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1:48pm, July 2, 2009

On honeybees and jury duty

Reading “Swarm Savvy” (SN: 5/9/09, p. 16), I was struck by how closely the honeybee decision-making process resembled the internal dynamics of a jury I once was on. The “obvious” jury decision, in my not-very-humble opinion, was guilty to a lesser charge of non-aggravated battery, but I was surprised by how many moms and nurses wanted to acquit the defendant immediately — and how offended they were by my obstinate refusal to back down. The final result, when it came, was indeed guilty to the lesser charge, but by then I had been worn down and was doubting my own decision. It was not an easy afternoon, and the end came only when everyone had allowed [like the honeybees in the article] “their enthusiasm to decay.” The end came abruptly, in fact, and correctly in my opinion.

I wonder if the jury system has not been deliberately designed to facilitate this behavio

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