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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the 60%-likely-is-40%-unlikely dept.


How similar do you think you are to your second cousin? Or your estranged great aunt?

Would you like to have people assess your behaviour from what your great aunt has done? How would you feel if courts used data gained from them to decide how you are likely to behave in the future?

Scientists are making connections between a person's DNA and their tendencies for certain kinds of behaviour. At the same time, commercial DNA databases are becoming more common and police are gaining access to them.

When these trends combine, genetic data inferred about offenders from their relatives might one day be used by courts to determine sentences. In the future, the data from your great aunt could be used by a court to determine how severely you are punished for a crime.

[...] A Florida judge recently approved a warrant to search a genetic genealogy , GED Match. This American company has approximately 1.3 million users who have uploaded their personal genetic data, with the assumption of privacy, in the hope of discovering their family tree.

The court directly overruled these users' request for privacy and now the company is obliged to hand over the data.

[...] This might be used by the prosecution to make the case for a longer sentence. In some jurisdictions and circumstances, the prosecution may have a means of obtaining a sample of DNA directly from the offender. But where this is not legally possible without the offender's consent, the inference from relatives might fill a gap in the prosecution's case about how dangerous the offender is.

Your ability to be granted bail may hinge on your genes.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24 2020, @01:59PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24 2020, @01:59PM (#947924)

    But it's not confirmation bias. I've been coaching for years and I can look back on the people who gave up on the work - they are literally all still weak, even though most of them still play. But for those who put in the work not a single one didn't see very significant results and improvement. And yes I literally got lazy. I work at home and have far too much free time. If I spent my time studying the game instead of shit posting on the internet I have little doubt I'd be pushing towards a GM title. Even of my friends who are GMs the exact same is also true. Not a one quit because they hit their peak - it's all because they got lazy. As you get better at something it requires more and more work to get that much better again. It's hard work, and very few people are truly willing to consistently endure never-ending hardwork - those that are become the best in the world.

    Let's look at an even easier example because we can all but entirely remove extrinsic factors. Who wants to be fat? Some people, in sort of neu-think might try to claim they do, but I suspect nobody genuinely wants to be fat. Bad for your health, your looks, and just about everything. How do you not become fat? It's really simple - don't eat much and certainly don't drink much alcohol or sugar drinks. It's not especially comfortable, but it's absolutely trivial to do. You're not even actually doing anything, instead you're *not* doing something. You don't need to got the gym or anything like that. You don't burn calories at the gym anyhow - a mile run burns around 100 calories, a fraction of a slice of pizza. That can help, but your weight is physically little more than a property of your consumption. Consume less and it is physically impossible to become fat.

    Yet in America an ever larger chunk of the population, especially the poor, are becoming grossly fat. This is probably the clearest possible illustration of how the real issue is not extrinsic forces, but intrinsic ones. And it applies to everything. Even with the fat thing, people try to blame outside forces but it's becoming increasingly absurd. Eating unhealthy food is not what makes you fat - eating too much food is.

  • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Saturday January 25 2020, @06:24AM (1 child)

    by vux984 (5045) on Saturday January 25 2020, @06:24AM (#948381)

    That still looks like there is ample room for simple confirmation bias. You remember those that put in the work and improved. And you clearly feel those that didn't improve have not put in the work; clearly they *must* not have put in the work.

    There's also likely some selection bias in the group itself; and feedback loops that actively push out the people who peak.

    "Even of my friends who are GMs the exact same is also true. Not a one quit because they hit their peak - it's all because they got lazy."

    So they all could have been #1 if only they weren't lazy. All at once even? ;)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25 2020, @09:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25 2020, @09:06PM (#948608)

      The point of the weight analogy was a perfectly clear response to this. All Americans want to be a healthy weight. And all of them could be a healthy weight by literally doing *less* than they currently doing (eating less in particular). There's no external force making it where only 28% (and declining) of Americans be can be a healthy weight and the rest cannot. The issue is simply that the vast majority of people are lazy, self indulgent, and unwilling to engage in discomfort for gains even when it means they're literally shortening their lives through such behavior.

      So how many people can or cannot theoretically achieve some task is completely irrelevant when we can clearly demonstrate that it's these sort of factors such as laziness/self indulgence play such disproportionate roles. This is why your thought experiment needs to start with the assumption of identical people, yet it fails there too, though for different reasons.