- Statutory interpretation ain't sexy, but it's necessary. Then, there's more than one way to skin this particular cat — especially when there's a new type of cat unknown to those who would regulate the skinning of cats before the court... With all due respect to Justice Scalia, Judge Posner has by far the better of the argument here. At least he's not worrying about the quality of academic writing, though.
- Law (and academia) are not the only areas that could benefit from clearer communication. Consider, for example, the BS of creationism/inscrutable design. A "balanced presentation" on that topic would really be very short: "Some people believe, as a result of religious doctrine, that evolution as we currently understand it is not responsible for life — some supernatural 'creator' is. There is no evidence for that view. That our understanding of evolution is imperfect does not mean that some creationist doctrine is therefore correct. That is actually more 'balance' than creationism deserves, in any form."
I'd suggest considering the problem with economic thought, but "dismal" is far too generous a description... and fiction gets much closer to the truth. Or, as the case may be, Truth (if there is such a thing).
- There has been a lot going on with patent law in the last couple of weeks that matters to writers. Perhaps most obviously, there's the big loss in the US-based Apple v. Samsung matter — and I don't necessarily mean Samsung (as I think the probability of reversal on appeal is over 75%, and reduction in that billion-dollar damages award is virtually certain). I am skeptical concerning the patentability of an awful lot of the "inventions" in IP... and I say that as a longtime nerd with soldering scars. The judge did a reasonably good job, but a Supreme Court decision that came down after presentation of evidence had already started (and well after all the "law" hearings and decisions) should cause quite a bit of change after the fact(s).
As significant as that is, the Federal Circuit's ruminations on method patents, states of mind, copyright, and criminal law will matter far more in the long run. Akamai just reinforces, to me, the need to transfer copyright matters to the Federal Circuit — if only to avoid silly circuit splits like that created by the Ninth Circuit regarding how long is too long to wait to file a copyright infringement action. At least when the Federal Circuit screws something up, it's a clear screwup subject to correction by either the Supreme Court or Congress!
- On a somewhat lighter note, strong — even violent — female characters on TV reduce violent attitudes toward women. Big surprise... especially given how poorly some of our supposed "leaders" act.
- Last for today, and definitely least, here's more whingeing and post hoc rationalization for high textbook prices that has more than a little relationship to the first sausage on the platter today.
31 August 2012
Aqueduct, Sanitation, Roads, Irrigation, Medicine, Education...
at 17:56 [UTC8]
The argument over who built what reminds me far more of the video on the right than it should. The real problem is not with entrepreneurs who build from nothing; it is with those who build — if at all — based upon the sins (and occasional virtues) of their parents, or others who bequested them wealth without regard to either energy or capability. That said, on to a delayed-by-migraine digest of particularly indigestible link sausages: