclude that an accident is “impossible”, betrays Appellants’ fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of science.
As Nobel laureate in Physics Richard Feynman put it, “Scientists, therefore, are used to dealing with doubt and uncertainty. All scientific knowledge is uncertain. This experience with doubt and uncertainty is important. I believe that it is of very great value, and one that extends beyond the sciences. I believe that to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar. You have to permit the possibility that you do not have it exactly right. Otherwise, if you have made up your mind already, you might not solve it.” Feynman, R. P. The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist 26-27 (1999).
The Supreme Court has recognized that “it would be unreasonable to conclude that the subject of scientific testimony must be ‘known’ to a certainty; arguably, there are no certainties in science. See, e.g., Brief for Nicolaas Bloembergen et al. as Amici Curiae at 9 (‘Indeed, scientists do not assert that they know what is immutably ‘true’-- they are committed to searching for new, temporary theories to explain, as best they can, phenomena’).” Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 590 (1993) (footnote omitted). As the Bloembergen amici went on to explain: “in science accepted ‘truth’ is not a constant . . . it evolves, either gradually or discontinuously. . . . An hypothesis can be falsified or disproved, but cannot, ultimately, be proven true because knowledge is always incomplete. An hypothesis that is tested and not falsified is corroborated, but not proved. Thus, scientific statements or theories are never final and are always subject to revision or rejection. See L. Loevinger, “Standards of Proof in Science and Law”, 32 Jurimetrics J. 327 (1992). . . .” Brief of Amici Curiae Nicolaas Bloembergen, et al. at 12-13, filed in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), 1993 WL 13006286 (January 19, 1993); see also L. Loevinger, “The Distinctive Functions of Science and Law,” 24 Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 87 (1999). “Even the most robust and reliable theory, however, is tentative. A scientific theory is forever subject to reexamination and -- as in the case of Ptolemaic astronomy --may ultimately be rejected after centuries of viability.” Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates and Others, filed in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), 1986 WL 727658 (August 18, 1986). [[Indeed, the ancient motto of the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge (commonly known as the “Royal Society”), founded in 1663 and probably the earliest society for the advancement of scientific knowledge, is “Nullius in Verba,” which has been translated by the renowned physicist Freeman Dyson (in 55 New York Review of Books, Number 10 (June 12, 2008)) as "Nobody's word is final," signifying a commitment to knowledge through experiment rather than through dogma or doctrine.]]
Appellants note that amici are not “absolutely certain” that there is no risk and they imply that our views should therefore be disregarded. As scientists, we would be abusing the meaning of “absolute” or “certainty” if we had written that there was no chance of any event occurring in the future, because there is nothing absolutely certain about our understanding of the future. To claim that something is “absolutely safe” is incorrect usage and we studiously declined to play this word game in our brief to the district court or in this brief to this Court.
However, we are content to tell this Court, as we did the district court, that the issue of the safety of the LHC has been properly raised by its proponents. It has been extensively examined and discussed by many of the brightest minds that have addressed the issue. The particular concerns raised by the Appellants are not correct.
Amici believe that the procedure for addressing the safety issue was proper and followed and follows the highest standards scientists have yet developed. Whereas we do not say that it is “absolutely safe,” we have no qualms about endorsing the operation of the LHC to our colleagues, our friends, to this Court, and to the world.
04-20-09, 04:30 PM #126
04-23-09, 03:41 AM #127
I hate the slowness of paper and mail. Wagner's response to the Government reply is nowhere to be found. I was hoping to have it as early at this Monday.
04-23-09, 03:53 AM #128
What's your association with this case (if any)? Or are you just interested? Are you just posting public documents here, or do you have inside information?
04-23-09, 04:51 AM #129
No association, just interested. Wagner is one of the uncredentialed people who posted on physforum (Sept 3, 2007 - Jan. 3, 2008). Here, where he invited the discussion to follow, he stays but does not answer questions related to physics. He has in the past felt quite free to post his legal plans and strategies both here and on physforum.com and I have felt welcome to criticize them from my layman's perspective.
US Government documents are public. (An alternative policy is that of the UK's "Crown Copyright" where reproducing government documents has to be justified in some manner.) Any US person with a credit card can sign up for a PACER account and read along with the documents of the Federal Justice system at no more than $0.08 per page (which is cheaper than if you walk up to the courthouse to do the same thing). I learned about this while following along in the SCO anti-Linux lawsuits on groklaw.com.
In addition, both the Hawai'i state case and the Federal lawsuit have received local and national news coverage, respectively, as have some of Wagner's earlier lawsuits.
Wagner jokes about asking if I have influence over the court system, but I'm just Joe Citizen. Typically, I don't cut-and-paste large parts of Wagner's documents. While groklaw's PJ is happy to do it, the SCO filed an annoyance motion to add her to the case without basis. Also, I would feel compelled to render their orginal use of italics, bold and underlining (sometimes in the same sentence). And since they are PDFs of paper documents, they are too large to simply attach.
Wagner, too, used to post documents on his now defunct website, but that ended when the court dismissed the case on September 26, 2008.
Please feel free to PM me or post again if you need more info.
I'm pro-LHC, but not affiliated (even indirectly) with any plaintiff, defendant, affidavit submitter, funding source, press agency, law school, etc, and know of no basis where I might be a potential witness, jurist or added party to the covered case. Nor do I have academic or equivalent credentials which would relate to any facet of this case as a first-rank expert witness. (Some physics and math Ph.D. students think I'm well-versed for a layman, but a layman I am.) Nor am I a member of the Union of Collaborating Founders (UCF), a group which some anti-LHC websites describe as a pro-LHC think tank, a depiction which I feel is unfair.
I've been replying to scare stories about the LHC since about March 29, 2006 and got my interest peaked in legal proceedings by being a regular reader on groklaw.net -- which focused largely on one Unix/Linux vendor's suits against the Linux-using world and eventual Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I think I first became aware of Walter L. Wagner with his posts of September 3, 2007, and attempted to engage him in plain physics discussion. Until 2008 television coverage, I have never seen his face or heard his voice. And if there is any organized opposition to him, I have never met with them either.
Last edited by rpenner; 04-23-09 at 04:58 AM.
04-23-09, 10:24 AM #130
I find your continued commentary on Walter's case interesting, rpenner. I'm not trying to put you off posting updates as you have been. I was just interested in your interest in the litigation.
It certainly looks like the case will be sunk on procedural issues.
04-30-09, 05:43 PM #131
The Motions Panel for the 9th Circuit appellate court has met this morning. Wagner loses on the proposition that the US Government should stop paying scientific grants. My heroes the amici are allowed to file their brief.
The next phase, the appeal being "fully briefed" is now ready to appear on the court calendar. Presumably, June-July is the earliest this will happen, but as always IANAL. As of this time, it looks like Wagner's reply to the US government does not appear on the docket.
I'll be watching this link: http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/calendar...ng_notices.php
For 08-17389 Luis Sancho, et al v. US Department of Energy, et al
After a case on the calendar is heard, the ruling may appear as soon as the same week.
05-01-09, 03:58 AM #132
Here it is, Walter L. Wagner on the May 30, 2009 episode of The Daily Show.
At least he didn't use the "Dollarz iz teh onleez moniez" argument. Instead, he argued that the destruction of the Earth for a never-before done physics experiment is always 50%.
05-01-09, 04:33 AM #133
05-01-09, 04:38 AM #134
John Oliver really trumps him with the chances of having a child from two men joke!
05-01-09, 09:42 AM #135
where Jim introduced himself. The name UCF grew out of off-line joking about that post, and we formed an off-line friendship, linking our various blogs in the process. We're a pretty eclectic bunch, bound together mostly by our interest in Science Fiction. We have a wide range of political and scientific affiliations. We have a Physics Ph.D. and myself (a P-Chem Ph.D.) in the group, which also includes IT professionals, a public defender and several former military personnel. It was one of the former Navy NCOs who first stumbled upon Walter Wager, and Walter stumbled upon our less than favorable opinions of him and his science by vanity Googling. The story of that encounter can be found here:
As for myself, I'm a Chemist working as a project manager in industry, and the only thinking (as in think-tank) I do about the LHC has been because I was irritated by something Walter said on the Internet. If he had had the sense to leave our one-off posts well enough alone, the members of our group would have pretty much ignored him, but as you can see from his behavior here, he has the habit of continually engaging any and all critics in debate.
05-04-09, 08:46 PM #136
We [an undefined group of unassociated people which I assume is in the majority despite the lack of collaboration] asked Wagner to discuss the physics behind his belief in the possible destruction of Earth. But he refused.
We questioned the wisdom of some of the legal actions taken by Wagner in his quest to shutdown LHC, particularly since he also attempted to shut down the RHIC. But he persisted.
We ridiculed the logic of approaching an appeal with arguments predicated on guesswork and nonsensical assertions. But he got angry.
We suggested that the media would agree with us. And so Wagner went on The Daily Show. Below are some reviews.
May 1, Steinn Sigurđsson in Science Blogs: Dynamics of Cats "Daily Show does LHC and other action items"
May 1, Seth Zenz in US/LHC Blogs "Evil Genius Says What?"
May 1, Janiece Murphy in Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men "Walter L. Wagner PWND By The Daily Show"
May 1, Matt Tobey in Comedy Central Insider "John Oliver Visits the Large Hadron Collider"
May 1, Sean Carroll in Discover Magazine Blogs: Cosmic Variance "Daily Show Explains the LHC"
May 1, Tona Kunz in Symmetry Breaking "The Daily Show on CERN, particle physics and black holes"
May 1, Jim Wright in Stonekettle Station "Walter L. Wagner Explains Probability"
May 1, Luboš Motl in The Reference Frame "Jon Stewart & John Ellis & LHC"
May 1, Rack Jite in KicK! Making Politics Fun "Daily Show, John Oliver the Hadron Collider will Destroy the World"
May 1, Ethan Siegel in Science Blogs: Starts with a Bang! "The LHC, Black Holes and You"
May 1, Adam Yurkewicz in US/LHC Blogs "Daily Show at CERN"
May 1, Jennifer Ouellette in Discovery Space: Twisted Physics ""I'm Not Sure That's How Probability Works...""
May 3, Phil Plait in Discover Blogs: Bad Astronomy "Intelligence falls into a black hole"
Canadians rejoice -- here is the clip for Canada: http://watch.thecomedynetwork.ca/the...es/#clip165880
And here is the Digg page: http://digg.com/general_sciences/Dai...adron_Collider
05-04-09, 11:07 PM #137
Nice Daily Show segment.
Maybe Walter thinks that any publicity is good publicity.
05-07-09, 02:23 AM #138
My supervisor's other half turns out to be a Daily Show follower but for years thought the news segments with the "Best ****ing news team in the world!" were made up. Until he saw John Ellis, a personal friend, on the show. It got emailed around the theory group here and even the people who I wouldn't say are people who watch The Daily Show of their own accord found it hilarious.
My supervisor and her husband worked at CERN many years ago along side John and can testify to his office being that full of paper but like all organised chaos John knows exactly where everything is.
05-10-09, 09:16 PM #139
Where is Wagner?
State court filings in Hawai'i may provide insight. But since Wagner thinks I'm not qualified to comment on criminal trial practice, here are the actual minutes of criminal case 3PC08-1-000097 on April 24, 2009:
Originally Posted by MOTION FOR RETURN OF PASSPORT
Last edited by rpenner; 05-10-09 at 09:29 PM.
05-12-09, 03:53 AM #140
In my previous post I asked, "Where is Wagner?" We now have a partial answer.
On May 5, it appears the Wagner has produced the response to the Government's reply to Wagner's appeal. I have not seen it yet, but it may have an original work (if also untimely and impermissibly long) by Luis Sancho stapled to the back of it. And just before noon on May 11, the Government filed a motion to strike it from the record. The government thinks it's in violation of two scheduling orders and the Federal Rules which govern the timing of appeals paperwork (all of which anticipated this would be filed on April 20).
The government indicates that Wagner seems to have been working under the misapprehension that the government's response constitutes a "cross-appeal" which would result in some additional time for Wagner, but insists even if this is the case that the correct procedure is to request for the additional time before the deadline passes and points out this is not the first time that Wagner needed to be hit with the clue stick.
Specifically, the government (which raised many arguments on topics not addressed by Wagner's original appeal brief) points out their reply was not a "cross-appeal" brief. It's clear that the docket does not call it a cross-appeal brief and the title page of the brief does not mention a cross-appeal, no notice of appeal was filed by the government as required by FRAP 28.1 (b), and it does not ask the court to overturn any ruling of District Court so it is not a stealth cross-appeal even if such was proper. Indeed, what separates an original brief or cross-appeal brief from a reply brief is FRAP 28 (a) (10) "stating relief sought" and the government seeks no relief from the District Court's decision to toss Wagner out of court.
Note that no cross-appeal exists when an appellee simply wishes to have a lower court's decision upheld by a higher court[.]
Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 27 and 9th Cir. R. 27-1, Federal Defendants-Appellees United States Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and Fermilab (collectively, “DOE”) hereby move to strike the reply briefs filed by pro se litigants Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho. [[The cover of the tendered brief states that it is the reply brief of Wagner. However, a reply brief of Sancho is stapled to the back of Wagner’s reply.]] The reasons for this motion are set forth below.
The reply briefs are more than 2 weeks out of time. DOE filed and served its answering brief on April 6, 2009. Under the Court’s order filed April 1, 2009, “[t]he optional reply brief is due within 14 days after service of the answering brief.” April 1 order at 1. Consequently, any reply brief in this case should have been filed and served no later than April 20, 2009. However, the tendered reply briefs were not filed and served until May 5, 2009, according to a certificate of service executed by Wagner (but not by Sancho, whom Wagner does not represent). The tendered replies are therefore 15 days late and should be stricken as untimely.
Wagner and Sancho offer no explanation for their untimely filing, other than a cryptic statement by Wagner, in the certificate of service, that “the Reply Brief to this Court” was mailed “within 29 days of the April 6, 2009 filing of the appellee’s [sic] Answering Brief which was also a cross-appeal brief.” [[Presumably on that basis, the untimely reply has a yellow, rather than the customary gray, cover.]] That assertion provides no justification for the untimely filing because, as the Court is surely aware – and as a glance at the Court’s docket sheet confirms – DOE did not file, nor did the Court docket, a cross-appeal in this case. Given that this case does not involve a cross-appeal or “cross-appeal brief,” the time period for filing a reply in a cross-appeal plainly does not apply here. See Fed. R. App. P. 28.1(f)(3).
Although neither has sought to do so, Wagner and Sancho should not be permitted at this late date to submit a motion for leave to file reply briefs out of time. Such a motion would be plainly futile because, on April 30, 2009, the Court issued an order (per Judges Leavy and Bea) stating, inter alia, that “[t]his case is ready for calendaring.” April 30 order at 1. The Court’s determination that this case is ready for calendaring is a clear indication that the time for filing briefs is already over. [[For the same reason, the untimely reply briefs should not be allowed on the notion that they seek, in part, to respond to an amicus brief that the Court did not accept for filing until April 30, 2009. This notion is obliquely hinted at in Wagner’s certificate of service, which states that “such mailing was within 5 days of the Order granting Movants’ leave to file an amicus brief.” However, in its April 30 order, the Court was well aware of this circumstance, yet it deemed the period for filing briefs closed: the Court’s order both directed that “[t]he Clerk shall file the amicus brief” and that “[t]his case is ready for calendaring.” The obvious implication of the April 30 order is that the Court does not want a reply to the amicus brief.]]
The reply brief tendered by Sancho should also be stricken for the additional reason that it is evidently over length. The “certificate of compliance” to that brief (at 37) states that it contains 6,994 words excluding, inter alia, “Notes.” But it is plain that the footnotes in that brief far exceed six words; i.e., the reply tendered by Sancho is substantially in excess of the 7,000 words permitted for reply briefs. See Fed. R. App. P. 32(a)(7)(B)(ii).
As DOE has noted before, pro se litigants such as Wagner and Sancho must follow “the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants.” King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). They have once again failed to do so. For the foregoing reasons, DOE respectfully requests that the reply briefs of Wagner and Sancho be stricken and that the Court proceed to calendar this matter forthwith.