04 March 2004

A few news items of interest:

  • For years, I've been whining and moaning about how poorly lawyers write. Now, a "Judge Finds a Typo-Prone Lawyer Guilty of Bad Writing"—and reduces his fees.
  • The increasingly popular voice-stress analysis device appears to be no better at detecting deception—generating both significant false positives and significant false negatives—than is flipping a coin. Now there's a surprise—we can't teach machines to do something that we don't understand how to do ourselves.
  • Judges do change on the bench. Justice Blackmun is perhaps the prime example, evolving from a conservative "Minnesota Twin" of Chief Justice Burger to a man who would lament "Poor Joshua!" at the law's insensitivity to an abused disabled student and finally conclude that he could "no longer… tinker with the machinery of death."
  • I'd remark "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead!" at Michael Eisner's ouster as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Disney, but that invokes the wrong studio. For more detailed analysis, you can do far worse than read The Perfesser's outraged yet remarkably even-handed and scholarly discussion of corporate governance over the last couple of months. I thoroughly expect that by this time next year the Disney CEO suite will be in the midst of a serious redecorating binge. Not to mention some long-overdue firings, and possibly desperate attempts to get Pixar to change its mind.