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Re: You really do want to volunteer, don't you? (fwd)



Tim May wrote:

>>>This was an actual case, heard by the Supreme Court several years back. Bus
>>>passengers were given the opportunity to volunteer, as noted. Failure to
>>>volunteer was construed as probable cause that contraband was present.
>>>
>>>(No, I don't know the name of the case. My recollection is that it took
>>>place in Florida or one of the Carolinas. Nor do I recollect how the
>>>Supremes decided the case...
>>
>>This sounds like _Florida v. Bostick_, 501 U.S. 429 (1991), on the web at
>><http://www.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=501&invol
>>=429>.
>>
>>Bill Stewart's summary of the case looked like a good one to me.
>[...]
>
>One strategy I've considered is to never, never, ever admit that I don't
>know something, as this will forestall the corrections, expansions,
>clarifications, and citings.

One of the things that is - or can be - useful about a cross-disciplinary
list like cpunks is that it's possible to read messages written by people
who appear to have knowledge about other unfamiliar-to-the-reader fields,
and have some confidence that the author isn't completely screwing up what
they're writing about, because other list members are likely to speak up
and say "Hey, you're not really getting that right..".

I provided a case cite and agreed with Bill Stewart's reframing of the
issues in the _Bostick_ case not because I imagined that it was especially
interesting to you (Tim), but because I think we all lose out when bad
information (like, for example, the idea that _Bostick_ is about probable
cause, or that it held that failure to volunteer constitutes probable
cause) is circulated, especially by people who are otherwise credible
authors/speakers. 

A more useful way to avoid corrections/citations/clarifications might be
simply getting the details correct in the first place.


--
Greg Broiles                | US crypto export control policy in a nutshell:
[email protected]         | 
http://www.io.com/~gbroiles | Export jobs, not crypto.