Cargo Cult Litigation

In the last couple of days, I’ve seen the term “cargo cult litigation” come up.  In the context where it was used it was perfectly referenced.

I am confident that most of my audience knows what it means.  For those among us who do not, let me explain.

The term originated as “cargo cult science” in a commencement address at Cal Tech given by renowned bongo player and Nobel physicist Richard Feynman.  Feynman was a character of the highest order, humorous, energetic, curious about everything.  His autobiography Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! is a terrific place to get to know him.  But at the Cal Tech commencement in 1974, he spoke about “science, pseudoscience, and learning how to not fool yourself.

In the South Seas there is a Cargo Cult of people.  During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now.  So they’ve arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he’s the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land.  They’re doing everything right.  The form is perfect.  It looks exactly the way it looked before.  But it doesn’t work.  No airplanes land.  So I call these things Cargo Cult Science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land.

Now it behooves me, of course, to tell you what they’re missing.  But it would he just about as difficult to explain to the South Sea Islanders how they have to arrange things so that they get some wealth in their system.  It is not something simple like telling them how to improve the shapes of the earphones.  But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in Cargo Cult Science.  That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation.  It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly.  It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards.  For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.  You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it.  If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it.  There is also a more subtle problem.  When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

Now, the practice of science and the practice of law are not equivalent.  In science, you theorize, you test, you analyze, and eventually you come to some sort of conclusion to publish. With the law, you have rules, precedent and facts which you combine in an argument.  Science is much more fixed than law. There’s more wiggle room in the law.

We can apply the “Cargo Cult” label to the law when we see a pro se litigant aping the argument of some other party in some other case, simply because it worked before.  Like the Cargo Cult islanders in the South Pacific, he sets up the same framework, goes through the same motions, and expects the same results.  But the planes still don’t land.

What the islanders observed and interpreted was not everything that was happening.  Some of what was happening could not be observed, and some of what they observed was beyond their understanding.

My better angels are telling me that this is a perfect place to stop, that to go further risks educating the monkey. But as the engineers are wont to say, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”

This is how things must be done in the Schoolhouse of Pain.  Answers are not given because then the students have only been told.  In the Schoolhouse of Pain, knowledge comes through suffering, like writing lines for Professor Umbridge. 

The reason “cargo cult litigation” is such an appropriate term is not only because we see a DUMBFUCK completely aping what he has observed.  It’s also fitting because he’s missing something.  Many somethings, actually.  Because we do not educate the monkey here, I won’t go into detail about that.  You’ll have to take a leap of faith.

In this instance, DUMBFUCK cannot see all the turnings of the machine he is trying to duplicate.  The planes aren’t going to land.  Also, DUMBFUCK cannot understand everything he has observed.  The planes aren’t going to land.

I see, and I understand, because I am on the side with the smart people (and zombies).  When the time is right, all will be made clear.

The PLM will be weapons-grade.  Stretch those LULZ muscles early and often.


Author: Paul Krendler

The Thinking Man's Zombie

10 thoughts on “Cargo Cult Litigation”

  1. The loathsome loser is too arrogant, too dementia addled, and much too stoooopid to even consider the possibility that those who graduate from law school know much more about the law and legal process than a grotesque ghoul who barely graduated high school. Of course, since dementia deprives one of the ability to think - degrading and damaging cognitive abilities, judgment, memory, and any other component of 'thinking' - law school wouldn't have helped the malignant monster.

    1. About that dementia thing. I'm beginning to think it's something he read he ought to have due to Parkinson's. A card to play in the blame-for-his-actions game. "Pity me, I don't know what I'm doing!" Most cases of dementia I know of involve a wandering of reality. An inability to keep reality pinned down and focused. Bill has shown a laser-like focus on his targets over the years, and his tenacious attention to his current "enemies" is astounding. A demented individual would have lost interest and gone onto the next shiny thing long ago.

      Creepy? Evil? Narcissistic?. Stupid? Delusions of Adequacy? Bluster with no backing? Attention seeking? Lazy? Habitual liar? Displayer of strange and disturbing fetishes? Easily manipulated? All YES! Demented? I don't think so.

  2. My dear Jane

    I fear you and I disagree (on my part at least with great respect and kindness).

    in my opinion, Willie is a genius compared to his fellow defendants but dissipates any benefit he might derive therefrom by being bone lazy and without impulse control. "I know what I'll do: I'll copy Hoge's motion against me, and it will be so funny when I win without having done any research. Ha ha ha."

    You give him, I fear, too many excuses: I would not mock him if I thought he were as stupid and crazy as you think him. I do not mock the worm as it is gulped down by the robin. It is because I think him sane and normally intelligent that I feel it right and proper to point out how crazy and stupid is his behavior.

    When Hoge's opposition to Willie's latest travesty of a motion is filed and everyone begins to guffaw, Willie will explain that he meant to put his balls in the blender, and guffaws will escalate into hysteria.

  3. Science, as I understand it, is observation, measurement, documentation, identification of facts, then theory and/or proof supported by facts.

    The practice of law, heh, is a human dancing chess match, the steps of which were choreographed by previous players over the course of hundreds of years of dancing the match. Every match is different according to intent, but the dance steps must remain the same for all involved. Knowing only the dance steps doesn't make one a good chess player, and being good at chess definitely doesn't make one a dancer.

    Narcissists who believe they are right, even as everyone on the dance floor is pointing out they are wrong, are intentional losers. But they don't seem to care. They seem to possess a state of mind where they would rather go down in flames than admit that the course they are following is leading to disaster.

    Regarding the science aspect - I'm still trying to figure out why narcissists flock together the way they do. Do they sit around and tell each other how right they are? Or do they just tell each other such, then hope they are right? Kind of fascinating. You would think the documented results would tell them something. But they don't seem to care. Science is of no use to such a mentality.

    1. Queer innit how narcissists and pedos tend to band together? Almost like they form a team become associates.

  4. The inadequacy of his intellect is among the very few (out of very many) flaws in Schmally's nature for which he bears no blame. He didn't choose to be a stupid man. He does choose to be lazily ineducable, creepily obsessive, greedy, and just plain nasty. In other words, a horrible person.
    This is why it's so amusing to watch him fail to grasp basic aspects of the law and how they relate to his current predicament.

    1. Agreed. Like Wile E. Coyote, the LULZ never end watching sociopath Bill Schmalfeldt arrogantly predict victory, then take defeat up the ass again and again and again and...


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