How about that Elizabeth Holmes then

I guess when it’s someone guilty of this sort of crime (fraud; and a fraud at this level and scale) it’s hard to imagine a way in which we could trust that person again. I imagine a lot of us (all?) have encountered continual liars at times and such people leave you completely unable to to trust them, which is especially hard if you know they have problems at home or whatever.

Obviously I have no idea if she is someone who got caught in one act of hubris and it spun into this or it’s part of a general personality. But that’s also part of the trust thing, that you can’t really sense how to deal with someone in that situation. They could be fully accountable and we can’t sense if we trust that. Whereas with a lot of other crimes you might reasonably be able to feel trust that someone has come to terms with what they’ve done and accepted their failures.

yeah I’m not suggesting we should trust this person, even if she engages in an accountability process

she’s very clearly deeply dishonest

she should not have the power, wealth and status she has up until now enjoyed though!

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and to be clear, I do think we can establish patterns in behaviour that mean we can hold someone to higher standards of verification etc. than we would other people

if someone has a history of telling huge lies for personal gain, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to question their honesty across other scenarios


Oh yeah, I didn’t mean to imply I thought that, just considering how I personally could imagine feeling like she had been ‘rehabilitated’ or even what something like that would look like.

And yeah, prison is clearly not the answer here.

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don’t wanna dig up the argument above again but…

I do think there’s a subtle difference between

  1. thinking someone is probably lying and that they ought to be treated as if they are lying
  2. thinking someone is probably lying but that we ought to nevertheless give them the benefit of the doubt because doing otherwise would interfere with their rights/dignity etc.

I honestly don’t really care whether this person is lying, and don’t think it has any real consequences for how we should treat convicted criminals

if prison wasn’t this huge centripetal oppressive force weighing down on everything, we wouldn’t have had this conversation


Semi-related, my childhood best friend’s dad spent a year or two in prison for fraud and I don’t know how much of a disincentive it was, really. Maybe he was lying to us because we’re still only about 17 when he got out but he mostly got loads of reading done and got really into meditation. He was pretty chill and they were very wealthy anyway, so it had no impact on his life afterwards*. I’m pretty sure he was up to no good the years that followed as well ‘cause my pal would get a call like “hi, just transferred you £500, could you go spend it asap please”. Which was great when we were 19 year olds buying unlimited WKDs for the whole gang but you do look back and wonder what that was about. He also had a secret second house with a mistress and made his kids pretend that he’d already separated from their mum and was resident there full time when he got pulled up for something related to the secret house. They had to put up a Christmas tree in July and pose under a tree in jumpers. He’d set the date and time on the camera to December to corroborate his story.

Honestly don’t know how you’d get someone like that to feel accountable and change.

*except he was rightly struck off from the position of power he’d held to be able to do huge fraud. And tbf that might have stopped him doing the same scam twice.


What a ride this comment was


I gotta say despite being used as evidence for the defence I actually agree with @meowington here. I think it’s difficult because what Holmes did was so… odd, for want of a better word, that it doesn’t have any direct analogues. But the wider debate around Theranos has been massively gendered (c.f. the various comments about her “manly” presentation voice) - I haven’t followed it on diS specifically though

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I don’t think people are necessarily reasoning by analogy though. It’s her dishonest and selfish character, not the nature of the act

She is very evidently, and incontrovertibly, capable of going to great lengths to deceive and mislead for her own personal gain. She has a history of using her status, wealth and knowledge to commit fraud. She’s shown complete disregard for the impact of her action on the scientific community and people working towards legitimate and viable products that could really help people.

It would be perverse for any judge or decision maker to discount her history of dishonesty. She is manifestly an untrustworthy person.

I’m quite surprised that a lot of people seem to be suggesting we simply can’t use previous behaviour (in this case a long and consistent pattern of lying) to determine how much trust we should place in someone.

Of course she should have a right to have kids or not or do whatever she wants with her body. But why would we ever need to think she’s behaving honestly?


Don’t disagree with any of this; I was tagged into a reply which seemed to be arguing that there isn’t any misogyny/gendered elements to the way Holmes has been covered. I also disagree with that ,but perhaps I misunderstood. I certainly have not read this whole thread


Yeah I completely agree, the coverage is steeped in misogyny.