Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Do We Tell If It's Dope?

People ordinarily have a trust in what they consider the scientific process. The technological progress of the last three hundred years provides ample evidence of this. Engineers using scientific techniques have created marvels of design, manufacture, communication, transportation, medicine, etc. that have changed the lives of everyone in dramatic ways. When a device is produced to accomplish a given task, its efficiency is evaluated by the user and its acceptance is contingent on it being an improvement on previous equipment. There are, however, machines being used that the general public, while being significantly affected by that use, have no idea if they actually work or not. These machines are used in many fields but their most important one is law enforcement. Forensics has adopted breathalyzers, fingerprint scanners, eye iris scanners, radar, surveillance cameras, DNA analysis and drug analyzing equipment for use in the law enforcement environment. But few know how, or even if, this stuff actually works and some of those few are actually operating it. This sad story gives an indication of what can happen when the government gets its hands on equipment it can't operate.

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