The r/Place Experiment In Internet Community

Reddit is a place where anyone can find or create a group about anything. It is very loosely moderated and, consequently, has developed a reputation as a hangout for neo-Nazis, anti-Social Justice Warriors, misogynists, and assholes in general. But on the April first weekend, created an experiment that will be the focus of discussion and debate for years to come — or at least as long as people are interested in the Internet.

Reddit created a space, r/place, where any Reddit member (and there are legions of them) could contribute to an art project. The Place was 1000 X 1000 pixels in size. Participants were invited to place a pixel, in any one of 16 colors, anywhere on the space. Users could place more than one pixel, but had to wait five minutes in between placements. After a few individual attempts at making a picture, groups formed to make team projects. Penis pics proliferated. Soon the entire one million pixel grid was covered and pictures both created and destroyed by users. There were attempts to grief the project, including the creation of a black blot that spread like a malignant virus from the center of the page. Teams began utilizing their time and energy to protecting what they had done, and this was the final result at the end of three days:


Pretty impressive, right? Let’s check out a few highlights. First, that block of text is a Reddit tale inspired by the Star Wars prequel. The national flags show an interesting progression over the weekend — someone extended the German flag over the French one. The French retaliated by going vertical and, finally, the flag overlap was replaced by the European Union banner. Canada began with a suitably modest maple leaf that was replaced by one that was somewhat larger but perhaps more significantly, hockey logos abound in the grand scheme. The entire design is strung together (sort of) by a rainbow highway.

Here is the final version of Place on Reddit.

Here is a time lapse of the Place being created. (You can search “r/place timelapse” on YouTube and get others of varying lengths.)

Here is a time lapse of small (but interesting) sections.

Fall of the Void (black blot).

There are several heat map breakdowns, showing most-changed pixel sites over time. A fully browsable map done in Minecraft.

Already major critiques and interpretations of the project have appeared on-line. Here’s Ars Technika being sort of thoughtful, for instance. But my favorite is this post by sudoscript, who comes up with a Hindu exegesis: Creators, Preservers, Destroyers = Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. (If you don’t look at any other site about this, you should click on sudoscript, which has some fine graphic excerpts.)

Andy Baio has a swell collection of links, but by the time you read this, it’s already obsolete.

[discovered via Metafilter]


My Adventures With Wikipedia, Copyright, Photography

I like Wikipedia. I use it a lot. But if you try to do something with Wikipedia besides simply look at an article, sometimes it is a giant pain in the ass.

Seven or eight years ago, I was browsing Wikipedia and looked up a lesser-known author I like. The article was contributed by a young Australian who had written a number of Wikipedia entries on a variety of topics. The article I read was full of misinformation; I never looked at any of the others she wrote. (I think it is much more difficult for this kind of contributor to create an entry now.) I thought it important that my writer have an accurate Wikipedia article so I thought I’d re-write it. It took me a while — Wikipedia has its own system of coding that has little to do with HTML — but it got done. Then the fun began.

First, there were the busy-bodies, busy busy all the time, who came in to “correct” this or that. I left all the grammar and style corrections — possibly they were improvements — but reverted one or two changes of factual material that were wrong, explaining this in the place provided to give reasons for an edit. Next came the spoofers and vandals, who wanted to turn the entry into their own private joke. (I am not naming the subject of my entry so as not to attract griefers who might think it a challenge.) Most of these malicious changes were caught quickly, sometimes in a few minutes, by Wikipedia editors on the prowl, bless ’em. The entire process was a fairly positive experience, though so time-consuming that I have never tried to write another entry from scratch, though I have added material to other articles from time to time.

An article on the Vancouver Canucks failed to mention that their first few seasons in the NHL were marred by the prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment of their owner. I have a special interest in criminal hockey owners and a particular interest in the Canucks, so I added that info, with footnotes, of course. Someone deleted it. So I reverted it. For a while my words stood, then someone chopped off a phrase and took a footnote with it. I repaired the notation, but left off the phrase. This repair took place some while after the chopping. I don’t go to Wikipedia daily nor do I keep track of my entries. I just check on them once in a great while to make certain they are still there.

One reason that I began this blog was to write without having to worry that my stuff was being edited or re-written without my approval, as was the case with Wikipedia. The posts here are personal and I can be a bit loose about my approach. One category that received a new post every month was Pictures I Like. The subject was a photo that I found striking for some reason or other and some background on the picture. This was a fairly popular feature here and some of these posts — such as the one on Grand Central Station — are still being discovered and linked by other bloggers.

Then, early last year, I got an e-mail from Stuart Franklin about a photo that was reproduced in the post Pictures I Like: Tankman. Franklin was somewhat exercised that I had used this photo not simply because it was copyright violation but because it was not at all a good picture that he had taken, it had technical flaws and so on. But he was also miffed because, 2014 being the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, he hoped to get some reprinting of the photos that he had taken that day and smuggled out of China, including one that won a World Press Award. Franklin is a professional (Magnum!) photographer, after all; this is his livelihood. I understood this and removed the picture from this site. Then I got another e-mail from Franklin: the photo was still up — on Wikipedia!

So I checked out Wikipedia and there was the photo in the “Tank Man” article. And it was credited to this blog which is how Franklin came to associate me with it. So I edited the article by removing the photo.

And then somebody put it back.

Now began some rather frustrating correspondence with a busy bee on Wikipedia, an increasingly perturbed Stuart Franklin, and myself. The busy bee was a helpful type who thought, he said, that republishing the photo was Fair Use, although, of course, he was not a lawyer. Franklin had written to Wikipedia himself and Busy Bee had taken it on himself to move Franklin’s correspondence to a different niche in the vast Wikipedia morass of places where things can be stored. He was only trying to help, he said, because he knew Wikipedia could be daunting to the uninitiated. Meanwhile, the photo was being considered for deletion by Wikipedia editors, though this proved to be a rather lengthy process.

Then, Franklin re-examined the photo and discovered that he hadn’t taken that particular picture! No wonder it was technically deficient. So, back to Wikipedia with this info (which created some more editorial discussion about who the photographer actually was). And Franklin e-mailed me a JPEG of a photo that he did take and which might be used by Wikipedia. So, I made that edit to the Tank Man article. Also I changed the file name on the several instances where the non-Franklin photo included his name, though I could not get them all.

Now everything was quiet for a time.

In December of 2014, I got a message from a Wikipedia user that the photo I had forwarded from Franklin had been “orphaned” and would be deleted. I found that curious as the photo was still quite visible in the Tank Man article. I looked at the photo history and saw that the user who had e-mailed me had changed the size of the picture and now his name was there as the photo source. That’s okay by me. You enjoy, Dude!

Over the course of this affair, I gave a lot of thought to how I should handle pictures on this site. The photo that I used, wrongly attributed to Franklin, was floating around on the internet and I carelessly scooped it up. One other time I got a smack on the wrist for using photos on this blog that were not properly attributed to the photographer. The place where I had gotten the pictures had not given the correct source. I was happy to make the change and give credit where credit is due, but that really doesn’t answer the questions that arise here.

Photographers create works that can easily be digitally copied and distributed. The final distinction between the original and a copy is disappearing along with chemical/film processing. So, once a photo appears on the internet, it loses commercial value. Of course, photography is not the only form to suffer difficulties from new technology: music, print publishing, movies and video — all are going through changes, but photography has been there from the beginning. Or at least, from the moment that it was possible to digitally reproduce images. Pornography was the original internet business opportunity because an image was something that could be sold on-line.

It is now so difficult to protect image copyright that some photographers are quitting. Watermarks are not the answer. If an image is published, the publisher will want it pristine, and, since print newspapers and magazines are dying, the internet is now the major place to publish. But once published, the image leaves the control of both publisher and photographer. Indeed, there are predatory photographers and graphic artists who steal the work of others and put their own name on it.

So, how to steer through all this? I have been trying to develop a publication code for myself, basically a set of personal rules that are under constant scrutiny and re-thinking. After all, I don’t want to do blog posts without pictures — they are, like this post, boring to many. Anyhow, pretty soon I hope to do another Pictures That I Like post.




Danish author Peter Knudsen has been publishing eBooks through Apple’s iStore. His latest, Hippie 2, is full of photos of naked people from the 60s. Apple objected to the nudity, so Knudsen covered up the naughty bits with… apples! At first that worked but after a week someone at Apple with no sense of humor (could have been anyone) removed the book from the iStore. Now it’s a news item.

One of Knudsen’s censored photos. [via]

Obviously Apple was upset that Knudsen was taking the piss. So let this be a lesson to would-be eAuthors: don’t mock with apples! Use some other fruit.
[via Cult of Mac]

John McAfee Is On The Run

The first post on John McAfee’s new blog begins:

With lots of time on my hands and very little to do with it, I’ve been reflecting on the recent detour my life has taken. How did I end up as a murder suspect on the lam?

McAfee founded the anti-virus company McAfee Associates. After he sold out his interest in the firm in the 1990s, John had a fortune of $100 Million. Now he is hiding from the police somewhere in Belize. How did John McAfee become a murder suspect on the lam?

John McAfee was working for Lockheed in 1986 when the first computer virus targetting DOS operating systems was released. He developed a program to defeat the virus and began working on other anti-virus software. McAfee Associates was founded a year later and quickly became one of the top anti-virus companies in the world.

John McAfee in 1989.

At the end of 1991 a number of computers were shipped by their manufacturer that were infected with the Michelangelo virus, so called because it activated each year on March 6, the birthday of Michelangelo Buonarrotti. McAfee predicted disaster, claiming in January of 1992 that five million computers were infected. The press hyped a Michelangelo panic, often citing McAfee’s comments. Some computer analysts thought that the virus was an overblown threat and the panic itself was creating problems — many users were told not to start their computers on March 6, for instance. On March 5, McAfee debated expert Charles Rutstein on the MacNeill-Lehrer Report. Rutstein said that maybe ten or twenty thousand computers worldwide would be infected, McAfee repeated his prediction of five million and said damage in dollar terms would be huge. The next day, Rutstein was proven correct. Michelangelo was a dud.

But Michelangelo had the side effect of making computer users more security conscious. Anti-virus software sales boomed. Some manufacturers admitted that they had hyped the fear in order to promote sales. John McAfee did not make such an admission but had become tainted by his association with the panic. He was forced out of McAfee Associates, resigning in 1994 and selling out all his stock a few years later.

John McAfee outside his New Mexico property. [NY Times]

McAfee was now a very wealthy man. He bought hundreds of acres of land in Colorado and began developing a yoga retreat there. Meanwhile, he created a messenger-type program, Tribal Voice, that he later sold for another pot of cash. He became involved in racing ATVs and tried to jet-ski across the Atlantic. He bought a ranch in New Mexico that developed into a semi-commune where numerous hangers-on came to live. The ranch became a center for what McAfee called aerotrekking, which involved flying ultra-lite aircraft very close to the ground. He bought a thousand acres in Hawaii, promising that he wouldn’t develop it other than to build a home there. Two years later, McAfee sold part of the land to a developer, angering local residents. In 2006, a man was killed while flying as a passenger on one of McAfee’s ultralites and his family launched a multi-million dollar wrongful death suit against him. In 2008, McAfee re-located to Belize, building a beachfront house on Ambergris Cay. In 2009, he told the NY Times that his fortune had shrunk to only $4 Million, which is hardly credible. The following year, McAfee sold the remainder of his Hawaiian property and announced that he was going to develop antibiotics (or perhaps an antibacterial topical spray) from jungle plants.

McAfee (left) showing director Ang Lee how to aerotrek.

Whether or not McAfee deliberately hyped Michelangelo, he definitely lied on numerous occasions. For example, he created phony websites for non-existent aerotrekking clubs around the US in order to promote the sport. When New Mexico residents became concerned about aerotrekking and began to organize against it, McAfee circulated a story that a huge contingent of paintball enthusiasts was about to descend on on the area and turn the surrounding wilderness into a paint-spattered battlefield. Locals were distracted into combating this new threat and dropped their efforts against aerotrekking. When journalist Jeff Wise went to visit McAfee in Belize, he was told that the antibiotic venture had been put on hold and that McAfee’s lab was now working on a drug to increase female libido. After Wise returned to the States and published his story, McAfee claimed that it was all a prank:

 I am a practical joker, and I joke no differently with the press than I do with my next-door neighbor… I’m not saying it’s a particularly adult way of behaving, or business like, or not offensive to some. But it’s me.

Not long after that, the antibiotic scheme fell apart and McAfee’s followers began drifting away from Belize. Soon John McAfee was alone except for his bodyguards and teenage girlfriend of the moment. In April, 2012 The Belize Gang Suppression Unit raided McAfee’s compound, suspecting that he was running a meth lab. Instead they found the abandoned antibiotic setup and a lot of legally registered firearms. The police were still convinced that something was going on, though — some of McAfee’s bodyguards were known criminals.

McAfee with guards. [photo: Brian Finke via]

Upset by the police attention, McAfee apparently attempted to bribe local officials and this resulted in what were the only charges against him after the raid. McAfee told Jeff Wise that there had been attempts on his life. In May, he posted that he was in hiding:

I am in hiding in an undisclosed location in Belize. Hiding out is no fun. I’ve always wondered why people on the run turn themselves in in many cases. I now know the answer – boredom.

I am in a one room house in an uninteresting location. I have not been outdoors for 5 days. I have no cable or satellite TV and I have three DVDs … I have no books. I do have an Ipad but no charger. They are difficult to get in this country. I have 21% charge remaining – I have been rationing. Since, in the end, The only person you can trust is yourself, I have had no contact with anyone other than telephone interviews with the press….

My lawyers tell me there is absolutely nothing to worry about, so that makes me very worried. They will be negotiating with the government today, if all goes well.

I’m down to 17% charge. I will leave you.

But shortly afterward, McAfee was seen riding around with his latest girlfriend and seemed in fine fettle. In July, he gave an interview to Westword in which he described his latest scheme — observational yoga:

You can pay $200 a month to sit in an easy chair and watch people do yoga up on a stage. There is a scientific basis for this, that through osmosis, as you watch others be active, the observation of something impacts yourself. …
It would be very difficult to sell this concept in America. I would be shut down on all the claims that it improved health by the government. But here I can make any kind of outrageous claim that I choose and the government can see fit to say that it is okay.

McAfee’s interviewer decided that she was being pranked. Another possibility is that McAfee believed what he was saying, at least at the moment he was saying it. After all, this is a guy who has made lots of money with wild ideas, perhaps having wild ideas is just part of his being.

On November 17, the body of Gregory Faull, an American builder living in Belize, was discovered by his housekeeper. Faull had been killed by a single shot to the back of his head. When police named McAfee a “person of interest” that they wished to interview, he fled. On his blog, McAfee claims that the police are out to get him, that he is afraid for his life, but that he is innocent of murder. He claims that he has observed the police hauling stuff into his compound which he believes is part of a frame-up. These observations were done while wearing various disguises:

On subsequent days using different disguises, I did the same general thing, one day selling tamales and burritos that I had purchased wholesale from a real vendor, on another pretending to be a drunk German tourist with a partially bandaged face and wearing speedo swimming trunks and a distasteful, oversized Hawaiian shirt and yelling loudly at anyone who would listen – “Leck mich um ausch!”.  At 67 years of age it was quite a spectacle.

 I just bet it was. Some people think McAfee is paranoid — the president of Belize says that he is “bonkers” — and McAfee’s rambling website doesn’t do anything to dispel that notion. The first entry attacks Jeff Wise and accuses him of mis-reporting because of an incident that supposedly occurred while Wise visited the New Mexico ranch. A recent post contains the transcript of a tape that presumably details a plot against McAfee. In fact, the site has begun to look like any number of others written by folks who believe themselves persecuted. The site also advertises a comic book being written about McAfee’s life. I am definitely going to get a copy — if it ever comes out.


This post relies heavilly on reporting done by Jeff Wise for Gizmodo, especially “Secrets, Schemes, and Lots of Guns: Inside John McAfee’s Heart of Darkness” and this earlier article in Fast Company.
Also see: Joshua Davis in Wired, here and here with a tape of a phone call to McAfee. Davis has published an e-book of his coverage.

First Photo on the World Wide Web


In 1992, Tim Berners-Lee was looking for a picture to demonstrate the image-handling ability of his baby, the brand-new World Wide Web. Well, actually the Web had been around for a little while but only as a network for scientists involved with CERN. In 1991, though, it was opened to the public. This is the image that Berners-Lee chose as the first to go public:

So what is that?1 The Cernettes were a group formed from workers and scientists’ wives and girl friends at CERN. They sang take-offs on girl-group songs with lyrics aimed at particle physicists: “Liquid Nitrogen”, “Collider”, and so on. They were quite a big deal, at least in Geneva, and Berners-Lee was a fan. The group was managed by an IT developer named Silvano de Gennaro. He needed a photo for a CD cover so asked the group to pose backstage at a gig:

Berners-Lee asked de Gennaro for a digitized photo that could be uploaded to the WWW as a test. De Gennaro happened to have on hand a GIF file of the photo that he intended as a CD cover. Berners-Lee insisted that he add words — “It has to be fun!” — so de Gennaro got to work with PhotoShop 1 (that’s “one”, folks) and arched the lettering over top. The resulting image was part of an article about CERN music.

No one much noticed. Probably more people saw a Cernettes poster than the WWW image. But this bit of retro humor was the first. The next big steps in Web history — on-line commerce, for instance — followed with the development of internet porn as people discovered that they could sell digital images.

The Cernettes are calling it quits after twenty years and giving a final performance this month. The original GIF file vanished when the Mac that held it in memory died in 1998.

There is much more on this topic including video of Cernettes’ performances and Tim Berners-Lee’s cross-dressing here.

 1 I think it looks like an album cover for a side-project connected with a Francophone Slim Cessna. Something like the Lee Lewis Harlots, for instance.

Chicken Specs

Anyone who’s ever observed chickens has seen them peck each other. It’s not the roosters that are hen pecked, it’s other hens and they may be pecked to death. This has long been a problem for chicken farmers and various solutions have been proposed.

In 1903, Andrew Jackson, jr. was granted a patent for chicken spectacles. These are, in effect, safety glasses meant to protect a chicken’s eyes. But that’s not the only vulnerable spot on a chicken. Hens will peck at another bird’s tailfeathers until they expose skin and then attack the exposed area until it bleeds. Once blood is drawn, other birds will peck at the wound until the hurt bird suffers serious injury.

So, at about the same time Louis Harwood and Joseph Haas developed spectacles for chickens — not to protect the victim’s eyes, but to prevent the aggressor from attacking. Once these spectacles are attached to a chicken’s beak, it will not peck at blood. You see, these are rose-colored glasses; the lenses filter out the color red. The glasses from Haas are hinged and fall away from the chicken’s eyes when it lowers its head so that it can still forage for red stuff. [See them in action here.]

The National Band and Tag Company sold many thousands of the Haas glasses until the 1970s when they quit manufacturing them. Now they are collectible. There is a problem with the specs though, one that caused the United Kingdom to ban them: they are attached to the bird’s head by a cotter pin run through its nostrils. I suppose that sounds cruel. Anyway, that’s one reason chicken ranchers have turned to other anti-pecking measures, like clipping the bird’s beak.

Backyard chicken-raising has become a bit of an urban fad in the last few years. Sooner or later, these city farmers are going to be faced with the problem of restraining their flock’s natural murderous instincts. Perhaps some new form of chicken specs will be introduced for their benefit.

Debunking TV Crime Shows and the CSI Effect

You watch crime shows, I know you do, if you watch TV at all, because the only other thing to watch is hockey (What? Reality shows? Screw that. Nobody watches those things!) Okay, there’s doctor shows but they are mostly soap operas constructed around puzzles that the doctor/detective has to solve. Some crime shows have lawyer characters, some have cops or detectives, Law and Order has both. But they’re all the same — the lawyers have to solve the crimes because otherwise their innocent client goes to the hoosegow and the police are incompetent unless they are the main characters and then they usually have a cool lab and double as scientists and stuff.

So how good are these shows? How much info can you take away from, say, Bones or CSI that is reliable. Well, not a lot. Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist, takes Bones episodes apart. A program that doesn’t have too many errors might get a B-, most get D or lower. You really think Temperance Brennan can tell the sex of a skeleton by its jaw? You poor fool.

Don't be taken in: they really don't know what they're doing.

Scott, a family practitioner in Illinois, critiques House, a show he enjoys. Here’s some medical stuff on one episode:

Hemothorax occurs when there is bleeding into the pleura (the membrane around the lung) which causes the lung to collapse. It is bleeding outsideof the lung. It is completely different from bleeding that occurs within the lung, which is what this patient had.

It is true that immune suppressants can worsen infections, but it’s not true that antibiotics worsen transplant rejection. Antibiotics are a routine part of post-transplant treatment. For example, I have several post-transplant patients, and most have been on a daily antibiotics since their operation.

Electrophysiology studies and angiograms are not used to diagnose long QT syndrome (but then, neither is scaring the patient to death).

If the lung transplant is rejecting almost immediately, then it is hyperacute rejection, which does not respond to immune suppressants.

Oliguria does not automatically indicate kidney failure. There are several other causes of decreased urinary flow, a urinary blockage for instance (though I will admit that renal insufficiency (i.e. kidney failure) is the most likely).
allFor supposed experts, they don’t pay a lot of attention to the most basic statistics available on ICU patients such as their I/Os (ins and outs).

Fabry’s is an x-linked recessive disease, so it generally does not show up in women.

It would save a lot of time and effort if they waited for a diagnosis before starting treatments. Both the amyloidosis and Goodpasture treatments were started – and these are not benign non-risky treatments – without proof of diagnosis.

Since she’s already had at least one arrhythmic episode, Della is going to be on heart monitors. Heart monitors would cause the alarms in the heart monitoring station to start going off the minute she showed a flatline (which is what unhooking her leads would show). She would have been found long before she made it down the stairs.

And after all that, the episode got a B and a C. Scott is a kind grader.

There’s other expert critics around. Fringe, for instance, which usually gets a failing science grade, has a couple of good blogs assessing that failure. Here’s one. And many episodes of MacGyver have been deconstructed on Mythbusters. But the show that has drawn the most attention is CSI in its various locales.


One thing I’ve learned from CSI is that if I yell “Enhance!” at my computer while clicking a bunch of keys, then I can zoom into a sharp focused image of incredibly tiny details in a photo, no matter how low-res and grainy it is. (And what is it with that typing? If these guys are running UNIX, then they should have macros operating with a keystroke or two. If they’re using Windows — and most of them seem to be — then they should have drop-down menus and a mouseclick. Instead they just clatter all over the keyboard and try to look competetent.)

Some claim that juries determine verdicts by looking for evidence which would have been discovered by forensic scientists, except that the evidence doesn’t exist and so they come to the wrong decision and free a criminal– the so-called “CSI Effect.”

“Some jurors are expecting that some of the technology used on the shows is real, and it’s not,” says Professor Carol Henderson, Director of the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law at Stetson University College of Law. “In fact, they’re sometimes disappointed if some of the new technologies that they think exist are not used. This is causing quite a bit of concern for prosecutors trying the cases, as well as some of the jurors.  They just want this evidence that may not exist.”  The CSI effect has been blamed for acquittals in some recent cases. “Unrealistic expectations are really harming the jury system,” Henderson says.

Others debate whether this “CSI effect” actually exists — “…despite numerous media stories and law enforcement warnings of a “CSI Effect” crippling our criminal justice system, no such effect exists…”

 On the other hand, the possibility of a CSI Effect may create “CSI Infection“:

[Tamara Lawson has coined] a new phrase, “CSI Infection,” by focusing on the significant legal impact that the fear of “CSI Infected Jurors” has made upon the criminal justice system. The CSI Infection is the ubiquitous “It” factor that scholars cannot conclusively prove nor effectively explain away; however, practitioners overwhelmingly confirm the CSI Effect’s impact on criminal jury trials. The CSI Effect’s existence, the CSI Effect’s true or perceived impact on acquittals and convictions, and how to define the CSI Effect, permeates criminal trials. For example, litigators base their motions on the CSI Effect and build their trial strategies around the CSI Effect, transforming the legal arguments of trial lawyers on both sides of a case. Specifically, voir dire questions, jury instructions, as well as opening statements and closing arguments have been modified and correspondingly challenged on appeal – all because of the CSI Effect.

So, even if the CSI Effect doesn’t influence juries, the possibility that it might changes the way lawyers operate in court.

Of course, no matter what juries or lawyers think, forensic science itself is under fire as unreliable. A 2009 National Academy of Sciences paper addressed the problem and there are many efforts being made to make forensic science better. Meanwhile people have gone to prison because of evidence produced from bad science, not to mention bad scientists. So maybe the problem is not that CSI Effect leads to the guilty set free but rather to the innocent being imprisoned.

Speaking of bad science, how about profiling like in Criminal Minds? Largely bullshit. The thing that’s scary about this is the general application of profiling for people applying for jobs or buying airline tickets.

So don’t believe any of that stuff you see on TV. If you’re watching a show for the characters and the drama, fine. Just treat it as fantasy. The “scientists” are really magicians who can wave a wand or chant a spell like “Enhance!” and reveal the truth. Oh, and those shows where lawyers are the main characters? Nothing that you see has any resemblance to anything remotely like genuine legal practice. Period.