05 August 2010

Après quelqu'un d'autre

Lots more yesterday than today, eh?

  • Equality is always supposed to be good, right? How about debates concerning a book that advocates greater economic equality as a foundation for a stable society — shouldn't access to those debates also be equal? That's the fundamental problem with what the authors of that book propose: Access to peer-reviewed journals (both for authors who want to publish in them, and for readers who want to follow the debate) is most emphatically not equal. Many of those journals are, essentially, vanity presses — that's exactly what a "page fee" is. Too, few peer-reviewed journals in any field, and particularly not in the social sciences, have online presences... meaning, in turn, that a reader who wants to follow the debate must ordinarily have access to a decent university library, because those journals sure as hell aren't going to be on the shelves at a public library or at B&N or Borders.
  • You may have heard of "patent trolls" before — companies that buy up patents for the specific purpose of suing on the basis of the patent. One notorious example has been the "SCO rights to *nix" litigation covered at Groklaw. Now, in an entirely predictable development, meet the copyright trolls!
  • Congratulations General Justice Kagan. That beeping sound you hear is a truck backing up to your office with approximately 1100 open petitions for certiorari (requests for cases to be heard by the Court) that you will need to read, be familiar with, and vote upon in about six weeks... and more will be coming in tomorrow. Then there's preparation for oral arguments in early October. And your impending duties as the supervising justice for a Circuit Court of Appeals, which will be assigned by Chief Justice Roberts in the next few days (if you're lucky, you'll get the First and/or Federal Circuit... if you're not, you'll get the Sixth).

    Plus all those rumors about you will, no doubt, interact with the appeals of Perry coming toward you with the inevitability of a glacier. A glacier with fangs and automatic weapons.