Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thesis - odds of being correct: '1-in-a-million'

Billo left another pro-taser comment in a previous post [LINK]. I really dislike 'comment wars' because they're too much of a time-sink for too little benefit. But I do enjoy shredding pro-taser arguments.

Billo billo billo...

What am I to do with you? (By the way, any response to [LINK]?)

The paper you referenced reveals the sad, sad state of the "science" surrounding tasers. The "science" is immature in the extreme, and rife with external (internal?) influences. It is also based on a house of cards of early taser 'science' built by Taser fan-boys before the issue was noted by others.

The referenced paper has 38 explicitly listed assumptions, and hundreds more implicit ones. One of the worst assumptions is the utter crudeness of their computer model as compared to the human body. By my estimation, the detailed structure human body is probably about 100,000 times more complex than their crude-by-comparison finite element model (FEM). Their model assumes isotropic blocks of a number of tissue types which leads to predictions of a smooth distribution of current. Not included are any small details such as veins, arteries, nerves, and the millions of other small detail that make a human body distinct from a Ken-doll.

In high-current electrocutions (power lines, not tasers) the outcome is normally not broad sections of cooked meat (as this type of computer model would indicate). The outcome is often a current track (often just one), a thin wire-like path of burnt tissue, running from entry point to exit point. This current track indicates that the current primarily followed a distinct path, and was not distributed in smooth waves though each chunk of tissue. The smooth distribution of current shown in this paper does not jive with this well-known reality. And there is nothing to suggest that the taser would be any different.

Also of note, this thesis contains material literally cut-and-paste from the mothership Taser. Not just for reference, but as input.

The findings are ludicrous and (given the numbers) even one taser-associated death linked to the taser as a contributing cause of death would reveal the paper's conclusions to be incorrect or overstated. Since we have many more than one clear examples (about 30 [?] at last count, including a $6.2 judgment), the real world is not explained by this "science".

Let me summarize it this way. If your computer model predicted that a prototype automobile was going to get a million miles per gallon, would you believe it?


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