The fifth and last of Euclid’s “common notions” underlying his axioms and proofs is that the whole is greater than the part. Sadly five justices of the Supreme Court violated this baseline today by opening wide the door for coerced DNA sampling of persons arrested but not convicted of a crime. It would be a great day if we could solve unsolved cases, and bring some measure of relief to families and friends of victims, without paying a price in lost civil liberty. But we can’t. The “whole” in this case was the presumption of innocence. The majority today lost sight of that greater whole and wandered off into a scary non-Euclidean space.
Update (6/16): Having read on p. 101 of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Nature:Course Notes from the College de France that “Non-Euclidean spaces teach us that Euclidean space is not a de facto privileged structure. It is not the only real space among all spaces,” I hereby apologize to non-Euclidean spaces and all beings living therein.