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Neil DeGrasse Tyson contaminates jury with common sense and fairness

Nov 27, 2012 By Abraham

In this lecture, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson tells the story of being called in for jury duty and questioning the seemingly biased language a judge used while describing a crime…

(The video is 1.5 hours long, but it’s set to just play the relevant 2 minutes. Also, sorry about the audio quality.)


  1. David says:

    I wonder what a standard dose of cocaine is. If it’s, say, 1g then NDT has a good point. But if it is, say, 50mg, then saying “2000mg” puts it in perspective that it is a whole lot (or, 40 doses) of cocaine.

    1. John says:

      A “line” of cocaine, the standard thing you’ll see on TV, is about 100mg.

      So, 2g is 20 doses – but a user will normally take many doses in an evening. An “eight ball” is about 3.5 grams, and two “normal users” will go through that over the course of a single long night.

      So this dude? Had a “user who just bought enough for a small party” amount of cocaine. For beer, that would be a 12-pack. In vodka or rum, it would be one of the little pocket-sized bottles.

  2. pr says:

    David has it right, what’s the standard? For example, we usually measure quantities of gasoline in liters (or at least most of the world does.) If we say the defendant stole ten thousand microliters of gas, that’s prejudicial. It’s trying to make a nickel theft sound like a big deal. If we say he stole ten thousand liters that’s not prejudicial, even if we could have just as accurately said that he stole one ten cubic meters.

    Since, according to easily findable sources on the internets (so you know it’s true) cocaine retails for about $100 a gram, a milligram is worth about ten cents, so quoting the quantity in milligrams is about like quoting gasoline in milliliters, so I’m with Tyson on this one.

    1. teuast says:

      In America we’re stupid and measure in gallons. But the point is the same, and John up there answered that question.

  3. docweasel says:

    What is not mentioned here is that tyson changes this story every time he tells it. Evidence points to the fact that the entire story is made up to make tyson look like a super-intelligent hero, fighting for justice against the stupid judge. Since then, tyson has been caught fabricating nearly every quote in that presentation and unable to document any of these stories. The guy is a serial liar and fabricator. Pretty shoddy for someone who purports to represent science and facts to be so bad at research and sourcing.

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