Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Lessig’
* The grotesque corruptions of big-time intercollegiate athletics have become so glaringly obvious that there is simply no longer a question of whether the college sports-industrial complex is a cancer consuming the academy’s soul. With each new, familiar, and utterly predictable revelation of rampant greed, sexual violence, academic malfeasance, and player exploitation, the only real question is whom to blame.
* Is Lawrence Lessig really “the greatest radical at work in America today”? I like some of what Lessig does, but radicals need to step it up a notch.
* GOP cuts school lunches for urban schools, retains them for rural schools, because freedom I guess.
* Second Grader Handcuffed at School for Misbehaving. “The boy says he began yelling after some kids decided to taunt him, but he never got physical.”
Here in the US, we don’t need to force people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit (though we certainly do that, too). No, to truly validate our system, we conscript the defendant’s soul in a different way.
* A while back I wrote that Django Unchained is laudable for making us unable to watch Gone With the Wind uncritically; I believe that Thrones is working similarly to make us unable to watch The Lord of the Rings uncritically.
* And the Los Angeles Review of Books celebrates George Perec.
* The true gloomsters are scientists who look at climate through the lens of “dynamical systems,” a mathematics that describes things that tend to change suddenly and are difficult to predict. It is the mathematics of the tipping point—the moment at which a “system” that has been changing slowly and predictably will suddenly “flip.” The colloquial example is the straw that breaks that camel’s back. Or you can also think of it as a ship that is stable until it tips too far in one direction and then capsizes. In this view, Earth’s climate is, or could soon be, ready to capsize, causing sudden, perhaps catastrophic, changes. And once it capsizes, it could be next to impossible to right it again.
* But there’s an easy solution to all this! North Carolina considers outlawing accurate predictions of sea level rise. More from Raleigh’s Scott Huler at Scientific American.
* Lessig: “There is no one in the criminal justice system who believes that system works well. There is no one in housing law who believes this is what law was meant to be. In contracts, you read about disputes involving tens, maybe a hundred dollars. The disputes of ordinary people. These disputes are not for the courts any more. Or if they are, they are for courts that are an embarrassment to the ideals of justice from our tradition. The law of real people doesn’t work, even if the law of corporations does.”
* Community is back March 15, but NBC still hates you; they’re putting Parks & Rec on hiatus instead.
* Weirdest Unsolved Mysteries of World War II. I feel certain Indiana Jones was involved in each of these.
* ‘I exist wholly for you. I will never reject you. You cannot disappoint me.’ A brief history of the money shot.
FLOGGING CULLY. A debilitated lecher, commonly an old one.
COLD PIG. To give cold pig is a punishment inflicted on sluggards who lie too long in bed: it consists in pulling off all the bed clothes from them, and throwing cold water upon them.
TWIDDLE POOP. An effeminate looking fellow.
* And the headline reads, “Climate change could make half the world uninhabitable.”
* A majority of people want the filibuster abolished. There’s talk of actually doing something about it. But Harry Reid has declared the filibuster must live forever. America!
* From Lawrence Lessig, via MyDD, here’s how the Democrats are planning to tackle Citizens United v. FEC. Like Lessig, at first glance I’m not certain this reaction is quite up to the challenge.
* Attention: Global Warming Isn’t the Opposite of Snow.
Via Boing Boing I see that Lawrence Lessig has set up a site calling for a Constitutional convention to deal with Citizens United v. FEC. As I think I’ve written here before at some point I’m somewhat bearish on the Constitutional convention route, mostly because I’ve read that it could be difficult or impossible to delimit the scope of a convention once it was called; in other words, no matter what the purpose of the Convention had been when you called it, you could wind up with extremist anti-tax or pro-life amendments coming out, or even (potentially) an entirely new Constitution altogether. (I actually want an entirely new Constitution altogether, but on a properly thought-out and well-considered basis, not as the ad-hoc consequence of a Tea-Party-hijacked amendment convention.)
While this avenue for amendment is expressly laid out in the Constitution, it’s never actually been tried, and no one seems quite sure what the procedure would look like in practice; that makes it pretty risky.
Still, however bearish I am on Constitutional conventions, I’m positively apocalyptic about Citizens United, and if Congress won’t or can’t act we don’t have very many other options. I’m hopeful some of the various legislative fixes that have been discussed here recently can do the job.
With March 4 looking more and more like it could be the definite win for Obama—he’s now leading in Texas, per SurveyUSA, and a Rasmussen Ohio poll shows the race there tightening—it looks like a good time for the last of the great primary linkdumps for 2008.
* First up, naturally, is Frank Rich’s “The Audacity of Hopelessness,” perhaps the definitive pre-post-mortem of What Went Wrong for the once-inevitable candidate. From “Shame on you, Barack Obama” to outright mockery to this nonsense, all indications are that the so-called “moment” from last week’s speech did not indicate Clinton’s willingness to go out on a high note. Today the New York Times reports an internecine “‘kitchen sink’ fusillade” against the Democrats’ presumptive nominee. I can’t wait.
* Matt Yglesias says it never occurred to him that Obama could be assassinated until other people (I’m guilty) started talking about it. I like Matt Yglesias, but to me this indicates a shocking and almost incomprehensible lack of historical memory about the conditions that shaped the country into which we were both born. When I see a story about the Secret Service relaxing security at Obama events, a chill goes down my spine.
* Also via Matt Y., John B. Judis has a good and much-linked piece connecting Obama to a long tradition of American politicians promising us that we can start over.
* 20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack, from Internet icon and Stanford prof Lawrence Lessig. I’ve gotten this in my email a few times and I wanted to put it up before it no longer mattered.
* And yes, I mean that, I think it’s over next week, barring a fumble on Obama’s part of Giuliani (Clintonesque?) proportions. Of course I said it was all over but the shouting after Super Tuesday, a prediction that I think has mostly been borne out. Chris Dodd has seen the writing on the wall. Even Marc Ambinder, who has been shilling for Clinton without any sense of self-respect for the last few months, has come around. Watch the debate tonight—I’ll be liveblogging as usual, if only to see which version of Clinton shows up tonight—but I think Obama closes the gap in both Texas (which I think he’ll win) and Ohio (not sure if he’ll win, but it’ll be close enough that he might as well have), which means he wins it next Tuesday.