Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Relativity of Proof: Your Stinking Inferences Depend on Where (and How) You Stand and Sit

Recent news reports have it that Sandy Berger removed classified documents without having the authority to do so. Other news reports have it that Berger drew suspicion on himself during an earlier visit when he stuffed classified documents into his pants and socks.Even if true, the reports of such odd activity are hardly conclusive:
  • Hypothesis 1: Berger was trying to keep his feet warm and his underpants dry.
  • Hypothesis 2: Berger took leave of his senses.
  • Hypothesis 3: He suffers from early-stage Alzheimer's.
  • Hypothesis 4: Arrogance of habitual lawful power.
  • Hypothesis 5: His elusive manservant did it.
  • Hypotheses 6 - n: All other hypotheses or inferences inconsistent with the hypothesis of Berger's intent to conceal wrongdoing and Berger's belief in the wrongfulness his actions.
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